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From the Townsend Letter
May 2007


Web Page Potpourri
by Marjorie Roswell

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A column devoted to informative integrative health resources on the Internet

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

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
(159KB .pdf)
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 on Diabetes
(Search 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 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
East Meets West, Adding Pounds and Peril )

Cows' Milk, Diabetes Connection Bolstered

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 (according to, 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 includes links to and

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: +mcdougall +diabetes" or "mcdougall diabetes."

Natural Treatments for Type 2 Diabetes

Cathy Wong, the alternative medicine guide for, offers a helpful collection of eight healing plants and minerals, along with bibliographic references.

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 in America

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 pancreas!"

All sites mentioned in this column were accessed on 1/30/2007.

Marjorie Roswell
3443 Guilford Terrace
Baltimore, Maryland 21218

Marjorie Roswell makes maps and web pages at a health policy organization in Baltimore.

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