The leading cause of death for type 2 diabetes patients is cardiovascular disease, accounting for 44 percent of mortalities. The rates of diagnosis for type 2 diabetes are increasing exponentially year by year and cardiovascular-related deaths have increased proportionally. As such, identifying risk factors for cardiovascular disease is of high importance so medical practitioners can provide preventative solutions to its development.
A new study has tested the effectiveness of certain continuous care interventions for preventing the development of type 2 diabetes. In particular, the researchers were interested in examining nutritional ketosis as a possible preventative technique for type 2 diabetes.
The study used 262 type 2 diabetes patients in an experimental group and 87 in the control group. The experimental group participated in a one-year continuous care intervention treatment program for type 2 diabetes. They were given access to an online system through which they could track their progress, as well as body weight, blood glucose, and blood beta-hydroxybutyrate, which is an indicator of ketosis.
They were also in touch with medical practitioners who created nutritional plans and offered guidance and medical management advice. Adjustments were made to each participant’s diet based on any adverse symptoms that they were experiencing.
The experimental group was not told to restrict caloric intake at all. “The CCI [continuous care intervention] participants were instructed to restrict carbohydrate, eat protein in moderation, and consume fat to satiety from the start of the study,” write the researchers. The control group were also type 2 diabetes patients and were given instructions to follow the recommended diet for diabetes, according to the American Diabetes Association.
After one year, the experimental group showed significant improvement in the biomarkers for cardiovascular disease when compared to the control group. “Changes included: decreased small LDL-P, triglycerides, blood pressure and antihypertensive medication, hsCRP, and WBC count; increased HDL-C and LDL particle size; no change in LDL-P, ApoB, and cIMT and an increase in LDL-C. Combined with the improvements in glycemic control and reduction in obesity, which reduce CVD risk, these results demonstrate multiple additional benefits of the CCI,” write the researchers.
Inflammation was also significantly decreased in the continuous care intervention group compared to the control group. As inflammation is a well-known risk factor for the development of cardiovascular disease, these results are highly promising. The researchers also found that many patients were able to come off their high blood pressure medication by the one-year mark.
The researchers were satisfied with the results. They showed that nutritional ketosis is related to the reduction of many risk factors for cardiovascular disease in type 2 diabetes patients. A key feature of this study was the individualized care patients were given and the specific guidelines they were provided based on individual needs and symptoms experienced during the transition to nutritional ketosis.
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