Type 2 diabetes: The diet that could put a third of cases into remission – major study
Type 2 diabetes: Doctor explains impacts of the condition
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Type 2 diabetes is a chronic condition characterised by high levels of blood sugar, which often affects individuals in middle and late adulthood. It is become increasingly apparent, however, that children of young ages are affected by the condition. This has prompted efforts to improve preventative measures, with health bodies suggesting diet is key. Researchers have now found which diets could offer the highest chances of remission.
A study led by University College London and Aston University, has found that low caloric meal replacement regimes showed strong evidence of putting the condition into remission.
Researchers said diet should be the primary treatment goal for the condition, with the “soup and shakes” diet helping more than a third of patients reverse their condition.
The study is one of many to reiterate that weight loss is key to reversing type 2 diabetes.
The team found that 36 percent of individuals who swap normal eating habits for strict diets can maintain remission for two years.
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The researchers highlighted that certain groups, notably young male individuals who have had the condition for less than six years, had higher chances of remission.
They said that in most cases remission rates were largely down to weight loss, with the odds of remission often correlating with fat shedding.
Low carbohydrate diets proved very effective, putting a 17.6 percent of cases into remission.
Doctor Adrian Brow, of the UCL’s division of medicine and lead author of the study, said: “Traditionally, yep 2 diabetes has focused on managing a person’s blood glucose with medication.
“However, the approach doesn’t address the underlying causes.
“There is now a growing body of research that shows losing significant weight, 10-15kg, either through weight loss surgery of dietary approaches, can bring about type 2 diabetes remission, essentially non-diabetic blood sugar levels.”
Doctor Duane Mellor, researcher from Aston University, added: “Accounting for all the evidence, our review suggests remission should be discussed as a primary treatment goal with people living with Type 2 diabetes.
“There are multiple dietary approaches that have been shown to bring about Type 2 Diabetes remission though at present meal replacements offer the best quality evidence.
“Whether or not a person achieves remission, reducing blood sugar levels is important in managing the negative effects of Type 2 diabetes and reducing risk of complications.
“But when it comes to choosing a diet, the most important is to pick one that suits you – one that you’re likely to stick to long term.”
In 2018, the NHS announced its plan to prescribe shakes to 5,000 patients with type 2 diabetes.
A trial conducted by scientists at Newcastle University and Glasgow University the previous year asked volunteers to consume four liquid meals a day.
The trial included 298 patients with type 2 diabetes, each participant consumed four shakes containing about 200 calories per day, amounting to a total daily intake of 800 calories.
The results of the study, published in The Lancet, revealed that 46 percent of volunteers saw their type 2 diabetes go into remission within a year, and 86 percent of those who lost 15kg also went into remission.
Type 2 diabetes occurs when the body resists insulin produced in the pancreas, and not enough insulin is produced by the body.
This imbalance leads to high levels of blood glucose – or blood sugar – which can boost the risk of many health problems including heart disease.
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