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The Physicians Committee

NEWS RELEASE September 12, 2007

Diabetes Experts Available for Comment on New Diabetes Drug Studies

Diabetes experts with the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) are available for comment on two new studies released today that renew concerns about the safety of Avandia, the diabetes drug. PCRM researchers have studied how diet changes can be used to control and sometimes even reverse type 2 diabetes.

"Unlike Avandia, the ‘side effects’ of a low-fat vegan diet are all good: better blood sugar control, lower cholesterol, lower blood pressure, and weight loss. Anyone concerned about the heart problems associated with Avandia should see their physician and ask about the possibility of trying a vegan diet," says PCRM president and nutrition researcher Neal Barnard, M.D. "Our research shows that a vegan diet is more effective than oral medications. And many Americans prefer a dietary approach over medication."

PCRM Experts Available for Comment: 

* Dr. Barnard was the lead investigator on a National Institutes of Health-funded study that showed a low-fat vegan diet is more effective at treating type 2 diabetes than both the standard diabetes diet and oral medications. Recently published in Diabetes Care, a journal of the American Diabetes Association, the study showed that a low-fat, low-glycemic-index vegan diet allows many people to minimize and sometimes even eliminate their need for Avandia and other medications. The diet has been shown in numerous other studies to both prevent and reverse heart disease, a main concern for those taking Avandia. Additionally, the study showed that research participants found the diet easier to stick with than the traditional diabetes diet. For more information about Dr. Barnard, please visit

* Diabetes nurse educator Caroline Trapp, M.S.N., A.P.R.N., B.C.-ADM, C.D.E., heads PCRM's Diabetes Education and Care Division, which offers a wide variety of resources for diabetes patients, including free online cooking classes and support groups. Ms. Trapp also coordinates PCRM's continuing medical education program: Classes will be held in November in San Antonio; Atlanta; Ann Arbor, Mich.; and Bethesdsa, Md.

Founded in 1985, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine is a nonprofit health organization that promotes preventive medicine, conducts clinical research, and encourages higher standards for ethics and effectiveness in research.

Media Contact:
Jeanne S. McVey

Neal Barnard, M.D.
Neal Barnard, M.D.

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