Diet often seems to surface as an efficient remedy for various health conditions, be it kidney problems or obesity. More recently, a study conducted by a team from New Castle University has revealed that a low calorie diet alone would go a long way in reversing Type 2 diabetes.
A clinical examination involving 11 people unfolded that all participants reversed their diabetes by extensively lowering their calorie intake with just 600 calories for 2 months. After a period of 3 months, 7 of them appeared to be devoid of diabetes.
“To have people free of diabetes after years with the condition is remarkable-and all because of an eight week diet. 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,” shared Professor Roy Taylor of Newcastle University who led the study and also works for The Newcastle-Upon-Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
The study presents that a low calorie diet allows normal insulin secretion by removing the fat that blocks the path of pancreas. Type 2 diabetes is known to grow with time and it was initially known that it could be treated by diet in the former stages, followed by tablets and then subsequently would need insulin injections.
The main cause of diabetes can be traced down to pancreas not creating sufficient insulin that results in excessive glucose in the blood and a non-responsive body towards the hormone that is known as insulin sensitivity. The team closely observed the 11 participants and exposed them to a stringent low calorie diet comprising of 600 calories per day. The diet constituted liquid dietary drinks and vegetables devoid of starch.
They were pitted against a control group without diabetes and were closely watched for a period of 8 weeks. The fat content in the liver and insulin production from their pancreas were analyzed. After a span of 1 week it came to fore that the blood sugar levels prior to breakfast seemingly reached normalcy.
A specific MRI scan disclosed that the fat content in the pancreas seemed to have reverted from about 8% to 6%. On the same lines, the pancreas retrieved their normal capability to create insulin. This supposedly resulted in consistent improvement in blood sugar levels after meals.
The participants were then checked after a period of 3 months. At this juncture, they ate normally but were enlightened on the portion size and healthy eating. Thus, 7 out of the 10 persons who were re-tested were devoid of diabetes.
Scientists conclude that Type 2 diabetes is based on energy balance in the body. If persons eat more than they burn, the excess fat ought to accumulate at the pancreas resulting in the condition. However one parameter that needs attention will be regarding the susceptibility of Type 2 diabetes being higher in some individuals. Professionals seem to welcome these results as they it throws light on the reversal of diabetes without any surgery and has no side effects too.
The study was presented at American Diabetes Association conference and was published in the journal Diabetologia.