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NHS to put 5,000 diabetics on ultra-low calorie diets to cure diabetes

NHS will put 5,000 diabetics on ultra-low calorie ‘soup and shake’ diets to reverse Type 2 diabetes

  • Diabetics will be put on a liquid-only diet of 800 calories as part of a new scheme
  • It comes as the number of Brits with the condition doubled in the last 20 years 
  • Low-cal diets reversed diabetes in tests at universities in Glasgow and Newcastle

A low-calorie ‘soup and shake’ diet to reverse Type 2 diabetes will be prescribed to 5,000 patients.

NHS England said it would put the three-month regime at the heart of its new diabetes strategy after smaller trials saw half of patients go into remission.

In September the Daily Mail revealed health bosses were considering the scheme, which puts diabetics on a liquid-only diet of 800 calories a day.

NHS England will put Type 2 diabetics on a low-calorie ‘soup and shake’ diet to reverse the condition (file image)

Simon Stevens, chief executive of NHS England, last night confirmed 5,000 patients will be included in a larger trial.

He said: ‘The NHS is now going to be ramping up practical action to support hundreds of thousands of people avoid obesity-induced heart attacks, strokes, cancers and Type 2 diabetes.

‘The NHS long-term plan is going to give people the power and the support to take control of their own lifestyles.’

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The number of Britons with diabetes has doubled in 20 years. Almost 3.7million people are currently living with a diabetes diagnosis, up from 1.9 million in 1998.

Of these, 90 per cent have Type 2 diabetes, which is closely linked to obesity.

Scientists at the universities of Newcastle and Glasgow have been pioneering the treatment of Type 2 diabetes with low-calorie diets for several years.

The blended food shakes will be used to keep patients on a diet of under 800 calories a day – which has shown to cure the condition once deemed incurable

In 2016 they showed for the first time that the condition – long considered incurable – could actually be reversed with extreme dieting. Further trials showed putting people on the 800-calorie diet for three months had lasting effects, with a quarter of participants maintaining weight loss of at least 2st 5lb a year after starting the regime.

Some 46 per cent of patients saw their blood sugar fall by so much they were no longer considered to be diabetic.

Chris Askew, chief executive of charity Diabetes UK, said: ‘The first-year results … showed that – for some people with Type 2 diabetes – an intensive, low-calorie weight loss programme delivered with ongoing support through primary care could put their condition into remission.

‘We are delighted NHS England have been inspired by this to pilot a Type 2 remission programme through the NHS.’

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