Fat-free shakes and soups could be prescribed to diabetics as part of a “radical treatment” for the disease, it has been reported.
A trial has seen nearly 300 people suffering from Type 2 diabetes given the 850 calories-a-day diet and could be rolled out nationally.
The Daily Mail said research found half of those following the four-meal-a-day diet were in remission within 12 months and further details of the strategy would be revealed in November.
Jonathan Valabhji, of NHS England, was quoted in the paper as saying the plans were “exciting”.
He said: “The trial involved 300 people, of those in the intervention arm a staggering almost 50% saw their diabetes go into remission.
“Their blood glucose levels fell into the non-diabetic range.
“That excites us. The beauty of the research is that it was implemented in GP surgeries. It wasn’t hugely expensive.”
The idea of the diet is that it will help patients lose weight which will, in turn, lower blood glucose levels.
At between 810 and 850 calories daily, the diet provides a lot less than the 2,000 calories recommended for a woman and 2,500 for a man.
Patients will stay on the diet for three to five months and then will be allowed to replace a shake with a meal.
Over the following six weeks, patients will gradually replace the shakes or soups with meals until they are back to eating normally again.
Bridget Turner, of Diabetes UK, told the Daily Mail: “The early results have been very exciting, so it’s very encouraging to hear that NHS England sees the potential to enable more people to benefit from programmes like this through the Health Service.”