Aims: The effect of a balanced, carbohydrate-counting diet on glycaemic control in Type 1 diabetic subjects is unclear. Our aim was to determine its effect in a small, pilot trial.
Methods: We randomized 256 Type 1 diabetic subjects to a Nutritional Education Programme (group A) or not (group B). Weight, body mass index, glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c), lipid profile, urate, creatinine, microalbuminuria and daily insulin requirements were measured at baseline and at the end of the study (9 months). During the study, the number of hypoglycaemic events (blood glucose<3.9 mmol/l) was also measured.
Results: Compared with group B, group A showed: (i) a reduction in HbA1c (group A: 7.8+/-1.3-7.4+/-0.9%; group B: 7.5+/-0.8-7.5+/-1.1%; P<0.01); (ii) less hypoglycaemic events (4% vs. 7%; P<0.05); (iii) a reduction in dose of rapid insulin analogues (23.5+/-10.9 vs. 27.7+/-17.1 IU/24 h; P=0.03). No other between-group changes were observed.
Conclusions: This study shows the importance of medical nutritional therapy on glycaemic control in Type 1 diabetic subjects.