Home Diet Groundbreaking new study finds that low-fat vegan diet reduces insulin needs and improves insulin sensitivity in people with type 1 diabetes

Groundbreaking new study finds that low-fat vegan diet reduces insulin needs and improves insulin sensitivity in people with type 1 diabetes

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WASHINGTON, DC—A low-fat vegan diet rich in fruits, vegetables, grains, and legumes reduces insulin requirements and improves insulin sensitivity and blood sugar control in people with type 1 diabetes, finds first-ever study from the National Academy of Sciences. Became.Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine was announced on clinical diabetes. The study also found that a vegan diet led to improvements in cholesterol levels, kidney function, and weight.

Type 1 diabetes is thought to be caused by an autoimmune reaction that destroys insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas. Insulin is a hormone that helps move glucose (sugar) from the blood to muscles and liver cells to be used as energy. People with type 1 diabetes need to take insulin because their body doesn't produce enough insulin. Some people with type 1 diabetes have insulin resistance. This is a condition in which cells do not respond adequately to insulin, leaving glucose in the blood. Insulin resistance is strongly influenced by dietary fat, which can inhibit glucose from entering cells. Over time, blood sugar levels can become high and lead to health complications.

The 12-week study was the first randomized clinical trial to investigate a vegan diet in people with type 1 diabetes, and included 58 adults with type 1 diabetes in either a low-fat vegan group with no calorie restriction or a carbohydrate group. A portion control group in which overweight participants reduced their daily caloric intake and stabilized their carbohydrate intake over time.

Those on the low-fat vegan diet group needed to take in 28% less insulin and had a 127% increase in insulin sensitivity (how well the body responds to insulin) compared to the portion-restricted group. Increased. This was associated with changes in weight. The vegan group lost an average of about 11 pounds, while the portion-restricted group saw no significant change in weight. Changes in insulin sensitivity were also associated with increased carbohydrate and fiber intake. Previous studies have shown that reducing fat and protein intake is also associated with reduced insulin requirements and improved insulin sensitivity in people with type 1 diabetes.

Total cholesterol decreased by 32.3 mg/dL in the vegan group, compared to 10.9 mg/dL in the restricted intake group. LDL cholesterol decreased by approximately 18.6 mg/dL in the vegan group, but there was no significant change in the restricted intake group.

Type 1 diabetes is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and death. In this study, the reduction in insulin use with a vegan diet equated to a 9% reduction in cardiovascular risk. A reduction in HbA1c corresponds to a 12% and 8.8-12% reduction in the risk of heart attack and cardiovascular disease, respectively. Reducing LDL cholesterol also equates to an approximately 20% reduction in the risk of major cardiac events, including heart attack and stroke.

Approximately 40,000 people are newly diagnosed with type 1 diabetes each year. Recent analyzes predict that the prevalence of type 1 diabetes will increase by up to 107% by 2040. The annual cost of treating type 1 diabetes increased by more than 50% between 2012 and 2016. This is primarily due to the rising cost of insulin and diabetes monitoring equipment.

“While the cost of insulin remains a concern for many, our groundbreaking research shows that a low-fat vegan diet that does not restrict carbohydrates can reduce the need for insulin, manage blood sugar levels, and improve heart health. “This could be a prescription for improving the health of type 1 diabetes,” said Hana Kareova, lead author of the study and director of clinical research at the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. says the M.D. Ph.D.

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