Treating newly-diagnosed children with type 2 diabetes with metformin or insulin does not effectively halt the decline of insulin production, US research suggests.
Rates of type 2 diabetes are increasing worldwide, and researchers are striving for ways to prevent beta cell dysfunction and lessen insulin resistance.
In adults, insulin resistance can be reversed through eating a healthy, real food diet, and as evidenced by our Low Carb Program users are able to come off diabetes medication and put the condition into remission.
While some studies have shown low carb diets for children with diabetes can lead to weight loss and improved blood sugar control, there is a lack of clinical studies into low carb eating and children.
In this new trial, Yale University researchers recruited 91 overweight or obese children aged 10-19 who either had type 2 diabetes or impaired glucose tolerance. They were then randomised to injections of Lantus (glargine) insulin for three months followed by metformin for three months, or metformin for a year.
Metformin is a first-line treatment in type 2 diabetes, helping to lower blood sugar levels, while insulin may be used among those who’ve struggled to control their blood sugar through diet, lifestyle changes and other medication.
During the 15-month study period, blood sugar levels and beta cell function were monitored by researchers. Neither treatment slowed or stopped type 2 diabetes progression in either group, and beta cell deterioration continued despite the treatments.
Lead author Sonia Caprio and her co-authors hypothesised the lack of effectiveness may be due to the more aggressive nature of type 2 diabetes in youth. She added that newer medications that target insulin resistance in youth may be required.
The findings have been published online in the journal Diabetes Care.

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