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Issue 128 Summer 2018

Endocrinologist > Summer 2018 > Hot topics

Very-low-carb diet shows promise in type 1 diabetes

| Hot topics

In results taken from an online patient survey, Lennerz et al. identified the potential for very-low-carbohydrate diets to improve blood sugar control in type 1 diabetes.

The survey respondents reported an average daily carbohydrate intake of 36g, or about 5% of total calories. (As a comparison, the American Diabetes Association recommends that about 45% of calories come from carbohydrates.) Respondents reported using lower-than-average doses of insulin, and reported positive measures of insulin sensitivity and cardiometabolic health, such as low triglyceride levels and high HDL cholesterol levels.

Safety concerns have been raised about very-low-carbohydrate diets in type 1 diabetes, in particular an increased risk of hypoglycaemia. However, the survey respondents reported rates of hospitalisation for hypoglycaemia (1%), diabetic ketoacidosis (2%) and other diabetes complications that were lower than those generally reported for type 1 diabetes populations. More than 80% of survey respondents were satisfied or very satisfied with their diabetes management. The researchers are now calling for controlled clinical trials of this approach.

Read the full article in Pediatrics doi:10.1542/peds.2017-3349.

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