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What did the British Scientists claim about Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus?

I don't know it sounds kind of dangerous to me and it's already established that people who lose weight get better control of Type 2 diabetes but a report from researchers in the UK starts out "A Newcastle University team has discovered that Type 2 diabetes can be reversed by an extreme low calorie diet alone".

"In an early stage clinical trial of 11 people, funded by Diabetes UK, all reversed their diabetes by drastically cutting their food intake to just 600 calories a day for two months. And three months later, seven remained free of diabetes.

Watch Video What is Diabetes?

What did He Say at the Diabetes Association Meeting?

Professor Roy Taylor of Newcastle University who led the study and also works for The Newcastle-Upon-Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust "reported at a San Diego meeting of the American Diabetes Assn. and in the journal Diabetologia that, after one week on the diet, each of the patients' fasting blood sugar, taken before breakfast, had returned to normal. At the end of the eight weeks, the patients had lost an average of 33 pounds and had no signs of diabetes. Three months after returning to a normal diet, seven of them remained free of the disease. Average weight gain in that three months was 6.5 pounds".


What is Diabetes Mellitus Type 2? How is Type 2 Diabetes Different from Type 1?

Diabetes Mellitus is a problem that the body has in properly handling and transporting glucose (sugar) from the blood into the cells of the body. In order to transport glucose from the blood stream into the body cells, the hormone insulin is required. Also the body has to be sensitive to the insulin and respond appropriately.


Type 2 Diabetes, which tends to be the kind people get when they are in middle age or older usually is a problem more with so called insulin resistance where the cells aren't responding efficiently to the insulin (rather than as in Type 1 where there is a deficit of insulin) although it's not quite that clear cut and people do get insulin injections sometimes even for Type 2 Diabetes.

What Happened in the Diabetes Diet Study?

"Under close supervision of a medical team, 11 people who had developed diabetes later in life were put on an extreme diet of just 600 calories a day consisting of liquid diet drinks and non-starchy vegetables. They were matched to a control group of people without diabetes and then monitored over eight weeks. Insulin production from their pancreas and fat content in the liver and pancreas were studied.

After just one week, the Newcastle University team found that their pre-breakfast blood sugar levels had returned to normal.

A special MRI scan of their pancreas revealed that the fat levels in the pancreas had returned from an elevated level to normal (from around 8% to 6%). In step with this, the pancreas regained the normal ability to make insulin and as a result, blood sugar 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 of diabetes.

  • Diet Reverses Type 2 Diabetes

    “We believe this shows that Type 2 diabetes is all about energy balance in the body,” explained Professor Taylor, “if you are eating more than you burn, then the excess is stored in the liver and pancreas as fat which can lead to Type 2 diabetes in some people. What we need to examine further is why some people are more susceptible to developing diabetes than others.”

  • British researchers develop "cure" for Type 2 diabetes: starve yourself

    Dr Iain Frame, Director of Research at Diabetes UK, said: “We welcome the results of this research because it shows that Type 2 diabetes can be reversed, on a par with successful surgery without the side effects. However, this diet is not an easy fix and Diabetes UK strongly recommends that 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."”