It’s worth noting that the vast majority of participants were white and British, so we should be cautious in assuming whether people from other backgrounds would see the same benefits from this kind of intervention.
Nonetheless, the researchers say their results show dietary intervention alone could help us revolutionise how we think about type 2 diabetes and its treatment, as it clearly isn’t the lifelong, chronic condition scientists once assumed it was.
Of course, the reversal isn’t permanent if people revert to unhealthy ways of eating – which in most cases would have contributed to their type 2 diagnosis in the first place.
As the DiRECT trial continues, it will be interesting to see just how many of the group can hold onto their weight loss success. For now at least, it’s clear that many lives have been changed.
“I had type 2 diabetes for two to three years before the study. I was on various medications which were constantly increasing and I was becoming more and more ill every day,” says 65-year-old Isobel Murray from North Ayrshire, who didn’t hesitate when she was invited to take part in the trial.
“When the doctors told me that my pancreas was working again, it felt fantastic, absolutely amazing. I don’t think of myself as a diabetic anymore… I am one of the lucky ones to have gone into remission.”
The findings are reported in The Lancet.