Imperial College and Harvard research suggests obesity is a major risk factor for Type 2 diabetes and the number of adults with diabetes in the world has more than doubled since 1980. Researchers from Imperial College London and Harvard University claim the total number of people with diabetes has risen from 153m to 347m. The study, carried out in conjunction with the World Health Organization, found that the diabetes rate had either risen or stayed the same in virtually every country. In the UK, 2.5 million people have Type 2 diabetes.
The authors called for better detection and treatment to combat the rise otherwise diabetes will continue to impose an increasing health risk to individuals and a major burden on health systems around the world. Spending on diabetes medicines - already worth £22bn annually - could hit £30bn by 2015, according to drug research firm IMS Health.
As a Phase I/II Clinical Unit in the UK, BioKinetic Europe has conducted clinical trials in both diabetes and pre-diabetes. We are seeing an increase in the demand for studies in diabetes and are developing a robust database of volunteers to participate in these studies.
Research published in the journal Diabetologia, has shown that an extreme low calorie diet can rapidly reverse Type 2 diabetes. Eleven people with diabetes followed an eight week diet of 600 calories a day. This study, led by a team at Newcastle University, showed that after just one week of drastic dieting, the pre-breakfast blood sugar levels of all 11 participants had returned to normal. MRI scans revealed that fat levels in the pancreas fell, normalising insulin production. This small study shows the disease did not need to be a life sentence. The study was small - just 11 participants. After 18 months, four of them were still free of diabetes. Much bigger and longer studies would be needed to see how useful this technique could be.
Diabetes UK which funded the research said such a drastic diet was not “an easy fix” and should only be undertaken with medical supervision. Drastic weight loss and stomach surgery have both been shown capable of reversing the condition. However, a healthy lifestyle is especially important for managing the condition.
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