Investors back low-carb treatments for type 2 diabetes


You’ve heard the saying, “money talks”? Well, some big money is talking and saying that low-carb interventions for type 2 diabetes have a promising future.

That’s one of the key conclusions to be made from the recent news that Virta Health has been able to raise another $93 million from investors. Virta is a US company that provides online low-carb support and coaching to people with type 2 diabetes.

That brings the company’s total equity funding to $166 million, largely from venture capital firms who back Virta’s vision to help millions of people reverse their diabetes with low-carb eating.

“We can now invest more into growth to help millions of people living with type 2 diabetes, while also investing in product and research to address other diseases,” said Sami Inkinin, Virta’s CEO and founder, in the press release about the new round of funding.

Here at Diet Doctor, we say a big congratulations to Virta. We think it signals a growing consensus that low-carb eating is a cost-effective, successful intervention, which is a positive development for the entire low-carb community.

“The fact that they were able to raise this amount of funding validates what all of us are trying to do — to get word out about the power of low-carb to manage and reverse diabetes,” says Dr. Andreas Eenfeldt, the CEO and founder of Diet Doctor. “Serious investors see a strong future market with low-carb interventions. This is major low-carb news.”

We’ve written often about Virta and its one-year and two year results achieved by coaching patients in low-carb eating. One finding that surely impressed the financial number crunchers: in their study, the use of expensive insulin declined 81% from baseline across the population.

It’s well-known that successful investors do extensive research, know the industry they are investing in, and know what they own and why.

Type 2 diabetes treatment in 2019 had a global annual cost of US $760 billion a year. Anything that reduces the costs of expensive treatment is key for managed health care plans. That’s why it’s no surprise Virta is aiming its sights on partnering with health plans, with some success to date. Blue Shield earlier this year announced a partnership with Virta that enables all of the health plan’s 3.7 million members in California to access Virta’s program.

The company says in its news release that the new round of funding will be invested in company growth especially “to meet the demand for T2D reversal from employers, health plans and government.”

Virta also has a pilot program with Veteran’s Health Administration, but have reached their capacity of 400 patients and therefore are not enrolling more at this time. Virta’s website says:

We are actively working with the Veterans Health Administration to evaluate the results of the pilot in order to determine future opportunities for Veterans to enroll in Virta.

We applaud Virta’s continued success. Their hands-on coaching program starts at $249 a month for individuals but it is estimated it can save almost $10,000 in health care costs over two years.


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