LEIPZIG, Germany — For patients newly diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, nutrition therapy is highly effective at achieving remission. “The greater the reduction in body weight, the higher the chances that blood sugar levels will normalize,” said Diana Rubin, MD, at the fall press conference of the German Diabetes Society (DDG). Rubin is conference president and chief physician of the Center for Nutritional Medicine and Diabetology at the Vivantes Humboldt Hospital and the Spandau Hospital, Berlin, Germany.
Because of the development of modern medicines, nutrition therapy has increasingly been pushed into the background over the past 50 years. However, nutrition therapy and weight reduction can effectively delay diabetes for years, said Rubin. The patients are healthy, without being healed.
Nevertheless, the remission is rarely permanent. Most of the patients develop type 2 diabetes again after 5 years.
Personalized Nutrition Therapy
It is not just developments in medicine that have pushed nutrition therapy into the background. Another contributing factor is that statutory health insurance companies do not cover personalized nutrition counseling as standard, said Rubin.
Modern research in nutrition therapy has shown that patients with diabetes should receive personalized treatment. However, this idea is not taken into consideration in current diabetes training programs, which are the only forms of nutrition therapy covered by statutory health insurance companies.
Instead, nutrition information is mostly conveyed through group training sessions. Individuals do not necessarily find each other again. What’s more, these sessions are seldom led by nutrition experts. “It is rarely helpful to use a ‘one size fits all’ approach, as is often the case with these group training sessions,” said Rubin.
The DiRECT study, in which patients reduced their weight by 15 kg and achieved remission rates of almost 90%, is an example of how nutrition therapy can be highly effective. This is especially true if the aims and methods are determined on an individual basis and if there is frequent contact with a therapist. German and international guidelines, including the DDG’s best practice guides from 2022, highlight the importance of personalized nutrition therapy.
Telemedicine Encourages Adherence
“It is very important to consider the current living situation of the person concerned,” said Rubin. “It is important to set small objectives that can also be implemented in everyday life.” This can only succeed with a professional face-to-face consultation. “Achieving this objective then also becomes realistic — i.e., losing 10% to 15% body weight and maintaining this loss,” she said. “Long-term monitoring is needed to maintain this weight.”
Weight reduction methods should generally be determined according to the preferences of the person concerned, since dietary habits and environments are personal. For example, reducing the intake of carbohydrates and fats, intermittent fasting, or using meal replacement drinks can all be considered.
New data also show that digital apps available on prescription (DiGA) can be helpful for support; this idea is reflected in the DDG’s nutrition best practice guides for patients with type 2 diabetes.
“Studies show that adherence is highly dependent on the amount of contact with therapists and the long-term nature of the treatment,” said Rubin. She referred to the need for long-term monitoring, during which the patient can be repeatedly reminded of the therapeutic objective. “In this respect, I see a lot of potential in digital apps, and also in telemedicine, to cater to the short-term contact with the person concerned.”
A 2015 meta-analysis of 92 studies revealed a significant reduction in A1c for patients with type 1 or type 2 diabetes when using telemedicine nutrition therapy. Rubin frequently prescribes DiGAs, which are approved for obesity, “simply because I can recognize it makes it easier for many patients to stick to their goals.”
Rubin also recommends connecting with sport groups and self-help groups. “Maintaining the weight is a long-term project.”
Abdominal Fat Decisive
Prediabetes is a precursor to type 2 diabetes and entails an increased risk of heart attack, kidney and eye diseases, and various kinds of cancer. To date, physicians have tried to delay the onset of type 2 diabetes by aiming to reduce the weight of patients with prediabetes. However, scientists at the German Center for Diabetes Research showed with the Prediabetes Lifestyle Intervention Study that abdominal fat plays an important role in the remission of prediabetes.
The 1-year program with a healthy diet and increased physical activity was followed by 1105 patients with prediabetes. When every subject lost at least 5% of their weight, it turned out that some achieved remission, and others did not.
People who achieved remission exhibited better insulin sensitivity and had lost more visceral abdominal fat. Visceral abdominal fat can influence insulin sensitivity, not least by an inflammatory reaction in the fatty tissue.
Reducing visceral abdominal fat is clearly crucially important in achieving prediabetes remission. Subjects who achieved remission in the study had a strongly reduced risk for type 2 diabetes for up to 2 years after the end of the program. They had improved kidney function, and their blood vessels were in better condition.
According to the new results, the chances of remission increase if body weight is reduced by 5% and waist circumference is reduced by around 4 cm in women and 7 cm in men.
“Based on the new data, remission should be the new therapeutic objective in people with prediabetes. This could potentially change clinical practice and minimize the complication rate for our patients, both male and female,” said author Reiner Jumpertz-von Schwartzenberg, MD, a researcher at the Tübingen University Hospital in Germany.
Prediabetes remission can be assumed if the fasting blood glucose falls below 100 mg/dL (5.6 mmol/L), the 2-hour glucose below 140 mg/dL (7.8 mmol/L), and the A1c value below 5.7%. From the new findings, it can be seen that the chances of remission increase the more the body weight decreases. The waist circumference should be reduced by around 4 cm in women and around 7 cm in men.
Jumpertz von-Schwartzenberg and his colleagues want to investigate whether this strategy is cost-effective so that the support of payers can also be ensured.
This article was translated from the Medscape German edition.
Source link : https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/personalized-nutrition-therapy-promotes-diabetes-remission-2023a1000uj2?src=rss
Publish date : 2023-12-06 22:35:30
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