Type 2 diabetes can be reversed if patients lose enough weight and their blood glucose levels fall. Those on the liquid diet consume between 810 and 850 calories a day depending on the flavours of the shakes and soups.
They lose weight very quickly because an average woman needs 2,000 calories a day while a man needs 2,500 calories a day. Previously these patients may have been consuming 2,800 calories a day.
Type 2 diabetes is caused by fat entering the pancreas and disrupting the production of insulin, which causes blood glucose levels to rise.
But once patients shed the weight, the pancreas starts producing insulin normally and glucose levels fall. Patients are given sachets to mix with water. Shake flavours include banana, chocolate mint, cappuccino and fruits of the forest.
For soups they can chose from chicken and mushroom, tomato and basil, vegetable and oriental spicy. After three to five months – depending on how quickly patients lose weight – they are allowed to start swapping a shake with a meal.
This continues gradually over six weeks until they are eating normally again. They continue to limit their calories until they have reached their target weight. Patients stay in remission from diabetes only if they keep the weight off.
Researchers say some patients might put weight on if they go through a stressful life event.