Tuesday, February 9, 2016
Can Type 2 diabetes can be cured through weight loss?
Type 2 diabetes affects 3.3 million people in England and Wales and, until now, was thought to be chronic. However, in a recent study, 18 obese people with Type 2 diabetes who were given gastric band surgery and put on a restricted diet for eight weeks. As a result, these subjects were cured of their condition. During the trial, the patients (aged between 25 and 65) lost around 13 per cent of their body weight. Crucially, they also lost an average of 0.6 grams of fat from their pancreas, allowing the organ to secrete normal levels of insulin. In these cases, the pancreas was evaluated before and after with an MRI.
The university team is now planning a larger two-year study involving 200 people with Glasgow University to check that the findings can be replicated and weight loss can be sustained for two years. This is important because Diabetes UK predicts that if current trends continue, five million people will have diabetes by 2025 - a legacy of poor diets and lack of exercise.
The new study is the first to suggest that keeping weight down enough can potentially cure patients of the disease. How much weight? Only one gram (or less)... from the pancreas.