Low calorie diets may help reverse type 2 diabetes

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Globally, type 2 diabetes (T2D) is a prevalent condition, impacting over 400 million people, including almost 4 million adults in the UK.

South Asians face a notably higher risk, developing T2D at younger ages and lower BMIs compared to the general UK/European white population.

Researchers from the University of Glasgow have delved into the possibilities of achieving T2D remission in South Asian individuals through structured weight management programs.

The study primarily used a formula diet serving as a “total diet replacement” for up to 12 weeks for people of South Asian ethnicity.

It focused on observing the implications of structured weight management on individuals with a high predisposition to T2D, and it revealed promising results.

Methodology and Findings

One-third of the study’s participants experienced a loss of more than 10% of their body weight through the structured program.

Remarkably, around 40% of participants achieved sufficient weight loss, allowing for T2D remission. The findings are comparable to those observed in white cohorts using the same weight management program.

The research emphasized that none of the participants in the control group experienced remission without diet treatment, but post-program, 43% were able to achieve freedom from diabetes without medication.

This highlighted the pivotal role of weight loss in reducing fat accumulation in the liver, consequently alleviating T2D conditions.

Impact and Implications

Though based on a small cohort, the findings of this study hold substantial implications for a significant portion of the global diabetic population.

It sheds light on the potential benefits of structured weight management in inducing T2D remission among high-risk populations, such as those of South Asian ethnicity.

Weight loss stood out as the crucial element in achieving remission, with 35% of participants losing over 10% of body weight and experiencing a significant reduction in liver fat content from 15.3% to 8.6%.

Future Directions and Conclusion

The findings from Prof. Naveed Sattar and his team act as a springboard for further research aimed at developing culturally optimal approaches to T2D remission.

Future studies should focus on exploring avenues for sustaining weight loss over extended periods, enhancing the longevity of remission states.

In conclusion, the structured weight management program’s success in inducing significant weight loss and subsequent T2D remission among South Asian individuals is a beacon of hope for millions globally.

Its implications extend beyond immediate health benefits, contributing to the evolution of tailored, effective strategies for combating T2D among diverse populations.

For further insights into diabetes and nutritional studies, consider exploring research on the links between high vitamin D levels and reduced dementia risk in diabetes, the potential benefits of green tea and coffee in reducing death risk in diabetes, the influence of blueberries on metabolic syndrome, and the effects of vitamin D on blood pressure in people with diabetes.

The study, published in The Lancet Regional Health—Southeast Asia, serves as a catalyst for intensified research and development of pragmatic solutions to curb the global T2D epidemic.

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