Type 2 diabetes ‘cure’ from intensive slimming diet

A new study has found that if people with Type 2 diabetes follow an intensive slimming diet they have the chance to ‘cure’ themselves and remain in remission.

The study which was funded by Diabetes UK observed 300 participants who committed to a diet of just 800 calories per day for between 12 and 20 weeks. Following this, they were then reintroduced to healthy normal food and were given support to achieve long-term weight loss.

The finding from the Diabetes Remission Clinical Trial (DiRECT) indicated that more than a third of participants reversed their condition and were still in remission two years later.

After one year, 46 per cent of participants found their blood glucose had returned to healthy levels and two years later, 36 per cent are still free of Type 2 diabetes.

Professor Roy Taylor, the lead investigator of the study, said: “The findings pull down the curtain on the era of Type 2 diabetes as an inevitably progressive disease and we can now understand the biological nature of this reversible condition.

“However, everyone in remission needs to know that evidence to date tells us that your Type 2 diabetes will return if you regain weight. Even during the second year of freedom from Type 2 diabetes, there was a highly suggestive difference in major complications of diabetes.”

Researchers found that there was a strong link with patients remaining in remission if they kept the weight off.

Individuals who lost 1st 8lb (10kg) or more almost doubled their chance of being healthy two years later, with 64 per cent of participants who are still in remission.

Dr Elizabeth Robertson, Director of Research at Diabetes UK, said: “While these findings are exciting, Type-2 diabetes is a complex condition and this approach will not work for everyone.”

As a result of this study, NHS England has announced it will pilot a Type 2 remission programme involving 5,000 patients.

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