Our work has shown that type 2 diabetes is not inevitably progressive and life-long. We have demonstrated that in people who have had type 2 diabetes for 4 years or less, major weight loss returns insulin secretion to normal.
It has been possible to work out the basic mechanisms which lead to type 2 diabetes. Too much fat within liver and pancreas prevents normal insulin action and prevents normal insulin secretion. Both defects are reversible by substantial weight loss.
A crucial point is that individuals have different levels of tolerance of fat within liver and pancreas. Only when a person has more fat than they can cope with does type 2 diabetes develop. In other words, once a person crosses their personal fat threshold, type 2 diabetes develops. Once they successfully lose weight and go below their personal fat threshold, diabetes will disappear.
Some people can tolerate a BMI of 40 or more without getting diabetes. Others cannot tolerate a BMI of 22 without diabetes appearing, as their bodies are set to function normally at a BMI of, say 19. This is especially so in people of South Asian ethnicity.
Click here for answers to frequently asked questions (PDF: 286KB).
Click here for samples of the vegetable recipes we used, devised by Miss Karen Heron, Dietician, Newcastle Diabetes Centre (PDF: 205KB). Much more information is available on low calorie diets from the Diabetes UK website.
Click here for information about portion size to help keep weight steady after achieving target weight.
Click here to read a personal description of reversing diabetes, including a video interview of another personal story.
Click here for an update on this personal story.
Click here for information on the practical management of type 2 diabetes in respect of reversal. It is important that people with diabetes should discuss their management with their own doctor. It will take years for this new knowledge to become incorporated into textbooks and guidelines, so some notes for your doctor have been written (PDF: 220KB). Do bear in mind that your doctor will be wary of information from the internet – but this comes from Newcastle University.
In 2008, we published the Twin Cycle Hypothesis to explain the cause of type 2 diabetes. This hypothesis predicted that diet could entirely reverse type 2 diabetes. Click on this link to read the scientific review (website of the US National Library of Medicine).
A clinical study designed to test the hypothesis was funded by Diabetes UK. The results were very clear. Weight loss averaging 15kg (2 stone 5lb) achieved over 8 weeks caused two distinct sets of changes. Within 7 days, liver fat had fallen by 30%, liver insulin sensitivity had returned to normal and fasting blood glucose had become normal. By 8 weeks, pancreas fat content had returned to normal and insulin secretion by the pancreas had returned to normal. Click on this link to read the full scientific paper. And click here to read the University Press Release of 24 June 2011.
This new understanding of what causes type 2 diabetes and how it can be completely reversed has been used by individuals worldwide, and their experiences have now been published. Click on this link to read this report.
Professor Taylor was awarded the 2012 Banting Lectureship of Diabetes UK, and the written version of his lecture is available here.
For scientists and doctors with access to the journal Diabetes Care, a full review of the science underlying this matter can be found by clicking here.