Breakfast Skipper? Prepare For Dangerous Blood Sugar Spikes, Study Says

Skipping breakfast may seem like an easy way to shave off some calories, but not eating the most important meal of the day could have dire consequences for diabetics, according to new research from Tel Aviv University.

The study found that morning fasting can trigger dangerous blood sugar spikes that then impair the insulin response in type-2 diabetics for the rest of the day.

"We theorized that the omission of breakfast would not be healthy, but it was surprising to see such a high degree of deterioration of glucose metabolism only because the participants did not eat breakfast," said Prof. Daniela Jakubowicz, from the Wolfson Medical Center's Diabetes Unit in Holon, Israel.

Beta cell memory

Based on the findings, researchers said that even reducing consumption of starch and sugars at lunch and dinner won't have a beneficial effect if diabetics skip breakfast.

This is partially due to pancreatic cell "memory loss," where beta cells "forget" their role - which is to regulate the insulin response - because too much time has passed between dinner and the next day's meal, the researchers said. This causes elevated blood glucose levels throughout the day while the beta cells scramble to recover and return to their proper function.

"In light of our study, we highly recommend that type-2 diabetics not skip breakfast, because it causes major damage to the beta cell function and leads to high sugar levels, even if they don’t overeat at lunch and dinner," Jakubowicz said.

The team plans to conduct further research on how skipping breakfast might similarly impact type-1 diabetics.

Source: Tel Aviv University

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