Letters to the Editor

February 2005

Feb 1, 2005

Reader Asks About Long-Term Safety Data

Articles about low-carb diets often say there are no long-term studies on how safe they are. I wonder, what would Richard Bernstein, MD, have to say about this?

Jeannie Hickey
Martinez, California


Dr. Bernstein’s Response

Supporters of the American Diabetes Association’s high-carb diet usually make the comment that there are no long-term studies about the safety of low-carb diets.

They notably omit the fact that the ADA diet also was not based on studies—either long- or short-term. The long-term results of the high-carbohydrate diet are visible in the grave consequences to patients that are apparent to any physician who treats them.

I have had type 1 diabetes for 58 years. In 1972, I had many of the long-term complications of a high-carb diet, including advanced kidney disease, retinopathy and severe gastroparesis.

Today, 35 years after changing to a very low carb diet, all of the above problems have normalized.

I’ve been treating diabetic patients for more than 20 years and have observed similar results. Those who stick to a low-carbohydrate diet reverse most of their diabetes complications and do not develop new ones. Those who continue with high-carbohydrate diets deteriorate fairly rapidly, in my experience.

For people with diabetes, the key is normal blood glucose with A1Cs under 5%.

To read testimonials from diabetics who are not my patients but who follow low-carbohydrate diets, readers should visit www.amazon.co.uk and www.amazon.com. Then, select “books” and type “Diabetes Solution” in the search box. The testimonials not only document improvements in cardiac and other risk factors, but also the disappearance of severe hypoglycemia among insulin users.

Richard K. Bernstein, MD, FACE, FACN, CWS
Director,
Peripheral Vascular Disease Clinic
Albert Einstein College of Medicine
Mamaroneck, New York


More Readers on Board for Faustman and Iacocca’s Mission

I applaud Diabetes Health for its vision to link up with Lee Iacocca and his foundation and Denise Faustman, MD.

When I was 10 years old, I was promised a diabetes cure within 10 years. Thank God I didn’t hold my breath waiting. And now I am a realist in knowing the ways of doing business in the United States. Health is big business, and just imagine all those out-of-work pharmaceutical companies should a cure be found.

Your colleague for a cure,

Debbie Leaper
Santa Monica, California


I’m not sure if you saw the November 8, 2004, edition of The New York Times, but in the Science Times section, there was an article on Denise Faustman, MD.

Of course, Diabetes Health readers learned of Faustman’s work in the March 2004 issue (“The Latest Cure: Injected Spleen Cells Reverse Type 1 in Mice”) and in the August 2004 issue (“Spare $10 for a Diabetes Cure? Why Lee Iacocca Wants Your Money”).

Although the Times article basically covered the same information, there was a noteworthy tidbit: The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) is financing an independent effort to replicate Faustman’s work. The researcher, Anita Chong, MD, of the University of Chicago, said her studies were still underway. But, she added, “so far, what we have done replicates what she has done.”

One of the most common criticisms of Dr. Faustman’s work is a lack of replicable results from other researchers. If Dr. Chong is able to replicate this work, it is possible that much more funding could surface from the JDRF, the National Institutes of Health, the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases and others.

Scott Strumello
New York, New York

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Categories: A1c Test, Blood Glucose, Diabetes, Diabetes, Insulin, Letters to the Editor, Low Blood Sugar, Type 1 Issues


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