[June 14, 2006]
RESEARCHERS SAY LOW-CARB DIET BENEFITS DIABETICS
Paper is Published in Journal Edited by SUNY Downstate Professor of Biochemistry
With a continuing epidemic of type 2 diabetes and dwindling resources to combat it, new approaches are clearly needed. Because it is disease of insulin and blood sugar regulation, low-carbohydrate diets have been an obvious choice for diabetic patients but have been resisted by some professionals and agencies in favor of pharmacologic approaches.
Now, medical researchers in Sweden have reported a follow-up study of patients on a low-carbohydrate diet up to 22 months and report stable improvement and reduced need for medication.
The Swedish group, led by Dr. Jorgen Vesti Nielsen, had previously reported on16 obese patients on a 20-percent carbohydrate diet over 6 months. After 22 months, patients continued to show improvement in hemoglobin A1C, a marker for long-term blood-sugar levels in diabetes. Dr. Nielsen is with the Department of Medicine at Blekinge Hospital in Karlshamn.
The paper was published today in Nutrition & Metabolism, an open access journal [no subscription required (http://www.nutritionandmetabolism.com/home/)]. Richard Feinman, PhD, professor of biochemistry at SUNY Downstate Medical Center, is editor of the journal. The paper also reports that seven patients who immediately switched to a 20-percent carbohydrate diet from a low-fat diet in the earlier study also showed improvement.
According to Dr. Feinman, “It is a small study, but it is the longest of its kind and it shows people coming off medication and improving their glycemic control.”