Have you heard about the new study?

Hello all,

Today I’ve read that a scientist in Newcastle’s University said that if you have a diet of 600 cal per day you can eliminate diabetes type 2 in 7 days, I can’t believe it, it isn’t healthy to have only 600 cal/day my Endo. all the time is saying that.

Please, anyone have some idea about this study? it’s possible to eliminate in only 7 days???

It is not possible to eliminate diabetes period. No diet, no supplement is going to cure diabetes.

Here’s a link to the study. The subjects were obese long term T2s. The study was done to see whether extreme weight loss could replicate the results of bariatric surgery which can reverse T2. They theorize that the diet prompts the body to remove the fat clogging the pancreas and preventing it from making insulin. “After just one week into the study, the pre-breakfast blood sugar levels of the study group had returned to normal. And MRI scans showed that the fat levels in the pancreas had returned to normal. The pancreas regained its ability to make insulin.”

The diet consisted of diet drinks and non starchy veggies. After the diet the study participants returned to normal eating but had advice on healthy foods and portion size. Ten of the group were retested and seven had stayed free of diabetes.

A study participant said the diet was extremly hard to stay on and that he lost and “astounding amount of weight”. 18 months later he is still off his diabetes meds and his blood sugars are normal.

It should be noted that this was a university study and that the sample size was small.

Thank you very much for the link, I read the news in a Venezuelan newspaper and they didn’t write all the information that the link show.

my thoughts too.

I would be inclined to agree with you except it is a study done by a university and it produced a physical result namely a reduction of fat in the pancreas. Remember this is a study done on obese T2s and would have no relevance for T1s and perhaps not thin T2s as well.

I’m certainly not qualified to judge how true this is, after all the scientists who discovered “Cold Fusion” also worked for a university. However, I do give it more credibility than someones blog claiming a miracle cure The next step will be to replicate the study and see if the results hold. Also long term monitoring would be necessary before the word cure could be used.

I am surprised they were able to find 10 subjects to stick with this diet for 2 months, it would be tough.

The story I heard is that it works for Type 2 obese diabetics, causing them to lose a good deal of weight in a short period of time. Also, in a very controlled environment. The headline made it sound like a cure for all T2s. If there is really anything significant to the story, we will likely continue to hear about it.

The most interesting part of this study is the claim that the starvation diet regenerates beta cells as a result of the decrease in fat in the pancreas from 6% to 4%.

I wasn’t aware that beta cells could be regenerated? Or ‘reversal’ of beta cell failure as it says in the abstract. If that’s the case, then this is indeed something new.

The other interesting thing which of course is not headlined, is that the starvation diet is not just low-calorie, it is also LOW CARB.

But of course such fine details are lost beneath the misleading, headline-grabbing claim that the starvation diet can ‘reverse’ Type 2.

Which of course feeds into all the crap about Type 2s causing their own condition by reckless overeating, the opposite of a starvation diet.

Never mind that all 11 (!!!) subjects in the study were clinically obese Type 2s.

Before I had time to get spitting mad about how such crap can be published as ‘research’, I realized that Jenny Ruhl of bloodsugar101 fame had already posted an excellent rebuttal. The pithy title says it all really : ‘Idiotically Dangerous Diet “Reverses Diabetes” but So Does Moderate Carb Restriction Without Calorie Restriction’

This is the actual study and I would encourage people to read it before jumping to conclusions about what it does or does not prove. It got published in a peer reviewed journal (lots of university-sponsored studies do not) and actually does seem to indicate that insulin secretion increased:

"In the diabetes individuals, peak insulin secretion rate at 6 min was minimal at baseline (0.19 ± 0.02 vs control 0.62±0.15 nmol min−1 m−2; p<0.001; Fig. 2). The first-phase insulin response steadily increased and was significantly different from baseline by 8 weeks (0.29± 0.05, 0.34 ± 0.06 and 0.46 ± 0.07 nmol min−1 m−2 at 1, 4 and 8 weeks; p = 0.20, p = 0.09, p = 0.006, respectively). At 8 weeks in the individuals with type 2 diabetes, the insulin secretion rate was not significantly different from control (0.46±0.07 vs 0.62±0.15 nmol min−1 m−2; p=0.42.)"

I’d love it if someone with a background in this stuff could comment on the research methodology and how valid/significant the findings appear to be.

Ultravires, thanks for the link. I realized with horror that one of the authors is a personal friend! I can foresee a long exchange of emails coming up!

Here is the PubMed link to the journal article (with the medical research language intact):


I think it’s an important study, but as usual, the “dumbed down” version in the popular press sounds wonky.

Hi thanks, just now saw your link. ;0)

How so, Alan? I don’t understand the negativity.

As a morbidly obese T2, I was very interested to see how much the fat deposits in the pancreas and liver went down after two months, and VERY interested to see how much fasting glucose went down – with NO diabetes meds – after only a week.

People who get their guts cut open for a gastric bypass see these kinds of results – what if it was possible to get the same results without surgery? Drastic? Sure, but less drastic than surgery, surely?

I don’t believe you have to go to that extreme of 600 calories a day to lose weight and get type 2 diabetes under control. I was dx in 2004 with type 2 at the time I weighed 323 lbs, I changed my diet to the dash diet eating plan, while I was losing weight I was eating 1600 to 1800 calories a day and exercising 30 minutes a day. I lost 150 lbs in 1 1/2 years and have kept it off. I’m still following the dash diet and eating around 2400 to 2600 calories a day and have my diabetes under control.

The study was conducted at Newcastle University with only 11 people. I have written about the study and my thoughts on it.

My feeling for someone that is near normal weight or slightly overweight that this diet would be dangerous. The story has a link to the actual Pdf study. For your info.

Wow. I find the invective towards this researcher who is trying to find a cure for T2 diabetes very odd. The fact that Jenny Ruhl calls this “pseudo-science” on her website further degrades my opinion of her. Why would anyone listen to Jenny Ruhl when she so clearly has such a large axe to grind?

I don’t know about cold, perhaps skeptical. I think we can only praise someone that is looking for a solution to the problem. To be honest though, the sample is quite small. He also notes that only about 5% of diabetics could withstand this drastic diet. I would think that you would almost have to be under clinical supervision to reduce your normal calorie by over two thirds.

I serve on an editorial board for a peer-reviewed journal. Although it is not a diabetes-related journal, the methodologies used in this study are similar to those used in papers that I review for potential publication.

That being said, I have a problem with this study and am honestly surprised it made it into publication in its present form. I would have sent it back to the authors for revision based upon methodology and the conclusions that were reached with regard to the findings that were provided. The title is also way over the top. Such a claim in the title of an article should not be made based upon a single study with 11 hand-picked human subjects comprising the intervention group and 9 hand-picked human subjects representing the control group. The sample size of the study is much too small to reach such an emphatic, and ground-breaking conclusion.

As for the methodology, not enough information is provided for the readers to assess the true degree of significance of the study. For example, I can agree with the significance criteria being set at 5%; that is standard for this type of study. However, how does the small sample size affect statistical power? What is the overall sampling error? We do not know. Since the authors used SPSS statistical software to crunch the numbers via one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA), it would have been nice to see the power value.

Concerning the conclusions, the authors are pushing the truth. For example, how does the first sentence in the discussion section,

This study demonstrates that the twin defects of beta cell failure and insulin resistance that underlie type 2 diabetes can be reversed by acute negative energy balance alone,

get stretched into such a misleading title for the article:
Reversal of type 2 diabetes: normalisation of beta cell function in association with decreased pancreas and liver triacylglycerol?

I am not convinced that the findings as they are presented support the conclusions put forth by the authors. Instead of having a sense that the article is objective, it appears to have a bias, something to prove. I could go on, but I’ll leave it there for now.

At best, this study appears to be a good pilot study, provided more transparency with the methodology is revealed. The study points to the need for more research and attention in this area; however, the reversal-of-type-2-diabetes title in this article is more akin to what one would expect from a grocery-store tabloid rather than from a credible diabetes-related medical journal.

Being particularly interested in the claim about beta cell regeneration, I took advantage of a 4am hypo (2.6mm/ol) to look at this again with my mini can of Coke. Guess the sugar helped because I now find the information about the participants’ C-peptide levels. At the start, it their average C-peptide was 1.21 nmol/L and their insulin levels averaged 151 pmol/l. HUH? Somebody please correct me if I am wrong, but isn’t that normal C-peptide and elevated insulin?

(At the end of the study the readings were 0.85 and 65 respectively.)

A person with 1.21 C-peptide is making enough insulin, they are just not using it properly. I can see how the starvation low-carb diet could help enhance insulin sensitivity but I don’t see any evidence that that brings dead beta cells back to life. The beta cells of these patients were never dead to begin with!

Lila, funny you should state that because I have the same hunch. There definitely needs to be more research in this area.