column devoted to informative integrative health resources on the
Raw For 30 Days
I love this trailer, and look forward to the full-length movie. Eight
minutes long, this is the story of what happens when "six McDonald's-munching
Americans eat 100% vegan live foods for a month." I befriended
one of the film participants, Kirt Tyson, and he has shared details
of his experience beyond what's shown in the movie. He learned
he had diabetes when he showed up in the emergency room with blood
sugar level of more than 1200! Medication brought his glucose level
down only to the mid-500s. On this diet, within days, his blood sugar
became normal. He is entirely off diabetes medication now, despite
a mainstream physician's diagnosis of type 1 diabetes. (I've
seen all of his blood work: he experienced improvements in CRP, homocysteine,
and cholesterol, in addition to his glucose and HbA1C levels.) His
experience demonstrates that partial healing of the pancreas is possible
with an optimal diet. Next time you're at a computer, watch Raw
for 30 Days. I've actually held several screenings of this film.
Write to me if you would like ideas on how to do this.
Brenda Davis is a gifted speaker, author, and registered dietitian.
I recommend her book, Defeating Diabetes:
A No-Nonsense Approach to Type 2 Diabetes and the Diabesity Epidemic. A concise handout that
accompanies her lectures is available on her website. Select the "Information" link
for both HTML and Word formats.
Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine
The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) has done an
enormous amount of research, including some that is National Institutes
of Health-funded, on the effect of a plant-based diet on diabetes.
A published study in the Diabetes Journal (full text included) shows
that participants on the vegan diet fared better than those following
the American Diabetes Association diet. The new PCRM diabetes page
includes links to an online support group, information about Dr. Neal
Barnard's book, associated lectures, and video testimonials.
You can also watch cooking demonstrations online.
New York Times Series
for "bad blood")
The New York Times granted many full pages to the diabetes epidemic
in an extensive series in January 2006. The Medical
News Today website
contains helpful links to these archived New
York Times stories. The series did an excellent
job of exposing the "penny-wise, pound-foolish" approach
to treatment. I would describe the stories as essential reading for
anyone who addresses diabetes in their work. Even so, the articles
suffered from a few unfortunate forays into misguided mainstream approaches.
I asked one quoted researcher if her paper actually tracked community
access to diet soda and low-fat milk as healthy foods for diabetics,
as the article appeared to say. Indeed, it did, she responded. The
researcher told me that my approach – of considering diet soda
to be an unhealthy food, for instance – would not be culturally
welcome in Harlem. (I suspect the cultural barrier is even stronger
at the medical facility level.) Search http://video.on.nytimes.com for "bad blood" to see video coverage of the series content.
(June 2007: Here are the actual links to The
New York Times stories:
Diabetes and Its Awful Toll Quietly Emerge as a Crisis
By the Numbers: One Scourge in 2 Forms
Living at an Epicenter of Diabetes, Defiance and Despair
In the Treatment of Diabetes, Success Often Does Not Pay
Meets West, Adding Pounds and Peril )
Cows' Milk, Diabetes
Most people in the medical profession don't realize that there
is a link between cow's milk consumption and diabetes. This is
a good starter article that points to further research in this area.
Commentary on Milk and Diabetes
Robert Cohen issues an urgent call for researchers, using powerful
data to draw meaningful conclusions. I think you'll find this
to be an intriguing piece of writing.
American Diabetes Association (ADA)
Although research shows that the American Diabetes Association diet
doesn't work as well as a healthful plant-centered diet in controlling
diabetes, the organization holds enormous sway. More than 6000 sites
link to diabetes.org (according to a9.com), and the ADA comes up first
on a Google search for "diabetes." This ADA will likely
continue to recommend complicated "meal planning calculations," diet
colas, and artificial sweeteners – which they call "nonnutritive
sweeteners." I'd like to see the day that diabetes.org includes links to rawfor30days.com and pcrm.org.
National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion
The US government, not surprisingly, also offers a mainstream approach,
For instance, from this page, there is a link to a food pyramid that
recommends two to three servings of milk and two to three servings
of "meat and others." At both of these sites (ADA and CDC),
there is plenty of good information to be found, but that information
doesn't reveal that a whole plant-centered diet is healing, nor
that most diabetics in this country just keep getting sicker.
The Diabetes Blog
This blog has a slightly corporate feel to it, different from many
of the home-grown blogs I'm used to reading, but the content
is rich, interesting, and well-written. It makes worthy reading.
Dr. McDougall on Diabetes
Dr. John McDougall offers excellent content on diabetes, including
the fact sheet above. I learned from it that "medication guarantees
diabetes." In all my prior study of this field, I hadn't
been exposed to that idea before, but it makes sense. You may find
more excellent content by Dr. McDougall by searching Google for:
"site: www.nealhendrickson.com +mcdougall +diabetes" or "mcdougall
Natural Treatments for Type 2 Diabetes
Cathy Wong, the alternative medicine guide for About.com, offers a
helpful collection of eight healing plants and minerals, along with
A Case Study: Defeating the Diabetes Epidemic
I've had the pleasure of speaking to Dr. Fuhrman about his work
with diabetics. This case study exemplifies how rapidly diabetic patients
can be healed with proper diet and appropriate reductions in medication.
F is for Fat: How Obesity Policies are Failing
This Trust for America's Health report contains state-by-state
adult obesity rankings, along with a series of policy recommendations.
The site also contains a supplemental update to obesity-related legislation
action on the state level.
Weird Al – Pancreas
Here you'll find Weird Al Yanovic performing in the style of
a Beach Boys medley:
"Oooohh...I'm always thinkin' 'bout it
I don't know what I'd do without it
I love, I really love...my pancreas!"
All sites mentioned in this column were accessed on 1/30/2007.
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Marjorie Roswell makes maps and web pages at a health policy organization