MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Hana Kahleova, MD, PhD
Director of Clinical Research at Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine
Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine
Charles University in Prague
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?
Response: The vegetarian diet was found to be almost twice as effective in reducing body weight, resulting in an average loss of 6.2kg compared to 3.2kg for the conventional diet. Using magnetic resonance imaging, we studied adipose tissue in the subjects’ thighs to see how the two different diets had affected subcutaneous, subfascial and intramuscular fat.
We found that both diets caused a similar reduction in subcutaneous fat. However, subfascial fat was only reduced in response to the vegetarian diet, and intramuscular fat was more greatly reduced by the vegetarian diet.
MedicalResearch.com: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?
Response: This is important as increased subfascial fat in patients with type 2 diabetes has been associated with insulin resistance, so reducing it could have a beneficial effect on glucose metabolism. In addition, reducing intramuscular fat could help improve muscular strength and mobility, particularly in older people with diabetes.
MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?
Response: Vegetarian diets proved to be the most effective diets for weight loss. However, we also showed that a vegetarian diet is much more effective at reducing muscle fat, thus improving metabolism. This finding is important for people who are trying to lose weight, including those suffering from metabolic syndrome and/or type 2 diabetes. But it is also relevant to anyone who takes their weight management seriously and wants to stay lean and healthy. Future studies should focus on how to implement the use of vegetarian diets in a larger scale.
MedicalResearch.com: Is there anything else you would like to add?
Response: Consumption of a plant-based diet is beneficial not only for patients with type 2 diabetes, but for everybody. We all need to be healthy and stay clear from cardiovascular disease, hypertension, cancer and metabolic disturbances including type 2 diabetes.
MedicalResearch.com: Thank you for your contribution to the MedicalResearch.com community.
Citation: Hana Kahleova et al. The Effect of a Vegetarian vs Conventional Hypocaloric Diabetic Diet on Thigh Adipose Tissue Distribution in Subjects with Type 2 Diabetes: A Randomized Study, Journal of the American College of Nutrition (2017). DOI: 10.1080/07315724.2017.1302367
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