Aims: To investigate whether very-low-carbohydrate high-fat diets, typical of ketogenic diets, can improve glycaemic control without causing any ill health effects in adults with Type 1 diabetes.
Methods: In this observational study, 11 adults with Type 1 diabetes (seven men, four women, mean ± sd age 36.1± 6.8 years, mean ± sd duration of diabetes 12.8 ± 10.3 years), who followed a ketogenic diet (< 55 g carbohydrate per day) for a mean ± sd of 2.6 ± 3.3 years (β-hydroxybutyrate 1.6 ± 1.3 mmol/l), underwent sampling and analysis of fasting blood, and were fitted with a blinded continuous glucose monitor for 7 days to measure glycaemic variability.
Results: The mean ± sd HbA1c levels were 35±4 mmol/mol (5.3±0.4%), and participants spent 74±20 and 3±8% of their time in the euglycaemic (4-8 mmol/l) and hyperglycaemic (>10 mmol/l) ranges, respectively, with little daily glycaemic variability (sd 1.5±0.7 mmol/l; coefficient of variation 26±8%). Blood glucose levels were <3.0 mmol/l for 3.6% of the time, and participants experienced a median (range) of 0.9 (0.0-2.0) daily episodes of hypoglycaemia. Total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, total cholesterol/HDL cholesterol ratio, and triglycerides were above the recommended range in 82%, 82%, 64% and 27% of participants, respectively; however, HDL cholesterol levels were within the recommended range for all participants. Participants displayed no or little evidence of hepatic or renal dysfunction.
Conclusion: This study provides the first evidence that, ketogenic diets in adults with Type 1 diabetes are associated with excellent HbA1c levels and little glycaemic variability, but may also be associated with dyslipidaemia and a high number of hypoglycaemic episodes.
© 2018 Diabetes UK.