Eight years in the past I managed to beat kind 2 diabetes by occurring my 5:2 food plan (chopping my energy two days per week) and losing a few pounds — 9kg to be exact.
Since then I’ve change into 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 type on the planet — which confirmed that even modest weight loss can have a big effect.
A latest overview by Danish researchers discovered greater than 70 per cent of individuals with kind 2 diabetes who had misplaced vital quantities of weight have been nonetheless medication-free greater than 5 years later [File photo]
The Norfolk examine recruited greater than 1,000 folks with pre-diabetes (which means that they had raised blood sugar ranges). They have been requested to reduce weight, then have been monitored for greater than eight years. Those that managed to lose 2kg to 3kg, and preserve it off, virtually halved their danger of growing full-blown kind 2.
This provides to intensive analysis carried out by British scientists displaying that, in addition to pre-diabetes, kind 2 diabetes will be put into remission by occurring a speedy weight-loss food plan. And, as we’ve identified for 20 years, weight-loss surgical procedure also can reverse kind 2.
The truth is, a latest overview by Danish researchers discovered greater than 70 per cent of individuals with kind 2 diabetes who had misplaced vital quantities of weight have been nonetheless medication-free greater than 5 years later.
Regardless of all this, the NHS Selections web site nonetheless tells you kind 2 diabetes is a ‘progressive’ illness that ‘normally will get worse over time’, with most individuals needing ever rising ranges of medicine. What a miserable — and I’d argue inaccurate — message.
So why aren’t they being a bit extra encouraging? The scenario with kind 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 trying 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 putting new concept about abdomen ulcers.
I used to be delighted final week by the information from the Norfolk Diabetes Prevention Examine — the most important of its type on the planet — which confirmed that even modest weight reduction can have a big effect [File photo]
On the time, abdomen or duodenal ulcers (affecting the primary a part of the small gut) have been extremely frequent however, like kind 2, have been seen as one thing of a thriller.
Intestine ulcers will be excruciatingly painful and result in inner bleeding. Docs knew they have been attributable to extra acid and so they may very well be managed by medicine equivalent to ranitidine, which stopped the abdomen from producing acid. These medicine, referred to as proton pump inhibitors, have been costly however there was a whole lot of incentive to make use of them as a result of for those who didn’t, or if the medicine stopped working, there was a excessive likelihood you’d want a few of your abdomen and intestines eliminated.
Robin and Barry, nonetheless, have been satisfied that they had an inexpensive and efficient treatment. Their analysis confirmed that almost all sufferers with ulcers have been contaminated with a bacterium, which the 2 medical doctors referred to as Helicobacter pylori.
The sufferers’ stomachs have been producing extra acid to do away with the bacterium, however this failed as a result of Helicobacter is immune to acid assault. However it’s weak to the correct antibiotics.
To show the purpose, Barry intentionally contaminated himself with Helicobacter (he swallowed a flask of it) and shortly developed gastritis — huge 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 intensive proof they have been proper.
Once I requested Barry how lengthy he thought it will take to steer his colleagues to take their claims severely, he laconically replied, ‘Effectively it’s been ten years and ten per cent of medical doctors are treating ulcers this fashion. Maybe in 100 years they are going to all be doing it.’
The truth is, inside ten years virtually all medical doctors have been doing it. Not least as a result of Barry and Robin received 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 overview in The British Medical Journal by a number one gastroenterologist described the movie as ‘one sided and tendentious’.
Nonetheless, 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 per week earlier than I used to be on account of 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 slightly than having a bit of my guts eliminated.’
Why did it take so lengthy for medical doctors to undertake this method, 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 medical doctors get a lot of their info from pharmaceutical firms, and these firms had no incentive to advertise an inexpensive different to their acid-reducing medicine (which, in fact, you took for all times).
The parallels with kind 2 diabetes are clear. Because the tens of millions of these affected within the UK will know, kind 2 is normally handled with medicine.
Whereas this may cut back the long-term injury attributable to excessive blood sugar ranges, it doesn’t cope with the underlying illness — and like all medicine, the medicine can have vital side-effects, notably while you transfer on to injecting insulin.
So how lengthy earlier than there’s widespread acceptance that almost all circumstances of kind 2 diabetes will be put into remission by a speedy weight-loss food plan?
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 best way 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 called 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 support and is used to deal with jet lag — I discover it very efficient).Now researchers on the College of Connecticut have found how melatonin truly works — in worms no less than.
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 an enormous ‘shhh’!
Covid-19 vaccines are like buses; you look forward to one, then two come alongside, virtually 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 unbelievable information and an actual poke within the eye for the sceptics who claimed we’d by no means get a vaccine in opposition to 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 may mutate right into a extra resistant type — or that our immune response may weaken.
But latest analysis means that whereas antibody ranges are inclined to fall over time, your immune system retains a ‘reminiscence’ of the virus. So for those who encounter it once more, your physique is able to start churning out antibodies and T-killer cells.
Which makes me surprise why Boris, who’s had Covid, is self-isolating. He’s unlikely to be ‘bursting with antibodies’ as he claims, however he’s additionally most unlikely to get it once more, or to be infectious, so I can’t see how he’s a risk 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 high.
Covid-19 vaccines are like buses; you look forward to one, then two come alongside, virtually collectively, with different contenders coming shut behind [File photo]