Reversing Diabetes Type 2?

Reversing Diabetes Type 2? May 9, 2016


For the past five years the media has been speculating about whether a very low-calorie diet, pursued for a limited time, can ‘reset the clock’ for many type 2 diabetics, following a study on 11 diabetic patients in 2011. The initial results were promising, but were based on a very small sample.

A slightly larger trial at Newcastle University recently concluded that the condition can be reversed in some patients — ‘some’ being the operative word — and these findings are now being described as a ‘paradigm shift’ in the understanding of type 2 diabetes, a condition that affects more than 3.5 million people in Britain today.

In the study, led by Professor Roy Taylor, 12 out of 30 participants who followed a 700-calories-a-day diet for two months ended up with their condition reversed. The participants lost an average of two stone during the experiment.

After dramatically cutting their food intake for the initial period, they gradually increased what they were eating to healthy levels, which was equivalent to about two thirds of what they had been eating before they started the experiment.

Although all 30 participants were still overweight at the end of the two months, the significant amount of weight loss, and the speed with which their weight was reduced, caused normal insulin production to start again in more than a third of cases. After six months all the participants had kept the weight off, and all of those whose diabetes had been reversed were still producing insulin on their own.

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