Could slashing your calories over 2 months cure diabetes? Recent research has shown that type 2 diabetes, a condition previously thought of as ‘incurable’, can be reversed by calorie restriction alone.
A study from Newcastle University has shown type 2 diabetes to be reversible. The trial, funded by Diabetes UK, examined 11 people who slashed their calorie intake to 600 per day over 8 weeks. Three months after stopping the trial, 7 out of 11 participants no longer had diabetes.
Participants also lost on average 14kg (almost 31lbs) over the 8-week period, and after six months had not regained any of the weight.
“Interestingly, even though all our volunteers remained obese or overweight, the fat did not drift back to clog up the pancreas,” said lead researcher Professor Roy Taylor. “The bottom line is that if a person really wants to get rid of their type 2 diabetes, they can lose weight, keep it off and return to normal.”
During the trial, participants ate meal replacement sachets accompanied with non-starchy vegetables. An extremely low calorie diet helps the body remove fat around the pancreas, allowing insulin production to return to normal.
Type 2 diabetes is caused when the body doesn’t produce enough insulin
-the hormone that controls blood sugar levels – or the cells don’t react
to it properly. The condition, which affects 3.6 million Britons, typically occurs in middle age through
poor diet and inactivity.
Taylor said: “What we have shown is that it is possible to reverse your diabetes, even if you have had the condition for a long time, up to around 10 years. If you have had the diagnosis for longer than that, then don’t give up hope – major improvement in blood sugar control is possible.”