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850,000 € invested in a study of diet for type 2 diabetes


The Dietary Science Foundation has terrific news once again: the study that aims to help people reverse their type 2 diabetes disease can finally get started. The Swedish insurance company Skandia is contributing 450,000 euros to the Swedish part of the project, and the Dietary Science Foundation is giving nearly 400,000 euros over three years. It will be the largest European study of its kind for type 2 diabetes, and will provide us with important knowledge.

In the midst of the serious global situation the Dietary Science Foundation has a ray of light to share: we’re investing in research that can help reverse the global epidemic of type 2 diabetes. The Dietary Science Foundation has previously given researchers from five European countries the resources to design a study with the goal of normalizing blood sugar levels in type 2 diabetes, without the use of any medications. The researchers have agreed on a study that is of very high quality and will answer a number of important questions. That’s why the Dietary Science Foundation’s scientific advisory board has decided to give the project 400,000 euros. And Skandia (three cheers!) has also decided to support the Swedish researchers with a total of 450,000 euros. This large investment will enable the study to get started.

“We’re extremely happy and thankful to have gotten these grants. When diabetes is diagnosed, many patients want to know what they can do to improve their blood sugar levels and avoid taking medicine. We want to be able to recommend a diet that has been proven to be safe and can normalize blood sugar,“ says Neda Rajamand Ekberg, attending physician at the Diabetes Center of the Stockholm region who is responsible for leading the Swedish part of the project.

One treatment: severe caloric restriction

The study will compare two different dietary treatments. One of them is severe caloric restriction using meal replacement shakes for three months, followed by either a low-fat or low-carbohydrate diet for twelve months. Researcher Mike , professor of human nutrition at Glasgow University, has previously shown that a meal replacement diet can result in a weight reduction of more than 15 kg, and that a third of participants still had normal blood sugar levels two years later.

“But for many people losing 15 kg was difficult, and we need to find more treatments that can normalize blood sugar levels,” Neda Rajamand Ekberg says.

The other treatment: a strict low-carbohydrate diet

The study’s other group will therefore be treated with a strict low-carbohydrate diet for fifteen months. During the first three months participants will eat less than 30 grams of carbohydrate per day, followed by a slight increase to 80 grams per day for the next twelve months.

“There are a number of studies showing that a low-carbohydrate diet can lower blood sugar and reduce the need for medicine in type 2 diabetes, but there are no studies that have examined whether it works as well or possibly even better than a large weight loss,” says Neda Rajamand Ekberg.

The researchers will also keep track of how the different dietary treatments affect the physical mechanisms that cause type 2 diabetes, to see if participant health improves.

Preparations begin

Neda Rajamand Ekberg will now apply for ethical approval for the project and start preparations. Preparations include everything from ensuring that there are freezers for storing test samples to finding people to work with the study and recruiting participants.

The Dietary Science Foundation is over the moon about all the donations we receive that allow us to support this vital work. One-third of the amount we’re giving will come from what we collected last year. The remaining two-thirds (approximately 266,000 euros) is still needed. So please keep giving us your support! If you’d like to contribute, here’s how to best help the study of diet for type 2 diabetes:

– Follow the link to become a monthly donor or company partner. Regular contributions help us in our long-term work!

– Do a birthday fundraiser on Facebook. For fundraising purposes we use our Swedish name, Kostfonden. Fundraisers also help by let people know about us and the work that we do.

Make a one-time donation. Each and every contribution helps us reach our fundraising goals!

– Help us recruit more monthly donors. Tell your friends and acquaintances about the Dietary Science Foundation.

Together we can improve the quality of care for type 2 diabetes. If more effective dietary treatments can turn the epidemic around we’ll help prevent things like cardiovascular disease, cancer, dementia, mental illness and fertility problems. So give the study your support and share this post so more people can live healthy lives. Thank you!

Would you like to help us support independent dietary research and prevent ill health? Please become a monthly donor, company partner or make a one-off donation. You can follow our work on Facebook. Thank you for your interest!