How very low-calorie diets reverse diabetes

New research clarifies the mechanisms by which caloric restriction rapidly reverses type 2 diabetes.

If researchers confirm the findings in people, they could provide potential new drug targets for treating this common chronic disease, the researchers say.

One in three Americans will develop type 2 diabetes by 2050, according to recent projections by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Reports indicate that the disease goes into remission in many patients who undergo bariatric weight-loss surgery, which significantly restricts caloric intake prior to clinically significant weight loss.

The Yale University researchers investigated the effects of a very low calorie diet (VLCD), consisting of one-quarter the normal intake, on a rodent model of type 2 diabetes. Using a novel stable (naturally occurring) isotope approach, which they developed, the researchers tracked and calculated a number of metabolic processes that contribute to the increased glucose production by the liver.

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