Some more interesting findings recently, regarding a potential cure rather than the conventional management of diabetes (Type 2). It goes back a few years—at least, that’s when I first heard it—when someone noted that most patients who had undergone bariatric surgery for obesity experienced a sudden cure of T2DM.
But even earlier, back in 2008, I blogged about Dr. Gabriel Cousens putting a group of mostly obese and sick folks through 30 days of raw vegan eating, curing them.
Reading that post from seven and a half years ago makes me LOL at how easily I missed the boat and dismissed it because it wasn’t “Paleo.” Nothing against effective management and some folks in both Paleo and Low-Carb do a damn good competent job at it.
But in all seriousness, what would you be willing to eat or not eat over the space of only a month or two to ultimately return to normal glucose and insulin function, even in the face of a regular intake of carbohydrate? Think of all the finger poking, drugs, insulin shots, and dietary restrictions that would go away and then stay away, provided you just ate sensibly of whole, real food going forward.
Angelo Coppola snooped out the latest: Reversing Type 2 Diabetes: The University of Newcastle Research with Diet Plan.
Promising research from a University of Newcastle team suggests that Type 2 diabetes can be cured in just eight weeks by diet alone. CURED. Their protocol is known to be effective in subjects who have had diabetes for up to 10 years, and they are optimistic about it working for some who have had the disease even longer.
The short term, very-low calorie diet was initially designed to mimic the rapid reduction of calorie intake that results from bariatric surgery—which is known to be effective in reversing diabetes very quickly. In 2011, the Newcastle researchers conducted their first study using the diet, and the results were impressive.
Participants who had diabetes for 4 years or less were placed on an 800-calorie diet. Daily food intake was limited to three liquid meal replacements (totaling 600 calories) and three servings of non-starchy vegetables (totaling 200 calories).
Connecting the dots, what’s the common denominator between bariatric surgery, raw vegan, and this diet? Well, here’s what I wrote in Angelo’s comments (edited slightly):
Well, ought it really matter hugely what one eats in terms of real food at 800 kcal? That’s less than half of requirements for even a small person.
I suspect they do it VLC to dimish the hefty BG spikes the first couple of weeks or so, and perhaps ethical considerations play a role. But the “first do no harm” slogan needs context. Even many life-saving drugs have harmful side-effects for many, but there’s a context and net benefit calculation involved.
I don’t see why it ought be any different here. That liver and pancreas fat is going to clear out on alomst any 800 kcal diet, so why not mimic more like you might be eating whole foods going forward, like with lots of potatoes as I’ll be doing? Yesterday I ate 1 full pound of potatoes after an 18-hr fast and lifting session (mashed w 1 TBS butter and 1/2 C whole milk). A few years ago when I had LC induced insulin resistance, and probably too much liver and pancreas fat, that would have put my BG to 220, but yesterday, it topped out at 163 an hour PP and at 1 1/2 hours, 129.
I still have more liver and pancreas fat to clear out, only day 11 of my 1,200 – 1,500 mostly potato diet. Ate another half pound of potatoes (roasted fingerling, tossed with fresh spinach & a bit of OO) for dinner, along with a chicken breast. An hour after the meal, BG was 127.
So, yep, doable, but I think the LC part is a gimmick. BG spikes for the fist few weeks aren’t going to cause long-term irrevocable damage, can be covered by insulin anyway, but perhaps more importantly, going much higher whole food cellular carb would allow both researchers and test subjects to actually observe the curing process with much higher and more valuable resolution over time.
So, to me, this is just various ways of doing significant caloric restriction, be it via a smaller stomach, a raw vegan diet that’s probably quite low in fat, or a straight-up calorie counting approach. And guess what other diet might just be excellent too? How about The Potato Diet? The Potato Diet Practicalities: Dropping Big Weight Fast With High Energy and Without Hunger. While 800 calories are probably tough, no matter what you’re eating, I’d be willing to bet that it’s going to be easiest on potatoes. And besides, 1,200 is not so hard, so perhaps you do it for 12 weeks instead of 8.
It’s important, however, to understand the fundamental thing going on, which is that this is rapidly clearing out the liver and pancreatic fat which seems to be what’s causing the diabetic symptoms. Hopefully, some of you out there will have the wherewithal to give this a shot.