Predictions show that 415 million people will be living with type 2 diabetes this year, driving up annual healthcare costs worldwide by $760 billion.
According to Diabetes UK, more than 4.9 million people in the United Kingdom alone have diabetes, of which 90% have diabetes, which costs the NHS billions of dollars annually.
Type 2 Diabetes
Now, researchers from the University of Cambridge have successfully tested a synthetic pancreas for use by patients with type 2 diabetes.
The device, which was powered by an algorithm developed by the team, doubled the time patients spent within the target range for glucose and halved the time they spent with high glucose levels.
Blood glucose levels are unusually high in people with diabetes. Normally, the release of insulin regulates blood sugar levels, however, type 2 diabetes patients have difficulty producing insulin. Over time, this can lead to serious problems such as eye, kidney, and nerve damage, as well as heart disease.
Typically, the disease is managed by a combination of lifestyle adjustments, including as a healthier diet and increased physical activity, and medication aimed at maintaining low glucose levels.
Adults and young children with type 1 diabetes can benefit from an artificial pancreas powered by a similar algorithm, as previously proven by the researchers. Additionally, the gadget has been successfully tested on patients with diabetes who require dialysis.
First-Ever Human Experiment of Artificial Pancreas
It is a groundbreaking scientific trial involving Type 2 Diabetes (T2D) patients who undertake intermittent fasting (IF) as therapy (instead of medicine) and demonstrates for the first time how it ultimately results in weight loss and remission of the condition.
Effect of an Intermittent Calorie-Restricted Diet on Type 2 Diabetes Remission: A Randomized Controlled Trial was published in the esteemed Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism (JCEM) by Oxford on December 14, 2022.
In a nutshell, it demonstrated a significant proportion of T2D trial patients who sustained illness remission, compared to a control group. Initial remission rates were 47 percent in the treatment group (IF practitioners) and 2.8% in the control group (non-IF).
Moreover, the treatment group lost approximately 9 percent of their initial body weight, but the control group experienced no weight loss.
The significance of the study lies in the fact that it is the first human study to demonstrate a link between IF and T2D remission.
Given the modest trial size, however, it is not possible to assume that this method will be universally beneficial for the approximately 422 million individuals worldwide with type 2 diabetes.