Low calorie diet can help reverse type 2 diabetes, finds study

A recent study conducted at the Chellaram Institute of Diabetes, Pune, has found that type 2 diabetes, which affects almost 70 million people in India; can be reverse in its initial stages with a low calorie diet

Low calorie diet can help reverse diabetes, finds Pune study

Doctors from the institute shared that such studies are also conducted globally with similar results.

Dr Unnikrishnan AG, Chief Endrocrinologist and CEO at Chellaram Diabetes Institute said that selective patients who are younger  and have had diabetes for a shorter duration and who are slightly obese can reverse their diabetes by making proper lifestyle changes.

He said, “A study done abroad last year found that reversal is possible if there is low calorie intake and a change in lifestyle. We now know that there are two types of conditions in diabetes. Firstly, insulin is not getting produced and secondly insulin is not acting upon the body”

He further added, “In Western countries type 2 diabetes is associated with obesity. Among Indians, the fat is mostly distributed around the abdomen. We know that diabetes is a disease caused due to high glucose level. Therefore, the focus of newer studies in this field is on cutting down carbohydrates.”

He further mentioned that the 12 patients who were a part of the study in the institute have now reversed their diabetes. “The recent study conducted globally included 300 patients. But the study still needs time,” said Dr Unnikrishnan.

He added that this is twin cycle hypothesis. “Cut down carbohydrates in order to lose weight and the body becomes more sensitive to insulin. With weight loss, the pancreas also loses fat and it then produces more insulin, hence the dual function.”

He emphasised that in relatively younger people, changing the lifestyle can be beneficial. He said, “However, it requires a lot of motivation. We had given the participants 1,000 calories for three months and cut down their carbohydrates in the same time period. Minimum calories should be consumed for it to work effectively.”