As I discussed earlier this week, any successful treatment of Type II diabetes should ultimately accomplish three goals, in addition to lowering blood sugar.
- It should reduce the risk of dangerous complications to the eyes, kidneys, heart, and nerves.
- It should improve quality of life.
- It should improve longevity.
I continue to investigate natural treatments that reduce blood sugar, but we need data showing how they accomplish these three critical goals. In the meantime, we have metformin, which accomplishes all of the goals without causing harmful side effects.
Of course, medical guidelines call for practicing doctors to strictly control blood sugar levels in Type II diabetics, which metformin does (and more). But you know the big pharma execs don’t just roll up their sleeves and say “okay, metformin works great…so we’re done here.” Especially since metformin is now an inexpensive, generic drug. Which means it no longer makes massive amounts of money for big pharma.
In fact — starting in the 1990s, big pharma began developing new Type II drugs that target Hemoglobin (Hb) A1C levels as the clinical outcome. Even though, in terms of accomplishing the three goals listed above, metformin outperforms them all.
So — what is HbA1C all about?
When blood sugar levels are elevated, glucose attaches itself to proteins in blood vessels (which ultimately causes the damage to eyes, kidneys, and nerves). Sugar also attaches to the hemoglobin protein in red blood cells. And HbA1C readings measure the amount of sugar attached to the hemoglobin.
Many experts think this easy-to-take measurement is the best index of excess blood sugar over a period of four months or so. So — they would do anything they could to keep HbA1C at low levels. And it didn’t matter what kind of treatment was employed — insulin, metformin, other drugs, diet, etc. — as long it lowered HbA1C.
This approach reminds me of the FDA’s approval of statin drugs based solely only on the drugs’ ability to lower cholesterol (which they do) without waiting to see whether the drugs actually reduce heart disease or deaths (which they do not).
Lately, some studies have begun to look at these new diabetes drugs to find out whether they actually affect patient health outcomes. Results show that the newer drugs that lower HbA1C do NOT necessarily translate into less heart disease and longer lives.
This is actually good news for patients.
It means some researchers out there have begun to assess actual outcomes — such as heart disease and mortality — to identify which Type II diabetes drugs work best.
The studies themselves are quite technical. But they should serve as reminders to you and your doctor to stick with treatments that reduce diabetic complications and death. And avoid newer drugs that just reduce HbA1C levels.
Long-term studies needed
These studies also serve as reminders that we need long-term results to determine the effectiveness and safety of diabetes treatments. And that should include natural, non-drug approaches.
Amazingly, several years ago, the office in charge of developing natural, non-drug treatments at the National Institutes of Health concluded there is no evidence for nutritional treatments for diabetes, a disease of metabolism and nutrition. This conclusion virtually guaranteed the government will not fund long-term studies of natural approaches.
Of course, plenty of research does show that a healthy diet and weight can prevent and reverse high blood sugar. In addition, many studies show that key nutrients and herbal treatments can also help lower blood sugar.
So, with all of this in mind, I’m in the very beginning stages of putting together a comprehensive protocol that covers all of the science-backed natural approaches, which, when taken together, should help prevent and reverse Type II diabetes. You’ll be the first to know when this protocol is available, so stay tuned!
In the meantime, I’ll tell you about some of the most recent research on natural approaches for blood sugar management in the upcoming July issue of my Insiders’ Cures newsletter. So — if you’re not already a subscriber, now is the perfect time to get started.