We analysed participants with type 2 diabetes (n = 46) within a larger weight loss trial (n = 146) who were randomized to 48 weeks of a low-carbohydrate diet (LCD; n = 22) or a low-fat diet + orlistat (LFD + O; n = 24). At baseline, mean body mass index (BMI) was 39.5 kg/m(2) (s.d. 6.5) and haemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) 7.6% (s.d. 1.3). Although the interventions reduced BMI similarly (LCD -2.4 kg/m(2) ; LFD + O -2.7 kg/m(2) , p = 0.7), LCD led to a relative improvement in HbA1c: -0.7% in LCD versus +0.2% in LFD + O [difference -0.8%, 95% confidence interval (CI) = -1.6, -0.02; p = 0.045]. LCD also led to a greater reduction in antiglycaemic medications using a novel medication effect score (MES) based on medication potency and total daily dose; 70.6% of LCD versus 30.4% LFD + O decreased their MES by ≥50% (p = 0.01). Lowering dietary carbohydrate intake demonstrated benefits on glycaemic control beyond its weight loss effects, while at the same time lowering antiglycaemic medication requirements.
Keywords: glycaemic control; low-carbohydrate diet; low-fat diet; medication therapy management; orlistat.
© 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.