A clinical trial of almost 300 people aged between 20 and 65 showed that type 2 diabetes could be reversed after an extreme weight management plan.
Scientists defined remission as having blood glucose levels less than 6.5 percent after 12 months, and after at least two months without medication.
"Substantial weight loss results in reduced fat inside the liver and pancreas, allowing these organs to return to normal function".
She added: "It's very important that anyone living with Type 2 diabetes considering losing weight in this way seeks support and advice from a healthcare professional".
The two-year study, funded by Diabetes UK, set about finding an effective and accessible way to put type 2 diabetes into remission for the long term. Michael Lean, chair of Human Nutrition at the University of Glasgow in the United Kingdom, "putting the disease into remission is feasible". The pancreas - an organ that produces insulin - tries to compensate by producing more insulin, but eventually it can not make enough, and blood sugar levels go up.
Of the of people worldwide who have diabetes, the vast majority have type 2, which results largely from carrying too much weight and not being physically active. According to data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports, type 2 diabetes accounts for around 90 to 95 percent of cases in adults. The trial was delivered through GP practices across Scotland and Tyneside to find out if the benefits of a structured weight management programme can be felt in a real-life primary care setting. The Diabetes Prevention Program in the US revealed in 2002 that diet and exercise alone can prevent people from progressing from pre-diabetes to diabetes, in some cases better than medications created to control blood sugar.
After a year, 24% of the diet test participants lost 33 lbs or more, while no one in the control group lost any weight.
A new study discovered that weight loss really can cure diabetes.
Remission was closely tied to the degree of weight lost, occurring in around nine out of 10 people who lost 15 kg or more, and almost three-quarters of those who lost 10kg or more.
The weight management group also improved in other measures of health, including improvements in average levels of triglyceride, or blood lipid, and. Participants could not be taking insulin replacement and were taken off anti-diabetes drugs and anti-hypertensive medication. Only four per cent of the control group achieved remission.
Dr Emily Burns, Diabetes UK acting head of research communications, said: 'Thanks to ground-breaking research like DiRECT we're beginning to change the conversation around Type 2 diabetes, and that's a conversation that Global Positioning System can have with their patients as well. "Bariatric surgery can achieve remission of diabetes in about three-quarters of people, but it is more expensive and risky, and is only available to a small number of patients". "In contrast to other approaches, we focus on the need for long-term maintenance of weight loss through diet and exercise and encourage flexibility to optimize individual results".
In the study, patients who had diabetes for up to six years were randomised to usual GP care or to a weight management program involving a low-calorie diet for three to five months, followed by stepped food reintroduction.
"These findings are very exciting", Taylor told Science Alert. They could revolutionise the way type 2 diabetes is treated.