Women eating healthy yogurt

A small trial by Canadian scientists finds that “intensive” lifestyle therapy for type 2 diabetes reversed the condition in four of 10 people after three months.

The approach combined a multifaceted lifestyle intervention with medication, and was compared to standard care and advice in a control group.

The study, conducted by researchers at McMaster University, Ontario, Canada has been published online in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism.

A total of 83 participants were involved in the study, all of whom had had type 2 diabetes for three years. They all began metformin and acarbose treatment, and received nightly insulin injections.

The participants were then split into two groups: one received the intervention for 16 weeks, the other for eight.

As part of the intervention, participants ate a calorie-restricted diet that lowered their energy intake to 750 calories per day, and were prescribed a personalized exercise plan.

Three months after the intervention, 41 per cent in the 16-week group appeared to have achieved either partial or complete remission. They remained this way for at least 12 weeks after coming off their medication.

The same outcome was seen in roughly 21 per cent of the eight-week group, but only 14 per cent in the standard care were able to come off medication in the same period.

Twenty-five per cent of the eight-week group maintained their remission, as did 22 per cent of the 16-week group and 10.7 per cent of the control group.

The researchers highlight their multifactorial approach as the crucial aspect of improving patient health, citing its success over standard care as significant regarding the management and treatment of type 2 diabetes.