Research of recent years has shown that the triggering mechanism for type 2 diabetes is specifically excess fat in the pancreas. The only way to place that fat into the pancreas, in the normal course of affairs, is to become very overweight - to overload the body with fat to the point that it cannot find places to safely store it. Losing this excess fat through a low calorie diet, and then maintaining a lower weight going forward, is a cure for type 2 diabetes, as demonstrated in clinical trials.
For the first time, scientists have been able to observe people developing type 2 diabetes - and confirmed that fat over-spills from the liver into the pancreas, triggering the chronic condition. The study involved a group of people who previously had type 2 diabetes but had lost weight and successfully reversed the condition as part of the DiRECT trial. The majority remained non-diabetic for the rest of the two year study, however, a small group went on to re-gain the weight and re-developed type 2 diabetes while monitored by the study organizers.
"We saw that when a person accumulates too much fat, which should be stored under the skin, then it has to go elsewhere in the body. The amount that can be stored under the skin varies from person to person, indicating a 'personal fat threshold' above which fat can cause mischief. When fat cannot be safely stored under the skin, it is then stored inside the liver, and over-spills to the rest of the body including the pancreas. This 'clogs up' the pancreas, switching off the genes which direct how insulin should effectively be produced, and this causes type 2 diabetes."
"This means we can now see Type 2 diabetes as a simple condition where the individual has accumulated more fat than they can cope with. Importantly this means that through diet and persistence, patients are able to lose the fat and potentially reverse their diabetes. The sooner this is done after diagnosis, the more likely it is that remission can be achieved."