Study Accomplishes Prediabetes Remission in Obese Adults

A small study has demonstrated that strict adherence to a high protein diet can lead to the remission of pre-diabetes.

More than 86 million people have impaired glucose tolerance, or pre-diabetes, and 7 to 10 percent of them progress to type 2 diabetes every year. Research shows that healthy lifestyle changes substantially decrease the risk of type 2 development, but few studies have looked at the remission of pre-diabetes through diet and weight loss.

This current study, affiliated with the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, was designed to compare the effects of high protein (HP) and high carbohydrate (HC) diets in obese individuals with pre-diabetes. The 24 male and female study subjects were 20 to 50 years old, and met specific BMI, fasting glucose, and A1C requirements.

For six months, the participants’ meals, both HP and HC, were provided. Glucose and insulin readings were taken at the start and finish of the six-month trial period, and each subject was weighed weekly. No alterations were made in physical activity levels; all the participants reported being minimally active.

After the six months, all subjects on the HP diet showed complete remission of pre-diabetes, and those on the HC diet averaged a 33 percent glucose tolerance improvement. “Our results show that high efficacy can be achieved with dietary modification if parameters are rigorously controlled and monitored,” wrote the study authors.

Overall, the HP group had greater improvements in lean body mass, insulin sensitivity, cardiovascular risk factors, oxidative stress, and inflammation than those in the HC group. Both diet groups experienced a decrease in body fat with weight loss.

The researchers note that HP diets can be adjusted to suit a variety of meal plans, and they offer guidelines to interested parties via phone and email consultation.

Sources: Diabetes In Control; BMJ

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