The cause of Type 2 diabetes may not be what you think

A new study has found that the onset of Type 2 diabetes is not attributed to having obesity as defined by body mass index (BMI). It is actually caused by having more fat inside the liver and pancreas than that particular person can handle.

The ReTUNE trial recruited 20 participants who had been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes within the past 6 years, were not on insulin, and who had a body mass index in the “healthy weight” category. Participants then underwent cycles of weight loss to achieve a rapid body weight reduction in 5% increments. These rapid weight loss cycles were followed by four to six weeks of maintenance at a stable weight. If participants’ A1Cs remained above 6.5, then they were permitted to take up to two more cycles to achieve an additional 5% body weight reduction per cycle.

The study found that most people with recently-diagnosed Type 2 diabetes were able to return to normal blood sugar, liver fat, and fat export levels long term, and that 70% of participants were able to achieve diabetes remission (defined as an A1C below 6.5).

The bottom line, said Dr. Roy Taylor, professor of medicine and metabolism at the University of Newcastle School of Medicine in England and lead investigator for the study, was that individuals were found to have differing susceptibility to fat excess: “A person with Type 2 diabetes has become too heavy for their own body, their own genetic constitution. It is caused by more fat inside the liver and pancreas than can be tolerated by the individual.”

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