This systematic review set out to establish whether low-carbohydrate diets, which are known to be effective for short-term weight loss in non-diabetic obese people, work in people with type 2 diabetes.
In type 2 diabetes, do low-carbohydrate diets, as compared to alternative dietary advice, lead to improved glycaemic control or increased weight loss?
The comparisons included Low Fat Diet (LFD), Usual Care Diet (UCD) or Low Glycemic Index Diet (LGID).
It is not clear how many individual randomised trials were found. However, the reveiwers note that most of the studies, including the longer term ones, did not find a significant benefit for low-carb diets in terms of weight loss.
They did find one longer term study that found a benefit for a mediterranean-style diet in reducing HbA1c, however.
Users of this research should consider:
- Whether the reviewers could have missed important research (e.g. they did not search EMBASE).
- Were the intervention similar enough? Were the comparisons realistic?
- How other treatments would affect outcomes.
- It may be better to look for a better quality individual study that closely matches the population and interventions that are relevant and achievable in your setting.
Castañeda-González LM, Bacardí Gascón M, Jiménez Cruz A. Effects of low carbohydrate diets on weight and glycemic control among type 2 diabetes individuals: a systemic review of RCT greater than 12 weeks. Nutr Hosp. 2011 Dec;26(6):1270-6.