Jumpstart your pancreas: New research shows how to reverse type 2 diabetes with a low calorie diet
Type 2 diabetes has long been thought of as a progressive and incurable disease. Yet as new research shows, this preventable condition can be reversed with some major dietary changes. According to researchers from Newcastle University in the U.K., an eight-week diet consisting of 600 calories a day is the ticket to overturning type 2 diabetes.
This promising finding is the result of Professor Roy Taylor’s efforts. Taylor, who has spent nearly four decades studying type 2 diabetes. His colleagues stated that type 2 diabetes is caused by excess fat in the liver and pancreas. This added weight makes the two body organs perform their functions poorly. A liver with excessive fat will respond badly to insulin and produce too much glucose, and will simultaneously increase the export of fat to the body’s various tissues. Once the excess fat has been passed on to the pancreas, it causes insulin-producing cells to break down, then leading to type 1 diabetes.
However, the team found that removing little more than a gram of fat from the pancreas can resume proper insulin production, thus reversing the disease.
As Taylor explained to the DailyMail.co.uk: “Work in the lab has shown that the excess fat in the insulin producing cell causes loss of specialized function. The cells go into a survival mode, merely existing and not contributing to whole body well-being, but removal of the excess fat allows resumption of the specialized function of producing insulin.”
Such was the case for the researchers, who conducted their study on 11 people who developed type 2 diabetes later in life. These 11 people were placed on an extreme 600 calorie diet composed of non-starchy vegetables and liquid diet drinks for eight weeks.
The positive effects of the diet began to show just within a week of the diet, specifically, that insulin sensitivity fell by a significant margin and that blood sugar levels dropped and stabilized. Even more astonishing is that seven of the 11 patients were found to be free of diabetes, and remained diabetes-free after resuming their regular diets. (Related: Type 2 diabetes diet: What to eat, what to avoid and how to get healthier with every meal.)
“The good news for people with type 2 diabetes is that our work shows that even if you have had the condition for 10 years, you are likely to be able to reverse it by moving that all important tiny amount of fat out of the pancreas. At present, this can only be done through substantial weight loss,” said Taylor. “I think the real importance of this work is for the patients themselves.”
The Newcastle Diet
Taylor’s diet program has since become known as the Newcastle Diet. As was previously mentioned, the diet involved subsisting almost entirely on liquid diet drinks (in this case, liquid meal replacement formula from OPTIFAST ), and three portions of non-starchy vegetables like broccoli, cucumber, mushrooms, and zucchini. According to EveryDiet.org, the dieters were allowed to season their vegetables with herbs and spices but were not permitted to use salt. Foods like poultry, eggs, fish, starchy vegetables, legumes, and dairy products are strictly forbidden in the Newcastle Diet.
In addition to helping the participants recover from type 2 diabetes, the other benefits of this diet ranged from improvements in blood glucose control to better well-being and weight loss. However, since the Newcastle Diet heavily limits your food choices, those undergoing this diet can experience nutrient deficiencies. The participants also reported feeling dizziness, hunger, and fatigue during the start of the program, though these sensations ebbed several days after.
As such, anyone who plans on attempting the Newcastle Diet should only do so under medical supervision.
Go to DiabetesScienceNews.com for more information.