IUH Trial ChartsDiabetes Threshold5678910Baseline10 Weeks9. HbA1c (%)Baseline HbA1c (%)7.5n=966.5–7.4n=95<6.5n=47 IUH Trial Charts100%80%60%40%20%0%Percent of users with dosage change93%86%60%57%30%28%100%75%11%6%87%36%93%90%EliminatedReducedInsulinsSulfonylureasSGLT-2 InhibitorsDPP-4 InhibitorsGLP-1 Receptor AgonistsThiazolidinedionesMetforminn=78n=62n=29n=4n=30n=43n=193 IUH Trial ChartsBaseline10 Weeksaverage decrease in triglycerides22%20016018012014010080Time in Virta ClinicAverage triglycerides (mg·dL-¹)185145 IUH Trial Charts01098765Weeks in Virta Clinic43210%-5%-10%-15%Body weight loss-7.2%

Our study demonstrated that, in as little as 10 weeks, individuals with type 2 diabetes can be taught to sustain adequate carbohydrate restriction to achieve nutritional ketosis, thereby improving glycemic control, decreasing medication use, and allowing clinically relevant weight loss. This can be achieved using a highly individualized, medically supervised treatment that is delivered and supported online in an outpatient setting.

Original publication available on diabetes.JMIR.org:

McKenzie AL, Hallberg SJ, Creighton BC, Volk BM, Link TM, Abner MK, Glon RM, McCarter JP, Volek JS, Phinney SD. A Novel Intervention Including Individualized Nutritional Recommendations Reduces Hemoglobin A1c Level, Medication Use, and Weight in Type 2 Diabetes. JMIR Diabetes. 2017;2(1):e5

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Trial at a Glance
  • 262 participants with type 2 diabetes
  • Conducted in partnership with Indiana University Health Arnett
  • 2-year outpatient protocol
  • 91% retention at 10 weeks

Summary of Results

HbA1c Reduction

HbA1c was reduced from 7.6% at baseline to 6.6% at 10 weeks. 56% of patients achieved an HbA1c less than 6.5%, the diabetes threshold.

Medication Reductions

Patients experienced significant elimination and reduction of medications from baseline to follow-up. Of those taking insulin, 87% completely eliminated or reduced use.

Weight Loss

Patients lost 7% of body weight at 10 weeks. 71% experienced clinically significant weight loss (> 5%).

Triglyceride Reduction

Patients experienced a 20% reduction in triglycerides with an average value at follow-up in the healthy range below 150 mg/dL.

Meet our Team

World Class Researchers and Clinicians at Virta Health

Stephen Phinney, MD, PhD

Chief Medical Officer, Founder

Jeff Volek, PhD, RD

Chief Science Officer, Founder

James McCarter, MD, PhD

Head of Research

Michael Scahill, MD, MBA

Medical Director

Sarah Hallberg, DO, MS

Medical Director

Brittanie Volk, PhD, RD

Clinical Team

Amy McKenzie, PhD


Brent Creighton, PhD

Clinical Team

Jeff Stanley, MD

Physician, Internal Medicine

Supporting Science

Our science is based on decades of supporting research

At Virta, we make sure everything we do is backed by scientific rigor. Our founders have published over 300 peer-reviewed papers in the areas of metabolic health and nutritional biochemistry. Additionally, we’ve used decades of research and hundreds of peer-reviewed publications to support the development of the Virta Clinic and our care protocols (see below).

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  • Hill NR, Levy JC, Matthews DR. Expansion of the homeostasis model assessment of β-cell function and insulin resistance to enable clinical trial outcome modeling through the interactive adjustment of physiology and treatment effects: iHOMA2. Diabetes Care. 2013;36(8):2324-2330. doi:10.2337/dc12-0607.
  • Volek JS, Phinney SD, Forsythe CE, et al. Carbohydrate restriction has a more favorable impact on the metabolic syndrome than a low fat diet. Lipids. 2009;44(4):297-309. doi:10.1007/s11745-008-3274-2.
  • Saslow LR, Kim S, Daubenmier JJ, et al. A randomized pilot trial of a moderate carbohydrate diet compared to a very low carbohydrate diet in overweight or obese individuals with type 2 diabetes mellitus or prediabetes. PLoS ONE. 2014;9(4):e91027. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0091027.
  • Dashti HM, Mathew TC, Hussein T, et al. Long-term effects of a ketogenic diet in obese patients. Exp Clin Cardiol. 2004;9(3):200-205. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19641727.
  • Shimazu T, Hirschey MD, Newman J, et al. Suppression of oxidative stress by β-hydroxybutyrate, an endogenous histone deacetylase inhibitor. Science. 2013;339(6116):211-214. doi:10.1126/science.1227166.
  • Cotter DG, Schugar RC, Crawford PA. Ketone body metabolism and cardiovascular disease. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. 2013;304(8):H1060-H1076. doi:10.1152/ajpheart.00646.2012.
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  • Boden G, Sargrad K, Homko C, Mozzoli M, Stein TP. Effect of a low-carbohydrate diet on appetite, blood glucose levels, and insulin resistance in obese patients with type 2 diabetes. Ann Intern Med. 2005;142(6):403-411. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15767618.
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  • Cutler DM, Glaeser EL, Shapiro JM. Why Have Americans Become More Obese? Journal of Economic Perspectives. 2003;17(3):93-118. doi:10.1257/089533003769204371.
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