Even slim people with type 2 diabetes can change their diet with soup, researchers found today.
And they should lose only 10 percent of their body weight, experts believe.
This is equivalent to someone with a 13st (83kg) frame losing 4st 4lbs (8kg).
Newcastle University scientists say the findings, presented at a medical conference in Sweden, support the idea that everyone has a ‘personal fat level’.
Type 2 diabetes affects approximately 4.5 million people in Britain and 37 million in the US. Although it is predominated by obesity, 15 percent of all victims are ‘normal weight’ (stock).
Professor Roy Taylor, the world’s leading diabetes expert and leading researcher, said: ‘If you have type 2 diabetes, you will have more fat in your body than you should, even if you look very thin.
This excess fat flows into your liver and pancreas, disrupting its normal function and causing type 2 diabetes.
You only need an extra half gram of fat in your pancreas to prevent normal insulin production.
“Why do I have type 2 diabetes when all my friends are older than me and don’t have diabetes?” I will be asked a question. The present work provides an answer to this controversy.’
Type 2 diabetes occurs when the body does not produce enough insulin, or when the insulin it does produce does not work properly – leading to high blood sugar levels.
What is type 2 diabetes?
Type 2 diabetes is a disease that causes a person’s blood sugar to become too high.
More than 4 million people in the UK are thought to have some form of diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes is associated with obesity and if it runs in the family, you may be more likely to develop the disease.
The condition means the body doesn’t respond properly to insulin – the hormone that controls how much sugar gets into the blood – and can’t properly control blood sugar levels.
Excess fat in the liver increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, as it makes it difficult to control glucose levels.
Losing weight is the key to reducing liver fat and controlling symptoms.
Symptoms include fatigue, thirst, and frequent urination.
It can lead to serious problems with the nerves, vision and heart.
Treatment usually involves diet and lifestyle changes, but more severe cases may require medication.
Uncontrolled diabetes can lead to blindness and can cause patients to have a limb amputated or fall into a coma.
It affects approximately 4.5 million people in Britain and 37 million in the US.
Although it is predominated by obesity, approximately 15 percent of sufferers are of ‘normal weight’.
This puts them in a group known as TOFIs – ‘thin on the outside and fat on the inside’.
TOFIs are often not advised to lose weight, as doctors believe their condition has another cause.
But the new findings prove that the guideline — which has been pushed for years — is wrong.
20 participants were recruited for the study. They had an average BMI of 24.8 – defined as a ‘healthy’ weight.
All volunteers were asked to follow an 800-calorie diet for a week, including low-calorie soups and stews.
Dubbed a ‘game changer’, the same diet has been shown to help obese type 2 diabetics reverse their condition. The results have even seen NHS doctors prescribing soups and shakes to help obese Britons lose weight.
Participants were then allowed to have the soup and shake but were allowed to eat sensibly for up to six weeks, so they wouldn’t pile on the pounds again.
The cycle was repeated up to three times until they lost at least 10 percent of their body weight.
Fourteen volunteers went into remission by getting off all their medications.
Reversal was defined as blood sugar levels remaining below the technical cutoff for diabetes for at least six months.
Their average BMI dropped to 22.4.
Meanwhile, an MRI scan revealed that the amount of fat in their liver and pancreas had ‘significantly’ decreased.
The findings were presented at the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) in Stockholm.
A marathon runner with diabetes now follows a soup and shake diet
When David Childs ran his first marathon recently, he didn’t seem like a candidate for type 2 diabetes.
But he was diagnosed in June 2020 after suffering severe headaches and fainting spells because his blood sugar was too high.
When David Childs ran his first marathon recently, he didn’t seem like a candidate for type 2 diabetes. But he was diagnosed in June 2020 after suffering severe headaches and fainting spells because his blood sugar was too high.
Mr Chiles, 48, was enrolled in the ReTUNE trial last March to reverse type 2 diabetes, one of the 10 per cent of healthy-weight people with the condition.
The father-of-four, from Claydon, South Tyneside, said: ‘Even my GP didn’t believe I had type 2 diabetes at first.
‘I have no family history of diabetes, I’m thin, and after several half marathons I recently ran a marathon.
But unfortunately, while I didn’t have a beer belly, I did have excess fat in my liver.
I was determined to get off the pills I was given and reverse it if I could.
Mr. Childs used two months of meal replacement soups and shakes to lose 10 percent of his body weight.
This brought the 48-year-old, who is five feet 11 inches tall, down to 82 kilograms (12 stone and 13 pounds).
Mr. Chiles, who works for a pharmaceutical company, became diabetes-free midway through the trial and has never looked back.
He runs twice a week, tries to eat healthy and has reduced the consumption of bread.
He said: “I was worried about my future slowly increasing my medication and being at risk of complications from diabetes.
‘Now he’s still pricking my finger every morning to check my blood sugar, and every time I see it’s normal, I smile to myself that I don’t have diabetes anymore.’