Israeli researchers: Type II diabetics should never forgo breakfast

The research team think that problem occurs because the beta cells in the pancreas, which create insulin, “forget their vital task of producing insulin when they wait for a meal.

July 29, 2015 17:20
1 minute read.
Waldorf Astoria hotel restaurant

Breakfast at the Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem is an expensive but exquisite experience.. (photo credit: PR)

People with Type II diabetes should not skip breakfast, as it can cause a “dangerous rise” in blood sugar through the whole day, according to research from Tel Aviv University that was published in the journal Diabetes Care on Tuesday.

The study, carried out in cooperation with the diabetes center at Holon’s Wolfson Medical Center, found that diabetics who start eating only at lunch are making a big mistake. Prof. Daniela Ya’acobovich and Prof. Julio Wainstein, together with researchers from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Lund University in Sweden, stated that until now, the deleterious effects of missing breakfast in healthy people have been examined, but never before in diabetics.

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Over two days, they examined 22 patients with Type II diabetes with an average age of 56.9 and an average body-mass index of 28.2 (which is overweight). On the first day, the participants ate a nutritious breakfast, but on the second day they fasted until lunch.

On both days, the lunch and dinner were identical, with a balanced menu of milk, tuna, whole-wheat bread and an energy bar. After every meal, their blood sugar levels and other compounds in their blood were tested.

Those who skipped breakfast were found to have very high levels of HbA1C (an indication of blood sugar) throughout the day, compared to lower levels among those who ate breakfast. “We were very surprised by the results,” said Ya’acobovich.

The research team thinks the phenomenon occurs because the beta cells in the pancreas, which create insulin, “forget their vital task of producing insulin when they wait for a meal.

After lunch, they “remember their function, but this is a “long and gradual process” that affects their glucose levels and keeps them high. In addition, the level of fatty acids in the blood increases during the morning “fast,” making the insulin less effective in reducing glucose levels.

The professor concluded that diabetics must not forgo a nutritious breakfast.

The team will now begin a study on insulin-dependent Type I diabetics who need to inject insulin several times a day.

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