4 September 2020

Low calorie diets gaining increased attention

There has been significant interest recently in the English language mainstream media relating to type II diabetes (T2D) and its possible reversal, writes John Dowling.

This may be of interest to many men being treated with androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) for prostate cancer.  Men receiving ADT over a prolonged period may experience weight gain, especially in the abdominal region, and they may also get warnings about T2D from their doctor and the need to watch their diet and to take regular exercise. T2D can pose serious health problems which can greatly affect quality of life.

The notion now being explored is that men or women with T2D might not only control but reverse their diabetes to the point when they are clinically in remission.  The approach revolves around the reduction or elimination of sugars from the diet, including foods and drinks which are easily converted to sugars such as alcohol and processed foods with high levels of white flour.

A review published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health this year highlights data suggesting “that adopting a low calorie diet is a legitimate and potentially very effective treatment option for patients with diabetes and obesity”. The review says that “international guidelines now recognise the validity and endorse the use of these diets as a therapeutic nutritional approach, in appropriate patients”.

Cancer patients should consult their doctor before commencing  a major change in their diet.