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.