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Is calorie restriction a diabetes cure?

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Reprinted with the kind permission of Life Extension.

September 15 2017. Research reported at the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD 2017) annual meeting, held September 11-15, 2017, adds evidence to the hypothesis that type 2 diabetes is caused by excess fat in the pancreas and liver, which can be eliminated by consuming a low calorie diet.

Professor Roy Taylor presented an overview of decades of research that led to his Twin Cycle Hypothesis. He asserts that fatty liver caused by the intake of excess calories results in poor response of the organ to insulin and increased glucose production. Excess liver fat increases the export of fat to all tissues, including the pancreas, where it negatively impacts insulin-producing cells. By consuming fewer calories, fat loss occurs in the pancreas, which can normalize insulin production and reverse type 2 diabetes.

A study published in Diabetologia documented a reduction in liver fat and normalization of insulin sensitivity in the livers of diabetics a week after the initiation of a low calorie diet. After 8 weeks, pancreatic fat content subsequently declined and first phase insulin secretion became normalized.

“I think the real importance of this work is for the patients themselves,” Professor Taylor remarked. “Many have described to me how embarking on the low calorie diet has been the only option to prevent what they thought – or had been told – was an inevitable decline into further medication and further ill health because of their diabetes. By studying the underlying mechanisms, we have been able to demonstrate the simplicity of type 2 diabetes.”

“The good news for people with type 2 diabetes is that our work shows that even if you have had the condition for 10 years, you are likely to be able to reverse it by moving that all important tiny amount of fat out of the pancreas,” he added.

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