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Low-Calorie Diet Can Reverse Type 2 Diabetes

British study finds two-month extreme diet can ‘cure’ type 2 diabetes and overturns assumptions about ‘lifelong’ condition.

Have you heard? People who have had obesity-related type 2 diabetes for years have been cured by keeping to an extreme, low-calorie, diet for two months, scientists report. This discovery, reported by scientists at Newcastle University, overturns previous assumptions about type 2 diabetes, which was thought to be a lifelong illness. The 11 participants in the study were all diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes within the previous four years. They cut their food intake drastically for two months, eating only whole-food proteins or drinks and non-starchy vegetables.

Did you know? Researchers found that blood sugar levels of all participants had returned to normal in one week, however experts still believe more research is needed to see whether the reversal is permanent, and keep quiet about what they found. Now this may be revolutionary to the general public, but it’s not new new to Savvy Team members. In fact, we’ve been teaching this, and helping people prove it in their own life, for years.

Is Diabetes A Worldwide Problem?

Diabetes caused over 1.3 million deaths worldwide, in some estimations. It’s a serious condition that has to be controlled with drugs and eventually insulin injections. It can cause blindness and end in foot amputation, as well as shortening life. In the UK almost three million people have been currently diagnosed with diabetes. Since 1996, the number of people with diabetes in the UK alone has risen from 1.4 million to 2.9 million. Diabetes prevalence is estimated to rise to 4 million in the UK, by 2025 and numbers are rising across much of the world, the large majority with type 2. Type 2 develops when not enough insulin is produced in the body or the insulin that is made by the body doesn’t work properly. When this happens, glucose – a type of sugar – builds up in the blood instead of being broken down into energy or fuel which the body needs.

Type 2 diabetes affects 2.5m people in the UK, and the International Diabetes Federation estimates that about 360 million people worldwide are living with diabetes, which is estimated to be 8.5% of the world’s population. Glycaemia and diabetes are rising globally, driven both by population growth and ageing and by increasing age-specific prevalences.

What The ‘New’ Research Proved

An extreme eight-week diet of 5-600 calories a day can reverse Type 2 diabetes in people newly diagnosed with the disease, says the Diabetologia study. The trial, reported in the American Diabetes Association’s conference and published in the journal Diabetologia, gave type 2 diabetics a very low, 600 calorie diet for eight weeks. Taylor said “This diet was only used to test the hypothesis that if people lose substantial weight they will lose their diabetes. And it proved it without a doubt.” Although this study, overseen by Professor Roy Taylor, director of Newcastle Magnetic Resonance Centre at Newcastle University and lead study author, involved people diagnosed with diabetes within the last four years, there is potential for people with longer-standing diabetes to turn things around too.

While the general belief is that type-2 diabetes leads to irreversible damage to beta- cells in the pancreas that produce insulin, and that you can therefore only control diabetes, not reverse it, this study proves that this belief is wrong. “This study demonstrates for the first time the time course of a return of normal beta cell function in individuals with type 2 diabetes,” says Taylor. “To have people free of diabetes after years with the condition is remarkable – and all because of an eight-week diet,” he said. “This is a radical change in understanding type 2 diabetes. It will change how we can explain it to people newly diagnosed with the condition. While it has long been believed that someone with type 2 diabetes will always have the disease and that it will steadily get worse, we have shown that we can reverse the condition.”

Dr. Ee Lin Lim, also from Newcastle University’s research team, said that although dietary factors were already known to have an impact on Type 2 diabetes, the research now showed that the disease did not have to be a life sentence, as was thought in the past. You can do something to reverse, and even eliminate the disease. 

Now, while this diet isn’t easy to follow however the results may well be worth it, and we have countless people in the Savvy team who have used our low-calorie diet to reverse a host of long-term, serious health conditions. Professor Taylor said he was not suggesting that everyone should follow the diet, but our question is “Why Not?” The Savvy Team have been supporting people through our Fat On The Move program, which has been updated to the Rapid Fat Loss Program for several years before this study was undertaken. We’ve proved it works, we know it’s not easy, but the results speak for themselves, and the Savvy team provides a free support program to help you on a daily basis.

Newcastle University researchers found the low-calorie diet also reduced fat levels in the pancreas and liver, which helped insulin production return to normal. Seven out of 11 people studied were free of diabetes three months later, say findings published in the journal.  Surely this is something that the general public need to hear about, and that is why we are brining it to your attention. Professor Edwin Gale, a diabetes expert from the University of Bristol, said the study did not reveal anything new. “We have known that starvation is a good cure for diabetes. If we introduced rationing tomorrow, then we could get rid of diabetes in this country. “If you can catch people with diabetes in the early stages while beta cells are still functioning, then you can delay its onset for years, but you will get it sooner or later because it’s in the system.”

Keith Frayn, professor of human metabolism at the University of Oxford, said the Newcastle study was important. “People who lose large amounts of weight following surgery to alter their stomach size or the plumbing of their intestines often lose their diabetes and no longer need treatment. “This study shows that a period of marked weight loss can produce the same reversal of Type 2 diabetes. It offers great hope for many people with diabetes, although it must be said that not everyone will find it possible to stick to the extremely low-calorie diet used in this study.”

Dr Iain Frame, director of research at Diabetes UK, which funded the study, said the diet was not an easy fix. “Such a drastic diet should only be undertaken under regular supervision. Despite being a very small trial, we look forward to future results particularly to see whether the reversal would remain in the long term.”

Fat loss:  After one week of the diet, researchers found that the pre-breakfast blood sugar levels of all participants had returned to normal. MRI scans of their pancreases also revealed that the fat levels in the organ had decreased from around 8% – an elevated level – to a more normal 6%. Three months after the end of the diet, when participants had returned to eating normally and received advice on healthy eating and portion size, most no longer suffered from the condition. “It offers great hope for many people with diabetes.” (end quote Prof Keith Frayn University of Oxford)

Benefits For Your Weight Loss

Much of the fat we accumulate is made in the liver from sugar. The Diabetologia study showed a dramatic reduction in glucose production in the liver and a reduction in fat levels in the pancreas, suggesting that insulin-producing cells are not destroyed but disarmed by too much fat in the pancreas. By burning off this fat beta-cells come back to life. By cutting food intake so drastically the body not only burns fat but also doesn’t need to produce so much insulin. These may be the two conditions that bring insulin-producing cells back to life. The eight weeks allows a reversal of the conditions that led to diabetes in the first place.

One of the best measures of healthy glucose control is the level of ‘glycosylated hemoglobin’ or HbA1c. This means sugar-coated red blood cells. You certainly want less than 6% and ideally less than 5.5%. The more blood sugar spikes, due to too much glucose and not enough functioning insulin, the higher the HbA1c ( above 7 means very high diabetes risk). In this study, the volunteers’ HbA1c levels went from 7.4 to 6% in 8 weeks. That’s a 20% decrease. The volunteers lost, on average 15kg or 33lbs.

Doctors following this regimen get similar excellent results in diabetics following Low GL diet principles. Recently, a GP practice put 23 patients on the edge of diabetes through a programme for 12 weeks – diet only, no supplements. Glycosylated haemoglobin went from 6.9 to 5.9 (14.5% reduction) and the average weight lost was 1 stone (13lbs). So, the very low-calorie approach produces a more rapid return to healthier HbA1c levels (eight weeks versus 12 weeks) and a rapid burning off of body fat. However, it is not easy to eat so little.

The idea of pulling out all the stops for eight weeks to kickstart the healing process is intriguing. It fits in with what’s being learned about low-calorie diets and reversing ageing. Eating between 500 and 800 kcals can switch genes away from diabetes. The authors of this study also propose that a contributor to the results is a genetic effect. Interestingly, in animal studies,  you don’t have to do this every day, but every other day, for one month to turn genetic expression away from diabetes.

An easy way to do this would be to have a pea protein shake and a handful of berries and another 30g scoop of protein. You could even add a teaspoon of chia seeds and up the protein, fibre and omega 3 content and perhaps a teaspoon of a highly soluble calorie-free fibre and a green-food powder. It would be really interesting to see what would happen if you did this every other day, then follow a strict low GL diet (40 GLs a day – no desserts or drinks other than water), for a month to six weeks. This is a softer option and time will tell whether a hard, 600kcal diet or an easier 800kcal diet, either every day or every other day works best.

If you try any of these strategies please let us know. Please make sure you tell your doctor what you intend to do as it will affect your need for medication. In this study, all volunteers were withdrawn from medication prior to the study.

Suggested Weight Loss Regimens

So it’s now proven scientifically, but if you would like to get to know people in the Savvy team who have done the program years ago, and kept the weight off, just contact us at Asking people to shift weight does actually work to improve diabetes, and the weight will stay off, and the habits will change as long as you take care of the underlying cause of the weight gain at the same time that you are losing the weight. The Savvy Team have been using a Rapid Fat Loss regimen that is a very short-term program that includes a very low-calorie diet, supplementation and a few other savvy secrets that seem to have the same results as this world-breaking study, so make sure you contact us for more information:

We ask for your help in getting the word out, that there are simple solutions to this growing problem. “It’s easy to take a pill, but harder to change lifestyle for good.” Dr. Lim said, “but when you get the right combinations, lifestyle improvements just seem to happen naturally.”

  1. If you’d like to know more about our Rapid Fat Loss Program, make sure you ask the Savvy Team community member who introduced you to this site, they can add you into our private group to get your journey started!
  2. If you’d like to find out about a program that’s easier to follow, that we can tailor simply to your needs, ask about our Basic Weight Loss Programs, such as the ‘Eat Savvy Diet‘.
  3. If you’d just like to stabilise your metabolism and kick-start you body to work more efficiently, then ask us about our General Detox Program

Have questions?

Reach out to your Savvy Team contact, message us on Facebook or use our contact page.

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One thought to “Low-Calorie Diet Can Reverse Type 2 Diabetes”

  1. An update:
    A more recent Harvard study, published in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology on October 30, 2015, showed that the weight-loss benefits of a low-carb diet were consistently better at helping people with diabetes or endocrine challenges lose weight than the group on low-fat diets.…/2015-10/bawh-ldn102715.php

    A similar low-carb, high (healthy) fat study by the American College of Internal Medicine showed that even though their comparative low-fat group did lose weight as well, they had lost more muscle mass than fat. And the problem is that when this occurs you age more rapidly – and who want’s that when the solution is simple. Eat healthy fats on reduced carb diets.

    You may also be surprised to learn that although the low-carb group ate twice the recommended daily amount of saturated fat as set by US guidelines — they increased their total fat intake to over 40 percent — they still had higher levels of HDL (the “good” cholesterol) and lower risk of heart disease than those who restricted their fat intake.

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