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Question:
From CompuServe:

I have heard that a study conducted in Japan shows that late onset diabetes can be prevented or effectively cured by restricting calories and preventing excessive weight gain.

The results were published in Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice, Feb 1995, titled "Is caloric restriction effective in preventing diabetes mellitus in the Otsuka Long Evans Tokushima fatty rat, a model of spontaneous non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus?"

I would like to know if this research is considered significant among those involved in diabetic research.

Answer:
Type 2 (or "non-insulin-dependent") diabetes mellitus (sometimes assumed to be late-onset, but it may also occur in kids or teens) is a group of disorders that is usually thought to involve:

  • malfunction of insulin secretion by the beta cells of the pancreas,
  • plus a defect in the insulin receptors throughout the body. This defect seems to be reversible with weight loss.

Therefore, if obesity could be prevented, it'd go a very long way towards preventing Type 2 diabetes.

And, if an obese person with Type 2 diabetes could successfully lose their extra weight, there's a reasonable chance they could put the diabetes into a remission, but not a cure, since the beta-cell defect would still be present, and any regain of weight or other stress might cause the diabetes to reappear.

WWQ

Original posting 16 Apr 96

  
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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:08:52
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