Effect of a low-carbohydrate diet on appetite, blood glucose levels, and insulin resistance in obese patients with type 2 diabetes

Guenther Boden, Karin Sargrad, Carol Homko, Maria Mozzoli, T. Peter Stein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

359 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: It is not known how a low-carbohydrate, high-protein, high-fat diet causes weight loss or how it affects blood glucose levels in patients with type 2 diabetes. Objective: To determine effects of a strict low-carbohydrate diet on body weight, body water, energy intake and expenditure, glycemic control, insulin sensitivity, and lipid levels in obese patients with type 2 diabetes. Design: Inpatient comparison of 2 diets. Setting: General clinical research center of a university hospital. Patients: 10 obese patients with type 2 diabetes. Intervention: Usual diets for 7 days followed by a low-carbohydrate diet for 14 days. Measurements: Body weight, water, and composition; energy intake and expenditure; diet satisfaction; hemoglobin A1C; insulin sensitivity; 24-hour urinary ketone excretion; and plasma profiles of glucose, insulin, leptin, and ghrelin. Results: On the low-carbohydrate diet, mean energy intake decreased from 3111 kcal/d to 2164 kcal/d. The mean energy deficit of 1027 kcal/d (median, 737 kcal/d) completely accounted for the weight loss of 1.65 kg in 14 days (median, 1.34 kg in 14 days). Mean 24-hour plasma profiles of glucose levels normalized, mean hemoglobin A1c decreased from 7.3% to 6.8%, and insulin sensitivity improved by approximately 75%. Mean plasma triglyceride and cholesterol levels decreased (change, -35% and -10%, respectively). Limitations: The study was limited by the short duration, small number of participants, and lack of a strict control group. Conclusion: In a small group of obese patients with type 2 diabetes, a low-carbohydrate diet followed for 2 weeks resulted in spontaneous reduction in energy intake to a level appropriate to their height; weight loss that was completely accounted for by reduced caloric intake; much improved 24-hour blood glucose profiles, insulin sensitivity, and hemoglobin A1c; and decreased plasma triglyceride and cholesterol levels. The long-term effects of this diet, however, remain uncertain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)403-411+I-44
JournalAnnals of Internal Medicine
Volume142
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 15 2005

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Internal Medicine

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