The ketogenic (keto) diet, an extremely low carb diet, has risen in popularity due to its reputation for speeding up weight loss, however, it has many differing expert viewpoints.
Now, a new study from India finds that a ketogenic diet improves symptoms in Type 2 diabetes patients.
The study, led by Dr. Lakshmi Prasanna Angati, from CARE Hospitals in Visakhapatnam, India recruited 115 Indian Type 2 diabetes patients to follow the keto diet for 3 months.
The goal of the study was to study the impact of a keto diet on patients with Type 2 diabetes.
Participants with Type 2 diabetes were asked to restrict their carbohydrate intake to 20 grams or less daily, increase fat, and maintain a modest — but not high protein intake to induce a state referred to as “nutritional ketosis.”
At the start of the study, participants’ mean blood glucose and hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) levels—both of which reflect blood sugar levels—were 169 mg/dL and 7.8%, respectively.
By the end of the study, mean blood glucose and HbA1c levels had dropped for 110 of the participants, going down to 137 mg/dL and 6.43%, respectively.
“[The ketogenic] diet over three months led to a remarkable reduction in HbA1c levels and to great improvements in symptoms associated with Type 2 diabetes,” says Angati. “This is an especially important finding for diabetes patients in India because with the Indian diet people eat carbohydrates morning, noon, and night, and we want to encourage and counsel people to change these dietary habits.”
“The study is statistically significant and showed a significant effect on patients who followed the diet,” says Angati. While she admits the diet was difficult for participants to follow initially, they eventually became accustomed to the diet over time.
As far as the popularity of the diet in India, Angati says not all are aware of the keto diet, as it is just in the initial stages of research, and she says acceptance of the diet is not without debate.
Whether the keto diet is sustainable for a nation of people that follow a traditional Indian diet, consisting heavily of carbohydrates, Angati says the diet can become widespread.
“After proper counseling and guidance’s, and after the health improvement benefits are understood, more will follow the diet,” Angati says. “It’s not long term and it is individualized to each person based on their pre-workup of body parameters and disease conditions,” she explains.
She emphasizes that patients require continuous monitoring with regular check-ups on body enzymes, and mainly, serum ketones levels.
Angati says her study is still in the initial stage of research.
“We are continuing the study with various biochemical parameters estimation like lipid profile, Kraft insulin, serum ketones, HsCRP, uric acid, to know the long term complications and adverse effects of the keto diet,” she explains.
Her team is also trying to understand and fill the cultural gaps by promoting and counseling people to accept and follow a low carb lifestyle in order to lead a healthier life while living with Type 2 diabetes.
The research was presented this week at the annual American Association for Clinical Chemistry (AACC) meeting in Anaheim, Calif.
- AACC. (2019, August 5). Breaking Research Examines Impact of Low-Salt Diets and the Keto Diet. PR Newswire. Retrieved August 8, 2019 from https://prnmedia.prnewswire.com/news-releases/breaking-research-examines-impact-of-low-salt-diets-and-the-keto-diet-300896600.html