Low-carbohydrate diet can cure type-2 diabetes
When type-2 diabetes patients follow a low carbohydrate diet for a year, they lose an average of 13 kilos, increase their insulin sensitivity and drastically reduce their use of medicines. After that year may sometimes even completely abandon their medication. American researchers report this in Diabetes Therapy.
The keto diet
Some authors of this study have established quite a reputation in the low-carb field, such as Jeff Volek and Stephen Phinney. These two are also the founders and CEOs of the company Virta Health. [virtahealth.com]
Virta Health markets the dietary concept that the researchers have tested in this study. The researchers describe this approach as "a comprehensive care model that supports patients to achieve sustained nutritional ketosis while eating to satiety may have robust benefits in type-2 diabetes management."
"This intervention utilizes continuous care through intensive, digitally enabled support including telemedicine access to a medical provider (physician or nurse practitioner), health coaching, nutrition and behavior change education and individualized care plans, biometric feedback, and peer support via an online community."
Virta Health financed the study.
The researchers collected a group of 349 people with type-2 diabetes. The study participants were allowed to choose their treatment: Usual Care [nothing special], or Continuous Care Intervention [a year-long low carbohydrate diet].
Although the study participants were allowed to eat as much as they wanted, the typical low-carbohydrate participant lost about 13 kilos of body weight. Because the subjects weighed 116 kilos on average before the diet began, this weight reduction was not enough to achieve a healthy weight. But with weight loss of this order, you can expect diabetics to significantly reduce their use of medicine. [PLoS One. 2012;7(2):e32395.]
The low-carbohydrate diet reduced the HbA1c concentration in the subjects' blood. The lower this value, the greater the sensitivity to insulin.
In the subjects in the control group, the sensitivity to insulin did not improve.
As you would expect with such nice results, most participants in the low-carbohydrate group were able reduce their medication use. This also happened with the diabetics who had to use insulin.
"This study demonstrated that a type-2 diabetes intervention combining technology-enabled continuous remote care with individualized care plans encouraging nutritional ketosis can significantly reduce HbA1c, medication use, and weight within 70 days, and that these outcomes can be maintained or improved through 1 year", the researchers noted.
"Most intervention participants [..] reported at 1 year achieved glycemic control in the sub-diabetes range with either no medication or the use of metformin alone. Related health parameters improved including blood pressure, lipid-lipoprotein profile, inflammation, and liver function."
"Ongoing research will determine the continued sustainability, effectiveness, and safety of these behavioral and metabolic changes."
Diabetes Ther. 2018 Feb 7. doi: 10.1007/s13300-018-0373-9. [Epub ahead of print].
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Low Carb Diet