According to the World Health Organization diabetes affects more than 25 million Americans and Key facts 346 million people worldwide have diabetes. Also:
- In 2004, an estimated 3.4 million people died from consequences of high blood sugar.
- More than 80% of diabetes deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries.
- WHO projects that diabetes deaths will double between 2005 and 2030.
- Healthy diet, regular physical activity, maintaining a normal body weight and avoiding tobacco use can prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes.
Researchers at Newcastle University in England, reported at a recent meeting of the American Diabetes Association that they have develop a “cure” for Type 2 diabetes.
They found, a substantial reduction of calories, to 600 per day, resulting in normal blood sugar levels in diabetics. The study, conducted by Roy Taylor, head of the magnetic resonance imaging unit, with colleagues studied 11 patients, who’d developed the disease later in life. Their average weight was 220 pounds when the study began.
They were placed on the diet that included a special diet drink and vegetables such as asparagus, broccoli and cabbage, for 8 weeks.
Taylor stated during his presentation and in the journal Diabetologia that, after one week on the diet, each of the participants’ fasting blood sugar levels were within the normal range. By the study’s end, they’d also lost an average of 33 pounds and had no signs of diabetes.
Ninety days after the study’s completion and returning to a normal diet, 7 of the 11 remained free of diabetes. The average weight gain in that period was 6.5 pounds.
Taylor noted that when the study was launched, MRI scans of the participants’ pancreas determined they had an increased amount of fat 8% compared to 6%. This extra fat interferes with the organ’s ability to produce adequate amounts of insulin. When the study ended, their fat levels in the pancreas were normal in each patient.
In a statement, Taylor said,
“We believe that this shows that Type 2 diabetes is all about energy balance in the body. If you are eating more (calories) than you burn, then the excess is stored in the liver and pancreas as fat, which can lead to Type 2 diabetes in some people. What we need to examine further is why some people are more susceptible in developing diabetes than others.”
He added, “We used the 600-calorie diet to test a hypothesis. What I can tell you definitively is that if people lose substantial weight by normal means, they will lose their diabetes.”
World Health Organization