Type 2 diabetes may be reversible with weight loss, study finds

The vast majority of diabetes cases are Type 2 strongly linked to lifestyle such as poor diet excess weight and inactivity and genetics

In the trial, nine out of 10 people who lost 15 kilograms or more put their type 2 diabetes into remission. "This builds on the work into the underlying cause of the condition, so that we can target management effectively", Prof Roy Taylor from Newcastle University, lead researcher in the trial funded by Diabetes UK told the Guardian.

While obese patients have been known to reverse Type 2 diabetes as a result of massive weight loss following gastric band surgeries, the latest findings show that shedding an average of just 22Ibs is enough to reverse the condition in around half of patients - without any medication.

Of the 36 people who lost at least 15kg 86% reversed their diabetes.

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.

Over half (57%) of those who lost 10 to 15kg also achieved remission, along with a third (34%) of those who lost five to 10kg. Only four per cent of the control group achieved remission.

"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". Interesting, indeed, as numerous current treatments for type 2 diabetes involve medication and even surgery to restrict stomach capacity.

Remission could transform the lives of millions of people living with or at risk of the condition, reducing the risk of developing serious complications such as cardiovascular disease, kidney disease or stroke.

Roy Taylor, a professor at Newcastle University in the United Kingdom who co-led the study said in a statement announcing the findings that the impact that diet and lifestyle has on diabetes are "rarely discussed". According to data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports, type 2 diabetes accounts for around 90 to 95 percent of cases in adults. The study claims their diabetes went into remission without any medication. "The big challenge is long-term avoidance of weight re-gain".

'In the meantime, we need to stress to people with Type 2 diabetes the importance of speaking to their GP, and seeking their support, before trying any kind of low calorie diet'.

Prof. Taylor says that significant weight loss reduces the amount of fat in the liver and pancreas so that they can start working normally again.

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