Clinical Research: Notable Physicians Committee Publications

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Clinical Research: Physicians Committee Publications

 

Diabetic Neuropathy

Neuropathy is a complication of diabetes manifesting as pain, numbness, and other nerve symptoms. The pilot study put 17 adults on a low-fat vegan diet for 20 weeks, with weekly nutrition classes. The researchers found significant improvements in pain, measured by the Short Form McGill Pain questionnaire, the Michigan Neuropathy Screening Instrument physical assessment, and through electrochemical skin conductance in the foot. The participants also lost an average of 14 pounds.

Diabetes Study

This study was funded by the National Institutes of Health. Individuals with type 2 diabetes (n=99) were randomly assigned to a low-fat plant-based diet (n=49) or a diet following the American Diabetes Association (ADA) guidelines (n=50). Participants were evaluated at baseline and 22 weeks. Both a low-fat plant-based diet and a diet based on ADA guidelines improved glycemic and lipid control in type 2 diabetic patients. These improvements were greater with a low-fat plant-based diet.

Menstrual Pain Study

In a crossover design, 33 women followed a low-fat, vegetarian diet for two menstrual cycles. For two additional cycles, they followed their customary diet while taking a supplement placebo pill. Dietary intake, serum sex-hormone binding globulin concentration, body weight, pain duration and intensity, and premenstrual symptoms were assessed during each study phase. A low-fat vegetarian diet was associated with increased serum sex-hormone binding globulin concentration and reductions in body weight, dysmenorrhea duration and intensity, and premenstrual symptom duration.

Weight Control Study

In an outpatient setting, 64 overweight, postmenopausal women were randomly assigned to a low-fat, plant-based diet or a control diet based on National Cholesterol Education Program guidelines, without energy intake limits, and were asked to maintain exercise unchanged. Dietary intake, body weight and composition, resting metabolic rate, thermic effect of food, and insulin sensitivity were measured at baseline and 14 weeks. Adoption of a low-fat, plant-based diet was associated with significant weight loss in overweight postmenopausal women, despite the absence of prescribed limits on portion size or energy intake.

GEICO I Study

At two corporate sites of the Government Employees Insurance Company (GEICO), employees who were either overweight (BMI ≥ 25 kg/m2) and/or had type 2 diabetes participated in a 22-week, worksite-based dietary intervention study. At the intervention site, participants were asked to follow a low-fat, plant-based diet and participate in weekly group meetings that included instruction and group support. At the control site, participants received no instruction and made no diet changes.

GEICO II Study

In our second GEICO study, 292 GEICO employees in 10 sites across the country who were either overweight (BMI ≥ 25 kg/m2) and/or had type 2 diabetes participated in an 18-week worksite-based dietary intervention study. At the intervention site, participants were asked to follow a low-fat plant-based diet and participate in weekly group meetings that included instruction and group support (intervention group). At the control site, participants received no instruction and made no diet changes (control group). Weight, serum lipid concentration and glycemic control were measured at baseline and 18 weeks.

Migraine

The study assigned 42 adult migraine sufferers to either consume a low-fat plant-based diet or take a placebo supplement for 16 weeks. Participants then switched groups for a second 16-week period. During the diet period, participants consumed a plant-based diet and then an elimination diet to remove foods that are common migraine pain triggers. The severity of the worst headache pain improved significantly during the plant-based diet period, compared to the supplement period.

Reviews and Editorials

Barnard ND, Levin SM, Yokoyama Y. A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Changes in Body Weight in Clinical Trials of Vegetarian Diets. J Acad Nutr Diet. 2015 Jan 17. pii: S2212-2672(14)01763-8.

Yokoyama Y, Barnard ND, Levin SM, Watanabe M. Vegetarian diets and glycemic control in diabetes: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Cardiovasc Diagn Ther. 2014 Oct;4(5):373-82.

Barnard ND, Bunner AE, Agarwal U. Saturated and trans fats and dementia: a systematic review. Neurobiol Aging. 2014 Sep;35 Suppl 2:S65-73.

Barnard ND, Bush AI, Ceccarelli A, et al. Dietary and lifestyle guidelines for the prevention of Alzheimer's disease. Neurobiol Aging. 2014 Sep;35 Suppl 2:S74-8.

Yokoyama Y, Nishimura K, Barnard ND, et al. Vegetarian diets and blood pressure: a meta-analysis. JAMA Intern Med. 2014 Apr;174(4):577-87.

Gonzales JF, Barnard ND, Jenkins DJ, Lanou AJ, Davis B, Saxe G, Levin S. Applying the precautionary principle to nutrition and cancer. J Am Coll Nutr. 2014;33(3):239-46.

Barnard ND. The physician's role in nutrition-related disorders: from bystander to leader. Virtual Mentor. 2013;15:367-372.

Agarwal U. Rethinking red meat as a prevention strategy for iron deficiency. Infant, Child, & Adolescent Nutrition. 2013;5:231-235.

Trapp CB, Barnard ND. Usefulness of vegetarian and vegan diets for treating type 2 diabetes. Curr Diab Rep. 2010;10:152-158.

Trapp C, Barnard N, Katcher H. A plant-based diet for type 2 diabetes: scientific support and practical strategies. Diabetes Educ. 2010;36:33-48.

Berkow SE, Barnard N, Eckart J, Katcher H. Four therapeutic diets: adherence and acceptability. Can J Diet Pract Res. 2010;71:199-204.

Barnard ND. Trends in food availability, 1909-2007. Am J Clin Nutr. 2010;91:1530S-1536S.

Lanou AJ. Should dairy be recommended as part of a healthy vegetarian diet? Am J Clin Nutr. 2009;89:1638S-1642S.

Barnard ND, Levin S. Vegetarian diets and disordered eating. J Am Diet Assoc. 2009;109:1523; author reply 1523-1524.

Spencer EH, Ferdowsian HR, Barnard ND. Diet and acne: a review of the evidence. Int J Dermatol. 2009;48:339-347.

Ferdowsian HR, Barnard ND. Effects of plant-based diets on plasma lipids. Am J Cardiol. 2009;104:947-956.

Barnard ND, Katcher HI, Jenkins DJ, Cohen J, Turner-McGrievy G. Vegetarian and vegan diets in type 2 diabetes management. Nutr Rev. 2009;67:255-263.

Lanou AJ, Barnard ND. Dairy and weight loss hypothesis: an evaluation of the clinical trials. Nutr Rev. 2008;66:272-279.