Low-calorie diet shown to reverse type 2 diabetes

Low-calorie diet shown to reverse type 2 diabetes

Professor Roy Taylor from Newcastle University, UK, who co-led the study, said large weight losses targeted by bariatric surgery are not essential to reverse the underlying processes which cause Type 2 diabetes.

A trial has shown that type 2 diabetes is reversible if weight is lost and kept off. Almost half the people who underwent the diet saw their condition go into remission - providing the strongest evidence yet that diabetes can be eradicated by simply losing weight.

Scientists defined remission as having blood glucose levels less than 6.5 percent after 12 months, and after at least two months without medication. Professor Taylor said: 'Substantial weight loss results in reduced fat inside the liver and pancreas, allowing the organs to return to normal function'.

"What we're seeing from DiRECT", he remarks, "is that losing weight isn't just linked to better management of type 2 diabetes: significant weight loss could actually result in lasting remission". Michael Lean, chair of Human Nutrition at the University of Glasgow in the United Kingdom, "putting the disease into remission is feasible". In Type 1, the immune system destroys the cells in the pancreas that make insulin. The pancreas - an organ that produces insulin - tries to compensate by producing more insulin, but eventually it can not make enough, and blood sugar levels go up. If more people can benefit from losing weight alone, then that would mean less cost to the health care system, as fewer people will suffer the serious complications of advanced disease, which can include heart problems, neuropathy, vision issues and even amputations.

Of the of people worldwide who have diabetes, the vast majority have type 2, which results largely from carrying too much weight and not being physically active.

"Rather than addressing the root cause, management guidelines for type 2 diabetes focus on reducing blood sugar levels through drug treatments". They were attending 49 primary care or general practice (GP) clinics across Scotland and a region in North East England. "The weight loss goals provided by this program are achievable for many people". The 149 participants in the weight programme would eat soups or health shakes to limit their calorie intake to 825-853 per day for three to five months. "In contrast to other approaches, we focus on the need for long-term maintenance of weight loss through diet and exercise and encourage flexibility to optimize individual results". The people assigned to the diet group stopped any diabetes drugs they were taking on the same day they began the diet. After a year, most of the people in the diet group lost about 22 pounds, compared to two pounds in the control group. Forty-six percent of participants in the test group reversed their diabetes and went into remission, while only 4% of the control group saw their diabetes go away.

WEIGHT loss of as little as 11Ibs is enough to reverse diabetes in some patients according to a landmark study which found that a low calorie diet was more effective than drugs against the condition.

The team found that diabetes remission was closely linked with weight loss, with nearly nine out of 10 people (86 per cent) who lost 15kg or more putting their type 2 diabetes into remission.

A follow-up study over the next four years will determine whether weight loss and remission are achievable long-term.

Among both groups, weight loss was most closely correlated with disease remission.

"We've found that people were really interested in this approach - nearly a third of those who were asked to take part in the study agreed", explained Lean, a nutritionist.

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