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  • Writer's pictureLaurent DECORY

Reversing Type 2 Diabetes

Updated: Mar 24, 2020

2 recent studies have shown Type 2 Diabetes is reversible, through pharmaceutical and controlled weight-loss. Exciting perspective for health professionals and patients !


Treatment of type 2 diabetes has seen several significant advances in the past weeks, showing reversibility through pharmaceutical and non-pharmaceutical treatment options, raising hopes for health professionals and patients.

Type 2 diabetes (T2D) is the most common form of diabetes, accounting for 90% of cases and affecting close to half a billion people worldwide. In 2016, an estimated 1.6 million deaths were directly caused by diabetes. In 2017, the cost of diabetes reached $327 billion just in the USA.

T2D has been known to progress despite glucose-lowering treatment, with 50% of individuals requiring insulin therapy within 10 years. Pancreatic cells we believe to be irreversibly damaged during early onset of the disease.

2 recent studies are showing otherwise.

1) DIRECT study already shown in 2017 that almost half (46%) of T2D patients undergoing strictly controlled weight control (825 à 853 kcal/day energy intake during 12-20 weeks, followed by 2-8 weeks structured patient support program) were showing T2D remission as measured by HB1C < 6.5.

New data presented during American Diabetes Association (ADA) Scientific Sessions earlier this month showed that 36% patient were still in remission after 2 years. Additionally, insulin secretion rates were comparable between patients who gained remission of T2D and a control group of patients who had never suffered from diabetes.

2) A study published in The Lancet (June 2019, Vol. 44, Pages 489–501) suggests that reducing or eradicating a specific protein in fat cells of lab rats does not only prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes, but also reverse the disease.

Researchers from the University of British Columbia (UBC) and Sweden’s Karolinska Institute found that people suffering from diabetes have higher levels of CD248 trans-membrane receptor protein regardless of their body shape and size. They also determined that these higher levels significantly decrease to reach normal levels when an obesity-linked diabetes patient reverses the disease through weight loss efforts.

Early detection and treatment of Type 2 Diabetes is therefore critical. Healthcare professionals need to engage with their patients, find the right combination of pharmaceutical and weight-control programs, and aim to reverse the disease.


Diabetes facts, World Health Organization

Type 2 Diabetes: Etiology and reversibility

The Cost of Diabetes

American Diabetes Association (ADA) 79th Scientific Sessions

Durability of a primary care-led weight-management intervention for remission of type 2 diabetes: 2-year results of the DiRECT open-label, cluster-randomised trial

Remission of Type 2 Diabetes for Two Years Is Associated with Full Recovery of Beta-Cell Functional Mass in the Diabetes Remission Clinical Trial (DiRECT)

The DiRECT Study: Analysis of Patients With Type 2 Diabetes Remission — ADA 2019

Insulin-Producing Beta Cells Are Not Irreversibly Lost in Early Type 2 Diabetes

Specific loss of adipocyte CD248 improves metabolic health via reduced white adipose tissue hypoxia, fibrosis and inflammation

Researchers Claim Type 2 Diabetes Is Reversible

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