- A very low-calorie diet has been shown to help diabetics control their blood sugar, according to new research from the Pittsburgh School of Medicine.
- After 6 months, 12% of the participants went into remission, meaning they could control their blood sugar without taking medication.
- Researchers found that this diet was especially helpful for patients who lost the most weight. A follow-up study is scheduled to determine the long-term effects of the program.
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A low-calorie diet can help diabetics control their blood sugar without taking medication, and possibly even get better, according to new research presented at the Ob fatWeek conference from day one. November 2 to November 6.
Strict calorie reduction can help diabetics by improving insulin sensitivity and reducing pancreatic stress, says Evan Keller, a medical student at the University of Pittsburgh who led the research. insulin-producing body.
The study followed data from 88 diabetic patients who completed the college̵7;s weight loss program. Patients consume 600-800 calories per day for three months, in the form of protein-rich meal replacements. They then gradually reintroduce other foods, while maintaining caloric deficiencies and avoiding foods that raise blood sugar levels, such as processed or sweetened foods.
By the end of the program, 12% of patients had complete remission of diabetes, meaning they could control their blood sugar without using any medications. Another 11% of patients are in remission and may use less medication.
“We found this program to be effective in controlling diabetes when taking or stopping the drug,” Keller said during the presentation.
Patients who lose the most weight, he added, have seen the greatest benefits for their blood sugar control. On average, patients lost 17.3% of their original body weight by the end of the program. But the patients in the highest weight loss group experienced significant improvements in blood sugar control compared with the patients with the least weight.
These results are promising, Keller said, but the next phase of the study is to follow the patient for 12 months after the diet to evaluate its effectiveness over time.
“People want to see the long-term data and see if this diabetes remission is actually self-sustaining,” he said.
Previous evidence suggests that fasting can help control diabetes by restricting calories, even without weight loss.
This type of very low-calorie diet is sometimes called the imitation diet because it has the same effect as abstaining from food altogether. Previous studies have shown that restricting calorie intake through fasting can also help diabetics control insulin sensitivity and blood sugar.
In a case study from July, a 57-year-old woman was able to successfully control her diabetes without taking medication through a combination of fasting, calorie restriction and a ketogenic diet.
Patients in this study consumed 1,500 calories per day, four days a week, and fasted regularly, sometimes for 42 hours at a time.
Four weeks after the diet, patients can stop taking drugs such as metformim, blood pressure lowering drugs and statins, while still being able to control blood sugar.
Four months into the program, her blood sugar improved significantly, even without medication.
Excessive calorie restriction should be done only with professional supervision
While these results are promising, a diet severely restricting calories over a long period of time can be risky. Severe calorie restriction can lead to muscle loss and fatigue, along with feelings of cold, hunger and irritability.
In severe cases, it can even lead to serious health consequences, such as irregular heartbeat, dizziness, dangerously low blood pressure and even unconsciousness, which can cause injury or dead.
High calorie restriction can also be harmful for people with a history of eating disorders.
Therefore, anyone interested in adopting a very low calorie diet should consult a medical professional and do regular follow-ups to ensure the diet is taken as safely as possible. .
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