LIVING on a strict liquid-only diet of just 800 calories a day could help reverse type 2 diabetes.
The extreme measure is being put to the test in a two-part ITV documentary, which continues tonight.
The ground-breaking experiment sees five obese and overweight patients restricted to just special shakes and soups for eight weeks.
Each 200-calorie meal replacement shake contains all the necessary vitamins and minerals though the intake is less than a third of the 2,500 calories men need and less than half the 2,000 calories women need for a balanced daily diet.
The regime was carried out at a clinic in Sussex under the supervision of two experts – GP Dr Zoe Williams, who appears on ITV’s This Morning, and Prof Jason Gill, a leading name in the prevention of type 2 diabetes.
The extreme diet causes the body to go into a state called nutritional ketosis, where the liver starts to break down body fat to use as fuel.
Each participant must lose 2st to help reverse the condition.
Obesity is closely linked to type 2 diabetes – 90 per cent of sufferers are obese or overweight.
Around 4million people in the country have the condition and another 12million are at risk of it. The show, inspired by pioneering research at Newcastle and Glasgow universities, focuses solely on people with type 2 diabetes who are not being treated with insulin.
Tonight viewers see that the gruelling process can work. Dr Williams said: “This shows it is possible to put people out of the diabetes zone with diet and a lot of commitment – and it could save the NHS billions.”
Here, we talk to two of the participants who no longer have diabetes.
‘My fat was internal, it can kill you’
Technoloy and digital marketing expert Dan Sodergren, 42, credits the experiment with saving his life – after it revealed his liver was ten times fatter than it should have been.
He had been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes six months ago, having gone to his doctor’s fearing early-onset dementia.
He recalls: “I’d noticed I’d become a bit forgetful and had been getting tired. I was relieved when the doctor told me it was type 2 diabetes.
“But then I realised by looking online just how dangerous it is. It basically rots you from the insides and kills you.”
Being from an Afro-Caribbean background, 5ft 11in Dan was at a higher risk of getting the condition, but he was also overweight.
He admits: “As I’m tall, people were saying I carry it well but it turned out all my fat was internal. It’s good for vanity, but that’s the stuff that kills you.”
Dan, who has never had to take medication for his diabetes, only made the grim discovery after having an MRI scan as part of the experiment.