Remission was closely tied to the degree of weight lost, occurring in around nine out of 10 people who lost 15 kg or more, and almost three-quarters of those who lost 10kg or more.
Led by Professor Roy Taylor, from Newcastle University, and Professor Mike Lean, from GlasgowUniversity, the study recruited 298 people and gave half standard diabetes care from their GP, while the other half were placed on a structured weight management program which included a low calorie, nutrient-complete diet for three to five months, food reintroduction, and long-term support to maintain weight loss.
Among those who lost 33Ibs or more, 86 per cent reversed their diabetes. However, the weight loss treatment is only effective if done during the first few years of the onset of Type 2 diabetes. Over half (57 per cent) of those who lost 10 to 15kg achieved remission, along with a third (34 per cent) of those who lost five to 10kg.
Remission from diabetes was achieved in 46% of the intervention group and 4% of the control group.
He added: "Our findings suggest that the very large weight losses targeted by bariatric surgery are not essential to reverse the underlying processes which cause Type 2 diabetes".
"DiRECT is telling us it could be possible for as many as half of patients to achieve this in routine primary care, and without drugs".
A new United Kingdom study claims that a severe diet plan can permanently cure type 2 diabetes, even in patients who have had it for years. The level of remission depended on the level of weight loss, said the researchers.
Prof. Taylor says that significant weight loss reduces the amount of fat in the liver and pancreas so that they can start working normally again.
DiRECT is a two-year trial, with Dr Elizabeth Robertson, Director of Research at Diabetes UK, commenting that, "We're very encouraged by these initial results, and the building robust evidence that remission could be achievable for some people".
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