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Treating Diabetes With Healthy Food and Exercise

Health Brief

Treating Diabetes With Healthy Food and Exercise

A radical new approach to managing Type 2 diabetes developed by Daniel J. Cox, Ph.D., from UVA Health, has received $3.5 million in funding from the National Institutes of Health for a large-scale clinical trial. The approach focuses on educating individuals about making wise dietary and exercise choices to control blood sugar and potentially alter the course of the disease. Rather than prioritizing weight loss or medication, it aims to reduce post-meal blood glucose levels, which are linked to cardiovascular risk and high levels of AIC, a marker of blood sugar over time. 

Known as Glucose Everyday Matters (GEM), the approach combines educated food and drink selections with physical activity to prevent blood sugar spikes and hasten recovery if they occur. A small, initial trial involving 17 recently diagnosed adults with Type 2 diabetes showed promise, with 67 percent achieving remission after three months, and only one participant requiring medication. This trial was the first testing of self-administration instead of face-to-face delivery by medical providers.

This research offers promising hope for managing Type 2 diabetes through lifestyle interventions, providing patients with new options for controlling and potentially achieving remission from the disease. Cox’s personal success with the approach, maintaining consistently low A1C levels without medication for the past 13 years, further supports its potential.

Photo credit: Vchal / CanvaPro

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