[PHNUTR-L] Low-fat diet study claims to 'reverse' diabetes
Kathrynne Holden, MS, RD
fivestar at nutritionucanlivewith.com
Fri Jan 20 06:01:03 PST 2006
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Low-fat diet study claims to 'reverse' diabetes
19/01/2006- Researchers from UCLA have claimed that a three-week
high-fibre, low-fat diet can reverse type-2 diabetes and metabolic
syndrome (MetS) – conclusions that go against medical understanding of
The Pritikin diet, rich in high-fibre whole grains, vegetables and
fruit, has been previously been related to decreases in blood pressure,
oxidative stress and increased levels of nitric oxide.
The latest study, published on-line by the Journal of Applied Physiology
(15th December, doi:10.1152), concluded that: “After three weeks,
significant reductions in all serum lipids, CRP, sICAM-1, and
sP-selectin were noted. Nine of 15 [MetS volunteers] were no longer
positive for metabolic syndrome post-intervention.”
Comments made by lead researcher Christian Roberts have met with
skepticism from experts in the diabetes field.
Roberts said: “The study shows, contrary to common belief, that type-2
diabetes and metabolic syndrome can be reversed solely through lifestyle
He went on: “The effect can be very dramatic given that, of the vast
majority of people who go through the programme, at least 50 per cent
are no longer clinically defined as diabetic after three weeks, which
suggests this disease is reversible,” said Roberts.
Roberts also said that although the short-term diet reversed the
clinical diagnosis of type-2 diabetes that it did not appear to reverse
damage such as arterial plaque development. He suggested that long-term
adherence to the diet may reverse atherosclerosis.
Roberts and his team followed 31 obese men, of which 15 had diagnosed
MetS. The diet was prepared to contain about 10 per cent of the calories
from fat, 15 to 20 per cent from protein, and 70 to 75 from carbohydrates.
The researchers took regular blood samples from the volunteers and
measured a range of inflammatory markers, including inflammatory protein
C-reactive protein (CRP), chemokine macrophage inflammatory protein-1
alpha (MIP-1alpha), and the cell adhesion molecules (CAM) sP-selectin
and soluble intracellular CAM-1.
Roberts’ suggestions that diabetes could be reversed at all, let alone
in the space of three-weeks, go against medical understanding of the
disease. British charity, Diabetes UK, told NutraIngredients.com that
there was no cure for diabetes, and that Roberts’ claims are based
purely on an improvement in blood glucose levels.
The charity did say however that diet and exercise could control blood
glucose levels thereby removing the need for insulin injections or
tablets for people who suffer from type-2 diabetes.
In a previous study using the Pritikin diet (Circulation, Vol. 106,
pp.2530-2532) Roberts wrote: “Increased intake of fibre, antioxidants,
and other phytochemicals, as well as the reduced fat and refined sugar
consumption, most likely contributed to the reductions in oxidative
stress and improvements in blood pressure.”
Diabetes currently affects over 200 million people worldwide and,
according to WHO estimates, 2.5 to 15 per cent of annual national health
budgets are spent on diabetes-related illnesses.
Kathrynne Holden, MS, RD < fivestar at nutritionucanlivewith.com >
"Ask the Parkinson Dietitian" http://www.parkinson.org/
"Eat well, stay well with Parkinson's disease"
"Parkinson's disease: Guidelines for Medical Nutrition Therapy"
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