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Wednesday 15 July 2015

UK Doctor David Unwin saves the NHS £15,000-£30,000 per year using Low Carb Diet with his patients !

Countless diabetics around the world have found a low carb diet to be their salvation. Many on minimal to zero diabetes medications (type two's only). When you consider almost all medications come with side effects, ranging from mild to actually killing people, the low carb diet has to be a no brainer. Today the head of DUK the largest diabetes charity in the UK, talked of the monumental (£2 billion) cost of dealing with serious diabetic complications, but how could money be saved in other areas? Clearly from the article below huge saving can and are being made, in the reduction of medication to keep blood glucose under control for type two diabetics.

The article was taken from the excellent blog called 'About Diabetes Diet' this is co owned by UK Doctor Katharine Morrison. Katharine has a type one diabetic son with excellent control. Katharine has been a long time promoter of the low carb diet both publicly and for her diabetic patients, and helped me some years ago.


Source of information from here.

Dr David Unwin has completed another study in his practice patients showing that a low carb diet greatly reduces fatty liver, weight and blood sugar. The knock on effects on the prescribing budget, secondary care referrals and complications can only be a good thing for the struggling NHS. His practice alone, compared to those in his area, is making savings when it comes to diabetes care. Currently 66-70% of the adult UK population is overweight or obese, 20-30% have non alcoholic fatty liver disease and 10% have diabetes. The low carbing community remains mystified as to how such a rational, safe and effective treatment option is still side-lined by most diabetology clinics, NICE, and Diabetes UK.

Dr Unwin estimates that between £15,000-£30,000 a year has been knocked off his prescribing budget for a single practice in which the low carb diet was routinely offered to patients. While the drug spend continues to rise in adjacent practices, his budget has not risen in the last three years. His patients are now officially thinner than in neighbouring practices and below the national average. In two years the average blood sugar has come down 10% and is now below the national average of 61.5 mmol/mol.

Here is the abstract which we are proud to present ahead of publication in Diabesity in Practice in September 15.

Unwin DJ1, Cuthertson DJ2, Feinman R3, Sprung VS2 (2015) A pilot study to explore the role of a low-carbohydrate intervention to improve GGT levels and HbA1c.Diabesity in Practice 4 [in press]

1Norwood Surgery, Norwood Ave, Southport. 2Department of Obesity and Endocrinology, Institute of Ageing & Chronic Disease, University of Liverpool, UK. 3Professor of biochemistry and medical researcher at State University of New York Health Science Center at Brooklyn, USA.

Working title: Raised GGT levels, Diabetes and NAFLD: Is dietary carbohydrate a link? Primary care pilot of a low carbohydrate diet

Abnormal liver function tests are often attributed to excessive alcohol consumption and/or medication without further investigation. However they may be secondary to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Considering the increased cardiovascular and metabolic risk of NAFLD, identification and effective risk factor management of these patients is critical. NAFLD is now prevalent in 20-30% of adults in the Western World


Excess dietary glucose leads progressively to hepatocyte triglyceride accumulation (non-alcoholic fatty liver disease-NAFLD), insulin resistance and T2DM. Considering the increased cardiovascular risks of NAFLD and T2DM, effective risk-factor management of these patients is critical. Weight loss can improve abnormal liver biochemistry, the histological progression of NAFLD, and diabetic control. However, the most effective diet remains controversial.


We implemented a low-carbohydrate (CHO) diet in a primary health setting, assessing the effect on serum GGT, HbA1c levels (as proxies for suspected NAFLD and diabetic control), and weight.

Design 69 patients with a mean GGT of 77 iu/L (NR 0-50) and an average BMI of 34.4Kg/m2 were recruited opportunistically and advised on reducing total glucose intake (including starch), while increasing intake of natural fats, vegetables and protein.


Baseline blood samples were assessed for GGT levels, lipid profile, and HbA1c. Anthropometrics were assessed and repeated at monthly intervals. The patients were provided monthly support by their general practitioner or practice nurse, either individually or as a group.


After an average of 13 months on a low-CHO diet there was a 46% mean reduction in GGT of 29.9 iu/L (95% CI= -43.7, -16.2; P<0.001), accompanied by average reductions in weight [-8.8Kg (95% CI= -10.0, -7.5; P<0.001)],and HbA1c [10.0mmol/mol (95% CI= -13.9, -6.2; P<0.001)].


We provide evidence that low-carbohydrate, dietary management of patients with T2DM and/or suspected NAFLD in primary care is feasible and improves abnormal liver biochemistry and other cardio-metabolic risk factors. This raises the question as to whether dietary carbohydrate plays a role in the etiology of diabetes and NAFLD, as well as obesity.


DeniseinVA said...

A very impressive article. Dr Unwin is also impressive. Thanks for sharing this. Denise :)

JanKnitz said...

I am a member of Kaiser Permanente Health "Maintenance" Organization in California. I am staggered when I think of the money this organization could save if they pushed a low carbohydrate diet for their obese and diabetic patients. Instead they are pushing a low fat, "plant-based" diet with lots of so-called healthy whole grains. Diabetics are still told to eat 45 to 60 grams of carbs per MEAL plus snacks and to use margarine instead of butter. All they seem to be maintaining is illness from my point of view.

Lowcarb team member said...

Hello Denise, and many thanks for your comment. Dr Unwin or 'Southport GP' as he is sometimes known is very impressive, and I think all of his patients, but especially those with diabetes are very fortunate to have someone who uses the Low Carb Lifestyle.

We need to keep on spreading the word.

Hope the rest of your week goes well.

All the best Jan

Anonymous said...

A breath of fresh air. Admiration to a GP who does step outside guidelines. It is to be applauded. A very interesting and informative article. I am so pleased to have read it.

Kath ( retired HCP )

Anonymous said...

Aren't most diabetics told to eat to many carbohydrates. Savings could be simply made by eating a better choice of foods. But then there are the drug companies they would not want this. Hats off to Dr Unwin.


Lowcarb team member said...

"Anonymous said...
Aren't most diabetics told to eat to many carbohydrates. Savings could be simply made by eating a better choice of foods. But then there are the drug companies they would not want this. Hats off to Dr Unwin.


You are right Jim, diabetics are encouraged to eat a high carb low fat diet. This has proved to a total failure, except for junk food and big pharma.

Eat whole fresh food, it works for me and countless others.

Regards Eddie

Lowcarb team member said...

Dear Troll

Two words, second, off.


Lowcarb team member said...

Hi JanKnitz - was very interested to read your comment, and many thanks for taking time to post. From what you have written it would indeed appear that they are only interested in maintaining the illness, and as Jim one of the other com-mentors has brought up, the drug pharmaceutical companies are probably quite happy with this. If everyone embraced the LCHF lifestyle and made these savings it would of course take money away from them.

Thanks again for your comment

All the best Jan

Lowcarb team member said...

Hello Kath and many thanks for your comment. I do agree with everything you say...
If you are one of Dr Unwin's patients you are most fortunate.

Thanks for taking time to leave your thoughts - it is appreciated.

All the best Jan

Gail said...

You have such good information here. Thanks for sharing it. You do the research and we rack up the benefits.

I prefer flowers to ants.

Have a wonderful evening, Jan.

JoanneMcCormack said...

I'm another GP who recommends low carb high good fat for my patients especially diabetics. One of my type 1s did it of his own accord and got down to one third of his insulin with better control. For type1s I recommend the Type1 Grit Facebook group.
Dr Joanne McCormack www

Unknown said...

Why don't all doctors know this? I am a member of the Type One Grit Facebook group and we have around 1000 members all achieving normal blood glucose levels and hba1c using a low carb diet. Most of us are scolded by our doctors for reducing carbs and having normal blood sugars and are accused of having lots of hypos in order to achieve our hba1c. We are told we won't be able to maintain the diet, or that carbs are essential nutrients. Diabetes educators tell us to eat massive amounts of carbs and shoot up with massive amounts of insulin (this does not work by the way! ) . They have never even heard of bolusing for protein. The ignorance is truly astounding.

Lowcarb team member said...

Hi Lisa and Joanne thanks for your comments, I am aware of your facebook group and do visit occasionally. Eddie and I were first introduced to Low Carb over seven years ago by Fergus a T1 who consistently holds his A1c in the mid fours.

For anyone interested here's the links to Type One Grit


Lowcarb team member said...

Hi Gail ... thank you so much for your comments, so pleased to hear you find the information beneficial. Dr Unwin has done some great work with his patients.

Have to say I too prefer flowers to those ants you were talking about on your blog ... your flowers looked lovely. Many thanks for your continued support, it's always good to hear from you.

All the best Jan