Scientists find the key to remission in prediabetes

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Prediabetes, a precursor to Type 2 diabetes, is associated with increased risks of heart attacks, kidney disease, eye conditions, and various cancers, heightening the urgency for preventative measures and effective interventions.

A ground-breaking study by the German Center for Diabetes Research (DZD) presents critical insights into the remission of prediabetes, exploring the pathways that lead to normalized blood glucose levels and delineating the benefits of achieving such remission, including reduced risks of Type 2 diabetes and improved kidney and vascular function.

Examining Early Intervention

Researchers at DZD, spearheaded by Prof. Dr. Andreas Birkenfeld, aimed to explore early interventions at the prediabetes stage, illuminating the possibilities of reversing the condition before it escalates into Type 2 diabetes.

Given the high susceptibility of prediabetic patients to various complications, the implementation of preventative measures at this stage could be pivotal in reducing subsequent health risks.

Insights from the Prediabetes Lifestyle Intervention Study

In a randomized-controlled multicenter study involving 1,105 prediabetic individuals, participants underwent a lifestyle intervention including a healthier diet and increased physical activity over one year.

Out of these, 298 participants achieved a minimum weight loss of 5%, with some experiencing normalized levels of fasting blood glucose, 2-hour glucose, and HbA1c within twelve months, indicating remission of prediabetes.

Beyond Weight Loss

Contrary to expectations, weight loss was not the discriminating factor between responders and non-responders. However, increased insulin sensitivity was markedly observed in individuals achieving remission.

The reduction in abdominal fat was notably significant among responders, highlighting its correlation with enhanced insulin sensitivity and reduced inflammatory protein levels in the blood.

Redefining Therapeutic Targets

This enlightening study by DZD underlines the necessity of targeting remission in prediabetic patients as a therapeutic goal, aiming to forestall the progression to Type 2 diabetes and associated complications.

The revealed data and insights could be pivotal in refining treatment protocols and reducing complication rates in prediabetic patients.

Criteria for Prediabetes Remission

According to the study, prediabetes remission is achieved when fasting blood glucose is below 100 mg/dl, 2-hour glucose below 140 mg/dl, and HbA1c below 5.7%.

The likelihood of remission increases with a reduction in body weight and waist circumference, offering tangible biomarkers for measuring the success of interventions in prediabetic individuals.


The profound research by the German Center for Diabetes Research pioneers in elucidating the mechanisms and pathways to prediabetes remission, propounding the imperative of early interventions and preventive measures.

The study not only broadens our understanding of the variables influencing prediabetes remission but also accentuates the significance of addressing abdominal fat and insulin sensitivity in preventing the evolution of prediabetes to Type 2 diabetes.

This exploration into remission strategies unveils potential alterations in treatment approaches, paving the way for enhanced health outcomes and minimized complication rates in prediabetic populations.

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The research findings can be found in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology.

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