The current thinking around following a high fat, low carb diet to encourage weight loss in diabetics with Type 2 Diabetes, may be misguided say researchers from Warwick Medical School.
For some time, it has been suggested that this diet aids weight loss and controls blood sugar levels, however, the Warwick research has uncovered that high fat intake encourages a rise in the amount of blood endotoxins which are bacterial fragments that provoke inflammation, with diabetic patients showing a particularly enhanced reaction.
Dr Alison Harte, Post-Doctoral Research Fellow from the University of Warwick, explained that, for Diabetics, the diet focus is usually on sugar content as patients cannot regulate their insulin and blood sugar levels and mostly require medication to do so.
She said: “Fat content, whilst associated with weight gain, does not affect blood sugar levels. However, our studies show that meals with high fat content lead to a large amount of gut-derived bacteria in the blood and this was much higher in diabetic patients. Evidence suggests this is due to a ‘leaky gut’ which is an increased permeability of the gut lining that seems to allow a greater transfer of bacterial fragments from the intestine into the blood.
“This creates conditions within the body that trigger inflammatory reactions which ultimately can cause a number of conditions such as heart disease and will help to explain further why diabetics are more prone to developing heart problems, weight gain and cardio-vascular conditions.”
Alison added: “As many as 80% of people with Type 2 Diabetes die from heart disease, so our research will help to shed light on why this happens and for our researchers to develop new preventative measures to protect patients.
“As for dietary advice, we would say that a balanced diet with exercise is the way forward as opposed to seeking quick weight loss results from high fat, low carb diets, which may have longer-term health implications.”
The research was presented at the Society for Endocrinology BES meeting on 20 March in Harrogate.
Dr Alison Harte is the lead author with other researchers from Warwick Medical School, Spain and Saudi Arabia.
Download the paper here
To interview Dr Harte, please contact her on: A.Harte@warwick.ac.uk or Kate Cox, Communications Manager, Warwick Medical School on +44 (0)2476 574255/150483, m: +44(0)7920 531221 or email@example.com.