Advising diabetics to stick to a high fat, low carb diet may leave them susceptible to inflammation and heart disease.
That is according to researchers from Warwick Medical School, who say the current thinking around these diets may be misguided.
As it stands, high fat low carb diets are advised to encourage weight loss in Type 2 diabetes sufferers. For diabetics, the diet focus centres on sugar content, as they are unable to regulate their insulin and blood sugar levels, and so require medication to do so.
But the researchers found that high fat intake provokes inflammation due to the rise in the amount of blood endotoxins, which are bacterial fragments.
The findings were presented at the Society for Endocrinology BES meeting on March 20.
Dr Alison Harte, post-doctoral research fellow from the University of Warwick, said: “Fat content, whilst associated with weight gain, does not affect blood sugar levels.
“However, our studies show that meals with high fat content lead to a large amount of gut-derived bacteria in the blood and this was much higher in diabetic patients.
“Evidence suggests this is due to a ‘leaky gut’ which is an increased permeability of the gut lining that seems to allow a greater transfer of bacterial fragments from the intestine into the blood.
“This creates conditions within the body that trigger inflammatory reactions which ultimately can cause a number of conditions such as heart disease and will help to explain further why diabetics are more prone to developing heart problems, weight gain and cardio-vascular conditions.”