Saturday, June 25, 2011

Curing Diabetes by Mixing Up the Diet

In the news: a university study had some success reversing diabetes with a starvation diet. Patients ate low-density food that provided about 1/4 of the food energy of a normal diet for several weeks. This took away the fatty buildup that had kept some internal organs from working efficiently. As a result, in most of the patients the hormonal markers of diabetes diminished or went away, and didn’t return when the patients went back to a normal diet.

If this result suggests that diabetes is not as incurable as conventionally described, this will not come as a surprise to clinicians who have been finding similar success with a less radical dietary approach based on raw food.

Both of these approaches work by tossing out one of the conventional rules for managing diabetes, which says that you should eat essentially the same way day after day. The systematic, consistent approach to food may help prevent the hormonal fluctuations that seem to do the worst damage in diabetes, but it may also prevent the patient from ever recovering from the disease.

If the dietary intervention poses some hormonal risks for people with diabetes, these risks would be considerably less for people who are merely pre-diabetic. Food most likely could prevent diabetes in the same way, and the risks in this approach would be far less than the risks that diabetes presents.