Extreme diet could cure type 2 diabetes for good, researchers claim

HeraldScotland Professor Mike Lean

Nearly a quarter of the 149 patients in the weight management group achieved weight loss of 15 kg or more at 12 months, sufficient to achieve remission of diabetes in 90% of cases - defined as HbA1c 48mmol/mol.

The findings will be published in The Lancet and presented at the International Diabetes Federation Congress in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday, December 5, 2017 by the lead researchers, Professor Mike Lean from the University of Glasgow and Professor Roy Taylor from Newcastle University.

Researchers hope their results will prompt doctors and patients to treat diabetes by putting long-term weight loss methods at the forefront.

Among those who lost 33Ibs or more, 86 per cent reversed their diabetes.

In a one-year study involving 300 patients with type 2 diabetes and a BMI of 29-45, those randomised to an intensive weight management program lost an average of 10kg and 46% reverted to a non-diabetic state. Additionally, half maintained more than 10 kg loss - 75% of whom achieved remission. In the comparison group, patients received best available diabetes care but not the low-calorie diet.

A clinical trial has shown a reversal of type 2 diabetes is possible by following an extremely low-calorie diet. Interesting, indeed, as numerous current treatments for type 2 diabetes involve medication and even surgery to restrict stomach capacity.

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The condition costs the NHS around £14 billion a year, and can lead to a number of serious complications such as cardiovascular disease, kidney disease or stroke.

Roy Taylor, a professor at Newcastle University in the United Kingdom who co-led the study said in a statement announcing the findings that the impact that diet and lifestyle has on diabetes are "rarely discussed".

Type 2 diabetes may not have to last forever. But it's important that anyone with Type 2 diabetes considering losing weight in this way seeks advice from a health professional'. He said: "It is actually cheaper than some of the drugs prescribed for Type 2 diabetes". "The big challenge is long-term avoidance of weight re-gain".

However, this new study is the first to demonstrate that a weight management programme can achieve remission of Type 2 diabetes in routine primary care.

While, the Director of Research at Diabetes UK, Dr Elizabeth Robertson said that, "We're very encouraged by these initial results, and the building robust evidence that remission could be achievable for some people".

The CDC reports as many as 95% of the 30 million Americans live with Type 2 diabetes - a problem this study claims to have gotten a grasp on.

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