Diabetes: Dispute over claims diet reverses condition
Charity Diabetes UK has hit out against claims that eating a specific diet can 'cure' type 2 diabetes without the need for drugs.
Norwegian endocrinologist, Dr Fedon Linberg, claimed that eating a low glycaemic load (GL) diet could reverse the condition and even published a book, The Greek Doctor's Diet, outlining his theory.
Although diabetes patients are advised by all doctors to use diet to lower their blood sugar, they are also prescribed drugs and insulin injections to keep the condition under control.
However, Dr Linberg, who specialises in the diagnosis and treatment of internal medical and hormonal disorders such as diabetes, obesity, thyroid disorders, cardiovascular and lipid disorders, claimed that the right diet of unprocessed foods - such as vegetables, wholegrains, pulses and olive oil - could reverse the condition.
The theory is that eating the Mediterranean-style low GL diet means carbohydrates do not raise blood glucose levels in the way that other processed foods do.
However, Diabetes UK said that Dr Linberg's claims that the diet can cut out the need for drugs altogether are unfounded.
Jemma Edwards, care adviser at Diabetes UK, said: "Regular physical activity, eating a healthy balanced diet and keeping an eye on weight are essential in treating type 2 diabetes.
"Effective management of the condition in these ways can, in some cases, reverse or delay the need for medication by making the body's own insulin work more effectively.
"However, this may only last for a time and does not mean that type 2 diabetes has been cured - just effectively controlled. A healthy balanced diet should be low in fat, salt and sugar with plenty of fruit and vegetables."
The charity also warned against recent claims that taking chromium and cinnamon can be of benefit to people with type 2 diabetes.
"We do not recommend taking chromium as a way of reversing type 2 diabetes.
"There is no conclusive answer as to whether or not cinnamon can be beneficial in helping to control diabetes. No nutritional supplement should ever replace prescribed medication," said Edwards.
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