Obesity is a big risk factor for type 2 diabetes.
Therefore, lose body weight and keep a healthy weight can help prevent and control the disease.
No doubt that a very low-calorie diet can strongly reduce the daily calorie intake and help people lose weight.
Good news is that such a low-calorie diet can REVERSE type 2 diabetes.
So how many calories are in a very low-calorie diet?
According to researchers from Yale University, such a diet only contains 25% of the normal daily calorie intake.
The researchers examined the effects of a very low-calorie diet on rodents that have type 2 diabetes.
In the study, the team tracked and calculated several metabolic processes and contributed to the increased glucose production by the liver.
The tracking method, PINTA, was created by the team themselves. With the method, the researchers can do a comprehensive set of analyses of key metabolic fluxes in the liver.
These metabolic fluxes contribute to insulin resistance and higher rates of glucose production.
Insulin resistance and higher rates of glucose production are the two key processes causing high blood sugar in people with diabetes.
The results showed that a very low-calorie diet can rapidly lower blood sugar in the rodents with diabetes. Surprisingly, it only took 3 days to see the effects.
The researchers gave three reasons of the beneficial effects:
First, the diet could decrease the conversion of lactate and amino acids into glucose in the liver; second, the diet decreased the rate of liver glycogen conversion to glucose; and third, the diet decreased fat content, which in turn improved the liver’s response to insulin.
The next step of the research is to confirm the finding on type 2 diabetes patients. For example, the team plan to compare the effects of bariatric surgery and very low-calorie diets on reversing diabetes.
Although the finding is got from animals not humans, it is quite encouraging and surprising.
Scientists from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention predict that 1 in 3 Americans will develop type 2 diabetes by 2050.
Many people with type 2 diabetes choose to use bariatric weight-loss surgery to treat the disease. In one previous article, we talked about how weight loss surgery may help patients more than lifestyle change.
One type of bariatric surgery – Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery. This procedure is considered the “gold standard” weight control operation. It often results in strong weight loss that lasts a long time.
Type 2 diabetes patients that use the surgery show more weight loss, lower A1c level and less risk of coronary heart disease and stroke.
But bariatric surgery has risks and side effects and may not be the best option for every patient.
If studies in the near future confirm that a very low-calorie diet can rapidly reduce blood sugar and reverse type 2 diabetes, then more people can get benefit and recover from the disease.
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