In a randomized control trial, researchers analyzed 46 participants with type 2 diabetes in a larger weight loss study (n=146) with mean BMI 39.5 kg/m2 and HbA1c 7.6% and above for 48 weeks. Participants were randomly selected for either low carbohydrate diet (LCD) or a low fat diet plus orlistat (LFD+O). Body composition, HbA1c level, and medication effect score based on potency and daily dose were used to measure the outcome of the trial.
The results have shown similar reduction in body mass index (BMI) in both groups (LCD -2.4 kg/m2; LFD+O -2.7 kg/m2, p = 0.7). However, LCD showed a greater reduction in HbA1c (difference -0.8%, 95% CI= -1.6, -0.02; p = 0.045) and antiglycemic medications based on a novel medication effect score (MES). According to the medication effect score, about 70.6% of low carbohydrate diet and 30.4% low fat diet plus orlistat decreased their MES by ≥50% (p = 0.01) at the end of the trial.
In conclusion, low carbohydrate diet demonstrates beneficial effects on glycemic control, HbA1c, and antidiabetic medications use beyond its weight loss effects. LCD should be an option for type 2 diabetic patients to help improve their overall lifestyle and antidiabetic medication therapy.
Mayer SB, Jeffreys AS, Olsen MK, et al. Two Diets with Different Hemoglobin A1c and Antiglycemic Medication Effects Despite Similar Weight Loss in Type 2 Diabetes. Diabetes Obes Metab. 2013 Aug 2