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Know more type 2 diabetes can be completely reversed, says study

Monday, July 17, 2017

There’s good news for people with type 2 diabetes. For the condition, which is classified as chronic, has been found to be reversible. Pearl Mathias tells you more

Previously thought of as a serious, long-term medical condition, you’ll be happy to know that type 2 diabetes can be reversed using just dietary modification. According to a study conducted by Newcastle University, sustained weight loss from a low-calorie diet can improve blood glucose levels and lead to remission of type 2 diabetes in some people.

The findings of the research, which were published in the medical journal Diabetologia, demonstrates that people who go on a very low calorie diet can get rid of fat that is clogging up the pancreas, which allows normal insulin secretion to be restored. Initially only seen in adults, type 2 diabetes has been recently showing up in young adults and children, and is caused by an excess of glucose in the blood due to the pancreas not producing enough insulin (a hormone that helps the cells of the body break down glucose into energy) or due to the body not reacting to it.

As part of the study, 11 people who developed diabetes later in life were put on an extreme diet of 600 calories a day, consisting of liquid diet drinks plus 200 calories of non-starchy vegetables. They were matched with a control group of people without diabetes and then monitored over a period of eight weeks. The production of insulin from their pancreas and fat content in the liver and pancreas was monitored.

A special MRI scan of their pancreas revealed that the fat levels had returned to normal. The pancreas also regained their ability to make insulin and as a result, blood sugar levels after meals steadily improved. The volunteers were then followed up three months later. During this time they had returned to eating normally, but had received advice on portion size and healthy eating. Of the ten people re-tested, seven remained free from diabetes. Professor Roy Taylor who led the study said, “This is a radical change in understanding type 2 diabetes. It will change how we can explain it to people newly diagnosed with the condition. While it has long been believed that someone with type 2 diabetes will always have the disease, and that it will steadily get worse, we have shown that we can reverse the condition.” However, it’s important to remember that this diet isn’t an easy fix, and that it should be undertaken under serious medical examination and close medical care.


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