A very low-carbohydrate diet might be effective in managing type 1 diabetes, suggests a small ‘Pediatrics’ study, but the findings are too preliminary to recommend a change in diabetes care.
Researchers surveyed over 300 adults with type 1 diabetes or parents of children with diabetes who were part of a Facebook community and followed a very low-carbohydrate diet (30 g or less of carbohydrates daily, largely from fibrous vegetables and nuts) for at least 3 months. Information was validated with patients' medical records and clinician surveys.
Patients' mean hemoglobin A1c was 5.67%, a reduction of 1.45% from their pre-diet HbA1c. Pediatric patients following the diet had a mean HbA1c of 5.71%, "which is an exquisite level of control," commentators write. Hospitalisation and hypoglycemia rates were generally low.
The authors note that study participants may be more motivated than other patients with type 1 diabetes. Both the authors and commentators call for randomised trials to test the diet's effects.