Diabetes cure that could save your life

The Good Life Letter

Friday 1st July 2011

  • A hasty judgement is a first step to recantation - Publilius Syrus
  • Is this the ultimate diabetes cure?
  • How eight weeks of starvation can CURE Diabetes 

Every so often I tend to be a bit hasty.

No really I do.

Just last week I snorted derisively over the morning paper, tossed the paper aside in contempt and thundered "And you're not joking there!"

As I left the room so entered my beloved...she to whom my very being is cherished and revered (well sort of!)

"I bet you've just read the headline about the new Diabetes Diet haven't you?" she said, "and I am willing to wager that you think they are wrong!"

Oh, how well she knows me.

Just in case you didn't see it, there has been a report published which says that a diabetes cure is possible - if you stick to a diet of less than 600 calories a day.

As far as I was concerned a daily intake of 600 calories per day is a cure for life!

I understood, from my cursory read, that the researchers had taken a bunch of folk suffering from type-2 diabetes and subjected them to a rigorous starvation diet.

With the less than surprising result being that the level of sugar in their blood dropped.

As far as I was concerned this was as much a news story as the fact that the sun would rise in the morning.

Another silly season health story...or so I thought.

For the last few years the mainstream media has become obsessed with the increasing national waistline.

A generation of slovenly kids, eating take away foods and only exercising their thumbs to text or play video games have become the target of every red top newspaper and Government department of late.

The media's unhealthy witch hunt for a nations fatties

The rise in the form of Diabetes which tends to affect the clinically obese is seen as almost a biblical plague wrested upon the unworthy in today's society.

And to be honest, I am getting a little fed up with it.

This form of Diabetes is known medically as Non Insulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus (NIDDM) and indeed is more prevalent in those who are overweight. But it is not exclusive to them.

NIDDM can be due to genetics, ethnicity, environmental factors and rare abnormalities as well as being seen as a factor of an affluent lifestyle.

Perhaps even this last consideration is a little too general.

In poor countries Type 2 diabetes is a disease of the rich, whereas in rich societies it is seen as a condition of the poor.

For us in the West we fall into the later category and the World Health Organisation estimates that about 5% of the UK's adult population are sufferers.

It is thought that we gain about 1 gram in weight for every day of our adult life, on average, between 25 & 55 years of age.

This gain is believed to have more to do with a lack of exercise than an increase in calories.

All it takes is an imbalance of about 90 calories (or one chocolate biscuits worth) a day to achieve this. Not much is it?

Stop and think about how many of us could POTENTIALLY be suffering from this form of diabetes based on that fact alone.

How eight weeks of starvation can CURE Diabetes

Returning then to the research, I looked again with fresh eyes and discovered that there was a whole lot more to the story than I originally thought.

The study conducted by a research team at Newcastle University was published in the Journal Diabetologia and had been funded by Diabetes UK, rather than by some obscure team in an American backwater.

In it they subjected their participants to a low calorie diet, but only for eight weeks. After this initial shock to the body's nutritional intake, a normal diet is re-introduced.

Sure enough the daily blood sugar levels were seen to lower whilst on restricted rations, however, the big news was that they stayed low even when chips and Mars bars were back on the menu (albeit as part of a balanced diet you understand!)

It is believed that this effect was due to an unclogging of the workings of the pancreas, an organ which lies just below the stomach and produces the insulin that controls sugar levels in blood.

An effect of western diets is that we tend to accumulate fat within several major organs, and in the pancreas this fat stops the cells which produce insulin from working.

Remove the fat and the body wakes up and starts to do what it should be doing, therefore reversing the effect of the diabetic condition, which is really major news.

For many years Diabetes has been thought of as a chronic disease which requires an increasing level of medication, with daily insulin injections required eventually; basically a life sentence.

Now though it can start to be considered as a controllable & treatable condition and I for one hope that this research quickly translates into common medical practice.

Hope at last...

Before we rush out to condemn the weak willed fat folk as being unhealthy and at risk of serious disease just think we could all suffer the same fate.

This research has relevance to more than just the obese; it might just be of national importance.

Maybe we could all do with a fortnight on a low calorie diet, allowing our pancreas a bit of time off, and unblocking the channels to let the insulin flow.

It's worth a thought isn't it?

Yours as always,



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