Regulating gluocse can prevent the onset of Type 2 diabetes

People with pre-diabetes are significantly less likely to develop diabetes if their blood glucose levels are normalized in time, according to new research by the Colorado School of Public Health and the University of Colorado School of Medicine.

The study was recently published in The Lancet.

“The importance of this analysis is clear,” said Leigh Perreault, MD, a researcher with the CU School of Medicine and the Colorado School of Public Health. “Physicians should seek to restore normal glucose regulation in their patients with pre-diabetes.”

The study shows that those at a high risk for Type 2 diabetes who experience a period of normal glucose regulation are 56 percent less likely to develop the disease 10 years later.

In 2011, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated that 79 million Americans or 35 percent of the population have pre-diabetes. Every year, approximately 11 percent go on to develop the disease, fueling the epidemic of Type 2 diabetes. Re-thinking prevention strategies in this group is critical to reducing overall disease rates.

Perreault, an associate professor of medicine and public health, conducted the research along with colleagues in the Diabetes Prevention Program Research Group. They used findings from the Diabetes Prevention Program Outcomes Study (DPPOS), a research effort examining long term outcomes in patients who took part in the Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP). The DPP studied over 3,000 patients with pre-diabetes.

Earlier analyses of the DPP and DPPOS data showed that lifestyle interventions and drug treatment can reduce the progression of pre-diabetes to diabetes. But the new research examines patients who not only avoided developing diabetes, but actually reverted to normal glucose function at some point during the study period.

These participants experienced a 56% reduction in progression to diabetes, regardless of how they reverted to normal glucose regulation even when it was only transitory.

The implications are significant for those planning diabetes reduction strategies who might now want to shift the standard of care to early and aggressive glucose-lowering treatments in patients at highest risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.

“Interventions that simply maintain pre-diabetes, even where overt diabetes is avoided short-term, are not enough as the long-term risk remains,” Perreault said. “Strategies and follow-up should focus on achieving normal glucose regulation, by whatever means and however transient, to ensure the greatest reduction in diabetes risk for those with pre-diabetes.”

The material in this press release comes from the originating research organization. Content may be edited for style and length. Have a question? Let us know.


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4 thoughts on “Regulating gluocse can prevent the onset of Type 2 diabetes”

  1. Also, check any meds that may be causing increases! Diuretics, beta blockers, statins, antidepressants, with your physician to see if some can be switched to others that don’t impact weight or insulin levels or blood sugar. I was on a low carb diet and I felt like I was fighting a losing battle until I realized I was on a beta blocker that increased the risk for diabetes. Dr. took me off and switched and viola, lost l4 more pounds in just a few weeks.

  2. Macrocompassion, as T2D is caused by insulin resistance, increasing insulin will only serve to make things worse. It is the limited intake of glucose that helps, ie stops eating grains, sugar, soda, etc and just eating meat, fish, high fat dairy like butter and cheese, and non-starchy vegetables such as green leafy veg.

  3. To keep a normal level of glucose at all times can be achieved by increasing the insulin supply from the pancreas and injections or can be done by reducing the supply of blood glucose, which is coming mainly from carbohydrate foods especially those high in glycemic indices and glycemic loads such as sugars and high-fructose-corn-syrup. The major obstacle for most of us in understanding that we do not need carbohydrate foods is the misunderstand that the body needs carbohydrates for maintaining its blood glucose level. In fact, this is not true. First of all, there are essential amino acids and essential fatty acids. However, there is no essential carbohydrates or sugars. Second of all, blood glucose can be maintained reasonably well with a normal range through gluconeogenesis by metabolizing fats and proteins. I am glad that this study finally affirms that keeping a normal level of blood glucose can help prevent the onset of diabetes mellitus. However, I wholeheartedly hope this study would go one step forward to prove that restricting carbohydrate foods other than green-leafy vegetables can help those diabetics and pre-diabetics reverse the course of the disease and reduce their health care spending.

  4. Is it a direct reduction of blood glucose that helps?, or is it the better use of the limited intake of glucose by stimulating the body to produce more effective insulin?

    These are the two different ways for treatment and I would like to know which one this applies to.


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