Research Seeks to Aid Management of Type 2 Diabetes Through Dietary Education

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An upcoming large-scale clinical trial of the Glucose Everyday Matters program will evaluate its safety and efficacy in managing type 2 diabetes.

A new initiative seeks to analyze a new approach to manage type 2 diabetes as part of a $3.5 million clinical trial by The National Institutes of Health. This large-scale trial is based off research by Daniel J. Cox, PhD, professor of psychiatry and internal medicine at the University of Virginia School of Medicine. Cox believes that providing advanced education on how to make healthier dietary and exercise decisions will allow individuals to have personal control of their blood sugar and potentially alter type 2 diabetes.

Diabetes monitor, Cholesterol diet and healthy food eating nutritional concept with clean fruits in nutritionist's heart dish and patient's blood sugar control record with diabetic measuring tool kit | Image credit: Chinnapong - stock.adobe.com

Diabetes monitor, Cholesterol diet and healthy food eating nutritional concept | Image credit: Chinnapong - stock.adobe.com

According to the study, more than 30 million individuals in the nation are infected with type 2 diabetes, which normally affects individuals 45 years and older; however, an increase of cases in younger individuals was reported. In patients with type 2 diabetes, the body is unable to regulate blood sugar, potentially leading to heart disease, kidney disease, blindness, and other harmful illnesses.

“Instead of focusing on reducing weight with diets or medication, we focus on reducing how much blood glucose goes up and stays up after eating and drinking. These blood glucose elevations are what leads to high A1C and cardiovascular risks among adults with type 2 diabetes,” Cox said in a press release.

Although many individuals use medication or insulin to manage the disease, a previous study using Cox’s approach, known as Glucose Everyday Matters (GEM), reported remission in nearly 70% of individuals without the use of medication or related weight loss.

The goal of GEM is to prevent spikes in blood sugar while educating individuals on how to manage the condition through proper diet and exercise. The press release provides an example of an individual with type 2 diabetes eating something sweet and then taking a walk afterwards to even their blood sugar. This is due to the awareness that the sweet food item would cause a reaction to their sugar levels, but they could prevent it naturally.

The previous study that was conducted on GEM involved 17 individuals who were recently diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. The individuals self-administered the trial and received messages by a provider to allow them to advance over 3 months. Out of the 17 individuals, 67% were in remission and 1 needed to take medication.

However, the upcoming larger clinical trial will include 200 individuals residing in Virginia and Colorado, who will be tracked over the course of 5 years. The study will focus on whether GEM can manage and control blood sugar to limit the use of medication, while comparing the cost and benefits of GEM with other type 2 diabetes treatments.

“It’s an exciting time for people with type 2 diabetes, with both new medications and new lifestyle interventions to improve the control of diabetes, giving patients many new options. Lifestyle interventions have the advantage of being able to put diabetes in remission. GEM is a one-time, brief 6-week intervention that impacts a lifelong lifestyle,” Cox said in the press release.

The upcoming large-scale clinical trial of GEM will evaluate its safety and efficacy in managing type 2 diabetes, hoping to provide significant long-term improvement in treating the condition.

Reference:

Radical new approach to managing type 2 diabetes receives $3.5 million from NIH. EurekAlert!. News release. September 1, 2023. Accessed September 5, 2023. https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/1000277.

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