Plain language summary
Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) affects around 10% of the global population. The primary goal in its management is to improve glycemic control. Modifying the diet can help, but many patients fail to achieve improvements with diet alone. The aim of the randomized dietary intervention pilot trial is to evaluate the effects of a personalized postprandial-targeting (PPT) diet on glycemic control and metabolic health in 23 adults with newly diagnosed T2DM, as compared to the commonly recommended Mediterranean-style (MED) diet. The PPT diet led to significant lower levels of continuous-glucose-monitoring (CGM)-based measures as compared to the MED diet. In the additional 6-months intervention, metabolic parameters were further improved and 61% of the participants exhibited diabetes remission. Improvements in clinical outcomes were also accompanied by changes in the gut microbiome. These findings may be useful for the design of larger studies in the future that may have implications for dietary advice in clinical practice.
BACKGROUND Dietary modifications are crucial for managing newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) and preventing its health complications, but many patients fail to achieve clinical goals with diet alone. We sought to evaluate the clinical effects of a personalized postprandial-targeting (PPT) diet on glycemic control and metabolic health in individuals with newly diagnosed T2DM as compared to the commonly recommended Mediterranean-style (MED) diet. METHODS We enrolled 23 adults with newly diagnosed T2DM (aged 53.5 ± 8.9 years, 48% males) for a randomized crossover trial of two 2-week-long dietary interventions. Participants were blinded to their assignment to one of the two sequence groups: either PPT-MED or MED-PPT diets. The PPT diet relies on a machine learning algorithm that integrates clinical and microbiome features to predict personal postprandial glucose responses (PPGR). We further evaluated the long-term effects of PPT diet on glycemic control and metabolic health by an additional 6-month PPT intervention (n = 16). Participants were connected to continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) throughout the study and self-recorded dietary intake using a smartphone application. RESULTS In the crossover intervention, the PPT diet lead to significant lower levels of CGM-based measures as compared to the MED diet, including average PPGR (mean difference between diets, - 19.8 ± 16.3 mg/dl × h, p < 0.001), mean glucose (mean difference between diets, - 7.8 ± 5.5 mg/dl, p < 0.001), and daily time of glucose levels > 140 mg/dl (mean difference between diets, - 2.42 ± 1.7 h/day, p < 0.001). Blood fructosamine also decreased significantly more during PPT compared to MED intervention (mean change difference between diets, - 16.4 ± 37 μmol/dl, p < 0.0001). At the end of 6 months, the PPT intervention leads to significant improvements in multiple metabolic health parameters, among them HbA1c (mean ± SD, - 0.39 ± 0.48%, p < 0.001), fasting glucose (- 16.4 ± 24.2 mg/dl, p = 0.02) and triglycerides (- 49 ± 46 mg/dl, p < 0.001). Importantly, 61% of the participants exhibited diabetes remission, as measured by HbA1c < 6.5%. Finally, some clinical improvements were significantly associated with gut microbiome changes per person. CONCLUSION In this crossover trial in subjects with newly diagnosed T2DM, a PPT diet improved CGM-based glycemic measures significantly more than a Mediterranean-style MED diet. Additional 6-month PPT intervention further improved glycemic control and metabolic health parameters, supporting the clinical efficacy of this approach. TRIAL REGISTRATION ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT01892956.