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Newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes can be 'reversed'

24th June 2011

Researchers have suggested that an extreme eight-week diet of 600 calories a day can reverse Type 2 diabetes in people newly diagnosed with the disease.

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Publishing their findings in the journal Diabetologia, the team from Newcastle University found the low-calorie diet reduced fat levels in the pancreas and liver, which helped insulin production return to normal.

While more research is needed into the approach, initial findings showed that seven out of the 11 people studied were free of diabetes three months later.

Those involved in the study were all diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes within the previous four years and cut their food intake significantly for two months.

They consumed only liquid diet drinks and non-starchy vegetables and within a week pre-breakfast blood sugar levels of all participants had returned to normal and pancreas fat levels had fallen.

Professor Roy Taylor, director of Newcastle Magnetic Resonance Centre at Newcastle University and lead study author, said: “This diet was only used to test the hypothesis that if people lose substantial weight they will lose their diabetes.

“Although this study involved people diagnosed with diabetes within the last four years, there is potential for people with longer-standing diabetes to turn things around too.”

Diabetes UK, which funded the study, said the diet was not an easy fix.

Director of Research Dr Iain Frame said: “Such a drastic diet should only be undertaken under medical supervision. Despite being a very small trial, we look forward to future results particularly to see whether the reversal would remain in the long term.”

 

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