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You can reverse type 2 diabetes by losing weight

by , 18 April 2018

You could potentially reverse type 2 diabetes through weight loss and with the long-term support of a medical professional, according to a UK trial study published online in The Lancet.

The initial findings come from an ongoing trial study called DiRECT (Diabetes Remission Clinical Trial), which aims to find an effective and accessible way to put type 2 diabetes into remission long-term. Read on for the full findings.

Type 2 diabetes is a life-changing condition that progresses over time

Type 2 diabetes can have potentially devastating consequences, therefore remission could transform the lives of millions of people living with or at risk of the blood sugar disease, reducing the risk of developing serious complications, including kidney disease, cardiovascular disease and stroke.


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Study finds that weight loss can reverse type 2 diabetes

The study was led by Professor Roy Taylor from Newcastle University and Professor Mike Lean from Glasgow University.
For their study, the team recruited 298 people. They gave half standard diabetes care from their general practitioner and placed the other half on a structured weight management programme that included a low-calorie, nutrient-complete diet for three to five months, food reintroduction and long-term support to maintain weight loss.
The team found a strong association between type 2 diabetes remission and weight loss. Almost nine out of 10 people (86%) who lost 15 kg or more put their type 2 diabetes into remission. Over half (57%) of those who lost 10 kg to 15 kg also achieved remission, along with a third (34%) of those who lost 5 kg to 10 kg.
In contrast, only 4% of those in the control group, who received standard diabetes care, achieved remission.
“These findings are very exciting. They could revolutionise the way type 2 diabetes is treated,” Professor Taylor, lead researcher of the DiRECT trial, commented on the first year findings.
“The study builds on the work into the underlying cause of the condition, so that we can target management effectively. Substantial weight loss results in reduced fat inside the liver and pancreas, allowing these organs to return to normal function. What we’re seeing from DiRECT is that losing weight isn’t just linked to better management of type 2 diabetes: Significant weight loss could actually result in lasting remission,” he added.

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