Low-Carb Diet Can Cure Type-2 Diabetes

Discussion in 'Health and Fitness' started by Baron, Feb 20, 2018.

  1. Baron

    Baron ET Founder

    When type-2 diabetes patients follow a low carbohydrate diet for a year, they lose an average of 13 kilos (28 lbs), 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 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."

    Source: Diabetes Ther. 2018 Feb 7. doi: 10.1007/s13300-018-0373-9.
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2018
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  2. Interesting study. It would be helpful to know what the low-carb diet looked like. I ask because if the diet is too carb restrictive it would likely be difficult to maintain in the long run.
  3. To put it in blunt language: YouTube is full of proponents of low-carb diet for type 2 diabetes patients.
    Two channels which are strong proponents are Jason Fung and Diet Doctor.
    There are also some videos from TED and TEDx in which doctors report the same findings: low-carb can help diabetes type 2 patients.
    All of these share the same explanation as to why type 2 diabetes gets cured: low carb diet leads to high insulin sensitivity. High insulin sensitivity leads to lower blood sugar. Lower blood sugar leads to curing type 2 diabetes.
  4. If you have Type 2 and doctors say you can reverse it by cutting out most of your carbs then you DO IT! Prolonged Type 2 can lead to serious complications and if a doctor tells you to simply change your diet and you can reverse it, why wouldn't you.

    Almost all Type 2 is self-inflicted from our diets and lack of exercise. I doubt they are advocating a Keto Diet but certainly restricting carbs to vegetables and select fruit and eliminating sugars is reasonable and worth it.
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  5. All good points, to be sure. But a very restrictive carb diet has attendant side effects:


    Since exercise also increases insulin sensitivity, as noted in the previous post, I would think that the combination of a reasonable and well-balanced diet and a well-thought-out exercise program would be best. Carbohydrates are an essential macronutrient. I think it comes down to balancing the macronutrients for health and satiety, which includes opting for good carbs while dropping bad carbs. And then getting one's hindquarters off the couch.

    Extreme measures and long-term adherence have an inverse relationship.
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2018
  6. Why do you call carbs essential? What makes them essential for the body, such that the body cannot do without carbs?
    There are certain amino acids which are essential. And there are certain fats which are essential. The body needs these but is not able to produce these itself, so these are essential to have in our diet. But there are no essential carbs, essential in the sense that the body needs them but can't produce them itself.
  7. Here is the view that I have adopted years ago:


    As I noted in my above post, I don't believe in extreme measures. A very low carb diet is extreme. And as my prior post showed, a diet extremely restricted in carbs has side effects:


    If you suddenly and drastically cut carbs, you may experience a variety of temporary health effects, including:

    • Headache
    • Bad breath
    • Weakness
    • Muscle cramps
    • Fatigue
    • Skin rash
    • Constipation or diarrhea
    In addition, some diets restrict carbohydrate intake so much that in the long term they can result in vitamin or mineral deficiencies, bone loss and gastrointestinal disturbances and may increase risks of various chronic diseases.

    Because low-carb diets may not provide necessary nutrients, these diets aren't recommended as a method of weight loss for preteens and high schoolers. Their growing bodies need the nutrients found in whole grains, fruits and vegetables.

    Severely restricting carbohydrates to less than 0.7 ounces (20 grams) a day can result in a process called ketosis. Ketosis occurs when you don't have enough sugar (glucose) for energy, so your body breaks down stored fat, causing ketones to build up in your body. Side effects from ketosis can include nausea, headache, mental and physical fatigue, and bad breath.

    It's not clear what kind of possible long-term health risks a low-carb diet may pose because most research studies have lasted less than a year. Some health experts believe that if you eat large amounts of fat and protein from animal sources, your risk of heart disease or certain cancers may actually increase.

    If you follow a low-carbohydrate diet that's higher in fat and possibly higher in protein, it's important to choose foods with healthy unsaturated fats and healthy proteins. Limit foods containing saturated and trans fats, such as meat, high-fat dairy products, and processed crackers and pastries.
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2018
  8. The article you quote does not say that carbs are essential. It only warns that one must assure enough intake of vitamins and minerals. But those can be get without taking carbs.
  9. I think we're getting a tad pedantic about "essential." Suffice it to say that they are essential to my diet and well-being.

    And just in case you are a paleo diet guy, please keep in mind that Paleo-Man ate carbs.
  10. I'm not.
    #10     Feb 21, 2018