Study: Losing 10% of body weight key to reversing diabetes
This fat molecule may help control blood sugar levels
London: People who can reduce their weight by 10% or more within the first five years of diagnosis with type 2 diabetes have the greatest chance of going into remission, according to a study which suggests that it is possible to recover from the disease without intensive lifestyle interventions, or extreme calorie restrictions.
Type 2 diabetes which affects more than 400 million people worldwide, increases the risk of heart disease, stroke, blindness, and amputations, the study, published in the journal Diabetic Medicine, noted.
The researchers, including those from the University of Cambridge, said that while type 2 diabetes can be managed through a combination of positive lifestyle changes and medication, it was also possible for the patients’ high blood glucose levels to return to normal if they went through significant calorie restriction and weight loss.
Studies have established that an intensive low-calorie diet consisting of 700 calories daily intake — less than one cheeseburger — for a period of eight weeks was associated with remission in almost nine out of ten people recently diagnosed with the disease, and in half the number of people with longstanding disease, the researchers said. Researchers
have discovered that a fat molecule 12-HEPE — produced in the human body in response to cold external temperatures — plays a role in reducing the blood sugar levels, an advance that may pave the way for new diabetes treatment methods. When the researchers, including those from the University of Campinas conducted laboratory tests with human cells, they found that 12-HEPE increased glucose uptake by adipose cells. According to the researchers, this suggested that the lipid molecule played a role in adaptation to cold, and also in the “drastic reduction” of lipid levels in the bloodstream of obese individuals — which is partly due to increased blood sugar.
The researchers said that people who could reduce their weight by 10%, or more, within the first five years after diagnosis were more than twice as likely to go into remission — compared to those who maintained the same weight after the period.