A clinical trial has shown that a healthy diet and the practice of regular exercise are capable of the complete remission (disappearance of symptoms) of the type 2 diabetes, in just 12 months, in two thirds of the patients.
It is fully demonstrated that a healthy diet, a lot of exercise and the loss of excess weight help a person to control type 2 diabetes. However, various investigations in recent years have found that many individuals diagnosed with the disease can effectively reverse it without the need for medication, using only lifestyle adjustments.
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This new study, published in the scientific journal ‘The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology’, presents some of the strongest evidence to date confirming the efficacy of diet and exercise in reversing type 2 diabetes. The clinical trial recruited about 150 patients with type 2 diabetes diagnosed at most three years ago and with a average age of 42 years. The individuals were divided into two groups, one of control and the other that followed a intensive diet and exercise program. This included a 12-week low-calorie starter diet known as the Cambridge Weight Plan. After that initial regimen, the subjects spent another 12 weeks transitioning to a healthy general diet, albeit still with a degree of caloric control. This group was also urged to perform at least 150 minutes of physical exercise each week, together with the recommendation of walk at least 10,000 steps every day.
12 kilos of weight loss
Within a year of starting the trial, the results revealed that the subjects in the group who had changed their lifestyle. they had lost an average of 12 kg, compared to an average of 4 kg in the standard care group. However, the most surprising thing is that 61% of the intervention group no longer considered diabetic at the end of the 12-month study, compared to only 12% who reached similar stages of remission in the standard care control group.
“You can really reverse the disease and thus avoid all the health problems and reductions in quality of life that come with it”
As in previous studies, the researchers suggest that weight loss directly correlates with improvements in diabetes conditions. “I think it is revolutionary for the treatment of type 2 diabetes,” he says. Shahrad Taheri, from Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar, in statements collected by the New Atlas. “It shows that if you lose weight soon enough in the disease process, can you really reverse diabetes, and thus avoid all other health problems and reductions in the quality of life that come with it. “
This recent essay corroborates the results of a similar study carried out in the UK in 2018 which found that 46% of the subjects achieved a complete remission of diabetes in 12 months as a result of a strict weight control intervention. Taheri notes that her research has successfully even stronger results because their trial group was on average 10 years younger than the UK group and was diagnosed earlier. This suggests that although diet and exercise interventions are beneficial for all ages of type 2 diabetics, the sooner they are implemented, the more effective they are.