Those who are suffering from type 2 diabetes could be cured only if they lose weight, a new study says. Researchers found that fat accumulation in the pancreas is likely the cause of this debilitating disease and losing less than one gram of fat through weight loss can reverse the condition.

The researchers from Newcastle University in the United Kingdom led by Professor Roy Taylor, found that obese people who were diagnosed with diabetes can reverse the chronic disease by losing weight. Thus, the presence of diabetes is not relative to overall body fat, but instead, the small amount of fat accumulated in the pancreas that hinders the production of insulin.

Diabetes is a long-lasting and chronic disease characterized by increased glucose levels in the blood. The cause of this disease is linked to the impeded production of insulin, an enzyme responsible in carrying glucose to the different cells of the body.

In fact, more than 347 million people worldwide have diabetes. By 2030, it is predicted that diabetes will become the seventh leading cause of death in the world. Though there are two types of diabetes, type 2 diabetes accounts for 90 percent of all cases.

To land on their findings, published in the journal Diabetes Care, the researchers performed a clinical trial on 18 patients with type 2 diabetes and nine people who did not have the disease that were scheduled for bariatric surgery. Their weight, fat levels in the pancreas and insulin response were recorded before and eight weeks after the surgery.

The patients with type 2 diabetes were found to have increased levels of fat in the pancreas compared to those without the disease. After the operation, those with type 2 diabetes were instantly taken off their medication and both groups lost around 13 percent of their initial body weight.

The fat deposits in the pancreas of those without the disease did not change, but remarkably decreased in those with diabetes. Thus, when excess fat was removed in the pancreas, their insulin levels returned to normal and they were diabetes free.

"For people with Type 2 diabetes, losing weight allows them to drain excess fat out of the pancreas and allows function to return to normal," Taylor said. He added that only one gram of fat is needed to lose in the pancreas to reverse the condition.

"At present the only way we have to achieve this is by calorie restriction by any means, whether by diet or an operation," he added.

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