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

Moderate exercise before conception resulted in lower body weight, increased insulin sensitivity of offspring

October 22, 2018
Men who want to have children in the near future should consider hitting the gym.

A novel insulin accelerant

October 17, 2018
Insulin levels rise after eating a meal, signaling uptake of circulating glucose by skeletal muscle. In individuals with diabetes this process is often impaired—a condition known as insulin resistance.

Fat tissue may play a crucial role in the progression of diabetes, challenging long established notions

October 12, 2018
A new study by Australian researchers, out today, is challenging what we know about the causes of diabetes. The new research points to fat tissue as a source of disease, and widens our understanding beyond the traditional ...

Does breastfeeding hormone protect against type 2 diabetes?

October 12, 2018
(HealthDay)—The hormone prolactin—most commonly associated with breastfeeding—may play a role in reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes, a new study suggests.

Planned intermittent fasting may help reverse type 2 diabetes, suggest doctors

October 10, 2018
Planned intermittent fasting may help to reverse type 2 diabetes, suggest doctors writing in the journal BMJ Case Reports after three patients in their care, who did this, were able to cut out the need for insulin treatment ...

Markers of dairy fat consumption linked to lower risk of type two diabetes

October 10, 2018
Higher levels of biomarkers of dairy fat consumption are associated with a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes, according to new research published today in PLOS Medicine. The study, in more than 60,000 adults, was undertaken ...

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.