A Dutch lifestyle intervention has helped people with type 2 diabetes reduce their medication doses over a six-month period.

Compared to before the study, average HbA1c levels dropped by 5 mmol/mol (0.4%) and the number of participants whose HbA1c was below 53 mmol/mol (7%) increased from 36% to 60%.

The findings have been reported by a Dutch research team led by Peter Voshol, Department of Nutrition and Health, Louis Bolk Instituut, Bunnik, The Netherlands.

While the study involved a small sample of participants, the results provide further evidence of the benefits that nutritional therapy can have for people with type 2 diabetes.

Earlier this year, the American Diabetes Association issued a landmark consensus recommending low carb as a beneficial approach to treating type 2 diabetes. And the one-year findings from Diabetes Digital Media’s Low Carb Program reveal that 26% of users put type 2 diabetes into remission.

A total of 74 people with type 2 diabetes with a mean BMI of 31 were included in the Dutch study, which tested a multicomponent nutrition and lifestyle intervention program on blood glucose control and diabetes medication.

Before the study bega, 90% of participants were taking at least one blood glucose-lowering medication. At six months, 49% had reduced or eliminated their medication completely.

Lower fasting blood glucose levels and weight loss were among the secondary benefits observed.

“This pilot study showed that a six-month multicomponent group-based program in a routine care setting could improve glycemic control and reduce the use of glucose lowering medication in motivated [people with type 2 diabetes],” wrote the researchers.

Voshol and colleagues added that a “fully-scaled study” is needed to verify the findings in larger samples of people, but opine that the findings “provide a step in the direction of more practice-based evidence”.

The findings have been published in The BMJ.

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