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Reversing Diabetes Mass Market Paperback – November 1, 2009
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"Rebound" by Kwame Alexander
Don't miss best-selling author Kwame Alexander's "Rebound," a new companion novel to his Newbery Award-winner, "The Crossover,"" illustrated with striking graphic novel panels. Pre-order today
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From Publishers Weekly
Physician Whitaker (Reversing Heart Disease offers some sound advice that is, unfortunately, shrouded by specious assertions, such as his belief that diabetes is a reversible condition and not a chronic disease. He promotes a sensible low-fat, high-carbohydrate and high-fiber diet (recipes included) and an exercise program, but his claims that diet and exercise will help "hundreds of thousands, perhaps even millions, of diabetics in this country to become drug free" should be taken with more than a grain of salt. As he admits in the book, persons with Type 1 diabeteswhose diabetes emerged because of a lack of insulin in the body rather than the inability of the body to use it effectively"will almost always require insulin injections," although the amount may be reduced by following his regimen. He cautions readers to use this program under a doctor's care but repetitiously attacks his colleagues for their ignorance of nutrition and readiness to prescribe medications, and dredges up George Washington's unnecessary death by bleeding therapy at the hands of a doctor. He attributes eye damage to aggressive insulin treatment, which should also cause a stir in the medical community. Illustrations not seen by PW.
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Library Journal
Insulin has been the treatment of choice for most diabetics since it was first administered to humans in the 1920s. Most physicians offer diet and exercise programs to their diabetic patients only as an afterthought, and the traditional diabetic diet, which restricts carbohydrates, may actually promote the disease in susceptible individuals. Dr. Whitaker, founder of the Whitaker Wellness Institute, outlines a low fat, low protein diet designed to increase sensitivity to insulin. Combined with regular exerise, it will reduce the need for therapeutic insulin or other diabetic drugs. Well referenced, the book includes recipes, daily menus, shopping lists, and nutrient charts and appears to be a sensible if uninspired dietary regimen. Karen McNally Bensing, Metro General Hospital Lib., Cleveland
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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There is no disagreement between the two, nor in the medical community, that exercise is critical for diabetics. The ratio of body fat (esp abdominal fat) to muscle mass affects insulin resistance, so losing weight and adding muscle are the most powerful treatments for diabetes. Any doc who can get their patients to lose weight and exercise will be able to claim some measure of success. Where they differ is on the type of diet to use and how readily to use medications.
The first tip off that something fishy is going on is that Dr. Whitaker, in trying to make us believe that fats cause insulin resistance, cites a piece of research from 1935. In this experiment, subjects' responses to a glucose tolerance challenge were measured after being on a low carb/high fat diet, a high carb/low fat diet, and a few in between. The results show that the more carbs subjects had been eating, the lower their glucose response to the challenge. The way in which he cites this study leaves it clear he wants us to believe that the high-fat intake on the low carb diet causes "glucose intolerance (pre-diabetes)." However, it is well known that eating a low carb diet (not necessarily high fat) will cause a *false-positive* result to a glucose tolerance test. The reason for this is not insulin resistance (as Whitaker implies by the way he organizes this section). The reason is that the body scales down its production of glucose-handling enzymes when few carbs are coming in(1) - after a few days of eating carbs, the response to the glucose tolerance test would be accurate. As I said, this phenomenon is well known, so either he knows it and is trying to gloss over it, which I consider unacceptably dishonest, or he really doesn't know it, which would be shocking in an M.D. claiming expertise in this area. Indeed, after citing this study, he basically says he can't advocate a high fat diet because "there is just too much research on the harmful effects of certain fats" for him to consider this safe. Anyone who shares his belief should read Good Calories, Bad Calories by Gary Taubes which completely debunks the so-called research that fats are bad (i.e., there isn't any - there is only common wisdom).
Secondly, despite how scary it sounds to most of us, insulin is the most natural way to handle blood glucose. In fact, it has been demonstrated that early intervention with insulin can give the pancreas a rest and allow damaged beta cells (the cells that produce insulin) to recover, thus possibly saving someone like myself from disease progression. Indeed, Whitaker even acknowledges this (pg 70). At the same time, while acknowledging its importance for Type I diabetics, he mostly talks about insulin as a scary bogeyman and says that "safer alternatives" should be explored first. Well, if that were only diet and exercise, there would be no cause for disagreement. However, he devotes a good deal of time to discussing dietary supplements that he prefers. Now, I've tried most of these myself (no effect), and Dr. Bernstein also talks about them (but hasn't seen much effect), but frankly, if I were an MD, I wouldn't be advocating the use of supplements with meager research behind them, no long-term safety studies, and no quality control in their manufacture. Moreover, the way he talks about some of them makes you wonder if he doesn't stand to benefit monetarily if he can get people to buy them. On this point, I agree with other reviewers who felt like this book was sort of a sales pitch for his Whitaker Wellness Institute (I can only imagine how much they charge) and the "Whitaker Wellness Health and Nutrition Bar." Interestingly, after reading this book and getting mad, I was telling my husband about it and when I showed him Dr. Whitaker's name, he said "Oh, that guy" - he'd had the same reaction to him as a snake-oil salesman in some completely different context.
Finally, once you understand that the whole "Fat's are Bad" myth is just a myth, there is no excuse for advocating such massive carbohydrate intake for diabetics. The idea that it doesn't matter if you have high blood glucose as long as you maintain stability is bogus. The way Whitaker (and perhaps also the ADA types) apparently justify advocating high but stable blood glucose is by citing a statistic that the death rate for people who maintained lower blood sugars was no better than that of those who did not (pg 66-67). However, the problem with these statistics is that they don't control for carbohydrate intake; because most insulin-using diabetics continue to eat large quantities of carbohydrate, they have huge margins for error in their insulin estimates. Consequently, they are subject to mis-dosing themselves and having sometimes deadly hypoglycemic episodes, not to mention highly fluctuating glucose levels. Thus, their overall survival curve may not look much better than for people who had higher overall blood sugars and didn't use insulin. This is why Dr. Bernstein advocates the "Law of Small Numbers" - if you are eating only a small number of grams of carbohydrate in a meal, you will be very unlikely to calculate a dose of insulin that is too small or too large, thereby maintaining stable blood sugars throughout the day.
So, that's my take. If you want to live a life free of the horrors that are diabetic complications, get Dr. Bernstein's book and skip the snake oil.
I was pre diabetic and switched to a low carb lifestyle, and supplemented with bio-idential progesterone cream to counter the insulin. In 8 mo I lost over 80 lbs without exercise and my cholesterol dropped in half. I write this review simply because low fat foods are packed with sugars and based on the book description, I would see the direction of this book to be more of a band aid than a cure. Much of what I learned is attributed to publications by Dr. Russel Blaylock, Dr. John Lee and Dr. Michal Platt.
For years we thought we were doing the right thing... he took the medications though he felt terrible and they didn't make much of a dent in his numbers. Doctors would chastise him anyway marking him as "non-compliant" despite his efforts to take the meds which were causing him to complain of feeling sick and tired. At least when he gave up the meds he could get out of his recliner again. As a loving wife it was hard watching him take the pills then come home sick each night and collapse in his recliner- I'd have to wake him to eat dinner then wake him again for bedtime. At least off the meds he *looked* healthy yet his blood sugars in the 500s were surely slowly destroying his life. I knew the dangers of high glucose levels, after all all 4 of my grands and both of my parents had various levels of blood sugar issues - my grandma died shortly after she refused a diabetes related amputation. The diabetes saga caused much conflict and consternation in our lives.
Fast forward to 2008 - my husband endured a heart attack, stent placement not handled appropriately then suffered death in the hands of local medical "professionals". Thankfully he was resuscitated, but now scared. He knew the medical methods of treating Type 2 diabetes weren't effective but what else was there? Yet again we went to diabetes educators and tried following their advice which contradicted everything we believed but what else could we do?
A standoff at the hospital in which they told me I didn't understand, that I was taking him home to die and an EP told me he would be dead within 2 weeks, probably a few days, finally pushed me into a corner- I realized if my husband was going to live it was up to me. Now what was I to do???
Thankfully I stumbled into Reversing Diabetes in addition to Reversing Heart Disease and Sinatra Solution, among others.
Today my husband's A1C is 5.5 despite being off diabetes meds for almost 3 years. Now even if he has a crazy meal with the grandkids at the local pizza joint, with soda and with ice cream and other desserts, his blood sugar *may* spike to 150s then drop back to 100 - 120 again within a couple hours. Isn't that normal?
Since all my parents and grandparents suffered from this debilitating disease, I too monitor my blood glucose closely. As an athletic teen I was always around 100 fasting. Over the years I crept up to 105... today, as an obese woman with a disabling physical condition my fasting blood glucose is 85 - 87. We figured something out, part of that key was in this book ;-)
I cannot recommend this book highly enough. If you or a loved one suffers from this disease of chronic mineral deficiencies, do yourself a favor; get this book and learn the truth!
Meanwhile, read everything you can on high fructose corn syrup, artificial sweeteners and the fallacies we have been led. Then read up on the hormone vitamin D and the minerals magnesium, chromium, vanadium and selenium. In the interim learn about d-ribose, cinnamon, gymnema sylvester, and bitter melon.
The truth awaits those who empower themselves to take control over themselves and their health.
Btw, we have since realized metformin is probably linked to his very severe documented B12 deficiency. As we are getting his B12 levels (methylcobalamin) back up (10,000 mcg per day, prescribed) his "diabetic neuropathy" is improving. We also realized Januvia likely contributed to his symptoms of pancreatitis. Once he was pulled off cold turkey, he gradually improved. We also learned the truth of fast food and "overpocessed chemicalized sludge". We eat much healthier- focusing more on vegetables, greens, beans, eggs, other grains such as quinoa, amaranth, buckwheat, etc while using meat in more appropriate sized servings.