Barbados chosen for landmark diabetes study
A pilot study will be implemented in Barbados in late January aimed at reversing Type 2 diabetes, which is said to affect one in every five adults living in the country.
The Barbados Diabetes Reversal Study, funded by Virgin Unite – the non-profit arm of the Virgin Group – will target 25 people, who have been diagnosed with the disease in the past six years.
It seeks to build on research conducted in the United Kingdom by Professor Roy Taylor, who found in 2011 that Type 2 diabetes can be reversed by adopting a low calorie diet, followed by weight maintenance.
Founder of the Virgin Group Sir Richard Branson told a press conference this morning at the office of the Diabetes Association of Barbados where the study was launched
that the results could help transform lives.
“This research is a huge step forward in the fight against Type 2 diabetes. The challenge is to discover if the UK findings can be replicated here in Barbados. This is a real opportunity to change the lives of those living with the condition,” he said.
The volunteers will be given a low calorie liquid diet over an eight-week period, along with non-starchy vegetables, accompanied by medical support.
Organizers say the diet will include all vitamins and minerals needed and will be provided at no cost to the participants.
This will be followed by a six-month period, during which a normal healthy diet will resume.
Chief Medical Officer Dr Joy St John, who spoke on behalf of the Minister of Health, welcomed the study.
“The Barbadian diet is frequently too high in salt, sugar and fat with a high percentage of calories coming from carbohydrate sources. Furthermore, fruit and vegetable consumption, although showing some slight improvement, remains low. It is believed that these factors may be contributing to the heavy chronic disease burden including diabetes, hypertension and some cancers,” she said.
“This study is therefore extremely timely as we strengthen our approach to prevention and control of diabetes. I am fully aware that this study will take place using high ethical standards and Barbadians can feel confident in the integrity of the study results.”
Residents interested in participating in the study are asked to contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 266 5673.