Clinical study: Diet and exercise reverses diabetes in 61% of patients

In a newly published clinical trial that evaluated the efficacy of diet and exercise as a way to treat type 2 diabetes, researchers found that reveal nearly two-thirds of patients achieved complete disease remission after just 12 months of lifestyle interventions.

It is certainly not a newsflash to suggest a healthy diet, plenty of exercise, and losing excess weight, helps a person manage type 2 diabetes. However, a constant stream of research over recent years has found many individuals diagnosed with the disease can effectively reverse the condition without the need for medication, using just lifestyle interventions—and this new study provides the strongest evidence to date.

The trial recruited around 150 subjects, all within three years of their initial type 2 diabetes diagnosis, and with an average age of 42. The cohort was randomly split between a control group receiving standard care, and an intervention group following an intensive diet and exercise program. The intervention program involved an initial 12-week low-calorie diet known as the Cambridge Weight Plan.

Following that initial diet the subjects spent another 12 weeks transitioning to a general healthy diet, albeit still with a degree of caloric control. The intervention group was also urged to complete at least 150 minutes of physical exercise every week, alongside a recommendation of walking at least 10,000 steps each day. At the 12-month mark the results revealed subjects in the lifestyle intervention group lost an average of 26 lb (12 kg), compared to an average of 9 lb (4 kg) in the standard-care group.

An incredible 61 percent of the intervention group were no longer considered diabetic by the end of the 12-month study, compared with just 12 percent reaching similar stages of remission in the standard-care control group.

Lead researcher Shahrad There, from Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar, had this to say about the results: “We’re hoping that studies such as these can bring about a big change in the clinical approach to type 2 diabetes across the world – so that we will combine early screening with lifestyle interventions essentially to get rid of this condition straightaway, instead of putting people on multiple medications for life.”

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Clinical study: Diet and exercise reverses diabetes in 61% of patients

In a newly published clinical trial that evaluated the efficacy of diet and exercise as a way to treat type 2 diabetes, researchers found that reveal nearly two-thirds of patients achieved complete disease remission after just 12 months of lifestyle interventions.

It is certainly not a newsflash to suggest a healthy diet, plenty of exercise, and losing excess weight, helps a person manage type 2 diabetes. However, a constant stream of research over recent years has found many individuals diagnosed with the disease can effectively reverse the condition without the need for medication, using just lifestyle interventions—and this new study provides the strongest evidence to date.

The trial recruited around 150 subjects, all within three years of their initial type 2 diabetes diagnosis, and with an average age of 42. The cohort was randomly split between a control group receiving standard care, and an intervention group following an intensive diet and exercise program. The intervention program involved an initial 12-week low-calorie diet known as the Cambridge Weight Plan.

Following that initial diet the subjects spent another 12 weeks transitioning to a general healthy diet, albeit still with a degree of caloric control. The intervention group was also urged to complete at least 150 minutes of physical exercise every week, alongside a recommendation of walking at least 10,000 steps each day. At the 12-month mark the results revealed subjects in the lifestyle intervention group lost an average of 26 lb (12 kg), compared to an average of 9 lb (4 kg) in the standard-care group.

An incredible 61 percent of the intervention group were no longer considered diabetic by the end of the 12-month study, compared with just 12 percent reaching similar stages of remission in the standard-care control group.

Lead researcher Shahrad There, from Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar, had this to say about the results: “We’re hoping that studies such as these can bring about a big change in the clinical approach to type 2 diabetes across the world – so that we will combine early screening with lifestyle interventions essentially to get rid of this condition straightaway, instead of putting people on multiple medications for life.”

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