Following a predominantly plant-based or vegan diet may be beneficial for managing type 2 diabetes (T2D), suggests a systematic review published in BMJ Open Diabetes Research & Care.
For the study, researchers examined data from clinical trials, published between 1999 and 2017, comparing the benefits of plant-based diets with other types of diet in adults with T2D. A total of 11 studies involving 433 participants were included, eight of which assessed the impact of a vegan diet.
Plant-based diets were found to be associated with significant improvement in psychological well-being, quality of life and weight. Eight studies which reported baseline and end-line HbA1c levels all identified a greater reduction among participants in the intervention groups compared with the control groups, with an average decrease of 0.55 per cent versus 0.19 per cent. The authors also found that plant-based diets potentially improved diabetic neuropathic pain as well as reducing levels of total cholesterol, low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, and triglycerides.
“Future studies could explore ways of delivering proper nutritional education in order to support participants to follow healthier dietary patterns,” the authors said.