New UBCO study indicates diet can help reverse Type 2 diabetes

Reversing Type 2 diabetes

A new joint study from the University of British Columbia Okanagan indicates that Type 2 diabetes can sometimes be reversed with diet changes.

A team of researchers from UBCO and Teesside University in England recently published details on a study involving a specialized diet that was managed by local pharmacists.

“Type 2 diabetes can be treated, and sometimes reversed, with dietary interventions,” says study co-author Dr. Jonathan Little. “However, we needed a strategy to help people implement these interventions while keeping an eye on their medication changes.”

Pharmacists are generally more accessible than a family doctor, says Little, noting that people with Type 2 diabetes often make more visits a year to their pharmacist than their doctor, especially in rural areas.

“Community pharmacists have expertise in medication management and can serve an important role in overall diabetes care,” says Dr. Little, an associate professor in UBC Okanagan’s School of Health and Exercise Sciences.

“When Type 2 diabetes patients follow a very low-carbohydrate or low-calorie diet, there is a need to reduce or eliminate glucose-lowering medications. Community pharmacists are ideally positioned to safely and effectively deliver interventions targeted at reducing diabetes medications while promoting Type 2 diabetes remission.”

Half of the participants in the study followed the low-calorie, low-carbohydrate, higher-protein diet, checking regularly with their pharmacist.

After 12 weeks, more than one-third of participants with Type 2 diabetes were off all diabetes medications, versus none in the control group. Dr. Little says the first group also realized substantial improvements to their glucose control, average body weight, systolic blood pressure and overall health.

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