Type 2 diabetes reversed by losing fat from pancreas

Dec 2, 2015

Type 2 diabetes is caused by fat accumulating in the pancreas – and that losing less than one gram of fat through weight loss reverses diabetes, researchers have shown.

So if you ask how much weight you need to lose to make your diabetes go away, the answer is one gram! But that gram needs to be fat from the pancreas
Professor Roy Taylor

Affecting two and a half million people in the UK – and on the increase – Type 2 diabetes is a long-term condition caused by too much glucose, a type of sugar, in the blood.

The research led by Professor Roy Taylor is being published online today in Diabetes Care and simultaneously he is presenting the findings at the World Diabetes Congress in Vancouver.

Bariatric surgery

In a trial, 18 people with Type 2 diabetes and 9 people who did not have diabetes were measured for weight, fat levels in the pancreas and insulin response before and after bariatric surgery. The patients with Type 2 diabetes had been diagnosed for an average of 6.9 years, and all for less than 15 years.

The people with Type 2 diabetes were found to have increased levels of fat in the pancreas.

The participants in the study had all been selected to have gastric bypass surgery for obesity and were measured before the operation then again eight weeks later. After the operation, those with Type 2 diabetes were immediately taken off their medication.

Both groups lost the same amount of weight, around 13% of their initial body weight. Critically, the pool of fat in the pancreas did not change in the non-diabetics but decreased to a normal level in those with Type 2 diabetes.

To read the entire article, click on the name of the source below.

6 comments on “Type 2 diabetes reversed by losing fat from pancreas

  • 2
    wjherron says:

    Ah…I am confused. Losing fat from the pancreas seems to be correlated with type 2 going away, but I don’t see any evidence to say that losing the fat from pancreas “causes” type 2 to go away. There is considerable evidence that bariatric surgery has some ability to push type 2 into remission and possibly cure it…something to do with an alteration of receptor in the gut which affect receptors in the Liver (sorry not my field so I am shaky on details)

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  • Ok, either I’m a bit slow or the article didn’t explain it: how does one lose 1gm of fat from the pancreas without resorting to the massive weight loss associated with gastric bypass surgery?

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  • I am going to put my pride in my shirt pocket and ask a “dumb” question: how do you lose fat from the pancreas? I know what losing fat is, but never heard of a way of selecting where the fat is taken from – least of all an organ.
    And if surgery is what Taylor is suggesting or hinting at, I’d say forget it! Just lose weight and hope the fat from the pancreas is lost along with the other fat.
    (Am I missing something?)
    I don’t trust doctors. Some are okay, but I went to see a podiatrist when I had fungus on my left toenail. He sent me to a specialist. Next thing I know I am on the operating table. And guess what? They amputated my left testicle! That’s right. (Joke, but try to stay away from surgeons, doctors, and hospitals. Get on a healthy diet and exercise.)

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  • You are right. There is no way to only remove fat from the pancreas. The visceral fat that a person gains leads to various chronic diseases including type 2 diabetes and to be able to lose it would be through eating right and exercise, like you mentioned earlier. Also what they don’t is that patients that probably were early diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, which only probably still have a functioning pancreas are the ones that after the bariatric surgery, were then taken of their medication. With patients with advanced diabetes, that were probably insulin dependent, they would have their medications lowered probably, but not suspended, at least most of the times. So probably they only wanted to highlight the link that visceral fat has on the function of the pancreas but still the preventive method of regulating your caloric intake and watching out for not increasing your waist size in a short period of time due to weight gain are the best things people can do for now.

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  • I’m guessing that overall weight loss will eventually reach the point where fat is being burnt away from the pancreas; it’s probably a matter of reaching a tipping point in weight loss.

    Although putting on weight will eventually lead to another kind of tipping point; the one where you tip over!

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