Reversing T2 diabetes upon normalisation of energy intake in non-obese

  • Research type

    Research Study

  • Full title

    Reversal of Type 2 diabetes upon normalisation of energy intake in non-obese people (ReTUNE)



  • Contact name

    Roy Taylor

  • Contact email

  • Sponsor organisation

    Newcastle upon Tyne NHS Hospitals Foundation Trust

  • Duration of Study in the UK

    3 years, 0 months, 1 days

  • Research summary

    Over the past 10 years our research has demonstrated that type 2 diabetes is caused by less than one gram of excess fat in the pancreas, with loss of specialized function of the insulin producing cells. Individuals differ very much in their personal susceptibility to diabetes. Our published Personal Fat Threshold hypothesis potentially explains the major reasons why this should be. We have established that individuals can reverse to normal glucose control by decreasing their BMI by about 4 units, and this is so whether the person is obese or merely overweight. In the UK, only 50% of people newly diagnosed with type 2 diabetes are obese, just under 40% are overweight and 11% are ‘normal’ as defined by BMI. Type 2 diabetes in non-obese individuals is frequently regarded as having a different aetiology from that affecting obese people. However, experimental evidence does not support this, and our concept of a personal level of tolerance of total body fat could explain the phenomenon. It is proposed to test the Personal Fat Threshold hypothesis and to identify plasma markers which may be of assistance in the management of individuals. People classified by BMI as normal or marginally overweight (BMI<27kg/m2) will be asked to undergo stepwise weight loss with quantification of insulin secretion, liver and pancreas fat and markers of adipose tissue over-expansion. The primary aim is to determine whether type 2 diabetes in non-obese individuals can be reversed by weight loss, with potential profound consequences for clinical management. The secondary aims are a) to identify markers of adipose tissue overexpansion as potential guides to testing for the Personal Fat Threshold; b) to examine the relationship between the threshold and pancreas fat content; and c) to evaluate and refine a Diet Decision Aid to facilitate long term individual normalisation of energy intake.

  • REC name

    North East - Newcastle & North Tyneside 1 Research Ethics Committee

  • REC reference


  • Date of REC Opinion

    22 Dec 2017

  • REC opinion

    Favourable Opinion