A case series recently co-authored by Dr. Tro Kalayjian, DO, suggests diabetes can be reversed through the implementation of a very low-carbohydrate ketogenic diet and intermittent fasting.
The manuscript is entitled Treating Diabetes Utilizing a Low Carbohydrate Ketogenic Diet and Intermittent Fasting Without Significant Weight Loss: A Case Report and was published June 28, 2021, in Frontiers in Nutrition. The other principal authors include Dr. Kristen Gavidia.
In this case series, three patients with severe type 2 diabetes had the condition reversed using the “unconventional dietary methods” of a very low-carbohydrate ketogenic diet and intermittent fasting. The manuscript summary said “although anecdotal, these cases point to a critical lack of flexibility in current dietary guidelines.”
The case series stands in stark contrast to recommendations currently being made by the American Diabetes Association (ADA).
As noted in the manuscript:
“These results call into question the emphasis of ADA on weight loss, caloric reduction, and its recommendations against focusing on macronutrient composition and meal timing. Although anecdotal, these results demonstrate the importance of both meal timing and therapeutic carbohydrate reduction on the glycemia of patients with severe diabetes, an area of further focus needed in future dietary guidelines.”
“The recommendations of the ADA are based on ‘expert opinion’ with scant evidence,” said Dr. Kalayjian. “This paper showed one of the biggest drops in a1c ever documented for a lifestyle intervention. I think this should be enough to move the needle. We want these organizations to be more flexible when it comes to low carb and intermittent fasting approaches.”
According to the paper, much of type 2 diabetes can be improved without weight loss. Dr. Tro says, “weight loss can be a long arduous process, this shows that even though weight loss is slow and gradual, your diabetes remissions doesn’t have to be.” In the paper, three patients were highlighted who effectively lowered their a1c, a measure of diabetes, to near-normal levels with minimal weight loss.
“Above all,” says Dr. Tro, “I just want people to know that they can make drastic changes right now, without waiting months for weight loss. What you are eating right now can be changed, and it will have an immediate impact.”