Can Intermittent Fasting and Sunlight Lower Your Blood Sugar and Make You Healthier?


Next Steps

  1. Complete the study questionnaire
  2. Understand if you’re eligible to participate
Click Here

About the Study

Research Center: University of Alabama at Birmingham; Birmingham Veterans Affairs Medical Center
Location: 1720 University Blvd, Birmingham, AL 35294, United States
Lead Researcher: Dr. Courtney Peterson
IRB: This study has been reviewed and approved by the University of Alabama at Birmingham Institutional Review Board

What you eat isn’t the only thing that matters for managing type 2 diabetes. Research suggests that eating and fasting at the right times of day (intermittent fasting) and getting more sunlight may also lower your blood sugar levels, increase your energy levels, burn more fat, and make your body (circadian) clock healthier. 

Researchers are doing an exciting study to see if intermittent fasting and sunlight can help adults with type 2 diabetes improve their blood sugar levels. They are also testing whether intermittent fasting and sunlight can help people be healthier, have more energy, burn fat, and improve their well-being.

Why Participate?

  • You may better control your diabetes and improve your blood sugar levels. 
  • You may also lose a little bit of weight, have more energy, and improve your overall health and well-being.
  • You will receive information on how to eat a healthier diet.
  • You will be contributing valuable information that will help those with type 2 diabetes in the future.
  • You will be paid up to $2400 for participating.
  • You will be helping to advance medical research on type 2 diabetes.

Your Rights

  • If you decide to participate in the study and later feel that you no longer wish to be part of it, you can withdraw at any time.
  • Any information that you provide will be kept strictly confidential, except as required by law.
  • Qualified health professionals will monitor your health as it relates to the study.

Who Can Participate?

  • Men and women who are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes
  • Must be aged 30-80
  • Must not be on insulin 
  • Must wake up between 5-9 am on most days
  • Must regularly eat after 6:30 pm on most days 
  • Must not currently practice intermittent fasting (must regularly eat over a 10-hour or longer daily period)
  • Must be able to attend 13 study visits: 2 screening visits, 5 visits at the research site, 4 appointments by Zoom or phone, and 2 follow-up visits over approximately 12 months

Key Study Details

The study team can explain the research study in its entirety but some study details are:

  • You will be randomly selected to do one or more of the following:
    • Practice intermittent fasting by eating an early dinner and eating within an 8-hour period
    • Eat over a 12-hour or longer period each day
    • Use a light therapy box or glasses mimicking sunlight for at least 1.5 hours/day
  • The main part of the study is the 16-week program. During the 16-week program, you will follow your eating and sunlight exposure routines at least 6 days a week.
  • The study will follow your progress for a total of 12 months.
  • The study involves 2 screening visits, 7 counseling sessions, 1 visit at week 0, 1 visit at week 16, 1 week of at-home data collection, and 2 follow-up visits at months 8 and 12. 
    • During the week 0 and week 16 visits, you will stay in a private room at our research clinic for 1.6 days (one overnight stay). You will have access to TV and wifi, and all food and meals will be provided. 
  • You will complete surveys, record your meals for less than a week, wear a physical activity monitor and a special watch like a FitBit.
  • Participants will wear masks at all times during all study visits.

About the Research Center

University of Alabama at Birmingham
UAB serves students, patients, the community, and the global need for discovery, knowledge dissemination, education, creativity, and the application of groundbreaking solutions. They are a leader among comprehensive public urban research universities with academic medical centers.

Please note:

Due to the current situation with the COVID-19 pandemic, the researchers would like to assure the participants that ensuring the safety of the participants as well as the study staff is of utmost importance. The research study will be in a private research-only area of the hospital, away from hospital patients.

What’s Next?

  1. Click the link to enter your contact details and take the study questionnaire.
  2. If eligible, a member of the research team will contact you to discuss the study and answer any questions you may have.
Click Here to Check Your Eligibility for This Study

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