Type 2 diabetes may be reversible with weight loss, study finds
A British study has found that type 2 diabetes could potentially be reversed through weight loss and with the long-term support of a medical professional.
The initial findings come from an ongoing trial study called DiRECT (Diabetes Remission Clinical Trial), which aims to find an effective accessible way to put type 2 diabetes into remission long-term.
Led by Prof. Roy Taylor, from Newcastle University, and Prof. Mike Lean, from Glasgow University, the study recruited 298 people and gave half standard diabetes care from their GP, while the other half were placed on a structured weight management program which 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 that diabetes remission was closely linked with weight loss, with almost nine out of 10 people (86 per cent) who lost 15kg or more putting their type 2 diabetes into remission.
Over half (57 per cent) of those who lost 10 to 15kg also achieved remission, along with a third (34 per cent) of those who lost five to 10kg.
In comparison, only 4 per cent of the control group, who received standard care, achieved remission.
Prof. Taylor commented on the first year results saying, "These findings are very exciting. They could revolutionise the way type 2 diabetes is treated."
"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."
Type 2 diabetes is a life-changing condition which progresses over time with potentially devastating consequences.