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Diet and Exercise Beat Drugs for Diabetes Heart Risks

April 01, 2010 | 69,605 views
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diabetesMore than 1 in 10 American adults have diabetes. But the multibillion-dollar blockbuster drugs marketed as treatment for diabetes haven't proved to be so successful against the biggest cause of death related to it: heart disease.

Four new studies published in the New England Journal of Medicine are a stark warning to diabetics who rely on drugs to lower their risk of heart attacks and strokes.

One found that using antihypertensives to lower systolic blood does nothing to lower risk of heart complications; another found no benefit to adding a drug to raise HDL ("good") cholesterol. And no heart benefits were associated with two drugs given to lower high blood sugar levels.

Evidence is accumulating that diabetics may not benefit -- and may even be worse off -- when they're treated with a number of diabetes medications. The real take-home message here is that those with diabetes shouldn't forget about the importance of lifestyle factors. Losing excess weight, increasing activity levels, and improving nutrition habits will lead to better control of diabetes and lower risks of heart disease.

What Are GMOs?

From April 19th through April 25th we launch GMO Awareness Week. We set aside an entire week dedicated to providing you with information on GMOs and labeling initiatives.

GMOs are a product of genetic engineering, meaning their genetic makeup has been altered to induce a variety of “unique” traits to crops, such as making them drought-resistant or giving them “more nutrients.” GMO proponents claim that genetic engineering is “safe and beneficial,” and that it advances the agricultural industry. They also say that GMOs help ensure the global food supply and sustainability. But is there any truth to these claims? I believe not. For years, I've stated the belief that GMOs pose one of the greatest threats to life on the planet. Genetic engineering is NOT the safe and beneficial technology that it is touted to be.

Help Support GMO Labeling

The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA)—Monsanto’s Evil Twin—is pulling out all the stops to keep you in the dark about what’s in your food. For nearly two decades, Monsanto and corporate agribusiness have exercised near-dictatorial control over American agriculture. For example, Monsanto has made many claims that glyphosate in Roundup is harmless to animals and humans. However, recently the World Health Organization (WHO) had their research team test glyphosate and have labeled it a probable carcinogen.

Public opinion around the biotech industry's contamination of our food supply and destruction of our environment has reached the tipping point. We're fighting back. That's why I was the first to push for GMO labeling. I donated a significant sum to the first ballot initiative in California in 2012, which inspired others to donate to the campaign as well. We technically "lost the vote, but we are winning the war, as these labeling initiatives have raised a considerable amount of public awareness.

The insanity has gone far enough, which is why I encourage you to boycott every single product owned by members of the GMA, including natural and organic brands. More than 80 percent of our support comes from individual consumers like you, who understand that real change comes from the grassroots.

Thankfully, we have organizations like the Organic Consumers Association (OCA) to fight back against these junk food manufacturers, pesticide producers, and corporate giants.

Internet Resources Where You Can Learn More

Together, Let's Help OCA Get The Funding They Deserve

Let’s Help OCA get the funding it deserves. I have found very few organizations who are as effective and efficient as OCA. It’s a public interest organization dedicated to promoting health justice and sustainability. A central focus of the OCA is building a healthy, equitable, and sustainable system of food production and consumption. That's why I'm proud to announce I will be matching donations up to $250,000 this week.

Please make a donation to help OCA fight for GMO labeling.

Donate Today!


Dr. Mercola's Comments:

Again, here we have not one, not two, but FOUR studies backing up the conclusion that the path of conventional medicine is leading diabetics astray, and doing far more harm than good.

Yes, cardiovascular disease is a major concern for diabetics, but the drug paradigm is not the answer for this problem. It never was, but at least now we’re starting to see more studies confirming this fact, and the word is slowly but surely starting to trickle out.

We’re also starting to see proof of the real dangers of diabetes drugs like Avandia, which actually INCREASES your risk of suffering a fatal heart attack. In fact, one previous study found Avandia increased the risk of heart failure by 109 percent, and the risk of heart attack by 42 percent, if used longer than one year.

The US News & World Report article above also discusses the dangers of blood pressure medication, and the misguided recommendation to maintain very low blood pressure, stating:

“The new study examining blood pressure found that diabetics with moderately high blood pressure levels—about 135 mm Hg on average—didn't benefit from taking extra blood pressure medication to lower those levels down to slightly less than 120 mm Hg.

In fact, they were more likely than those who kept their levels in the 130s range to experience fainting, heart arrhythmias, and abnormally high potassium levels, all associated with low blood pressure.

"Most doctors still aim for a goal blood pressure of 130 or below when treating diabetics, even though no there's no good data to support that," says study leader William Cushman.”

How true! I’ve written about the dangers of artificially lowering your blood pressure to these extremely low levels on several occasions.

Avoid Being Fooled - - Drugs Will Not Protect You Against Heart Disease

As reported above, these four studies found that:

  1. Using antihypertensives to lower systolic blood pressure below a 120 mm Hg does nothing to lower a diabetic's risk of heart complications
  2. Diabetics get no health benefit from adding a drug to raise HDL "good" cholesterol levels if they’re already taking a statin to lower their LDL cholesterol levels
  3. There were no heart benefits associated with two different drugs given to lower high blood sugar levels

Although the article goes on to prescribe a “smart action plan” that includes taking a statin drug to lower your heart disease risk, and blood pressure medication if your blood pressure is above 140/90 mm Hg, the main point here is the fact that most people truly do not need these drug interventions.


Because lifestyle changes are MORE effective!

How to Effectively Treat Diabetes, Without Drugs

It’s well worth remembering that type 2 diabetes is virtually 100 percent avoidable, and can be effectively treated without medications in about the same percentage of cases.

Type 1 diabetics, however, do not produce insulin and must therefore inject insulin several times a day if they are to remain alive. Tragically those with type 1 diabetes can have the healthiest lifestyle possible yet still suffer many diseases, as current technology is a poor substitute for a fully functioning pancreas.

However, even type 1 diabetes may be preventable -- in utero.

New research suggests if a pregnant woman has optimal vitamin D levels during her pregnancy and then maintains them in her baby once delivered, this should radically reduce if not virtually eliminate the child’s risk of getting type 1 diabetes!

Type 2 diabetes, however, is a fully preventable condition that arises from faulty leptin signaling and insulin resistance. Therefore, diabetes can be controlled or reversed by recovering your insulin and leptin sensitivities.

How is this done?

Well that’s the kicker. The only known way to reestablish proper leptin and insulin signaling is through a proper diet and exercise! There is NO drug that can accomplish this – a fact that makes the current disease paradigm even more tragic, as diabetes continues to skyrocket, and the conventional treatments are needlessly killing diabetics prematurely.

Following these simple guidelines can help you do at least three things that are essential for successfully treating diabetes: recover your insulin/leptin sensitivity; help normalize your weight; and naturally normalize your blood pressure:

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