HOW CAN A LOW CALORIE DIET REVERSE TYPE 2 DIABETES?
The most common form of diabetes , type 2 diabetesusually occurs in adulthood in individuals aged 40 years and older. According to WHO, ” Type 2 diabetes (previously known as non-insulin-dependent diabetes or diabetes maturity) results from the body’s misuse of insulin. Type 2 diabetes represents the majority of diabetes seen in the world. It is largely the result of overweight and sedentary lifestyle. Its symptoms may be the same as those of type 1 diabetes but are often less marked. As a result, the disease can be diagnosed several years after its onset, once the complications are already present. Until recently, this type of diabetes has only been observed in adults, but it is now also found in children . ”
The prevention of diabetes is therefore an important point and it seems easy enough to protect oneself, by modifying one’s lifestyle to prevent or delay type 2 diabetes. The measures recommended by health professionals are: the maintenance of a normal body weight, get physical exercise , have a healthy diet and avoid sugar and saturated fats, stop smoking.
Concerning the maintenance of a normal body weight, the hypocaloric diet would be very effective, even if it requires discipline. However, the effort would be rewarded, since in a new study published in November 2017 in the journal Cell Metabolism , a research team discovered how a very low-calorie diet can quickly reverse type 2 diabetes.
LOW CALORIE DIET CAN REVERSE TYPE 2 DIABETES
The development of type 2 diabetes worldwide is disturbing. Improving prevention and treatment is the priority of many public health policies, as in the United States, where by 2050, according to the latest projections from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention , 1 in 3 Americans will develop type 2 diabetes .
Reports indicate that the disease goes into remission in many patients who undergo weight loss surgery (bariatric surgery), which significantly restricts caloric intake before clinically significant weight loss. The Yale University team study focused on understanding the mechanisms by which caloric restriction quickly reverses type 2 diabetes.
The research team studied the effects of a low-calorie diet , consisting of a quarter of normal intake, on a type 2 diabetes model in rodents. By using a new stable (natural) isotope approach, which they developed, the researchers tracked and calculated a number of metabolic processes that contribute to increased glucose production by the liver. The method, known as PINTA, allowed researchers to perform a comprehensive set of analyzes of major metabolic fluxes in the liver that could contribute to insulin resistance and glucose production by the liver.
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Using this approach, researchers have identified three major mechanisms responsible for the effect of the low-calorie diet, which rapidly lowers blood glucose levels in diabetic animals. In the liver, the low calorie diet decreases glucose production by: reducing the conversion of lactate and amino acids to glucose; decreasing the conversion rate of hepatic glycogen into glucose; and decreasing the fat content, which in turn improves the liver’s response to insulin. These positive effects of the hypocaloric diet were observed in just three days.
Using this approach to fully interrogate the metabolism of carbohydrates and liver fats, researchers have shown that it is a combination of three mechanisms that is responsible for the rapid reversal of hyperglycemia following a low-calorie diet.
Finally, the next step for researchers will be to confirm whether the results can be replicated in type 2 diabetic patients undergoing either bariatric surgery or who are on very low calorie diets. These findings, if confirmed in humans, will provide new drug targets to more effectively treat patients with type 2 diabetes.