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07 December 2017, 12:10 | Silvia Roy
More proof a low-calorie diet can effectively reverse type 2 diabetes
'But our results should pave the way for this type of intervention to be considered in the routine care of patients with type 2 diabetes who wish to attain diabetes remission'.
The programme included a low calorie, nutrient-complete diet for three to five months, food reintroduction and long-term support to maintain weight loss.
WEIGHT loss of as little as 11Ibs is enough to reverse diabetes in some patients according to a landmark study which found that a low calorie diet was more effective than drugs against the condition. This builds on the work into the underlying cause of the condition, so that we can target management effectively.
However, the results of new research, including the Diabetes Remission Clinical Trial (DiRECT) - expected to be published over the next few months - could provide an answer to the question of whether dietary reversals of type 2 diabetes, using an initial formula-based low energy diet followed by permanent lifestyle change, are sustainable for two years within primary care environments, said Brown.
"The weight loss goals provided by this programme are achievable for many people".
"Substantial weight loss results in reduced fat inside the liver and pancreas, allowing these organs to return to normal function. Diet and lifestyle are touched upon but diabetes remission by cutting calories is rarely discussed", said co-researcher Professor Roy Taylor from Newcastle University.
The study comes at a time when more than 100 million American adults are living with diabetes or prediabetes, according to a report released earlier this year by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
"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".
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Isobel Murray, 65, from North Ayrshire, took part in DiRECT from 2014 to 2016. Thirty-two of the 149 participants in the study, however, dropped out of the program. When the opportunity came to go on the DiRECT study, I had absolutely no hesitation. The study claims their diabetes went into remission without any medication. 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.
Dr Elizabeth Robertson, director of research at Diabetes UK, which has committed more than £32.8m to the DiRECT study, welcomed the findings. "The trial is ongoing, so that we can understand the long-term effects of an approach like this".
Dr Emily Burns, Diabetes UK acting head of research communications, said: 'Thanks to ground-breaking research like DiRECT we're beginning to change the conversation around Type 2 diabetes, and that's a conversation that Global Positioning System can have with their patients as well.
Whether putting Type 2 diabetes into remission can protect against diabetes-related complications later in life is not yet known, which is why it is important that those who achieve remission continue to receive health checks.
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"Our goal is to make sure people feel like they have a good plan and they feel like they have a way of keeping themselves healthy, and that they leave feeling more confident in that", Boyd said.
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