Effects of intermittent very-low calorie diet on glycemic control and cardiovascular risk factors in obese patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus: A randomized controlled trial.

Journal of diabetes investigation. 2022;13(1):156-166
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Various studies have shown that intermittent low-calorie diets are effective in reducing weight and improving glycaemic control. In this randomized controlled trial, two intermittent very-low calorie diets (2 days per week and 4 days per week) were evaluated against a control group with respect to achieving diabetes remission, improving glycemic control, metabolic parameters, and quality of life in Type 2 diabetic patients. There was a significant reduction in HbA1c and insulin resistance in the 2 days/week and 4 days/week intermittent very-low calorie groups at week 20. Both the intervention groups achieved diabetes remission with 29% of participants not requiring glucose-lowering medications at week 20. Both intervention groups also showed a significant reduction in serum triglycerides, body weight, body mass index, and fat mass. Aspartate transaminase and alanine aminotransferase levels, as well as blood pressure, decreased significantly with a 4 day/week intermittent low-calorie diet. Both intervention groups experienced improved quality of life at week 10 and the interventions were generally well tolerated. To generalise the results, longer-term, robust studies are required. These results can help healthcare providers understand the clinical relevance of intermittent very-low calorie diets in managing Type 2 diabetes and obesity.


AIMS/INTRODUCTION Very few studies assess the effectiveness of different protocols of intermittent very-low calorie diet (VLCD) in patients with diabetes. This study was designed to compare the effects of 2 days/week and 4 days/week of intermittent VLCD on glycemic control, diabetes remission, metabolic parameters and quality of life in patients with type 2 diabetes and obesity. MATERIALS AND METHODS Participants with obesity and type 2 diabetes were recruited and randomly assigned to three groups, consisting of control, 2 days/week and 4 days/week of intermittent VLCD. In the intermittent VLCD groups, participants received a 600-kcal diet per day on restricted days and ad libitum food consumption on non-restricted days. Glycemic control, rate of diabetes remission, metabolic parameters and quality of life were evaluated at baseline, weeks 2, 10 and 20. RESULTS A total of 40 participants were enrolled. The mean body mass index was 30.1 ± 5.9 kg/m2 , and the mean glycated hemoglobin was 7.4 ± 1.2%. At week 20, there was an improvement in glycemic control in both intermittent VLCD groups with significant decreases in glycated hemoglobin levels and insulin resistance index throughout the study periods. Diabetes remission without the need for medications was equally found in 29% of participants in both intermittent VLCD groups. Serum triglyceride, bodyweight, body mass index and fat mass were also significantly decreased in both VLCD groups. No serious adverse events were encountered. CONCLUSION Intermittent VLCD was highly effective in achieving optimal glycemic control. The effects of 2 days/week and 4 days/week of intermittent VLCD on diabetes remission were relatively similar.

Lifestyle medicine

Fundamental Clinical Imbalances : Hormonal
Environmental Inputs : Diet
Personal Lifestyle Factors : Nutrition
Functional Laboratory Testing : Blood
Bioactive Substances : None

Methodological quality

Jadad score : 3
Allocation concealment : No