HealthDay News — For individuals with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), a 6-month, calorie-unrestricted low-carbohydrate, high-fat (LCHF) diet results in greater improvements in glycemic control and weight loss than a high-carbohydrate, low-fat (HCLF) diet, according to a study published online December 13 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Camilla Dalby Hansen, MD, from the University of Southern Denmark in Odense, and colleagues conducted a 6-month randomized controlled trial with a 6-month follow-up to examine the effect of a calorie-unrestricted LCHF diet on T2DM and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) among 165 participants with T2DM.

The researchers found that participants on the LCHF diet had greater improvements in hemoglobin A1c (mean difference in change, −0.59%) and lost more weight (mean difference in change, −3.8kg) than those on the HCLF diet. At six months, both groups had higher high-density lipoprotein cholesterol and lower triglycerides. Compared with the HCLF group, changes in low-density lipoprotein cholesterol were less favorable in the LCHF group (mean difference in change, 14.3mg/dL). In the assessment of NAFLD, there were no significant between-group changes noted. At the nine-month follow-up, changes were not sustained.

“Improvements were not sustained 3 months after the end of the intervention, suggesting the need for long-term dietary change to effect meaningful health benefits,” the authors write.

The study was partially funded by the Novo Nordisk Foundation.

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