New study shows vegan diet improves diabetes markers in overweight adults

February 12, 2018, Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine

A plant-based diet improves beta-cell function and insulin sensitivity in overweight adults with no history of diabetes, according to a new study published in Nutrients by researchers from the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine.

Measuring the function of beta cells, which store and release insulin, can help assess future type 2 risk.

The study randomly assigned participants—who were overweight and had no history of diabetes—to an intervention or control group in a 1:1 ratio. For 16 weeks, participants in the followed a low-fat vegan diet based on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes with no calorie limit. The control group made no diet changes. Neither group changed exercise or medication routines.

Based on mathematical modeling, the researchers determined that those on a increased meal-stimulated insulin secretion and beta-cell glucose sensitivity, compared to those in the . The plant-based diet group also experienced a decrease in both while fasting and during meal tests.

"The study has important implications for diabetes prevention," says lead study author Hana Kahleova, M.D., Ph.D. "Type 2 diabetes affects approximately 30 million Americans, with 84 million more suffering from prediabetes."

Physicians Committee researchers posit that because the intervention group experienced weight loss, including loss of body fat, their fasting insulin resistance decreased (i.e. improved), and their beta-cell function improved as a result.

"If nothing changes, our next generation—the first expected to live shorter lives than their parents—is in trouble. A third of young Americans are projected to develop diabetes in their lifetimes," says Dr. Kahleova. "Fortunately, this study adds to the growing evidence that food really is medicine and that eating a healthful plant-based diet can go a long way in preventing diabetes."

Previous studies have shown that plant-based diets not only have the power to prevent and reverse type 2 diabetes, but that they also lead to weight loss, improved cholesterol levels, , and less heart disease.

Explore further: Vegetarian diets almost twice as effective in reducing body weight, study finds

More information: Hana Kahleova et al, A Plant-Based Dietary Intervention Improves Beta-Cell Function and Insulin Resistance in Overweight Adults: A 16-Week Randomized Clinical Trial, Nutrients (2018). DOI: 10.3390/nu10020189

Related Stories

Vegetarian diets almost twice as effective in reducing body weight, study finds

June 12, 2017
Dieters who go vegetarian not only lose weight more effectively than those on conventional low-calorie diets but also improve their metabolism by reducing muscle fat, a new study published in the Journal of the American College ...

Losing weight is hard, but not any harder if you have type 2 diabetes

December 8, 2017
A study has found weight loss could reverse type 2 diabetes. The UK clinical trial showed that 46% of people who followed a low-calorie diet, among other measures, for 12 months were able to stop their type 2 diabetes medications.

Replacing diet beverages with water may help diabetic patients lose weight

October 17, 2016
In a study of 81 overweight and obese women with type 2 diabetes who usually consumed diet beverages and were on a weight loss program, those who substituted water for diet beverages after their lunch for 24 weeks had a greater ...

Fasting plasma glucose and insulin are determinants of dietary weight loss success

June 12, 2017
Researchers from the University of Copenhagen, together with colleagues from the University of Colorado, Tufts University, Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red de Fisiopatología de la Obesidad y Nutrición (CIBER OBN) ...

Insulin release is controlled by the amount of Epac2A at the secretory vesicles

July 7, 2017
Specialized beta cells in the pancreas release the hormone insulin to control our blood glucose levels, and failure of this mechanism is central to the development of type-2 diabetes. How much and when insulin is released ...

Fasting-mimicking diet may reverse diabetes

February 23, 2017
A diet designed to imitate the effects of fasting appears to reverse diabetes by reprogramming cells, a new USC-led study shows.

Recommended for you

Physical exercise reduces risk of developing diabetes: study

February 20, 2018
Exercising more reduces the risk of diabetes and could see seven million fewer diabetic patients across mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan, according to new research.

Researchers find existing drug effective at preventing onset of type 1 diabetes

February 15, 2018
A drug commonly used to control high blood pressure may also help prevent the onset of type 1 diabetes in up to 60 percent of those at risk for the disease, according to researchers at the University of Colorado Anschutz ...

Chemist designs diabetic treatment minus harmful side effects

February 9, 2018
A chemist in the College of Arts and Sciences (A&S) has figured out how to control glucose levels in the bloodstream without the usual side effects of nausea, vomiting or malaise.

Peptide improves glucose and insulin sensitivity, lowers weight in mice

February 8, 2018
Treating obese mice with catestatin (CST), a peptide naturally occurring in the body, showed significant improvement in glucose and insulin tolerance and reduced body weight, report University of California San Diego School ...

Study reports use of nutritional ketosis with mobile app intervention could reverse Type 2 diabetes

February 7, 2018
A newly published study has shown that an individualized approach to nutritional ketosis (utilizing fat rather than glucose to fuel the body), combined with remote monitoring via a mobile application, could sustainably and ...

Simple molecule could prevent, alleviate pre-diabetes

February 7, 2018
Restoring levels of coenzyme Q10 (CoQ), a key molecule in energy production in cells, could overcome insulin resistance or pre-diabetes—a precursor to type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.