A 6 month study of low carb and low fat diets on health in people with type 2 diabetes showed a low carbohydrate diet to be associated with better blood glucose control and reduced markers of inflammation compared with the low fat diet.
Type 2 diabetes has been found to be associated with higher than normal markers of inflammation. Researchers believe that inflammation within the body may play a part within the development of the condition and/or with the development of diabetes complications such as heart disease. Researchers from Linköping University were therefore keen to investigate whether the different dietary approaches had any differing effects on inflammation.
59 participants with type 2 diabetes took part in the study and were randomly assigned to follow either a low carbohydrate or low fat diet. In the low carbohydrate diet 20% of energy came from carbohydrate in the low fat diet 55-60% of energy came from carbohydrate.
The researchers monitored body weight, glycaemic control (blood glucose control) and inflammation markers which included levels of C-reactive protein, IL-1Ra (interleukin-1 receptor antagonist), IL-6 (interleukin 6), TNFR1 (tumour necrosis factor receptor 1) and TNFR2.
The results of the study showed that whilst both diets resulted in weight loss of around 4kg, participants in the low carb diet were able to maintain better blood glucose levels and had significantly lower blood levels of the inflammation markers IL-1Ra (and IL-6). By contrast no improvements in diabetes control or inflammation were observed within the low fat dieters.

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