Pharmacist led Type 2 diabetes intervention reverses medication use

Written by | 16 Sep 2021 | Endocrine System

Persons with Type 2 diabetes can, through diet and pharmacist supervision, eliminate the need for diabetes medications, researchers reported on Sept. 10, 2021 in Nature Communications.

“There is mounting evidence that Type 2 diabetes can be reversed through nutritional interventions. What must be considered now is how people with type 2 diabetes can access efficacious interventions and how healthcare practitioners can safely deploy them,” the authors said.

They added, “This study provides RCT [randomized controlled trial] level evidence that community-based pharmacists can effectively and safely implement a dietary intervention that rapidly reduces the need for glucose-lowering medications and improves cardiometabolic health in people with type 2 diabetes within a real-world setting.”

The investigators conducted a 12-week, pharmacist supervised, randomized controlled trial evaluating the effect on glucose-lowering medication use, cardiometabolic health, and health-related quality of life of a low-carbohydrate (<50 g) and energy-restricted diet (~850-1100 calorie/day; n = 98) when compared to treatment-as-usual (n=98).

After 12 weeks, 35.7% of the subjects in the pharmacist supervised group were off all diabetes medications, versus none in the control group, a statistically significant change (p<0.0001).

In the pharmacist supervised group there were also statistically significant reductions in hemoglobin A1C, anthropometrics, blood pressure, and triglycerides (all p < 0.0001).

Co-investigator Alan Batterham, MD, professor in the School of Health and Life Sciences at Teesside University, Middlesbrough, UK, said, “The intervention was effective in reducing the need for glucose-lowering medications for many in our study, This indicates that community pharmacists are a viable and innovative option for implementing short-term nutritional interventions for people with Type 2 diabetes, particularly when medication management is a safety concern.”

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