Losing at least 8% body weight can reverse diabetes in non-obese individuals

Added on
01 Jun 2022
Losing at least 8% body weight can reverse diabetes in non-obese individuals

During the Diabetes UK Conference in the beginning of April, Prof. Taylor presented findings from the ReTUNE study which demonstrated that reducing body weight can reverse type 2 diabetes even in individuals who are of normal body weight.

It has already been established via the DiRECT trial, that overweight and obese individuals with type 2 diabetes (DM) can go into remission when following a low-calorie diet of approximately 850kcal per day.  The remission was attributed to the loss of visceral body fat, in particular fat surrounding the liver and pancreas.

The ReTUNE study by the same team, aimed to identify whether the low-calorie programme to reduce body fat reductions could also benefit individuals of normal to slightly high BMI (BMI<27) diagnosed with type 2 DM. A small sample of 20 individuals with a BMI <27 diagnosed with type 2 DM were placed on a low-calorie diet of 850kcal per day for up to 4-weeks, followed by a weight loss maintenance programme for a further 4-6 weeks.  Individuals repeated this cycle until they achieve a 10-15% weight loss.

After 12 months:

  • BMI reduced on average from 24.8 to 22.4 kg/m2
  • 70% of individuals went into remission
  • A minimum of 8% body weight loss was needed to achieve remission
  • All participants liver and pancreas fat levels were higher than expected on entry.  After completing the study, fat levels were reduced to normal.

Reference: Diabetes UK.  News: DUKPC digest day 5. ReTUNE study shows type 2 remission possible for people with lower body weight. Diabetes UK 1st April 2022.  https://www.diabetes.org.uk/about_us/news/dukpc-digest-day-5-retune-study-lower-body-weight