An academic at Newcastle University has claimed that a New Year’s resolution to lose just two stone could see people reverse their type 2 diabetes.

Professor Roy Taylor – featured this week on Radio 4’s You and Yours programme – believes a low-calorie diet can help people conquer the disease as it leads to less fat around both the liver and the pancreas.

According to Professor Taylor, too many calories result in excess fat around the liver. This makes the liver respond to insulin poorly and produce too much glucose. The excess fat around the liver is also passed on to the pancreas, causing insulin-producing cells in that organ to fail.

This ‘double whammy’ of too much glucose and less insulin can lead to diabetes. But just losing one gram of fat from around the pancreas can restart the normal process of insulin production, which can reverse the disease. To lose this gram of fat, the body as a whole needs to shed around two stone. 

The reversal of type 2 diabetes is possible for around ten years after the development of the condition.

Professor Roy Taylor said, “I think what has really struck me about this work is the change it has made for patients themselves.” 

“Many have told me how the low-calorie diet was a revelation as they had been told type 2 diabetes was lifelong with an inevitable decline into more medication and further ill health.”

“This transformation in the treatment of diabetes has been built on almost four decades of research of the underlying mechanisms of type 2 diabetes.”

“What better way to start the New Year than by making a resolution to lose weight, improve your health and reverse your type 2 diabetes.”

“The good news for people with type 2 diabetes is that our work shows that even if you have had the condition for several years, you are likely to be able to reverse it by moving that all important tiny amount of fat out of the pancreas. And this can only be done through substantial weight loss.”

“Get your family and friends on board and make that change for a healthy future.”

A recent joint study by Glasgow and Newcastle Universities found that 45.6% of patients who switched to a low-calorie diet were able to stop their diabetes in three to five months. And 86% of people who lost 15 kilos or more managed put their diabetes into remission.

To find out more about the effects of diet on type 2 diabetes, please go to http://www.ncl.ac.uk/magres/research/diabetes/reversal/#overview.     

(Featured image courtesy of Cellule Communication, from Flickr Creative Commons)

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