Biomarkers could predict which diets are best for weight loss
A new study has uncovered two biomarkers that could predict how effective certain diets will be for weight loss, particularly for people prediabetes or diabetes.
Study co-author Dr. Arne Astrup, head of the Department of Nutrition at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark, and colleagues recently published their findings in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
For people who have already been diagnosed with diabetes, losing weight through diet and exercise can aid blood glucose control and lower the risk of other health conditions.
But which type of diet is most likely to achieve weight loss? It goes without saying that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to dieting. However, Dr. Astrup and colleagues believe that a person’s fasting blood glucose and insulin levels could be used to help identify the most effective diet for weight loss.
To reach their conclusion, the researchers analyzed the data of three dietary clinical trials: the Diet, Obesity, and Genes trial, the OPUS Supermarket intervention (SHOPUS), and the Nutrient-gene interactions in human obesity (NUGENOB) trial.
As an example, in the SHOPUS trial, adults with prediabetes who followed the New Nordic Diet – which is high in whole grains, fruits, and vegetables – lost a mean of 6.06 kilograms more weight over 26 weeks, compared with those who followed a control diet. Adults with normal blood glucose levels lost around 2.20 kilograms with the New Nordic Diet.
For people with type 2 diabetes, the researchers found that a diet rich in plant-based, “healthy” fats and low in carbohydrates was best for weight loss.
In the NUGENOB trial, for example, adults with type 2 diabetes lost around 2.04 kilograms more over 10 weeks on a diet that was high in plant-based fats and low in carbohydrates, compared with those whose diet was low in fat and high in carbohydrates. The high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet was better for weight loss among adults with normal blood glucose levels.
Adding participants’ fasting insulin levels to their analysis further strengthened the identified associations between diet and weight loss, the team reports.
Based on their results, the researchers believe that fasting blood glucose and fasting insulin levels may be biomarkers for weight loss.
“Recognizing fasting plasma glucose as a key biomarker enables a new interpretation of the data from many previous studies, which could potentially lead to a breakthrough in personalized nutrition.”
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