by Paul Fassa
Health Impact News
A recent 2018 online survey of type 1 diabetics or their parents and caregivers has opened the door for others to use the ketogenic high-fat, low-carbohydrate, moderate protein diet to ease the burden of insulin injections and improve the day-to-day life of type 1 diabetics, potentially leading to remission.
This was a breakthrough study, as the ketogenic diet has proven itself with diabetes type 2 sufferers, but there has been little looked into with keto for diabetes 1 patients. This study’s focus was on serious carb production.
Its title is Management of Type 1 Diabetes With a Very Low–Carbohydrate Diet, and it was published by Pediatrics, the “official journal” of the AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics).
Dr. Lewis First, chief editor of Pediatrics, provided an article listing the top 10 items published by Pediatrics during 2018.
This study was at the top of the list as the most popular article in Pediatrics for 2018.
The Reason for This Study: Low-fat Diets are Not Good Historically for Diabetics
The study text mentions an interesting diabetes 1 historical perspective that demonstrates Big Pharma’s control over conventional medical practice. Prior to the discovery of insulin treatment, young type 1 diabetics’ lives were extended and maintained with severe dietary carbohydrate restrictions.
After the introduction of pharmaceutical insulin applications, the medical practice of very low carbohydrate dieting (VLCD) was abandoned as the 1960s anti-saturated fat mania took over. Type 1 diabetics were encouraged to follow along with the high-carb, low-fat dieting that took over.
This was a dangerous dietary dynamic for everyone. It has led to an increase in type 2 diabetes, the lifestyle-induced form of diabetes that has risen since the no or low-fat fad swept a large portion of the world.
By the 1980s, a low-fat diet with 60 percent energy from carbohydrate consumption was considered part of diabetes 1 medical standard of care.
It was this study’s intention to begin turning this dogma in a healthier direction. See:
Study Compares American Diabetes Association Low-fat Diet to High-fat Ketogenic Diet for Helping Diabetes: Ketogenic Diet Wins
Study Details and Highlights Summarized
From the study abstract:
Despite pharmacological and technological advances, optimal glycemic control of type 1 diabetes remains elusive, putting millions of people worldwide at increased risk of micro- and macrovascular complications. One conceptually promising but poorly studied approach is dietary carbohydrate restriction.
The study’s authors selected 316 type 1 diabetics, their parents, or their caregivers from an international Facebook community group called TypeOneGrit, which was established in 2014 and had around 1900 members when the study process began in 2016.
The researchers screened TypeOneGrit members for the final 316 participants, which excluded pregnant women, according to the following criteria:
- They were diagnosed as type 1 diabetics or they were caretakers of type 1 diabetics.
- The diabetics were all receiving insulin therapy.
- They had been consuming a VLCD diet for at least three months.
- They were 18 years or older.
The researchers managed to get 101 medical records from the 238 participants who were willing to let them be used. All the participants and their medical providers were sent surveys. You can view the survey questionnaires here.
The final participants had one common characteristic required by the study’s design, they were not obese. They were divided into three sub-groups categorized by insulin requirements, age, and disease duration.
They also all had started VLCD dieting from two to four years prior to the study at carbohydrate levels of 20 to 50 grams.
Those diets were the same or similar to the book often discussed in this Facebook forum, Dr. Bernstein’s Diabetes Solution, which prescribes a VLCD, measured at 30 grams carbohydrates daily, comprised mostly of low glycemic fibrous veggies and nuts for type 1 diabetics.
The results of the two-year survey study, which also involved physicians, early life caregivers, and institutional records demonstrated:
[Observed] measures of glycemic control in the near-normal range, low rates of hypoglycemia and other adverse events, and generally high levels of satisfaction with health and diabetes control.
These findings are without precedent among people with T1DM, revealing a novel approach to the prevention of long-term diabetes complications.
Exceptional glycemic control of type 1 diabetes without high rates of acute complications may be achievable among children and adults with a very low–carbohydrate diet.
Leading them to cautiously conclude the following:
We suggest that a VLCD may allow for exceptional control of T1DM [type 1 diabetes mellitus] without increased risk of adverse events. This possibility is mechanistically plausible because of the dominant effects of dietary carbohydrates on postprandial glycemia and the lower insulin doses required with a VLCD.
Additional research is needed to determine the degree of carbohydrate restriction (and other dietary aspects) necessary to achieve these benefits, optimal insulin regimen to accompany a VLCD (specifically, with regard to avoiding severe hypoglycemia). (Complete study text source)
In other words, a major reason for having insulin on hand is to avoid an occasional threat from too low a blood sugar level (hypoglycemia) instead of taking it four to six times daily.
It’s this writer’s opinion that the term VLCD (very low carbohydrate diet) is used in this study’s report instead of high-fat diet or ketogenic diet to placate the remaining medical and nutrtitional dinosaurs who oppose saturated fat and claim it is a source of heart disease.
The researchers also commented on how some of the diabetics or their parents or caregivers refused to inform their medical providers about their VLCD diets, fearing censorship or even prosecution for child neglect. It’s not paranoia if there’s a real cause for concern. See:
That’s why the fact that it was published by an establishment organization, the AAP (American Accademy of Pediatrics), is an achievement.
The researchers recommended further studies to ensure the safety of long-term low-carb dieting. But a German 10-year study (among others) has shown there is no danger from higher fat consumption with reduced carbs long-term.
Though the concept of using the ketogenic diet for type 1 diabetes has been brought up before, and there have been promising anecdotal successes, this was the first scientific study to bridge the gap between anecdotal successes and “evidence-based” research.
Type 1 diabetes usually starts young. Many consider it the result of a genetic disposition, which is triggered by an environmental or food toxin. Once triggered, an autoimmune reaction event occurs where healthy pancreas beta cells that produce insulin are chronically attacked and damaged.
This leads to the pancreas’ inability to produce insulin, the transporter of glucose molecules into cells to initiate cellular energy metabolism. Mainstream medicine considers type 1 diabetes “incurable.”
Many type 1 diabetics’ life expectancies are shortened while enduring other debilitating health complications such as blindness, kidney disease, and extremity amputations.
What life they have has to be maintained with up to five or six daily injections of insulin or by wearing an insulin pump to avoid suffering from high (hyperglycemia) or low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) swings so extreme they create glucagon kit interventions or rushed ER visits.
The ketogenic diet, which is unabashedly high-fat, accompanied by low-carb, moderate protein consumption offers an opportunity for type 1 diabetics to ease up with insulin injections and control their diabetes better with the prospect of achieving total remission. See: