A recent study has indicated that it may be possible to reverse the onset of Type II diabetes in newly diagnosed patients.
Researchers in Newcastle found that recently diagnosed Type II patients placed on an extreme 8 week diet were ‘cured’. The diet involves restricting calorific intake to 600 calories per day.
11 patients were tested with the diet regime. After 3 months of completing it, 7 of them were still free of Type II diabetes.
It is not known whether this treatment leads to a permanent cure and further research isrequired.
The 11 participants had all developed Type II diabetes within the last 4 years. They were fed the low calorie diet, consisting of liquid diet drinks and non-starchy vegetables, and went on to show reduced fat levels in the pancreas and liver. This helped to return insulin production to normal levels and reduced the need for drug treatment.
Experts believe that there is potential to treat longer term diabetes sufferers in this way and have confirmed that dietary factors have always been known to have an impact. Other factors still contribute to the disease.
Some experts have indicated that this extreme dieting may just delay the onset of Type II diabetes, and doctors are keen to point out that this test of the hypothesis is not an endorsement of a strict diet for diabetes control.
Dr Iain Frame of Diabetes UK said that diet was not an easy fix. He added: “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.”