Information for Health Professionals

Medical training does not have a nutrition focus; we believe the full potential of therapeutic nutrition has yet to be appreciated by many of our colleagues. Doctors are advised to treat chronic medical conditions with a lifestyle first approach, but when it comes to dietary interventions, doctors have understandably defaulted to the food guidelines or referred to allied health professionals. Many doctors are not aware of the spectrum of nutritional disease and don’t know how to effectively counsel or monitor their patients using dietary interventions.

We believe there is a body of evidence that can help physicians and health professionals guide their patients with nutritional diseases toward health before prescribing medications, and the possibility exists to halt or reverse these diseases.

Clinicians across Canada are using therapeutic nutritional interventions to reverse and control metabolic diseases. We consider the role of hormones, especially insulin, to be paramount in determining body size, shape and metabolic health. The environmental inputs of food, sleep, stress and others, signal to the body whether to store energy, expend energy, grow or repair.

The Science of Dietary Treatment of Type 2 Diabetes

Whole food eating, which has lower carbohydrates and higher natural fat than currently recommended in the dietary guidelines, has consistently been shown to lower the hemoglobin A1c (a measure of how high blood glucose has been) and to improve cardiovascular risk markers. If we had a drug that could do this someone would be very rich! Eating this way often results in weight loss, and in fact, low carbohydrate diets have beaten low fat diets in terms of weight loss when looking at the gold standard evidence of randomized controlled trials.

Virta Health One Year trial results,
ketogenic diet for treatment of type 2 diabetes

Hallberg SJ, McKenzie AL, Williams P, et al. Effectiveness and Safety of a Novel Care Model for the Management of Type 2 Diabetes at One Year: An Open Label, Non-Randomized, Controlled Study. Diabetes There. 2018. DOI: 10.1007/s13300-018-0373-9

Take a look at Virta Health’s landmark clinical trial, which demonstrated rapid type 2 diabetes reversal in as little as 10 weeks, with sustained and improved results at 1 year—all published in peer-reviewed scientific journals.

This non-randomized trial evaluates health outcomes of patients participating in an outpatient continuous care intervention, and those receiving usual care from their physicians and diabetes educators. The Virta Health intervention involves nutrition and behavior change education, support from health coaches and peers, and medication management by physicians.

For a comprehensive look at the evidence for the prescription of low carbohydrate diets, read this review by Dr. Tim Noakes.

Video Overview of The Science of Low-Carb Nutrition

Watch this great video by the Swedish family physician,
Dr. Andreas Eenfeldt

Watch this TED talk by Dr. Sarah Hallberg on reversing type 2 diabetes by ignoring the guidelines

Common Patient Success Stories

Our colleagues routinely report amazing successes with their patients using a whole food, low carbohydrate nutritional approach, including improved A1c, better cardiovascular risk markers, weight loss, resolution of fatty liver, and often medications must be reduced or eliminated. Here are just a few common and reproducible examples:

Deprescribing is common

Typical response of A1c to a low-carb therapeutic diet

This patient also had a 25lb weight loss, resolution of chronic pain, normalization of blood pressure, and removal of all medications.

Carbohydrate restriction consistently results in improvement in cardiac risk factors such as triglycerides and HDL

Colleagues Report Renewed Passion for Medicine

We routinely hear from our colleagues practicing therapeutic nutrition that they have a renewed passion for medicine, and that they are finally able to make a measurable and impactful difference in their patient’s lives, patients who have been struggling for years with metabolic syndrome, obesity and poorly controlled type 2 diabetes. Rather than trying to manage chronic disease complications with medications, they are seeing patients coming off their medications and regaining their health and their happiness.

Here are a few examples of what our colleagues routinely say about their renewed joy of medicine:

So excited. First major success - Pt with diabetes lost over 36 kgs with LCHF and is now off ALL his DM meds, feels great, and swears he will never go back to the old lifestyle.

We had a 4 week follow up today for my LCHF group...9 attendees are now down a combined 46 pounds. I LOVE my job.