The research team: left to right Chris Webster, Tamzyn Murphy Campbell, Prof Tim Noakes, Dr James Smith and Dr Salih Solomon. Picture: THE NOAKES FOUNDATION

By Marika Sboros

Many doctors and dietitians are still pessimistic about diabetes. They tell patients that diabetes is chronic, progressive and irreversible. They tell patients that they’ll need more drugs for the rest of their lives to manage their condition.

The Noakes Foundation has now received a full grant of R5.6 million (around $400 600) for ongoing research that could radically change that perception. That research is investigating reversal of diabetes through diet alone. It also aims straight at the heart of a powerful vested interest: the medical growth industry of diabetes.

It’s a big one – none bigger in the medical industry, says scientist Prof Tim Noakes. Its growth in profits last year alone was about 20%. “It is not interested in a possible cure or reversal of diabetes,” Noakes says. He has worked out who is protecting that industry’s commercial interests. Here’s who.