Patients who consumed only 600 calories a day for two months were able to reverse their Type 2 diabetes, according to a groundbreaking British study. The research, involving just 11 patients, suggests a very low-calorie diet can remove fat that clogs the pancreas, allowing normal insulin secretion to be restored, according to Newcastle University.
Seven of the 11 patients remained free of diabetes three months after the study, researchers said.
Type 2 diabetes, also known as adult-onset diabetes, has been thought to be a progressive, irreversible condition. Once diagnosed, some patients can control their diabetes with tablets, but many eventually require insulin injections.
Type 2 diabetes occurs when the pancreas is unable to produce sufficient insulin to regulate fat metabolism and sugars in the blood, or when the body is unable to react to the insulin. It's different than Type 1, or juvenile diabetes, an autoimmune disorder in which the immune system destroys the beta cells that produce insulin.
The study was announced Friday at an American Diabetes Association conference, according to Newcastle University. It is being published in the journal Diabetologia.
The study enrolled 11 patients who had developed Type 2 diabetes later in life, and restricted them to a super-low-calorie diet consisting of diet drinks and non-starchy vegetables. Over eight weeks, researchers monitored the fat content in the liver and the insulin production from the pancreas, comparing the results to a control group of non-diabetics.
After just one week, the diabetics' pre-breakfast blood sugar levels were normal, according to the researchers. MRI scans of the patients' pancreases revealed that fat levels had dropped, which allowed the organ to produce more insulin, the researchers said.
"To have people free of diabetes after years with the condition is remarkable - and all because of an eight week diet," said Roy Taylor, a professor at Newcastle University who led the study and is director of the Newcastle Magnetic Resonance Centre. "We believe this shows that Type 2 diabetes is all about energy balance in the body."
While the results are promising, researchers caution that diabetic patients should not undertake such a drastic dietary change without medical supervision. One patient, 67-year-old Gordon Parmley, ate salad and vegetables and three diet shakes per day.
"At first the hunger was quite severe and I had to distract myself with something else – walking the dog, playing golf – or doing anything to occupy myself and take my mind off food," he said in a statement. "But I lost an astounding amount of weight in a short space of time ... after six years, I no longer needed my diabetes tablets."
Scientists at Diabetes UK said the trial was very small, but they looked forward to future results, especially those that would show whether the diabetes reversal held true in the long term.
It's interesting, sure...but there are things that don't seem to be getting considered here. For example, the standard recommended daily caloric intake is 2,000 Calories. What are the health effects, besides with regards to diabetes, of only consuming 600 Calories per day?
To me, it seems like a crash diet, which we all know are very bad for you.
-IMP ;) :)
Fat cells consume more insulin than muscle cells. Could it be that simple weight loss could be responsible for the positive effects?
Type 2 diabetes can be the result of insufficient amounts of insulin being produced. Reduce the amount required and what had been an insufficient amount could become a sufficient amount.
I'm type 2, six feet tall and 155 pounds. I don't think that diet is for me.
The is a good documentary on documentary storm website, a doctor in Arizona took in people with type 1 and 2 and puit them on a raw food diet for 30 days, all that stayed were off their medications within a week, all of them had dramatic lower blood sugar, check it out I forgot the name, search under the health section. I believe that we can sure anything with diet, but its far easier to pop a pill then change your lifestyle.
i think this is a smart idea, it's stupid to discount something just because it has a small test base. in fact i think this should be studied more, seriously, i'm six foot, i have weighed around 150 for the past 10 years, i don't need 2000 Calories through out the day to keep me healthy. i think today i had some meatloaf, half a pound of pasta salad, and about two spoonfuls of beans, this is actually quite a bit for me. but to just about anyone else this is one meal.
i mean i spend most of my day in front of a monitor screen, i don't think that constitutes the need to eat 2000 Calories. 1000 at most.
to mars or bust!
If you workout and burn say 300 calories, can you then consume an extra 300 calories of food?
rgetty, The documentary is by Gabriel Cousens Phd. I think it is called Simply Raw. I have watched it recently. That is what this study reminded me of too.
I don't know who the author is, but they don't know the basics of diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is not a low production or delivery of insulin. It is Hyperinsulinism! There is way too much insulin because of the insulin resistance of all the cells. Blood sugar goes high because the cells are not reacting to the insulin and the pancreas keeps producing insulin at maximum volume trying to lower the blood sugar!
Type 1 diabetes is where the pancreas gives too little insulin to get the job done. Sheesh guys, this is elementary! Type 1 can be caused by an auto immune disorder or many other things that would damage or destroy the pancreas. Many people become type 1 diabetic because their doctors were treating them for another problem and destroyed their pancreas-as what happened to my Aunt at an early age.
The primary reason a low cal and low carb diet reverses type 2 diabetes is that it is low carb!! Blood sugar doesn't go high on a low carb diet. In my business I see lots of people who reverse their type 2 diabetes on low carb. After weeks or months they say good bye to those meds. I see it over and over.
The low cal part is of less significance but accelerates the effect of the diet. By the way 600 calories is non maintainable to stay healthy. I assume the author didn't mean the subjects were drinking diet soft drinks as how it appears. They were probably given protein shakes.
h t t p://www.diabetes.org/diabetes-basics/type-2/- The author is correct. Hyperinsulinism really?! Um... no, and as a paramedic I only rarely have to treat skinny and fit diabetic patients. This is not really a breakthrough idea, but any added information making it out to the general public is a good thing. Thumbs up to Popsci.
HOLD ON!!! You are telling me that eating right and being healthy is a good thing?! MAN being fat and lazy and eating junk food won't cure type 2!! Dang it!! We Really needed to do a study to find out that eating healthy could actually cure something like this? Also to the idiots that posted you can't live on 600 calories to an extent you are correct if you are an ACTIVE adult 2000 calories is the recommended diet but if you are a fat lazy adult that does NOTHING all day 600 will get you through you are not burning a lot of energy pushing those buttons on your remote. Also they are only doing this for a few months and then going back to a NORMAL HEALTHY diet of more than 600 calories as long as they do not go back to the fast food McDonald's diet I would say they will be just fine....btw if your kid is 12 and weighs more than 150 pounds you fail as a parent and should be taken into the middle of the street and beaten.
at your height and weight you are most likely mis-diagnosed as type 2
you are most likely adult onset autoimmune diabetes. Which they did not ever diagnose until recently.
You may want to get checked again or get a 2nd opinion.
I'm sorry Pop Sci, but you screwed this up. Carrots are not " nonstarchy vegetables" as pictured. They are terribly starchy. Carrots would have screwed up this experiment totally.
Beyond that, though, the idea that these people's type 2 has been "cured" or "reversed" by starvation is absurd. They're better for three months, but many, many previous studies of weight loss for type 2 shows that the disease will come back as the effects of starvation wear off. There's nothing new here except the hype.
I'll have a longer analysis of this study in my column on diabetes self-management on Wednesday.
Mr Spero RN,
The study says nothing about weight loss or starvation. Beyond that, they demonstrated with MRIs that in many of the patients, the fat content of the pancreas itself was reduced. There was also no significant increase in exercise or other 'weight loss' tactics beyond limited caloric intake and essentially no carbohydrates.
So, while the insulin problems may return if they resume eating a very poor diet there is evidence clearly showing a reversal (cure is a bit extreme) in diabetic symptoms. If this was identical to the "many, many" studies you mention it would not be published.
Yo David maybe you should do some research before you start typing. If you would of you would know that the people that were in this study that kept with a healthy diet are still free of type 2. If that is not a cure than I don't know what is. If you really want to argue that then you are a fail troll and another example of what is wrong with America and thw world have fun ruining the lives of the people around you with your ignorance. Remember ignorance is only bliss for the ignorant.
Tony8 and Delkomatic, you've fallen for the hype. IT'S ONLY BEEN 3 MONTHS! You can greatly improve diabetes symptoms in the short run by severe weight loss, which is what happened here. My use of the word "starvation" is entirely appropriate for the diet they were on. They lost a ton of weight, including some fat from the pancreas, as the MRI showed.
Right now, they're better. But it won't last. After 3 months, 4 of the 11 subjects have relapsed. In a few more months, 4 more will probably have had to go back on meds. By the end of the year, this "cure" or "reversal" will have reversed in nearly all of them. It's not that they'll start eating junk and pigging out. It's what normally happens in bodies after a diet. This one is no different.
I'm interested in seeing a larger and longer study, of course, but this is promising. To those who say a 600 calorie per day diet is proven unhealthy, I direct to you google "calorie restriction".
Would you rather have a Botox injection to minimize a wrinkle, or to loose thirty pounds? I suppose South America is the best place to have this done. A Botox cyber knife vagatomy is effectively half of a gastric bypass with out surgery. Most gastric bypass doubles their results by having both Vegas nerves to the stomach cut. This is called a Vagotomy.
In this procedure a cyber knife is used to cut the back Vegas nerve and a Botox injection is used to temporarily cut the front Vegas nerve. The advantage is that it can be repeated again and again with only a Botox injection to the front functioning Vegas nerve. For a near diabetic this will push type 2 diabetes back and prevent latter surgeries and diabetic complications like neuropathy, blindness, and amputation. The cyber knife component is typically used on cancer patients, and for a vagotomy it is used the same way, but it has far less of a cancer risk from the radiation. This is because the Vegas nerve is a tiny cook compared to a tumor, the cyber knife is also a low cancer risk to begin with, and a near diabetic patient is already elderly. Perhaps it would be better to just drop being diabetic before going blind or losing a limb. Although weight loss is cosmetic, for a near diabetic it is also life and limb saving. Why not just postpone diabetes since it can be done without surgery.
Okay, well, these folks need to read Neal Barnard's Program for Reversing Diabetes. He's already tackled reversing T2 diabetes (and improving the lives / insulin sensitivity of T1 patients) through a plant-based ultra-low-fat diet.
Surprisingly the same diet was used previously by Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn to arrest and reverse heart disease. Plant-based diet, with restriction of fats / oils to less than 10-15% of calories.
Neither diet is low-carb nor calorie restricted. Try simply eschew the fats that seem to gum up the works and instead focus on plant-based proteins, higher fiber percentages and lower-GI foods.
The side effect of both diets was a reduction of weight as well.
So, it seems that heart disease, T2 diabetes and obesity are largely correctable lifestyle diseases through dietary changes alone.
If one wants to go a step further, they might even check our Dr. Richard Johnson's book The Sugar Fix to see how and why the simple sugar fructose is another metabolic disaster we can restrict in order to avoid one additional peril of many other lifestyle diseases. Apparently, it metabolizes directly to triglyceride and stored as fat. LDL is also raised. Uric acid is produced in the process. These all can be contributory toward (though perhaps not the sole cause of) high blood pressure, T2 diabetes, obesity, heart disease, gout. He also recommends, in addition to limiting fructose intake, limiting foods containing purines (many meats, cauliflower and a couple other things) due to the fact they also result in raised uric acid.
I have high blood sugar problems. Since reading this artical I have pieced together an eating program for myself. For the last 3 days I have followed this eating plan and my morning blood sugar has gone from 235 to, this morning, 183. I feel better and that will help me maintain the change in my eating. I have no income, no medical help. When ever I try to see a doctor I get no where and this is my life so I have to play doctor for myself. The health care professionals in this country get an F in my book. But articles like these I give an A!
This is exactly what I did 8 years ago when I was diagnosed with type2 diabetes. I weight 130 kg, and blood sugar levels were about 3 times normal. I had fuzzy vision, and passed out at the doctors as they tried to take my blood sugar reading.
To loose weight I followed a low carb diet for over a year and started regular exercise. I dropped to 80 kg, and to this day on my annual checkups there is no indication of type2. I have taken no other medication other than metformin during the first two months until I got the blood sugars down to normal levels.
Hi All -
I was recently diagnosed (not like I didn't already know) with type 2 Diabetes which is surely linked to obesity (I'm 6'2 and 300 lbs) and prescribed Metformin.
My visions been fuzzy in the AM and my mental acuity has been impaired. Lots of typos, forgetting what I was saying , etc.
I was chalking it up to the 4 Blood Pressure Meds I was on (Amlodipine, Atenelol,Cardura and a Catepress patch (Clonidine).
But then I started nodding off sometimes. Numbness in feet - the whole bit.
That's when I knew.
Basically - a mess. Waiting to die.
As a result of reading these articles when they first appeared online back in June, I am now on something very similar to this and have been now for exactly one week.
I intend to keep it up for approx 100 days at which time I go to the doc and see what I see.
I did not know what the 'diet drinks' they were giving on the study were but I figured they were mass market upgraded versions of Slim - Fast or something similar.
I'm doing a combination of whole food protein mix and straight protein powder.
I don't shill for anyone but If you really want to know, it's the Solgar Whey Protein product and Natures Way 'ALIVE!' Vanilla powder which is a whole food meal replacement with all the vitamins and stuff. But it's a bit more powerful on the nutrient side. Way more powerful.
Also am taking a top of the line pro-biotic as I have had digestive issues for years (it's also widely held that intestinal flora or lack thereof can contribute to this sort of thing)along with a good Multi-Mineral and extra potassium (combat Hypertension) and EFA's. Ginseng.
For solid food I am doing some chicken and even sliced roast beef off and on with the veg and am being careful to stay under 600 calories. In a week I am going to just veg and shake.
I think the reason they endorse the diet drinks is accuracy. If each shake is 200 calories, you always know exactly where you are on your count.
What I can tell you so faris you go through the usual hunger pangs for about 3 days (just like Atkins, which I have done 4-5 times) and then your body hits the wall as it runs out of Glycogen and then flips the switch and you get into ketosis and start burning your bodyfat.
Once that happens , as long as you are a reasonably healthy human being , IMHO you will not die of starvation if you are anything like me.
See, I was very comfortable at 175lbs. At 200 I start looking sloppy.
I'm teetering right at 300.
I figure I am carrying a good 100 pounds of fat - maybe more.
At 3500 calories per pound of fat, that is 350 THOUSAND CALORIES I am lugging around waiting for a rainy day.
I have a bike and get out for 2 rides a day. Not killing it - but trying to burn maybe 300-500 cal and get the blood going.
So far so good. I'm not nodding off at 5 o clock anymore and am starting to feel almost good again.
News at 11. I will report back with progress.
My email is way2funni at yahoo
This diet feels a lot like DeWayne McCulley's Book "Death To Diabetes". Yet his wont make you eat only 600 cals a day and takes a little longer to see the results ... His "super meals" are about the same as what this diet says to eat as far as portions of Carbs , Fats , Protines :)
I for one feel that the 600 calorie diet can certainly jump start someone into a healthier lifestyle. Sometimes when you work with a regular diet, excercise and use sensible logic to lose weight, it can get frustrating when you don't see the results as quickly as possible. I have lost a lot of wieght in the past and kept if off for many years. Unfortunately, I got married and comfortable and was also stricken with a disability that started the pounds coming back on. Now I have T2 diabetes, arthritic knees and just a lot of trouble moving, period. Why not do a (Fad) diet in the short run to get one started. I have motivation to get healthy and feel better. I feel that certainly trying this diet is worth a try. It certainly is better than just opting for a gastric bypass that can really screw you up if something goes bad. They are done way to routinely and for people who just want to give up trying. I'm not ready to give up.
The diet drink (if anyone is interested/wondering) is a liquid diet formula called Optifast; as found here with a more detailed look at this diet: www.thatsfit.com/2011/06/30/600-calorie-diet-cure-diabetes/
I am 5'10" 190lb. filipino living with type 2 for the last 8 years. My blood sugar is controlled with glipizide at 10 mg twice a day (side-effects from metformin) and still have a really high blood sugar level and ac1 into the high 8's. (this is due to my own mishandling). I have been planning to try this diet since I first saw the article on yahoo and now have the time/schedule/availabitility to commit a 2 month commitment to this. I appreciate all the negative and opposing comments posted here because it helps to see the other side of things and helps me make an attempt to make an objective decision on this.
As many of you say, most likely this will not keep in the long run, although I may be putting a lot of stock into the fact that in 3 months most of the test-takers were still off of medicine. In any case, as I saw in one comment, either way, this will at least get my weight down to proper levels and get me healthy, IF ONLY for the duration of the diet and, (here's hoping/fingers crossed) may even be a good/great start to a better controlled lifestyle living that isn't so severe but the right amount of balance and health.
All-in-all, I mostly just wanted to post up the specific type of drink and the article that's a bit more specific to those who were interested as I was and had personally researched. If you can't see, today's date is 02/06/12 and I plan on starting this diet on or about the 15th. Like diabetic_in_miami, anyone is free to email me at YAHOO dot com to see how it went/goes. Also, I plan to follow this regemen exactly with no substitutes or modifications.
Just a quick update. It's been 9 months and my doctor acknowledges I am free of symptoms. My most recent A1c was 5.3
I hope this gives somebody the courage to try and change their life. No time to write a book, it's time to eat.
I'm really interested in what they ate. I could eat under 600 calories a day by eating one hamburger happy meal with a diet coke to drink daily. It would also meet the mysterious "diet drink" they all are said to have drunk requirement. But I somehow doubt that's what they ate.
At 64 yrs I completely reversed my Diabetes Type 2 by:
1 Stop eating foods with "Trans Fats".
2 Replenish the fat membrane in my cells with natural essential fats from a fistful of Walnuts per day.
3 Do for 7 months ... my DT2 completely reversed.
Wrote a short eBooklet (10 pages) free on Kindle Prime called
"The Walnut Cure for Diabetes Type2" Hope it helps someone.