Low-calorie diet could reverse type 2 diabetes

Patients who have been newly diagnosed with type 2 diabetes could reverse the disease by going on an extreme eight-week diet, according to a Diabetologia study.

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Researchers at Newcastle University found that seven out of 11 people who ate just 600 calories a day for two months were free of diabetes three months later and had reduced fat levels in their pancreas and liver.

More than 2.5m people in the UK suffer with type 2 diabetes. It develops when not enough insulin is produced in the body or the insulin that is produced doesn't work effectively causing glucose to builds up in the blood instead of being broken down into energy.

The volunteers – who had all been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes within the past four months – ate only liquid diet drinks and non-starchy vegetables.

Researchers found that the blood sugar levels of all participants had returned to normal after seven days of following the diet.

When they began eating healthily at the end of the three months, most participants no longer suffered from the condition. However, experts warn that more research is needed to see whether the reversal is permanent.

Professor Roy Taylor, lead study author, said: "This diet was only used to test the hypothesis that if people lose substantial weight they will lose their diabetes.

"Although this study involved people diagnosed with diabetes within the last four years, there is potential for people with longer-standing diabetes to turn things around too."

Have you been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes recently - and would you try an extreme diet to turn things around? Leave a comment below...