Big Pharma wolf hunts Diabetes cash cow

Posted by on Oct 21, 2013 in Blog, Food | 2 comments

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The low calories liquid study recently announced by Diabetes UK is an interesting animal indeed.

On the basis of 11 successful remissions in T2D patients undertaking a starvation diet in a 2011 study conducted by Newcastle University, Diabetes UK is now applying £2.4 million to an extended 2 year, 140 patient study.

The fact that any individual can reverse T2D with a drug free intervention is of course very good news indeed (unless you own shares in insulin manufacturer Novo Nordisk of course). The proliferation of insulin pumps, pens and DIY diabetes management kits is perhaps a contributory factor to the nonchalance that exists for an affliction that can blind, maim and kill. Diabetes is serious shit folks.

But we know all that and I’m not a physician anyway.

What I want to do is scratch the surface a little bit here. There is more to this than meets the eye methinks. The key facts for me are as follows:

  1. Diabetes UK enjoys massive funding from multi billion dollar companies in the business of diabetes – the insulin manufacturers.
  2. If a starvation diet is proven to reverse T2D (which accounts for >90% of the insulin industry), then Diabetes UK sponsors won’t be very happy come October 2018.
  3. The proposed intervention includes an initial starvation diet made up of 600 cals in the form of “liquid shakes” and 200 cals from proper food. It is not specified what the maintenance phase will be thereafter.

This all seems very scientific-y and proper at first glance. But something doesn’t quite fit. Then it struck me that the vague reference to “liquid shakes” was interesting. So I extrapolated the various outcomes, mapped that over the actual format of the research and considered the implications for Big Pharma. They don’t do “loss of business” in Big Pharma and they certainly don’t finance research to support it either.


The needle in the haystack here is the 600 cals shake.

This study is clearly well intentioned, but it is arguably a one way street to the launch of some extravagantly named “functional food” for the treatment of diabetes. You can be sure Big Pharma will be waiting in the wings with Diabetrix or some such branded creation that “may help reverse Type 2 Diabetes in just 8 weeks.” It will be appropriately priced and supported heavily by advertising.

So what? That’s good news, right? Maybe. But it’s not the full story.

In the course of researching and filming Cereal Killers, I have encountered 11 or more individuals who have reversed T2D by adopting a strictly sugar free, high fat, very low carbohydrate food plan without calorific restriction or any need for “liquid shakes.”

I find myself asking why Diabetes UK would not fund a comparative analysis between 2 approaches that have been proven to deliver results for some individuals? Hell, if everyone is getting hung up on calories, then let’s comply on that for now and ask 70 of their 140 volunteers to consume all 800 calories from a prescribed real food diet and see how that fares against those starvation shakes. Surely that’s digestible?

Not so fast! This research is financed by the A Team of diabetes commerce remember. If the researchers were to conclude that 800 daily calories from real food sources like eggs, nut, fish, meat and veg could reverse Type 2 diabetes, there would be no requirement for drugs, “functional” foods or nicely branded starvation shakes now would there?

We don’t have Big Pharma bucks around here but we do have a great little movie with a big global message. Check out the lovely Plaxy @ 01:05 in the movie trailer below about successfully managing Type 2 diabetes her way.

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Cereal Killers


  1. Donal have you looked at a doctor who I think would agree with some of what your are saying about big pharma but who takes a different approach to food.


    • Thanks Joe – have yet to read the book but certainly aware of the Doc. Will put it on the kindle list so thanks for the heads up!

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