Eight years in the past I managed to beat sort 2 diabetes by happening my 5:2 weight loss program (reducing my energy two days every week) and reducing weight — 9kg to be exact.
Since then I’ve turn out to be one thing of a damaged document on the significance of shedding physique fats to enhance your blood sugar ranges.
So I used to be delighted final week by the information from the Norfolk Diabetes Prevention Examine — the most important of its form on this planet — which confirmed that even modest weight reduction can have a huge impact.
A latest evaluation by Danish researchers discovered greater than 70 per cent of individuals with sort 2 diabetes who had misplaced important quantities of weight had been nonetheless medication-free greater than 5 years later [File photo]
The Norfolk examine recruited greater than 1,000 individuals with pre-diabetes (that means that they had raised blood sugar ranges). They had been requested to reduce weight, then had been monitored for greater than eight years. Those that managed to lose 2kg to 3kg, and preserve it off, nearly halved their danger of creating full-blown sort 2.
This provides to in depth analysis carried out by British scientists exhibiting that, in addition to pre-diabetes, sort 2 diabetes may be put into remission by happening a fast weight-loss weight loss program. And, as we’ve recognized for 20 years, weight-loss surgical procedure can even reverse sort 2.
In actual fact, a latest evaluation by Danish researchers discovered greater than 70 per cent of individuals with sort 2 diabetes who had misplaced important quantities of weight had been nonetheless medication-free greater than 5 years later.
Regardless of all this, the NHS Selections web site nonetheless tells you sort 2 diabetes is a ‘progressive’ illness that ‘often will get worse over time’, with most individuals needing ever growing ranges of treatment. What a miserable — and I’d argue inaccurate — message.
So why aren’t they being a bit extra encouraging? The state of affairs with sort 2 diabetes jogs my memory of a tussle I had with the medical institution greater than 25 years in the past.
In 1993 I used to be wanting round for a topic to make a science documentary, after I got here throughout the work of two Australians, Dr Barry Marshall and Dr Robin Warren, who had a placing new principle about abdomen ulcers.
I used to be delighted final week by the information from the Norfolk Diabetes Prevention Examine — the most important of its form on this planet — which confirmed that even modest weight reduction can have a huge impact [File photo]
On the time, abdomen or duodenal ulcers (affecting the primary a part of the small gut) had been extremely widespread however, like sort 2, had been seen as one thing of a thriller.
Intestine ulcers may be excruciatingly painful and result in inside bleeding. Docs knew they had been attributable to extra acid they usually might be managed by medicine comparable to ranitidine, which stopped the abdomen from producing acid. These medicine, often called proton pump inhibitors, had been costly however there was quite a lot of incentive to make use of them as a result of if you happen to didn’t, or if the medicine stopped working, there was a excessive probability you’d want a few of your abdomen and intestines eliminated.
Robin and Barry, nevertheless, had been satisfied that they had an inexpensive and efficient remedy. Their analysis confirmed that almost all sufferers with ulcers had been contaminated with a bacterium, which the 2 docs known as Helicobacter pylori.
The sufferers’ stomachs had been producing extra acid to do away with the bacterium, however this failed as a result of Helicobacter is proof against acid assault. However it’s susceptible to the correct antibiotics.
To show the purpose, Barry intentionally contaminated himself with Helicobacter (he swallowed a flask of it) and shortly developed gastritis — large irritation — which he cured with a brief course of antibiotics. This was in 1984.
9 years later, after I started filming with Robin and Barry, there was nonetheless widespread resistance to their claims, regardless of in depth proof they had been proper.
Once I requested Barry how lengthy he thought it will take to steer his colleagues to take their claims critically, he laconically replied, ‘Properly it’s been ten years and ten per cent of docs are treating ulcers this manner. Maybe in 100 years they’ll all be doing it.’
In actual fact, inside ten years nearly all docs had been doing it. Not least as a result of Barry and Robin gained the Nobel Prize for Medication in 2004 for his or her work.
However again in 1994, when my documentary, Ulcer Wars, detailing their work, got here out, the medical response was both indifference or hostility. A evaluation in The British Medical Journal by a number one gastroenterologist described the movie as ‘one sided and tendentious’.
Nevertheless, sufferers with duodenal ulcers who’d watched the programme quickly started demanding antibiotic remedy.
Many later wrote to me and as one man put it: ‘I noticed your programme every week earlier than I used to be attributable to have surgical procedure, and it was solely as a result of my physician was ready to pay attention that I used to be cured by antibiotics reasonably than having a piece of my guts eliminated.’
Why did it take so lengthy for docs to undertake this strategy, regardless of overwhelming proof that eradicating Helicobacter may change sufferers’ lives? This was a query that researchers from Harvard requested in 2019 — concluding that it was primarily as a result of docs get a lot of their info from pharmaceutical firms, and these firms had no incentive to advertise an inexpensive various to their acid-reducing medicine (which, in fact, you took for all times).
The parallels with sort 2 diabetes are clear. Because the tens of millions of these affected within the UK will know, sort 2 is often handled with treatment.
Whereas it will cut back the long-term injury attributable to excessive blood sugar ranges, it doesn’t take care of the underlying illness — and like all treatment, the medicine can have important side-effects, notably once you transfer on to injecting insulin.
So how lengthy earlier than there’s widespread acceptance that almost all circumstances of sort 2 diabetes may be put into remission by a fast weight-loss weight loss program?
It’s starting to occur, however I wouldn’t assure that NHS Selections might be telling you the excellent news any time quickly.
Like us, worms must sleep. And the way in which their our bodies put together for sleep can be surprisingly just like people — one of many key triggers for a little bit of slumber is the discharge of melatonin, also referred to as the ‘hormone of darkness’.
Melatonin is produced in your mind and ranges rise when it will get darkish (artificial melatonin is a well-liked sleep help and is used to deal with jet lag — I discover it very efficient).Now researchers on the College of Connecticut have found how melatonin really works — in worms at the least.
It slows the discharge of neurotransmitters, substances that permit messages to journey between nerve cells. So melatonin successfully tells your mind cells to cease chatting to one another — the chemical equal of a large ‘shhh’!
Covid-19 vaccines are like buses; you anticipate one, then two come alongside, nearly collectively, with different contenders coming shut behind.
This week we learnt that the vaccine made by Moderna could also be much more efficient than Pfizer’s. That each are greater than 90 per cent efficient is incredible information and an actual poke within the eye for the sceptics who claimed we would by no means get a vaccine towards Covid-19, not to mention a number of.
These findings additionally counsel that our immune system is doing what evolution designed it to do: mount a robust response to the virus.
There was a concern that Covid-19 would possibly mutate right into a extra resistant type — or that our immune response would possibly weaken.
But latest analysis means that whereas antibody ranges are likely to fall over time, your immune system retains a ‘reminiscence’ of the virus. So if you happen to encounter it once more, your physique is able to start churning out antibodies and T-killer cells.
Which makes me marvel why Boris, who’s had Covid, is self-isolating. He’s unlikely to be ‘bursting with antibodies’ as he claims, however he’s additionally not possible to get it once more, or to be infectious, so I can’t see how he’s a menace to others.
Our immune system has been severely examined by Covid, however as the brand new vaccines present, it simply wants a little bit of assist to get again on prime.
Covid-19 vaccines are like buses; you anticipate one, then two come alongside, nearly collectively, with different contenders coming shut behind [File photo]