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.
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.
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