This blog tracks updates to the Blood Sugar 101 Web site.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Yet Another Huge Study Proves Longterm Actos/Avandia Use Causes Fractures

Page Changed: Actos and Avandia: Dangerous Diabetes Drugs

Added this text to the long list of studies showing Actos and Avandia damage bone in ways that long term lead to a significantly higher number of fractures:

Analysis of results in 19,070 patients in the huge TRIAD study confirm this finding.

Thiazolidinedione Use and the Longitudinal Risk of Fractures in Patients with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus Zeina A. Habib et al. J. Clin Endo & Metab.Vol. 95, No. 2 592-600. doi:10.1210/jc.2009-1385

The real scandal here is the way that American Diabetes Association, as usual devoted to the interests of its sponsors, the drug companies, not those of the people in whose name it collects money continues to urge patients to ignore this data and continue on taking these damaging drugs. David Kendall, the ADA's Chief Medical and Scientific officer was quoted saying the following:
This is certainly not the first of these larger studies where I would say this unanticipated event was noted... Depending on the study, it appears that people who take TZDs for longer periods of time have about a one-and-a-half to twofold increase in their risk of fractures..

These are very effective medicines for some patients. We have to understand there are potential risks. Certainly anyone already considered to be at fracture risk -- a woman with osteoporosis -- or someone who suffers from instability or frequent falls, you should think carefully about the use of the medications. On the other hand, fractures in total [in Herman's study] were generally rare. Far more people didn't have fractures than did have.
By the same logic, we should be giving Thalidomide to pregnant women, because more of them did not have babies with flipper limbs than did. Or we should encourage smoking because not all smokers get lung cancer.

Given the weight of evidence against Actos and Avandia, and the poor evidence that they do much for patients beyond making them permanently fatter, the ADA's continued advice to patients "Those with diabetes on TZD drugs should not stop these medicines without talking to their doctor," is indefensible.

Remember, this is the same organization that continues to warn people that the long term effects of the low carb diet are "unknown" and hence it should be avoided, though every bit of evidence from all studies shows it to be safe and much more effective for people with Type diabetes than either Actos or Avandia.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Long Term Low Carb Diet Better for Health than Low Fat in Randomized Trial

Page Changed: Studies Proving the Safety and Efficacy of the Low Carb Diet

A 2010 Study Finds Low Carb Diet Beats Low Fat at Improving Health Long Term

An NIH-funded study published in 2010 compared an Atkins type low carb diet to a low fat/low calorie diet over a 2 year period. This study was distinguished from earlier studies in that participants were given ongoing support to help them stay on track.

Both groups lost the same amount of weight over the two years on average. However, as stated in the results:
During the first 6 months, the low-carbohydrate diet group had greater reductions in diastolic blood pressure, triglyceride levels, and very-low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels, lesser reductions in low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels, and more adverse symptoms than did the low-fat diet group. The low-carbohydrate diet group had greater increases in high-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels at all time points, approximating a 23% increase at 2 years.
Though this study excluded people with diabetes, the finding confirms what people with diabetes have been reporting, anecdotally for years and removes any basis on which doctors and nutritionists can rest their oft repeated claim that the low carb diet is dangerous.

Weight and Metabolic Outcomes After 2 Years on a Low-Carbohydrate Versus Low-Fat Diet: A Randomized Trial Gary D. Foster et al. Annals of Internal Medicinevol. 153 no. 3 147-157 Aug 3, 2010.