The Virta Treatment for Type 2 Diabetes
Virta's treatment is delivered by a physician-led care team and consistently helps patients to lower blood glucose and weight while simultaneously reducing diabetes medications. Patients are assisted in implementing a personalized and sustainable nutrition plan involving carbohydrate restriction, facilitated by high-touch health coach support and medical supervision. Virta functions as a specialty diabetes clinic and coordinates with the patient’s primary care team to keep them up-to-date on progress and changes to the treatment plan, sent via secure fax.
Extensive research evidence demonstrating the clinical benefits of low carbohydrate nutrition therapy, including Virta’s own research, led to its inclusion in the American Diabetes Association (ADA) Standards of Medical Care (1) as a first-line therapy for type 2 diabetes. An expert consensus statement from the ADA also states that this eating pattern does not appear to increase cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk (2). Here, we’ll share some of Virta’s research on those topics.
The Virta Treatment delivers rapid and sustained improvements in clinical markers of metabolic health
Participants in Virta’s prospective clinical trial saw rapid metabolic health improvements (3) and sustained them over one (4) and two years (5, Figure 1). Retention was high — 83% and 74% at one and two years, respectively — compared to other trials (6,7,8), lifestyle interventions (9,10), and even diabetes medication persistence (11). Understanding the long-term sustainability of this approach is a priority, so we’ve extended our original two-year trial to five years (12). Preliminary results from participants completing 3.5 years of the trial were presented at ENDO 2020 (13), and we observed sustained improvement in multiple metabolic risk factors. We look forward to publishing five-year results.
Markers of cardiovascular risk improve in Virta’s patients
Expert consensus on nutrition from the ADA (2) cited Virta’s one-year outcomes as evidence of no apparent change in CVD risk (14, white paper). While clinical care often relies on LDL-C as a marker of CVD risk, it may not tell the whole risk story (read more on our website). Results of the trial indicate that increased LDL-C was due to a shift in the LDL particle distribution from pro-atherogenic small LDL to less-atherogenic large LDL particles (15), with no change in ApoB. We are excited to share that Cardiovascular Diabetology published our manuscript describing these improvements observed in the atherogenic lipoprotein profile of Virta-treated patients over two years (16).
Virta’s novel continuous remote care model enables safe medication de-prescription
The provider-led continuous remote care model through which the Virta Treatment is delivered is a key safety feature. Patients record blood glucose and beta-hydroxybutyrate at a prescribed frequency depending on their medication and medical history to allow providers to monitor patient response to treatment and adjust medications as indicated, with the primary goal of patient safety. In our clinical trial, no severe hypoglycemic events requiring assistance attributable to the intervention were reported (4,5).
In summary, Virta's nutritional intervention and treatment are clinically validated in peer-reviewed literature and cited in the ADA guidelines. This treatment can help physicians by rapidly improving patients’ blood glucose while reducing medication burden. For questions or inquiries, please contact us at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wishing you and your patients good health,
Virta’s Science and Medicine Team