Medicine

Low carb diet puts type 2 diabetes into remission

Low carb diet puts type 2 diabetes into remission

Of the patients who lost weight, more than half saw their diabetes go into remission: 86 percent of the patients who lost more than 15kg, 57 percent who lost 10 to 15 kg, and 34 percent who lost 5 to 10 kg.

A clinical trial of almost 300 people aged between 20 and 65 showed that type 2 diabetes could be reversed after an extreme weight management plan.

The diet involved three to five months of a liquid diet averaging no more than 850 calories a day, followed by two to eight weeks of reintroducing food.

After a year, 24% of the diet test participants lost 33 lbs or more, while no one in the control group lost any weight. "They could revolutionize the way type 2 diabetes is treated", Newcastle professor Roy Taylor said in a news release.

He added that Global Positioning System should encourage patients to lose weight as soon as possible after the condition is diagnosed.

Separately, another multi-centre randomly controlled trial called PREVIEW - Prevention of diabetes through lifestyle intervention of population studies in Europe and around the world - is looking at the use of very low energy diets to prevent people from becoming diabetic in the first place.

"DiRECT is telling us it could be possible for as many as half of patients to achieve this in routine primary care, and without drugs". So far more than 250,000 have joined and results show that 60 per cent of people with type 2 diabetes were able to stop using insulin following the program.

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The condition costs the NHS around £14 billion a year, and can lead to a number of serious complications such as cardiovascular disease, kidney disease or stroke. Interesting, indeed, as numerous current treatments for type 2 diabetes involve medication and even surgery to restrict stomach capacity.

The trial, done at the Magnetic Resonance Center at Newcastle University in the United Kingdom, looked at 306 participants recently diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in the last six years. "Diet and lifestyle are touched upon, but diabetes remission by cutting calories is rarely discussed", Taylor told The Guardian.

"The weight loss goals provided by this programme are achievable for many people".

In comparison, only 4% of the group treated with regular diabetes care showed signs of remission. Half were given weight-loss advice and left to manage their condition. "The big challenge is long-term avoidance of weight re-gain".

The team previously confirmed that Type 2 diabetes is caused by excess fat within the liver and pancreas, and that consuming a very low calorie diet could restore normal glucose. "What we're seeing from DiRECT is that losing weight isn't just linked to better management of type 2 diabetes: significant weight loss could actually result in lasting remission".

Dr Elizabeth Robertson, director of research at Diabetes UK, said: 'These findings demonstrate the potential to transform the lives of millions of people.

Professor Lean added: "Putting type 2 diabetes into remission as early as possible after diagnosis could have extraordinary benefits, both for the individual and the NHS".