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January 2009

Type 2 Diabetes: Treatment and Reversal Through Diet

There is something called the "American Journal Of Clinical Nutrition" which is associated with the Baylor College Of Medicine. They have an extensive editorial board, have archives on their website going back to 1952. In this journal, we found a very interesting study showing how a vegetarian diet can be used to treat type 2 diabetes

Reading this study, one gets the sense that there has not been a whole lot of scientific work pointing out these links. This is the summary of the study from the abstract:

"Long-term cohort studies have indicated that whole-grain consumption reduces the risk of both type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. In addition, nuts (eg, almonds), viscous fibers (eg, fibers from oats and barley), soy proteins, and plant sterols, which may be part of the vegetarian diet, reduce serum lipids. In combination, these plant food components may have a very significant impact on cardiovascular disease, one of the major complications of diabetes. Furthermore, substituting soy or other vegetable proteins for animal protein may also decrease renal hyperfiltration, proteinuria, and renal acid load and in the long term reduce the risk of developing renal disease in type 2 diabetes. The vegetarian diet, therefore, contains a portfolio of natural products and food forms of benefit for both the carbohydrate and lipid abnormalities in diabetes. It is anticipated that their combined use in vegetarian diets will produce very significant metabolic advantages for the prevention and treatment of diabetes and its complications."

From a diet perspective, it is interesting that the major diet companies are moving strongly in this direction. Weight Watchers Momentum is a new version of the popular diet, and they now assess water content in food, not just fiber. NutriSystem Select is a new offering that offers delivery of foods that feature more fruits and vegetables. 

Related Articles:

Ovarian Cancer: Does Milk And Dairy Increase The Risk Of Developing Ovarian Cancer

We have been focusing on a couple different diet approaches with our PEERtrainer Tip Of The Day email coaching program. One approach in particular, Eat to Live/Eat For Health by Dr. Joel Fuhrman has generated a lot of discussion.

One interesting thing about his work is that it is highly sourced. Overall, Dr. Fuhrman asserts a link between disease and diet, particularly the over-consumption of animal protein and the under-consumption of plant protein. As one works on this ratio, their health will improve and risk decrease.

But what is the evidence that at least supports considering this assertion and these linkages? Going to one of his footnotes for his new "Nutrition Prescription" we see a link to a study published in 2006 that examines the link between Milk and Lactose Intake and Ovarian Cancer.

The link takes you to a NIH page (US Government) that has an "abstract" of the study. The conclusion of this particular study is this:

"studies are consistent and show significant positive associations between intakes of total dairy foods, low-fat milk, and lactose and risk of ovarian cancer.. support the hypothesis that high intakes of dairy foods and lactose may increase the risk of ovarian cancer. "