The Efficacy of Plant-Based Dietary Program in Patients with Diabetes: A Pilot Study

Reuben Adatorwovor, Nisha Sharma, Dakota McCoy, Sharon Wasserstrom, Matthew Robinson, Jacquelyn Nyenhuis, Sowmya Suryanarayanan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Dietary choices play a key role in insulin sensitivity among diabetes patients. An 8-week pilot study was conducted to evaluate whether a mostly plant-based dietary program will lead to improvement in biochemical markers in adults with diabetes. The dietary program included educational presentations, weekly cooking demonstrations and small group discussions. A sample of thirty-two adults with diabetes (types 1 and 2) were recruited and seventeen (53%) completed the study. Matched-pair tests and Fishers exact tests were used to compare the changes in means and proportion of the participants’ responses. There were changes in HbA1c, lipids, CRP (mg/L), cholesterol (mg/dL), HDL (mg/dL), triglycerides (mg/dL), LDL (mg/dL), non-HDL (mg/dL), Insulin (uIU/mL), AST (U/L), ALT (U/L), weight (lbs), systolic blood pressure (mmHg), diastolic (mmHg). The mean (std) age for the matched pair participant is 60.5 (11.35). Five type 1 and twelve type 2 diabetes patients showed a significant improvement in HbA1c (p = 0.001), weight (p = 0.002), intake of vegetables per day (p-value = 0.003), intake of plant-based protein (p-value < 0.001) and self-reported reduction in fatigue and improvement in energy levels. Our 8-week dietary program showed an improvement in biochemical markers and positive attitudes toward the adoption of plant-based diets.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)259-271
Number of pages13
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 by the authors.


  • diabetes
  • HbA1c
  • nutrition
  • plant-based diet
  • weight

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Internal Medicine


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