The optimistic result of a new U.K. study has given hope to type 2 diabetes sufferers that they may not have to live with their disease forever. In findings released in early October 2015, scientists from Newcastle University revealed that weight loss can actually cure type 2 diabetes.
Until now, the disease has been categorized as irreversible. But this new study reveals clear evidence that removing fat from the pancreas — achieved through a calorie-restricting diet over a prolonged period of time — may have the potential to reverse the condition after all.
Details of the study
To arrive at these findings, scientists conducted their trial with 18 obese patients over a two-month period. The patients were given gastric band surgery and put on a restricted diet. Each lost an average 13 percent of their body weight over the course of the study.
The most critical aspect of this weight loss was the fat loss occurring specifically in the pancreas.
The scientists revealed that type 2 diabetes is caused by fat accumulation within that organ, which prevents it from secreting normal levels of insulin. The study shows that less than a gram of fat loss from the pancreas may potentially reverse the disease. Patients in the trial lost a minimum of 0.6 grams of fat from the organ, allowing it to produce normal levels of insulin once again.
It depends on preliminary body weight
Based on this study, anyone should be able to reverse type 2 diabetes by following a very low-calorie weight loss program. The scientists concluded that restricting calories by any means — surgical or dietary — should have the desired effect, with the critical aspect being the fat loss from the pancreas.
Consult your physician before starting such an extremely restrictive diet, as a large amount of body weight would be required in order to achieve the target fat loss from the organ.
A good start
This is the first study ever to show a clear connection between weight loss in type 2 diabetes sufferers and the reversal of the disease. The study also highlights a clear link between healthy weight and prevention of the disease.
On the heels of their findings, the British scientists now need to see if a former type 2 diabetic can remain diabetes-free for a prolonged period. They plan to expand their trial to include more patients over a longer period.
While the scientists advise against trying the extreme calorie restricting required to achieve a cure, Type 2 diabetes sufferers can certainly start making a move in the right direction now. To find out what you can do to combat your disease, discuss the study's findings with your doctor to figure out the next best steps for a personalized weight loss program.