Extremely Low-Carb “Ketogenic Diet” Leads to Dramatic Reductions in Type 2 BG Levels, Medications

More than 95 % of the patients on the extreme low-carb diet were able to reduce or even eliminate their diabetes medications. The catch is that they restricted their carb intake to 20 or fewer grams per day, a radical amount compared to the ADA’s recommended daily minimum of 130 grams

Jan 14, 2009

Two diets - one severely restricting carbohydrate intake but with no limit on calories, and the other emphasizing low-glycemic carbohydrates and low calories - allowed high percentages of obese type 2 patients in a university study to reduce or even eliminate their diabetes medications (95.2 percent of the patients on the extreme low-carb diet and 62.1 percent of the patients on the low-glycemic diet).

Researchers at Duke University Medical Center assigned 84 patients to one of two diets over a 24-week period. The first, called a "ketogenic diet," restricted carbohydrate intake to 20 or fewer grams per day, a radical amount compared to the ADA's recommended daily minimum of 130 grams and even to low-carb advocate Dr. Richard K. Bernstein's 30-grams-per-day recommendation.

In a ketogenic diet, the body is forced to use fat to provide energy, a process that produces a metabolic product called ketones. 

The other diet stressed the consumption of low-glycemic foods, which are absorbed slowly by the body and do not cause spikes in blood sugar levels. The diet also severely restricted daily caloric intake to 500 calories. That drastically low number came about because the study was designed to test intense approaches to treating obese people with diabetes whose previous forms of diet and management had not worked.

Although both diets produced substantial improvements in patients, the ketogenic diet was clearly more effective. While Duke researchers did not always spell out the actual measurements produced by each diet, they said that the ketogenic group enjoyed lowered A1cs, greater weight loss, and a larger increase in "good" cholesterol compared to the low-glycemic group. 

The medical center quoted Dr. Eric C. Westman, who led the study, as saying, "It's simple. If you cut out the carbohydrates, your blood sugar goes down and you lose weight, which lowers your blood sugar even further. It's a one-two punch." In fact, reports Reuters, the Duke researchers concluded that "lifestyle modification using low carbohydrate interventions is effective for improving and reversing type 2 diabetes."

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Categories: A1c Test, Blood Sugar, Diabetes, Diabetes, Diets, Food, Glycemic Index & Carb Counting, Losing weight, Low Carb, Nutrition Research, Type 2 Issues, Type 2 Medications

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Posted by Anonymous on 13 January 2009

I believe the low GI diet restricted calories by 500 below maintenance level not to 500.

Posted by Ted Hutchinson on 15 January 2009

~A tale of two studies.
Eades has done a graphical representation of the results of this study that allows readers to understand more easily the benefits that are being reported.

Posted by Anonymous on 21 January 2009

ANYBODY on a 500 calorie diet is going to lose weight and see their numbers drop. That can't possibly be correct. Surely they don't mean that they only let people eat 500 calories a day. That's a good way to go into organ failure.

Posted by Anonymous on 23 January 2009

Dr. Atkins was doing this 30 years ago! This should be common knowledge. Here's one for you: pomegranate extract and a low-carb will cure cancer. Look it up in mice studies! Will we have to wait 30 years for that to catch on too?

Posted by danbrown on 25 January 2009

Of course a VLCKD works, exactly as Duke's Dr. Westman's study controlled demonstrates. But who's listening? Just a few of us who have found it out for ourselves, with lots of help from Dr. Bernstein and a few intrepid others. Go Dr. Westman!

Posted by Anonymous on 27 January 2009

I know it's important to eat right when you have diabetes.
I went to a Youth group night where I heard a lady speak to us on just that.

She is an amazing lady and has diabetes her self.
go to her web site and you can see her devotion to being an advocate to type 2 diabetes.

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