Extreme Diet Reversed Diabetes in 86% of Patients

For many folks, a “plant-based” or “Mediterranean” diet has been proven by nutritionists as the healthiest. It is linked to many benefits including healthy aging, lower risk of heart disease, improved cognitive function, slower neurodegeneration, and many others. However, for some people who have specific conditions, other regimen — perhaps in some cases, a more extreme diet — may be necessary.

That was the finding of a clinical trial from last year which involved patients with type 2 diabetes. The disease is believed to be reversible even with those who have had it for years, and the trial which made patients engage in an extreme diet attests to this belief; about 86% of those who took part in the study arrived at remission.

“These findings are very exciting,” said diabetes researcher Roy Taylor from Newcastle University. “They could revolutionise the way type 2 diabetes is treated.”

298 adults (20-65 years old) who had been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes within the previous six years participated in the Diabetes Remission Clinical Trial (DiRECT). The participants were randomly assigned to a control group who went under the usual diabetic care or to an experimental group who went under an intensive weight management program. The latter group had to limit their food consumption to 825-853 calories for about three to five months, taking only health shakes and soups.

After this extreme diet, they were slowly reintroduced to more food for a period of two to eight weeks. Alongside it, cognitive behavioral therapy was also provided so that the patients may continue their weight loss and improve their level of physical activity.

Almost 90 percent [or about 86 percent] of those who lost 15 kilograms (33 lbs) or more, successfully reversed their type 2 diabetes. More than half (57 percent) of those dropping 10 to 15 kilograms (22 to 33 lbs) achieved remission also . . .  the control group receiving standard diabetic care management only saw a 4 percent remission rate . . . the average weight loss in the weight management group was 10 kilograms — whereas the control group participants only lost 1 kilogram.

Of course, the remission might not be permanent if patients revert back to unhealthy eating. But the researchers were able to conclude this: dietary intervention can help develop treatment options for type 2 diabetes, a disease that is no longer lifelong or chronic, but ultimately reversible.

The DiRECT program will continue to monitor the groups’ weight loss success and diabetes status. Now here’s to hoping the participants are on the direct path to healthier lifestyles.

--> Help make the world a better place by sharing this story with your friends:

School Welcomes Back Young Cancer Survivor

Nothing compares to the heartbreak of a cancer diagnosis. Every year, 12.7 million people fall victim to bad news, of whom 7.6 million don’t make it. Though breakthroughs such as personalized vaccines have been gradual, nonprofits have been helping to ease the pain of chemo. And, of course, nothing beats the support of family and friends. To help recovering leukemia patient Bridget Kelly feel at home, hundreds of neighbors welcomed her back to school.

“Her classmates wanted to let her know, ‘You were out for 15 months, but we absolutely did not forget about you,” [said] Kristin Healy, a school parent who helped organize the gathering.

The 8-year-old, diagnosed with lymphoblastic leukemia in 2016, underwent chemotherapy for 88 days. Bridget’s then-3-year-old sister acted as donor for her stem cell transplant. For over a year, the bright second-grader caught up with studies at home. The massive welcoming committee was more than well-deserved.

“It was almost overwhelming,” Bridget’s mother, Megan Kelley [said]… “She felt so special and so welcomed after such a long and hard road.”

Understandably, surviving the trying condition is every patient’s ultimate goal. Life is just a little less bitter with a hand to hold.

--> Help make the world a better place by sharing this story with your friends:

Gene Altering Cells Can Save Leukemia Patients

For most patients battling cancer, chemotherapy is very much a love-hate relationship. We often hear it kills the bad cells but, unfortunately, also the good ones. Thanks to a successful trial, leukemia patients may see more luck with this gene-altering treatment.

A Food and Drug Administration panel opened a new era in medicine on Wednesday, unanimously recommending that the agency approve the first-ever treatment that genetically alters a patient’s own cells to fight cancer, transforming them into what scientists call “a living drug” that powerfully bolsters the immune system to shut down the disease.

Each patient receives a unique treatment. T-cells (or white blood cells) are “reprogrammed” and can destroy up to 100,000 cancer cells. One dose of the treatment has led to full recovery, as taken from the case of experimental patient Emily Whitehead. Of 63 patients who also received the treatment, 52 went into remission.

The next step… will be to determine “what we can combine it with and is there a way to use it in the future to treat patients with less disease, so that the immune system is in better shape and really able to fight.”

Patients who did not survive despite the treatment at least saw their lives prolonged. The treatment is now receiving FDA approval.

For cancer patients, the future is definitely seeing some sun. If it isn’t perfect, at least it’s brighter.

--> Help make the world a better place by sharing this story with your friends: