HealthDay News — A Mediterranean eating plan (Med-EatPlan) plus extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) may delay the need for first glucose-lowering medication among participants with type 2 diabetes, according to a study published in the August issue of Diabetes Care.

F. Javier Basterra-Gortari, MD, PhD, from the University of Navarra in Pamplona, Spain, and colleagues randomly assigned 3230 participants from the Prevención con Dieta Mediterrànea (PREDIMED) trial with type 2 diabetes to the Med-EatPlan supplemented with EVOO, Med-EatPlan supplemented with mixed nuts, or a low-fat eating plan. Two outcomes were assessed: (1) introduction of the first glucose-lowering medication (oral or injectable) for participants on lifestyle management at enrollment and (2) insulin initiation.

After a median follow-up of 3.2 years, the researchers found that after adjustment for baseline characteristics and propensity scores, the hazard ratios for starting a first glucose-lowering medication were 0.78 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.62 to 0.98) and 0.89 (95% CI, 0.71 to 1.12) for Med-EatPlan + EVOO and Med-EatPlan + nuts, respectively, vs control. After a median follow-up of 5.1 years, the adjusted hazard ratios for starting insulin treatment were 0.87 (95% CI, 0.68 to 1.11) and 0.89 (95% CI, 0.69 to 1.14) for Med-EatPlan + EVOO and Med-EatPlan + nuts, respectively, vs the control eating plan.

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“Our study results show that PREDIMED participants with type 2 diabetes who underwent an intervention with an energy-unrestricted MedEatPlan + EVOO had significantly lower rates of initiation of glucose-lowering medications,” the authors write.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the biopharmaceutical and nutrition industries.

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