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Effect of a High-Protein, Low-Carbohydrate Diet on Blood Glucose Control in People With Type 2 Diabetes

There has been interest in the effect of various types and amounts of dietary carbohydrates and proteins on blood glucose. On the basis of our previous data, we designed a high-protein/low-carbohydrate, weight-maintaining, nonketogenic diet. Its effect on glucose control in people with untreated type 2 diabetes was determined. We refer to this as a low-biologically-available-glucose (LoBAG) diet. Eight men were studied using a randomized 5-week crossover design with a 5-week washout period. The carbohydrate:protein:fat ratio of the control diet was 55:15:30. The test diet ratio was 20:30:50. Plasma and urinary β-hydroxybutyrate were similar on both diets. The mean 24-h integrated serum glucose at the end of the control and LoBAG diets was 198 and 126 mg/dl, respectively. The percentage of glycohemoglobin was 9.8 ± 0.5 and 7.6 ± 0.3, respectively. It was still decreasing at the end of the LoBAG diet. Thus, the final calculated glycohemoglobin was estimated to be ∼6.3–5.4%. Serum insulin was decreased, and plasma glucagon was increased. Serum cholesterol was unchanged. Thus, a LoBAG diet ingested for 5 weeks dramatically reduced the circulating glucose concentration in people with untreated type 2 diabetes. Potentially, this could be a patient-empowering way to ameliorate hyperglycemia without pharmacological intervention. The long-term effects of such a diet remain to be determined.

Published on 08-25-2009
Authors: Mary C. Gannon123 and Frank Q. Nuttall13
Source: Diabetes September 2004 vol. 53 no. 9 2375-2382