Virta Health publishes new data on low-carb diet for type 2 diabetes


Virta Health’s ongoing very-low-carb intervention in people with type 2 diabetes continues to provide support for the effectiveness and durability of this way of eating.

A year ago, we reported on the publication of their impressive two-year data findings in Frontiers in Endocrinology.

Last month, Virta published new data from the study as a supplement in the Journal of the Endocrine Society:

Journal of the Endocrine Society 2020: A continuous remote care intervention utilizing carbohydrate restriction including nutritional ketosis improves markers of metabolic risk and reduces diabetes medication use in patients with type 2 diabetes over 3.5 years

All participants who completed two years of a ketogenic dietary intervention were offered the opportunity to take part in a three-year extension. Of the 169 two-year completers, 143 (85%) provided data a year and a half later.

Compared to baseline, some of the improvements that occurred after three and a half years of very-low-carb eating included:

  • Average hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) was reduced by 0.6%
  • 71% of all diabetes medications other than metformin were discontinued
  • 22% of participants achieved remission of diabetes, meaning they achieved an HbA1c of less than 6.5% and maintained it for at least one year
  • Average weight loss was 24 pounds (10.9 kg)
  • Triglycerides declined by an average of 41 mg/dL

Because this was only a journal supplement rather than a full paper, the data and discussion were limited compared to Virta’s previous updates on the intervention.

However, it provides further evidence that a very-low-carb diet is sustainable and effective for improving blood sugar with less medication and improving overall health over the long term.

We look forward to seeing Virta’s five-year data, which will likely be published in 2022.

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