All last night and this morning my email inbox has been filling up with notes pointing me to this story:

Crash Course Diet Reverses Type 2 Diabetes in a week.

It is yet another example of the tragically flawed pseudo-science that damages the health of people with diabetes.

There's no mystery here, nor is the effect reported a result of "reducing fat in the pancreas" as the doctor who came up with this "cure" suggests. All he has done is craft a "balanced" diet that has so few calories it is also low in carbohydrates.

As all my readers know, most people with Type 2 diabetes--especially those recently diagnosed--can recover normal blood sugar control simply by cutting back their carbohydrate intake to somewhere between 30 and 100 grams of carbohydrate a day. The actual number varies with the size of the person, their gender (men can usually tolerate more carb), and the ability of the individual's beta cells to secrete insulin.

But a low carb diet with normal calories is a high fat diet, and doctors have been brainwashed to believe that high fat/low carb diets cause heart disease. They don't. You can read the research that has proven this HERE.

But doctors don't have the time to keep up with nutritional research, so they still believe it. And because of their fat phobia, the only way doctors can feel comfortable prescribing a very low carb diet is by pretending they aren't prescribing one--which they do by prescribing "balanced" diets, one like the one reported here, where the calories are so low that a diet that includes 33% of calories in the form of carbohydrate becomes a low carb diet.

Starvation Diets Like This One Are Dangerous

In fact, there's nothing new or healthy about the low cal diet this doctor has come up with. The starvation diet is well understood--and very expensive. It can only be pursued under the supervision of paid medical staff that includes trained nutritionists because cutting calories that low on your own can be extremely dangerous both to your body and your mind.

The classic research on ultra low calorie diets, the starvation research conducted by Dr. Ancel Keys during WWII showed that people eating very low calorie diets developed psychoses (i.e. severe mental illness) at a surprisingly high rate, as well as many other important health problems. Poorly crafted medically supervised low fat starvation diets have caused deaths in the past.

Very low calorie diets of all kinds are extremely hard on the heart because they can't supply enough protein to repair muscle, so the body ends up cannibalizing the heart muscle.

Even with careful nutritional supervision, when calories are that low, the thyroid and other parts of the system that regulate metabolism slow in order to make the best use of every available bit of energy and the result is that after a month or two on the very low calorie diet, the person who dieted so unwisely will find themselves gaining weight on a caloric intake so low that it should be a weight loss diet for someone their size.

Partially this is because some metabolic slowdown occurs in anyone who loses a significant amount of weight on any diet. I discussed this in a blog post that highlighted Dr. Liebel's research about metabolic slow down with weight loss.

But extreme calorie deprivation seems to intensify this effect. Some years ago, many denizens of the Low Carb Friends diet discussion board fell for scam diet, the so-called Kimkins diet, which was a low carb, low fat diet which was effective in taking off weight fast (and cutting blood sugar) because starvation diets WILL do that, but which also left quite a few of them with metabolisms so damaged that they started gaining weight eating as little as 1200 calories a day, their hair fell out, and they developed mood disorders and other severe deficiency problems. It took several years for some of them to get their health back.

The Gastric Bypass Model For the Diet is Misunderstood

The doctor in this study purporting to "reverse diabetes" justifies his approach by explaining that it duplicates what people eat when they have had gastric bypass, but what is forgotten is that people with gastric bypass often develop long lasting and severe nutritional deficiencies. The restricted diet enforced by weight loss surgery also appears to cause an unexpectedly high rate of suicide which goes along with what we know about severe calorie restriction causing severe mood disorders. This, sadly, is a subject you won't learn about in the enthusiastic plugs for it you read in the media which are supplied by press agents working for bariatric surgeons. Details HERE. Note that this important epidemiological study, published last September, got NO play in the health media.

What is also forgotten is that the research suggests that the real reason some people "reverse their diabetes" after gastric bypass is that they can no longer tolerate carbohydrates and will experience projectile vomiting if they eat enough carbohydrate to raise their blood sugar. Weight Loss Surgery therefore forces them to eat a very low carbohydrate diet and THAT is what "reverses" their diabetes.

Starvation Diets Like This One Are Unnecessary: It's All About The Carbs

What most doctors don't know and won't be told by the surgeons who are profiting so mightily from weight loss surgery is that people who "reverse" or "cure" their diabetes with weight loss surgery get their diabetes right back as soon as their stomachs stretch out to where they can eat enough carbohydrates to raise their blood sugar again. (You'll find studies proving this HERE.)

Clearly, there isn't any magic in the surgery or in calorie restriction that is what is supposedly "reversing" diabetes. Blood sugars come down only because these approaches remove the one component of the diet that raises blood sugars into the diabetic range: carbohydrates.

But as thousands of people with diabetes have learned, you can get the same effect by eating a diet that contains normal amounts of calories if you are willing to removed carbohydrates and replace them with healthy fats and protein. And when you do this you don't risk developing nutritional deficiencies or the possibility of developing a severe mood disorder.

It's Time for the Annual ADA Conference. Vendor-Sponsored "Research" Will Be Swamping the Health Media

It's not accidental that this study was published yesterday, tomorrow marks the beginning of the American Diabetes Association's so-called "Scientific Sessions". This is the annual conference where those who make their living selling goods and services to people promote their wares to doctors using poorly designed corporate-funded studies that twist the data to prove whatever will make the sponsor the most money.

High profile doctors the drug companies call "thought leaders"--each of whom receives huge fees from the drug companies--will give talks to their peers that purport to explain the mechanics of diabetes but which really do nothing but convince other doctors that the only treatments they should give people with diabetes are the most expensive new drugs.

So over this next week expect to see a lot of media reports about miraculous new drugs. You'll probably also be hearing a lot of praise for the miraculous effects of weight loss surgery, since the weight loss surgeons seem to have paid "charitable contributions" to the ADA to have bought a seat at the table previously dominated by drug merchants.

You'll see headlines suggesting that high fat diets cause diabetes in humans--all of which will have been conducted in rats bred to develop diabetes on high fat diets. (You can read more about this questionable methodology HERE.)

You'll read about dozens of "cures" of diabetes--all conducted in mice whose diabetes is caused by everything except the genes that cause diabetes in humans.

What you won't find at the ADA Scientific Sessions, ever, is any significant participation by people who HAVE diabetes and who have controlled it using strategies that don't cost an arm and a leg. Like carbohydrate restriction. The ADA has been fighting for decades for the right of its corporate food company sponsors to sell starchy breakfast cereal, soups, bread, and over processed juices to diabetics as "health food" for diabetics, and it will keep on doing it.

But the truth for most of us real people with diabetes who have maintained normal blood sugars for years without resorting to radical surgery or diets is that cutting way back on the carbohydrates we eat at meals will dramatically lower our blood sugars.

You can easily test this proposition at home. If you are new to this blog I urge you to read this page HERE and try the technique it suggests.