Jump to content

diabetes reversal

Recommended Posts

I'm going to start a new thread, beginning from the answer given by Michael to an enquiry of mine about IML (intra miocellular lipids) and Dr. Barnard's diet boasting to reverse diabetes:


Michael Rae's observations

I don't believe that Dr. B has any evidence at all  that very low-fat, high carbs diet can reverse T2D, any better than any other equally energy-reduced diet (unless it's an energy-reduced diet composed of Twinkies and Krispy Kremes). His only published study on the subject doesn't show reversal: it shows that it is modestly better than a conventional 2003 American Diabetes Association guidelines at managing diabetes metabolic dysfunction (not reversing it). Cf. in this context this study of low- and high-meat, low-and high-fiber diets working equally well in diabetes.(6)
Many studies find Zonish and low-carb diets yield better results than low-fat diets for at managing diabetes (mostly because of better adherence and weight loss: see eg.(4), and this prior meta-analysis (5) finding that "The low-carbohydrate, low-GI, Mediterranean, and high-protein diets all led to a greater improvement in glycemic control [glycated hemoglobin reductions of -0.12% (P = 0.04), -0.14% (P = 0.008), -0.47% (P < 0.00001), and -0.28% (P < 0.00001), respectively] compared with their respective control diets, with the largest effect size seen in the Mediterranean diet."
The few published studies of diet-induced diabetes reversal (not management) use very-low-calorie diets , and while often somewhat low-fat, they are also usually high-protein, contra Barnard, mostly because when there's so few Calories protein takes up a high percentage of Calories by default.(1-3)
Anyway, this is getting further and further afield from olive oil ;) ; if we're going to continue the perpetual macronutrient debate, we should start a new thread or join an existing one.
1: Gow ML, Baur LA, Johnson NA, Cowell CT, Garnett SP. Reversal of of type 2 diabetes in youth who adhere to a very-low-energy diet: a pilot study. Diabetologia. 2017 Mar;60(3):406-415. doi: 10.1007/s00125-016-4163-5. Epub 2016 Nov 26. PubMed PMID: 27889809.

2: Lim EL, Hollingsworth KG, Aribisala BS, Chen MJ, Mathers JC, Taylor R. Reversal of type 2 diabetes: normalisation of beta cell function in association with decreased pancreas and liver triacylglycerol. Diabetologia. 2011 Oct;54(10):2506-14. doi: 10.1007/s00125-011-2204-7. Epub 2011 Jun 9. PubMed PMID: 21656330; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3168743.

3: Steven S, Lim EL, Taylor R. Population response to information on reversibility of Type 2 diabetes. Diabet Med. 2013 Apr;30(4):e135-8. doi: 10.1111/dme.12116. PubMed PMID: 23320491.

4: Tay J, Luscombe-Marsh ND, Thompson CH, Noakes M, Buckley JD, Wittert GA, Yancy WS Jr, Brinkworth GD. Comparison of low- and high-carbohydrate diets for type 2 diabetes management: a randomized trial. Am J Clin Nutr. 2015 Oct;102(4):780-90. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.115.112581. Epub 2015 Jul 29. PubMed PMID: 26224300.
5: Ajala O, English P, Pinkney J. Systematic review and meta-analysis of different dietary approaches to the management of type 2 diabetes. Am J Clin Nutr. 2013 Mar;97(3):505-16. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.112.042457. Epub 2013 Jan 30. Review. PubMed PMID: 23364002.
6: Nowotny B, Zahiragic L, Bierwagen A, Kabisch S, Groener JB, Nowotny PJ, Fleitmann AK, Herder C, Pacini G, Erlund I, Landberg R, Haering HU, Pfeiffer AF, Nawroth PP, Roden M. Low-energy diets differing in fibre, red meat and coffee intake equally improve insulin sensitivity in type 2 diabetes: a randomised feasibility trial. Diabetologia. 2015 Feb;58(2):255-64. doi: 10.1007/s00125-014-3457-8. Epub 2014 Nov 26. Erratum in: Diabetologia. 2016 Jun;59(6):1329. PubMed PMID: 25425219.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is a topic that I can provide some anecdotal (not research-based) details for my own story on diabetes.


When I was age 24, I was a vegetarian and had been one for 10 years, but I was a pretty terrible vegetarian who ate a lot of fries and other high fat foods with lots of starch. One summer, I took a job at Pizza Hut where I was given all the free sodas to my heart's desire. I began drinking large quantities of Mt. Dew every day. I found after a few weeks of this that I was thirsty all of the time, so I went to the doctor (that's back when I did go to the doctor a bit more than nowadays). I was diagnosed as having diabetes and they put me onto a pill.


Rather than take the pill, I immediately stopped drinking all sodas and anything other than water. I didn't change anything else in my diet one iota. I just drank water and lots of water steadily for six months straight. I went to the doctor again a few times afterward, suddenly I wasn't diabetic anymore according to them. This continued for years where I was never again diagnosed with diabetes in my 20s or 30s. I started eating meat and quit being a vegetarian during this time period as well.


Also, I ended up drinking soda again, but not in as large of quantities, at some point afterward until around five years ago. Then three years ago, I put on an extra 60 pounds. In December 2015, I went to the ER when I developed bronchitis and was again diagnosed with diabetes at the age of 42. 


Fast forward to the past couple of months where I've slowly started taking my diet seriously, and now I'm taking my blood glucose the past three days and my blood glucose has dropped dramatically from where it was a couple of years ago. Of note, I no longer drink sodas again, and I only drink water other than on weekends when I drink alcohol. 


Now, I don't know what good that information might be for anyone, but I can only say what did work for me when I was younger and suddenly became diabetic, then suddenly wasn't anymore according to doctors.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Miranda, my wild guess is that the first one was an acute case of hypergliceamia due to all the carbs you drank and ate. The reversal was due to the fact that the condition was not yet estabilished as chronic. 

The recent drop is easy to explain since you started a very strict ketogenic and hypocaloric diet. High serum glucose cannot survive on such a regime. Insulin should drop as well.


I started this thread first because, it is quite evident from Dr. barnard's article that the diabetes condition was far from being reversed. Rather managed, as Michael pointed out. Now, based on the fact that Dr. Barnard wrote the book: "Dr. Neal Barnard's Program for Reversing Diabetes", I'm kind of perplexed. I have another book from the same author and am going to check if even there he wrote about diabetes reversal. Either that's pure bragging, or maybe there have been a few cases of reversal, whereas most people do not reverse. One point that Barnard stressed is that the patients on his vegan diet could eat without caloric restriction and loose weight, whereas the other ones needed CR. On the other side, Dr. Barnard's diet implies a strict dietary restriction since fats are drastically kept down, all animal products are eliminated, many vegetables are required, at the end of the game there is a factual caloric restriction, which does not impinge on satiety. But the diabetes is not reversed.


Does the above undermine Dr. Barnard's credibility?

Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...