Plant-based or vegan diet linked to better diabetes control and wellbeing

New research shows that plant-based diets were associated with improvement in several areas for adults with type 2 diabetes including emotional well-being, physical well-being, depression, quality of life and general health | BMJ Open Diabetes Research & Care | via OnMedica


Research published in BMJ Open Diabetes Research & Care analysed 11 trials of diet interventions, including a total of 433 adults with type 2 diabetes, that had clearly defined health outcomes and were peer-reviewed. The findings revealed that plant-based diets were associated with significant improvement in emotional well-being, physical well-being, depression, quality of life, general health, HbA1c levels, weight, total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol in adults with type 2 diabetes compared with several diabetic associations’ official guidelines and other comparator diets.

Whilst the review authors noted the  limitations of the study, they concluded that plant-based diets can significantly improve psychological health, quality of life, HbA1c levels and weight and therefore the management of diabetes.

Full reference: Toumpanakis A, et al. |  Effectiveness of plant-based diets in promoting well-being in the management of type 2 diabetes: a systematic review | BMJ Open Diabetes Research & Care | published online 30 October 2018

See also:

How psychosocial factors can influence diabetes outcomes

This publication explores the role that psychosocial factors play in the management of diabetes and the importance of addressing these to improve diabetes outcomes | Katharine Barnard | Roche


Diabetes doesn’t just affect someone physically. This chronic and complex condition, which requires close and frequent monitoring of blood sugar levels alongside careful  consideration of activity and nutrition, places high behavioural demands on the person living with the illness on a daily basis. This can have a significant impact on a person’s mental health, well-being and their quality of life.

A survey by Diabetes UK during 2017 found that 64% of people with diabetes “sometimes or often” feel down because of their disease. It also revealed, significantly, that there is a need for more emotional and psychological support to make living with diabetes easier.

In this publication, the author argues that “there is a growing consensus that calls for a change in how diabetes is treated and managed, with a need to focus on the concept of living with diabetes rather than just treating the disease.”

Full document: How psychosocial factors can influence diabetes outcomes

Type 2 diabetes mellitus in older people: key principles of modern day management

Strain, W. et al. |Type 2 diabetes mellitus in older people: a brief statement of key principles of modern day management including the assessment of frailty. A national collaborative stakeholder initiative | Diabetic Medicine | Volume35, Issue 7 | July 2018 | p838-845

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Rates of population ageing are unprecedented and this, combined with the progressive urbanization of lifestyles, has led to a dramatic shift in the epidemiology of diabetes towards old age, particularly to those aged 60–79 years.

Both ageing and diabetes are recognized as important risk factors for the development of functional decline and disability. In addition, diabetes is associated with a high economic, social and health burden.

Traditional macrovascular and microvascular complications of diabetes appear to account for less than half of the diabetes‐related disability observed in older people. Despite this, older adults are under‐represented in clinical trials.

Guidelines from organizations such as the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), the European Association for the Study of Diabetes, and the American Diabetes Association acknowledge the need for individualized care, but the glycaemic targets that are suggested to constitute good control are too tight for frail older individuals.

We present a framework for the assessment of older adults and guidelines for the management of this population according to their frailty status, with the intention of reducing complications and improving quality of life for these people.

Full document available here