A “Cure” for Type 2 Diabetes

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In case you haven’t already heard, researchers are now reporting that Type 2 Diabetes may (possibly) be reversed by a restricted low-calorie diet:

Adhering to the strict 600 calorie-a-day diet causes fat levels in the pancreas to plummet, restoring normal function, found Prof Roy Taylor of Newcastle University.

The discovery, a “radical change” in understanding of the condition, holds out the possibility that sufferers could cure themselves – if they have the willpower.

Until recently received medical wisdom was that Type 2 diabetes was largely irreversible.

But this small-scale study indicates that defeating it could be easier than commonly thought.

Prof Taylor asked 11 volunteers, all recently diagnosed, to go on what he admitted was an “extreme diet” of specially formulated drinks and non-starchy vegetables, for eight weeks.

Hyscience comments:

As the article goes on to point out, the trial study involved only 11 patients that ate a “meal-replacement” milkshake of 150 calories three times a day. This was supplemented with three portions of non-starchy vegetables including cabbage, broccoli, peppers, tomatoes, cucumber and lettuce. After one week, their pre-breakfast blood sugar levels had returned to normal and an MRI scan revealed that the fat levels in the pancreas were also normal, down from around eight per cent to six per cent.

Notes to self:

  • Great news – perhaps (I think)
  • “small-scale study” –  The smaller the study the less likely the results will be supported over time, esp. considering all of the potential influential factors.  Something like 33% of all reported major medical studies is contradicted within five years.
  • Radical change in management – pharma and device companies may need to revisit their strategic roadmap if this research is supported by larger scale studies



  1. Christine Michael says:

    I think it is interesting that this study focused very much on the measurement of the metabolic effects of the sudden calorie deficit, and that it was prompted by observing the effects of weight loss surgery. As the researchers point out, the study was very limited in terms of numbers so that this ‘gold standard’ evaluation could be carried out. It may be that this work will provide more information about why and how loss of excess weight is so beneficial in type 2 diabetes and so point to new directions for treatment. But as you say, there are too many unknowns and it is far too soon to talk about a permanent cure. I’ve written a bit more about it on my website, http://www.diabeteschoices.org.uk, if anyone is interested!

  2. KR DASHARATHI says:

    This might be true in case of obese persons.But there are millions of diabetics who have lost weight and flesh and are skinny left with only bones and have type 2 diabetes and eat very little in a day. What do the advocates of 600 calorie diet cure has to say about them? obviously this is not a cure for all cases of diabetes and therefore there remains a lot to be done in the way of a true cure for type 2 diabetes. This news shall therefore have a note included “for obese diabetics” in order to make it more straight forward.

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