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  1. Health and Nutrition News

  2. Apr 1, 2024

Vegan Diet Reduces Insulin Requirements for Type 1 Diabetes

A new study led by Physicians Committee Director of Clinical Research Hana Kahleova, MD, found that a low-fat vegan diet has a strikingly beneficial effect on type 1 diabetes.1 Physicians Committee researchers had already established a low-fat vegan diet as the nutritional treatment of choice for type 2 diabetes, but its effect on type 1 diabetes had not previously been studied. In the 12-week trial, despite increased carbohydrate intake, participants on the vegan diet reduced their total daily insulin dose by 12.1 units/day and lost an average of 5.2 kilograms. 

Although the primary problem in type 1 diabetes is the autoimmune destruction of the insulin-producing beta-cells of the pancreas, patients frequently also have insulin resistance, just as in type 2 diabetes. A low-fat vegan diet effectively counters insulin resistance, reducing insulin requirements, and improves body weight.2


  1. Kahleova H, Znayenko-Miller T, Smith K, et al. Effect of a dietary intervention on insulin requirements and glycemic control in type 1 diabetes: a 12-week randomized clinical trial. Clin Diabetes. 2024:cd230086. doi:10.2337/cd23-0086
  2. Barnard ND, Cohen J, Jenkins DJ, et al. A low-fat vegan diet improves glycemic control and cardiovascular risk factors in a randomized clinical trial in individuals with type 2 diabetes. Diabetes Care. 2006;29(8):1777-1883. doi:10.2337/dc06-0606

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