Type 2 diabetes is one of the greatest health scourges of modern society. The American Diabetes Association reports that close to 10 percent of the American population – or around 30 million people – are currently battling this disease. Diabetes is also one of the leading causes of death, and costs the country around $245 billion annually in direct medical costs and lost productivity.
For years, doctors have claimed that diabetes is an irreversible condition that can only be treated with dangerous chemical medications to control blood sugar levels. On the other hand, complementary health advocates like Natural News founder/editor, Mike Adams, have insisted for years that the condition is reversible through simple lifestyle changes.
Now, an exciting new study led by researchers from Glasgow University and Newcastle University in the U.K., and published in the medical journal The Lancet, has confirmed what Adams has been saying all along: Even advanced type 2 diabetes is entirely reversible through weight loss.
The study, which involved 298 patients with type 2 diabetes, was presented at the International Diabetes Federation congress in Abu Dhabi earlier this month.
Half of the participants were given weight-loss suggestions and left to continue to manage their condition with medication, while the other half were taken off all medications and put on a restrictive 853 calorie per day diet for three months.
A year after the study ended, three quarters of the patients who had been on the restrictive diet were still drug free, and an average of 46 percent were no longer considered to be diabetic.
Once you break those figures down a bit more, the results become even more impressive, though.
Among those who lost 33 pounds (15kg) or more, 86 percent were no longer considered diabetic, along with 57 percent of those who lost 22 pounds (10kg), and 34 percent of patients who lost 11 pounds (5kg).
“These findings are very exciting,” said lead author, Professor Roy Taylor of Newcastle University. “The weightloss [sic] goals provided by this programme are achievable for many people.”
Type 2 diabetes develops when too much fat accumulates around the pancreas and liver, interfering with insulin production and causing blood sugar levels to spike. The researchers believe that when diabetic patients lose a substantial amount of weight, these fatty deposits around the liver and pancreas also decrease, allowing the body to function normally once more.
The reason overweight people develop diabetes is that they are carrying too much visceral fat – the fat that accumulates around the stomach.
“Get rid of that fat, and most people can get their blood sugar levels back to normal without medication,” Professor Taylor explained.
Though the study participants were put on a very restrictive diet, this is not a “magic bullet” for reversing diabetes. The researchers simply recognized that losing weight rapidly is less daunting for patients than trying to lose it slowly over a longer period of time.
“Doing it slowly is torture,” said Professor Michael Lean of Glasgow University. “Contrary to the belief of many dietitians, people who lose weight quickly, more emphatically, are more likely to keep it off long term. What doctors haven’t recognised is how much people with Type 2 diabetes hate having it. In my experience people will jump at the diet given the chance.”
Mike Adams himself faced a type 2 diabetes diagnosis several years ago, but managed to turn the situation around through basic lifestyle changes, including:
• Cutting out all refined sugars: This includes hidden sugars and refined carbohydrates.
• Including exercise in his daily routine: The secret here is daily exercise – it’s more important to walk for 30 minutes every day than to do huge amounts of sporadic exercise.
• Drinking in the sunshine: Most Americans – over 70 percent of whites, 80 percent of Latinos and Asians, and 97 percent of African Americans – are vitamin D deficient. According to the Vitamin D Council, “[T]here is some evidence that vitamin D may help improve resistance to insulin, increase sensitivity to insulin, and more effectively control blood sugar levels.”