As reported by the BBC a new study published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) has added to previous studies showing that type 2 diabetes can be reversed if patients lose around 15kg and maintain the weight loss. Type 2 diabetes affects around 5-10% of the U.K. population and costs the NHS around £22m every day. As the study found it is generally perceived as incurable and progressive even though many studies have shown that lifestyle and diet are key to preventing and reversing the condition.

Weight Loss

As Professor Mike Lean, from Glasgow University’s School of Medicine, said: “They are not treating the disease process, and are missing the point….. Not only is type 2 diabetes preventable by not getting fat in the first place, but as long as you get in early after the disease is established – in the first five years or so – you have a better than even chance of becoming non-diabetic.”

Currently 488 different drugs are licensed around the world to treat type 2 diabetes by lowering blood glucose levels. Yet research is mounting which shows that a low fat, low-Glycemic-Index plant based diet is best for preventing and treating type 2 diabetes. Researchers at Yale University investigated the causes of insulin resistance, at the core of type 2 diabetes, and found that it’s from microscopic fat which builds up in muscles and in the liver. This fat is mostly created by diet and by tackling intra-cellular fat build-up insulin resistance could be combated.

The new study in the BMJ found that around 75-80% of people with obesity and type 2 diabetes who lose and sustain 15kg of weight, go into diabetes remission. As the NHS reported:

“In addition, losing a lot of weight if you are obese is likely to have many other health benefits, even if you don’t bring your blood sugar levels down to non-diabetic levels.”

Emily Burns, head of research communications at Diabetes UK, said in response to the new study: “The ability to put type 2 diabetes into remission could be transformative for millions of people around the world, and evidence is building to suggest that it’s possible.”