A low calorie diet could reverse diabetes

Consuming just 600 calories a day could defeat diabetes, says a new study


Consuming just 600 calories a day could defeat diabetes, says a new study

A simple calorie controlled diet could spell the end of type 2 diabetes patients, according to a ground-breaking study.

The small-scale trial, carried out by Newcastle University researchers, revealed that a strict two-month diet of only 600 calories a day could wipe out the disease.

Type 2 diabetes affects over 3.5 million people in the UK, costing the NHS a staggering £9 billion a year. It is caused by high levels of glucose in the blood, usually triggered by overeating and obesity.

As the level of fat in the pancreas increases, the organ is unable to function properly. This limits the amount of insulin that is produced, which is crucial to convert sugar into energy.

By reducing the calories consumed during a day to a just 600 – what many people eat at lunchtime alone – the fat levels around the pancreas are able to return to normal and regain normal functionality.

The journal Diabetologia revealed that after just one week into the eight-week diet - which consisted of slimming shakes, non-starchy vegetables, tea and zero-calories drinks - some of the blood sugar readings had returned to a healthy level.

After two months, fat levels in the pancreas had also returned to normal and the organ was able to produce insulin without difficulty.

Three months on, seven out of the 11 people who participated are diabetes free.

‘This is a radical change in our understanding of type 2 diabetes,’ says Professor Roy Taylor. ‘ While it has long been believed that the disease will steadily get worse, we have shown that we can reverse it.’

Dr Iain Frame, of Diabetes UK, which provided funding for the study, warns people to speak to their doctor before embarking on such an extreme diet.


Natalia Lubomirski
Natalia is a health journalist with 14 years experience in the publishing industry. She has worked for a number of well known magazines and websites including Marie Claire, Woman&Home, Top Sante, Boots and The Telegraph.  She likes to think she practices what she preaches when it comes to health and fitness. Her athletic prowess began early. A keen fencer for 13 years, she wielded an epée for Olympic Team GB during her teenage years. She likes to think she made sword-fighting cool before Game of Thrones came along! While working on her sporting performance with the team, she also participated in a lot of nutrition and psychology training, When it comes to time off, you’ll most likely find her up a mountain somewhere. It seems holidays have become a time for climbing several thousand feet, rather than chilling out. She’s now hiked eight of the major mountain ranges across four continents – including the Appalachians, the Smokies, the Sierra Nevadas (she spent her honeymoon hiking to the top of Half Dome), as well as hitting the summits of Snowdon, Pen-Y-Fan (Brecon Beacons), Table Mountain in South Africa, the Blue Mountains in Australia and the Atlas Mountains in Morocco. She’s also passionate about all things health, particularly vaccinations, and will happily jump on her soap box at any given opportunity to talk about their benefits to anyone who will listen!