Sergei Boutenko is an author who promotes "wild edibles".

He claims, at age 9, to have been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. Some time later, he started a raw food diet and regular exercise.

One day, about a month into raw foods, when I was doing a routine blood sugar test, I charted the lowest figures I had observed since my diagnosis. Instead of reading 200 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL), as it had weeks prior, my blood sugar was in the normal range at 85 mg/dL. This excited me very much! Not only was I experiencing a physical calmness that was impossible when there was too much sugar in my blood stream, but now I saw actual scientific data showing progress in reversing diabetes. I monitored this phenomenon over the next few weeks and found that while my blood sugar fluctuated at times, overall it was stable and in a normal range. I felt drastically better! This level of health continuously increased until I was getting perfect blood glucose readings every time! For me, this was sure indication that eating a raw plant based diet worked!


In addition to eating a diet of predominately fresh fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds, greens, and grains, I also changed my exercise regime. That is to say I started one! From the age of 9 I began jogging at least 3 miles per day or fitting in some form of exercise that requires my whole body to work and sweat. I have read a plethora of literature describing how excess sugar get used up through vigorous exercise. I believe that if you truly want to get rid of diabetes naturally, then a fitness routine is a MUST!

He goes on to say "I cured myself of diabetes" (my emphasis), so it seems he is claiming more than just managing the symptoms.

Is there a scientifically-recognized nutrition study where a raw food diet was tested to actually cure Type 1 diabetes?

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  • I think the claim is simply that this individual was cured of diabetes after switching to a raw food diet and increasing exercise. I don't think he's claiming that his method of treatment is useful for anyone other than himself, although he does list fitness routine as a necessary (but not necessarily sufficient) aspect. – user5582 May 31 '13 at 16:52
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    The odds of such a study existing (at least to the high standards required to constitute anything approaching "proof") are low, since there is little financial incentive to study raw foods, or other "natural" (cheap) "cures"; and there is often large incentive to "disprove" such claims. – Flimzy May 31 '13 at 20:58
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    Type 1 diabetes is caused by the destruction of insulin-producing islet cells in the pancreas by an autoimmune reaction (so is actually a totally different disease to type 2 which just happens to have similar symptoms). It is pretty hard to see how diet could cause islet cells to regrow. A good answer might discuss the potential for misdiagnosis. – matt_black May 31 '13 at 21:08
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    I have encountered a number of less-informed people who take "having to take insulin" as equivalent to having type I. – dmckee --- ex-moderator kitten Jun 1 '13 at 0:13
  • The page referenced above has gone 404. The most I can find about the guy's health as a child is this: As a child, I suffered from health problems that were caused by eating crappy food and leading a sedentary lifestyle. I managed to regain my health by cleaning up my diet and implementing a regular exercise routine. He's clearly expunged his site of bogus claims of a Type 1 "cure". – Daniel R Hicks Oct 9 '19 at 21:34

Eating healthy food and excercising can prevent diabetes of type 2. Reference: https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa012512

Where doctors draw the line between diabetes and pre-diabetes i dont know but i imagine that a person coming from a doctor with a prescription and hearing the disturbing words 'something something diabetes' would not make a difference. For that person reversing pre-diabetes is the same as reversing diabetes.

Diabetes of type 1 can be better managed with a healthy lifestyle that keeps blood glucose steady and low. Would that constitute a cure?

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    As someone with a diabetic sister: no, managing type 1 diabetes is not the same as curing it. My sister manages hers well - she worries more about her blood sugar dropping too low than too high - but she still has to inject herself with insulin multiple times a day otherwise, no matter how well she tried to manage it, her blood sugar would build up and she would die. – F1Krazy Oct 9 '19 at 20:57
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    The only source you cited was in reference to Type 2. OP was asking about Type 1. This does not answer the question. – DenisS Oct 9 '19 at 21:26
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    Prior to the development of insulin as a treatment, the only treatment for type 1 was essentially a starvation diet with no carbohydrates and minimal fat/protein. But this diet would only extend life for a few years -- it could not eliminate the symptoms. – Daniel R Hicks Oct 9 '19 at 21:28
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    I'll agree that managing type 1 using insulin injections PLUS a healthy lifestyle is more effective than managing it with insulin alone, but that's as far as I'd go. The insulin is an absolute, non-negotiable requirement. The healthy lifestyle is not. (but is, of course, strongly recommended) Even insulin is not a "cure", it is a treatment that needs to be continued indefinitely. (Source: I am a type 1 diabetic) – plasticinsect Oct 10 '19 at 1:36

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