Clinical Edge

Summaries of Must-Read Clinical Literature, Guidelines, and FDA Actions

Very Low-Carbohydrate Diet Beneficial for T1D

Pediatrics; ePub 2018 May 7; Lennerz, et al

Exceptional glycemic control of type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM) with low rates of adverse events was reported by a community of children and adults who consume a very low-carbohydrate diet (VLCD), a recent study found. Researchers conducted an online survey of an international social media group for people with T1DM who follow a VLCD. Respondents included adults and parents of children with T1DM. They assessed current HbA1c (primary measure), change in HbA1c after the self-reported beginning of the VLCD, total daily insulin dose, and adverse events. Of 316 respondents, 131 (42%) were parents of children with T1DM, and 57% were of female sex. The mean age at diagnosis was 16 ± 14 years, the duration of diabetes was 11 ± 13 years, and the time following a VLCD was 2.2 ± 3.9 years.

They found:

  • Participants had a mean daily carbohydrate intake of 36 ± 15 g.
  • Reported mean HbA1c was 5.67% ± 0.66%.
  • Only 7 (2%) respondents reported diabetes-related hospitalizations in the past year, including 4 (1%) for ketoacidosis and 2 (1%) for hypoglycemia.


Lennerz BS, Barton A, Bernstein RK, et al. Management of type 1 diabetes with a very low–carbohydrate diet. [Published online ahead of print May 7, 2018]. Pediatrics. doi:10.1542/peds.2017-3349.