The American Diabetes Association published a study in the August issue of their journal, Diabetes Care. According to it, a low-fat vegan diet is more effective in treating type-2 diabetes than the standard diabetes diet. Its effect may be even better than single agent therapy with oral diabetes drugs. A drastic improvement in four disease markers; blood sugar control, cholesterol reduction, weight control, and kidney function was reported in participants who were on low-fat vegan diet. Doctors and dieticians with the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM), the George Washington University, and the University of Toronto with funding from the National Institutes of Health and the Diabetes Action Research and Education Foundation conducted the randomized control trial.
The vegan diet represents a major departure from current diabetes diets, in that it placed no limits on calories, carbohydrates, or portions. 'The diet appears remarkably effective, and all the side effects are good ones--especially weight loss and lower cholesterol,' says lead researcher Neal D. Barnard, M.D., PCRM president and adjunct associate professor of medicine at the George Washington University. 'I hope this study will rekindle interest in using diet changes first, rather than prescription drugs.'
Diabetes rates have climbed rapidly in recent years, and more than 20 million Americans now have the disease, which is linked to kidney failure, blindness, and cardiovascular disease.