A very low-calorie diet can rapidly REVERSE type 2 diabetes, a new study finds

Low Calorie Diet, health

By KAYLA BRANTLEY FOR DAILYMAIL.COM

A very low-calorie diet could rapidly reverse type 2 diabetes, new research suggests.

A study conducted on mice showed that cutting daily calorie intake by 75 percent lowered blood sugar levels and decreased fat content.

In humans, that would mean turning to a diet of 500 to 800 calories opposed to the average 1,600 to 3,000 calorie intake.

If confirmed in people, researchers say this could combat the rapidly growing crisis of this chronic disease that affects 29 million Americans.

One in three Americans will develop type 2 diabetes by 2050, according to recent projections by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

This is unlike type 1 diabetes, which occurs when the pancreas produces little to no insulin. It is unpreventable and most common in children.

Whereas type 2 diabetes can be prevented or delayed with a healthy lifestyle, including maintaining a healthy weight, consuming little sugar, and exercising regularly.

Type 2 diabetes occurs when the liver does not produce enough of the hormone insulin, or the body can’t use insulin properly. Insulin helps carry sugar from the bloodstream into the cells.

The tests conducted at Yale University, showed that mice with type 2 diabetes experienced a decrease in fat content, which helps how the liver reacts to insulin.

The researchers pinpointed three major mechanisms responsible for the very low-calorie diet’s dramatic effect of rapidly lowering blood sugar concentrations in the diabetic animals.

In the liver, the very low-calorie diet decreased the conversion of lactate and amino acids into sugar, decreased the rate of liver glycogen conversion to glucose and decreased fat content.

These positive benefits all happened in just three days.

‘These results, if confirmed in humans, will provide us with novel drug targets to more effectively treat patients with type 2 diabetes,’ said Dr Gerald I. Shulman, investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute at Yale.

USDA recommends that the average male consume between 2,000 to 3,000 calories a day, while the average female consume 1,600 to 2,400 calories daily.

However, calorie intake may increase for those who are obese or overweight.

Very low-calorie diets, also known as VLCDs, consist of 500 to 800 calories a day.

VLCDs use meal replacements such as drinks, shakes and food bars instead of regular meals for at least two meals a day.

The diet can be dangerous and is usually reserved for obese people who have weight-related medical issues, in this case type 2 diabetes. The diet requires medical supervision.

For an obese person, a very low-calorie diet may shed about three to five pounds per week, but is not more efficient than a modest diet.

The next step for the researchers will be to confirm whether the findings can be replicated in type 2 diabetic patients undergoing either weight-loss surgery or consuming very low-calorie diets.

The team has already begun applying their methodology in humans.

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