MONDAY, July 23, 2018 (HealthDay News) — For patients with type 2 diabetes, intermittent energy restriction is comparable to continuous energy restriction for reduction of hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c), according to a study published online July 20 in JAMA Network Open.

Sharayah Carter, from the University of South Australia in Adelaide, and colleagues randomized 137 adult participants with type 2 diabetes to parallel diet groups (intermittent energy restriction, in which 70 participants consumed 500 to 600 kcal/day for two nonconsecutive days per week, or continuous energy restriction [1,200 to 1,500 kcal/day; 67 participants]). The participants were followed for 12 months.

The researchers found that similar reductions were seen in the mean HbA1c level between the continuous and intermittent energy restriction groups (−0.5 versus −0.3 percent), with a between-group difference of 0.2 percent, meeting the criteria for equivalence. The mean weight change was similar between the groups (−5 versus −6.8 kg); this between-group difference did not meet the criteria for equivalence, nor did the between-group difference in fat mass or fat-free mass. Final step count, fasting glucose levels, lipid levels, or total medication effect score at 12 months did not differ significantly between the groups.

“Intermittent energy restriction is an effective alternative diet strategy for the reduction of HbA1c and is comparable with continuous energy restriction in patients with type 2 diabetes,” the authors write.

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