Project Description

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Carbohydrate restriction and high fat diet to improve insulin resistance, weight-loss, health and reverse/improve Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM)

Written by: TalkFEED Media 31 May 2015 Researcher: Salih Solomon


Insulin resistance in the context of a high carbohydrate diet is associated with obesity, atherogenic dyslipidaemia, hypertension, and T2DM. Numerous studies report that a restricted carbohydrate/high fat (LCHF) diet can improve some of these conditions. However, there is often considerable variation in how different individuals respond to the diet. Identifying factors that can help predict successful health outcomes on these diets are therefore needed.


The aim of this study is to determine whether insulin sensitivity can be used to predict whether T2DM individuals should follow either a LCHF or a HCLF diet in order to reverse or improve their Type 2 diabetes.


The hypothesis is that insulin resistant (T2DM) individuals will benefit more from a LCHF diet in terms of reduction in dose of standard diabetic treatment, or reversal of T2DM diabetes, thus no longer requiring pharmacotherapy like those on a HCLF diet.

Research approach

First, a retrospective analysis will be conducted of T2DM individuals who have self-reported an improvement or reversal of diabetes whilst following a LCHF diet. These individuals will have either been managed by a general practitioner (GP) in the community or consulted with Professor Timothy Noakes regarding their diet and health. Ten of these ‘Noakes’ individuals will be evaluated whilst a further ten ‘GP’ individuals will also be analysed.

Second, upon completion of the retrospective analysis/descriptive study, a randomised control trial will be conducted where T2DM individuals will be randomly assigned to a LCHF or a HCLF diet group, such that each group has participants with a range of insulin sensitivities. After baseline tests to assess body composition, health, muscle and liver physiology, participants will follow their respective diets and will be retested on two occasions: (1) as soon as they have improved glycaemic control by at least 10% from baseline testing, and (2) after 6 months.

Predicted outcomes

This study will determine the effects of LCHF and HCLF diets on T2DM patients, and provide insight into the physiological and molecular adaptations behind these findings.


To be announced.

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