Canadian researchers are conducting two national research studies to explore the remission and reversal of type 2 diabetes.
McMaster University has teamed with several pharmaceutical companies to help fund these trials, which will take place in Calgary, Winnipeg, Montreal, London, and Toronto.
The studies will focus on treating type 2 diabetes with an intensive diet, physical activity and drug regimen for three months. After this time, medication is ceased and participants to followed to see if their diabetes returns.
“We think this could work for up to 40 per cent of people with type 2 diabetes and possibly more,” said senior investigator Dr. Hertzel Gerstein.
“Some studies have suggested that up to 10 per cent of people with type 2 diabetes go into remission with just diet and activity. Other studies say remission is higher with intensive medication therapy. So we had to test both together.”
During the studies, participants will be encouraged to do moderate-intensity exercise for 30 minutes five to six days a week. This fits in with UK health recommendations. Additionally, participants will receive individualised diet advice and help with lifestyle modifications.
The participants in Canada will be eligible if they have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes within the past eight years and are not currently taking insulin. The studies are expected to take two years to conclude.
There are multiple other studies investigating the reversal of type 2 diabetes: earlier this year, Newcastle University reported that a very low-calorie diet can reverse the condition for up to six months, while removing fat from the pancreas, through dietary changes, could reverse the development of type 2 diabetes.

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