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Low calorie diet eyed as 'cure' for type 2 diabetes

Update Date: Mar 23, 2016 02:42 PM EDT

A very low calorie diet is being touted as a possible cure for type 2 diabetes.

The study was conducted on 30 people with type 2 diabetes who were placed on around 600 to 700 calories a day for eight weeks, followed by a less radical six-month weight control diet, the National Health Service reported.

Tests found that 12 of the 30 people involved in the study had glucose levels below the usual cutoff for diabetes, which is HbA1c of 7mmol/L. The 12 retained their normal insulin levels after six months, the Huffington Post reproetd.

Type 2 diabetes may be kept in check by medication although tends to get worse over time or rather than reversed.

The average weight across the whole group dropped from 98kg at the start to 84.7kg at the end of six months. The weight loss was similar between those whose glucose levels returned to normal and those who still had diabetes at the end of the study.

People who were able to revert to normal glucose levels, called "responders" by the researchers, were the younger ones, averaging 52 years, compared to 60 for those who failed to revert to the said levels. The responders also belonged to a group that had diabetes for a shorter time, which was 3.8 years compared with 9.8 years. Nonetheless, there were those who had diabetes for more than 10 years were able to return to normal glucose levels.

The researchers said "responders" had lower glucose levels at the start of the study and more insulin in their bloodstream, indicating that the ability of the beta cells to produce insulin was better.

The fatty content of both the liver and the pancreas decreased in both responders and people who continued to have diabetes.

The study, published in Diabetes Care, was carried out by researchers from Newcastle University, the University of Glasgow, and Lagos University and funded by the National Institute of Health Research and Novo Nordisk, a company that makes diabetes drugs.

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