Doctors Say Avandia Warning Label Should Tout Vegan Diet

| Sep 22, 2008

A professional doctors' group has petitioned the Food and Drug Administration to require that Avandia's warning label include a statement that a low-fat vegan diet is a safer, more effective approach to lowering blood sugar levels than the drug itself.

The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine says that the benefits of the diet, which include a lowering of blood pressure and cholesterol levels, weight loss and the prevention - even reversal - of heart disease, should be made clear to Avandia users.

The group's request comes in the wake of a recent FDA decision to require a "black-box" warning on Avandia alerting users to the increased risk of heart attacks. Researchers claim that 13,000 instances of heart attack and heart failure in the United States can be attributed to the drug.

Avandia is the brand name for rosiglitazone, part of the thiazolidinedione class of drugs used to control blood glucose. GlaxoSmithKline introduced the drug in 1999.

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Source: Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine

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Categories: Blood Glucose, Blood Sugar, Diets, Food

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Posted by Anonymous on 15 January 2008

Why rely on risky drugs when you can change your diet and improve your health? Sounds like a no-brainer to me.

Posted by Anonymous on 17 January 2008

I don't think that a person must go to the extreme of becoming a vegan. A small amount of lean meat in your diet won't hurt you.

Posted by Ladybird on 17 January 2008

But why a vegan, which I think means no milk and other dairy products at all? Why not a vegetarian, with dairy products in one's diet, no need to go overboard, but some, as the other poster said why not a small amount of lean meat? Well why not, although, I'm basically a vegetarian myself, but believe that when one chooses one's own lifestyle, without other people "insisting" that theirs is the "best", it's easier to stick to it. If an extreme lifestyle is what one likes than so be it. Each to his/her own, but eat things in moderation and it will work to lose weight, bring one's glucose down and be healthier in every way.

But I do think, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine has taken a very courageous step to even call for this step, when in spite of all the adverse reports coming out against Avandia, many doctors do not feel it needs to be taken off the market.

Posted by Anonymous on 18 January 2008

It never ceases to amaze me how people can see being "vegan" as an extreme lifestyle. A bit of unbiased research is all that is necessary to see things otherwise. The profound healing that can take place when animal products are removed from the diet is convincing enough for me. Extreme is not eating fruits, vegetables and whole grains...extreme is having your chest opened up and exposed to stale operating room air and taking a monumental chance of signigicantly losing cognitive brain function from the procedure itself. All of this for a possible short term "fix". That's no answer. Pass the peas, please.

Posted by chucky on 18 January 2008

Can we see some peer reviewed research please? Can we see a list of the membership of the PCRM. Is this, perchance, more PC than RM? Please do some in depth reading on diet. Moderation is an answer.

Posted by Anonymous on 18 January 2008

PCRM is just another group of PETA and their ilk.
Living the vegan diet does NOTHING to either control nor eliminate Diabetes.
This is a disease of the Endocrine system.
These people who really are persona non grata in the medical community have no business telling Diabetics how to control their disease.

Posted by Pauline Barrett on 18 January 2008

While I have no ethical problems adhering to any kind of vegetarian diet, both my diabetes and 3 kinds of anemia respond better to daily ingestion of the hemeiron from animal sources. I still need regular infusions. I've had Type 2 diabetes for almost 10 years, and it's my medical condition that is under best control.

Posted by Anonymous on 18 January 2008

I think PCRM is correct and is right in trying to get this information to the public. As a professional in the health field, I have seen vegan diets do much more for health than drugs. For instance, cancer, and the aforementioned afflictions, heart disease, hypertension, diabetes. . .
So, obviously, "lean" meat in your diet will kill you. Don't knock if you won't try it.

Posted by Anonymous on 18 January 2008

A little lean meat won't hurt you? Tell me that after you eat a piece of meat from an animal with Mad Cow Disease. Or Avian Flu. And the list goes on. Why take a chance?

Not eating animals is good for us, good for the planet, and most of all, good for the animals! Veganism is not an extreme lifestyle. It's a healthy and compassionate way of life.

Posted by Anonymous on 21 January 2008

Type 2 Diabetes and the Vegetarian Diet (from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 78, No. 3, 610S-616S, September 2003) -

Based on what is known of the components of plant-based diets and their effects from cohort studies, there is reason to believe that vegetarian diets would have advantages in the treatment of type 2 diabetes. At present there are few data on vegetarian diets in diabetes that do not in addition have weight loss or exercise components. Nevertheless, the use of whole-grain or traditionally processed cereals and legumes has been associated with improved glycemic control in both diabetic and insulin-resistant individuals. Long-term cohort studies have indicated that whole-grain consumption reduces the risk of both type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. In addition, nuts (eg, almonds), viscous fibers (eg, fibers from oats and barley), soy proteins, and plant sterols, which may be part of the vegetarian diet, reduce serum lipids. In combination, these plant food components may have a very significant impact on cardiovascular disease, one of the major complications of diabetes. Furthermore, substituting soy or other vegetable proteins for animal protein may also decrease renal hyperfiltration, proteinuria, and renal acid load and in the long term reduce the risk of developing renal disease in type 2 diabetes. The vegetarian diet, therefore, contains a portfolio of natural products and food forms of benefit for both the carbohydrate and lipid abnormalities in diabetes. It is anticipated that their combined use in vegetarian diets will produce very significant metabolic advantages for the prevention and treatment of diabetes and its complications.

Posted by Anonymous on 22 January 2008

I have attended cardiologists seminars, diabetes seminars, American Diatetic assoc seminars & many more professional seminars where vegetarian & vegan diets have been presented as very beneficial to diabetes & numerous other chronic disease. If anyone has any doubt, they need to read the research, it's there!

Posted by rosiolady on 24 January 2008

Has anyone else noticed that the recommendations of this article are the exact opposite of Dr. Rosedale, in this same newsletter? Don't know if I should be commenting as a type 1, but I did spend 3-5 months on the Vegan diet as described above back in the early 90s. I gained weight and was hungry all the time. My energy was low; I felt awful. I am now on Dr. Bernstein's recommended low carb diet, lowered my insulin use way down, and feel more energy than I have in a long time.

Posted by Anonymous on 2 February 2008

Ditto. I wish it worked for me, but I gained 10 pounds very rapidly using the PCRM vegan diet, and was hungry constantly. My brain can't dictate to my body what fuel is best.

Posted by Anonymous on 23 April 2008

Please do note that "Physicians committee for Responsible Medicine" is focused on animal rights. They also do not believe in using animals for medical research. Shall we ask our islet cell transplant researchers if they can proceed without animal models?

Posted by Anonymous on 22 September 2008

Physician's Committee for Responsible Medicine is an arm of PETA, the animal rights people; PETA is the group saying that nobody should have pets.

One size does not fit all. For instance, I am required to eat a diet high in animal protein due to my dialysis. Animal protein was specified by the dietitian. Vegetable protein is higher in phosphorus for the amount of protein you get, and therefore not recommended as a sole source of protein. A vegan diet is great for some, not feasible for others.

Posted by Anonymous on 23 September 2008

The fats in dairy products (and all animal products) clog up normal cell functions that keep blood sugar in the healthy range. I urge all diabetics to read up on this simple, healthy way to wean yourself off of some or all of your medications.

I've been on a vegan diet for three years (not quite as low-in-fat as Dr. Barnard recommends, and not as strict about sticking to whole grains as I could be), and I've never felt better.

Posted by Anonymous on 23 September 2008

I have been a vegan for about one month. I read this book called Skinny Bitch and i feel like it has changed my life for the best. I have always loved animals but, was that person that was like i don't want to know. Well now i know what they do to them poor animals and i will never go back to eating meat. I feel great i have a ton of energy that i never knew i even had. The best thing is i lost 5 pounds!!!

Posted by Anonymous on 6 October 2008

A bit of "lean" dead creature product or unnaturally procured maternal excrement from caged bovine might (to vegans) be pictured as "going overboard".

Refuting that a vegan lifestyle can lead to utmost health is growing evermore difficult.
Many of us still can even adjust our vegan food diets to facilitate further healing and healthfulness. Try eating raw and juice fasting. These are the secret techniques that famous folks use to look great & to balance weight.

This video is fantastic for the knowledge of eating green and how it will help save us all.

Be Well! Health IS Wealth!

Posted by volleyball on 23 August 2009

This talk of vegan as better for us is just too funny. No wonder so many laugh at them. If you want to be vegan, then go for it, whether you do it as you think it will improve your life or that you mistakenly think it will save some poor animals life.
Vegan would make my life and health worse and I am not going to do that.
The attention grabbing group is only trying to give themselves publicity. If people lived healthier, there would be lots less of all types of drugs, but that is not going to happen.

Posted by Anonymous on 22 February 2010

Doctors get about 6 hours of nutrition in med school. Most of their advice comes from salesmen. When the corn oil industry generously donated to the American Heart Association, doctors recommended corn oil. Well, we know that vegetable oils are inflammatory and the use of vegetable oils parallels the rising rate of heart attacks. Margarine, the first trans fat, was patented in the late 1800s. We also know that most corn and soy which make up many veggie oils is genetically modified and the American Academy of Environmental Medicine last year said genetically engineered foods are dangerous to human health.

It is a very compassionate place from which most vegetarians come, but given the need for animal fat in human health, the effort would be better spent advocating for humane standards and grass feeding. The difference between a grass fed hamburger and regular grocery store meat is night and day – the CLA levels, the omega-3 levels, the saturated fats levels, etc are very different. So too is the difference between old fashioned farm eggs and the factory eggs you get at the grocery store.

The doctors who preach a low-fat, vegan diet are ignorant of the good impacts of good fats. IN 2006, the Women’s Health Initiative, a study of about 49,000 women, showed that a low-fat diet did not significantly reduce the women’s risk of heart disease, breast cancer, or colon cancer. The body needs fat. It’s a major energy source and also helps you absorb certain vitamins and nutrients. Even the conservative Wall Street Journal ran an article a few years ago that you need animal fat to absorb the nutrients from vegetables so put butter on that broccoli and add cream to the juice from the blender.
Vegetarians who slam meat and dairy seem to never say boo about genetically modified foods, or the difference between factory foods and old fashioned farm foods. I had lunch last week with a passionate vegan who was drinking soy milk – completely unaware of the aluminum content, oblivious to the fact it came from GM soybeans, and that the ingredients listed “yeast extract,” another term for MSG, a neurotoxin.

America is sick. More than half of all US children will suffer from chronic health conditions during their childhood, according to a study published Feb 17 in the Journal of the American Medical Society. The PCRM is part of the problem – they would deprive children of good fat, which among so many other things, gives us that full feeling that causes us to stop eating. Better that doctors raise a stink about high fructose corn syrup and factory-raised meat and dairy. Better that doctors advocate for non-homogenized milk because it would lower heart disease. Better that doctors understand that food is medicine, but there was not one word about reforming med school curriculum in the recent health care debates.

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