Endocrinology & Diabetes ResearchISSN: 2470-7570

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Dietary management of type-2 diabetes: Focusing on mitochondrial function

Shirley Mcilvenny

Food Coach Institute, Australia



The cost of health care is a major concern for both developed and developing countries. The rise of chronic diseases such as type-2 diabetes is a significant price to pay in terms of cost to the health system in medications, hospital treatment and management of complications, not to mention the effect of loss of productivity in the workforce. Dietary modification is the cornerstone of therapy in type-2 diabetes, however this strategy rarely works as patients are given advice which is not in line with up-to-date scientific evidence, is not contextualized for their situation and does not take into account their motivation to use diet as a therapy. As the prevalence of type-2 diabetes skyrockets in developed and developing countries, increasing the cost of therapies and diabetic complications, cost-effective solutions are of paramount importance. Recent research shows we can make an impact on the prevention of type-2 diabetes by: (1) employing the right dietary advice based on scientific evidence, (2) using motivational skills to move the patient into taking action e.g., regular exercise, (3) using epigenetics and nutrigenomics to guide us in our targeted prevention strategy. This can may lead many patients in the potential diabetes and pre-diabetes groups away from full-blown diabetes and its costs and complications. This presentation focuses on the role of mitochondrial function in preventing and managing type-2 diabetes. The importance of dietary changes to improve mitochondrial function has been overlooked as a cost-effective way to prevent the deterioration from pre-diabetes to diabetes disease and also in reducing the need for medication. The science behind mitochondrial function in type-2 diabetes will be explained. Specific foods, nutrients, supplements and exercise to improve mitochondrial function will be discussed.


Shirley Mcilvenny is the CEO of the Food Coach Institute and President of the International Association of Health and Nutrition Coaches. Formerly she was a Professor of Education at Bond University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Australia and Head of Family Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences at Sultan Qaboos University, Oman. Her research includes type-2 diabetes in a developing population. Her focus of interest now is on how the diet and nutrigenomics can influence the prevalence and progress of type 2-diabetes, particularly influencing epigenetics.

Email: [email protected]

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