The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point
  • About this web log

    This blog is intended as an objective and dispassionate source of information on the latest CAM research. Since my background is in pharmacy and allopathic medicine, I view all CAM as advancing through the development pipeline to eventually become integrated into mainstream medical practice. Some will succeed while others fail. But all are treated fairly here.

  • About the author

    John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.

  • Common sense considerations

    The material on this weblog is for informational purposes. It is not medical advice or counsel. Be smart, consult your health professional before using CAM.

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    Benefits of a low-glycemic index in diabetes

    Researchers from Canada compared the effects of a low-glycemic index (GI) diet vs a high-cereal fiber diet in patients with type 2 diabetes.

    GI is a measure of the effects of carbohydrates on blood sugar levels.

    • Carbohydrates with a high GI are digested rapidly and release glucose rapidly into the blood.
    • Carbohydrates with a low GI are digested slowly and release glucose gradually into the blood.
    • Comparisons are made to white bread (GI of 100): glucose at 138, brown rice at 81, and fructose at 31.

    First, the details.

    • 210 participants being treated for type 2 diabetes were randomly assigned to receive 1 of 2 diet for 6 months.
      • High-cereal fiber
      • Low-GI dietary advice
    • At the start of the study, participants had an A1c of 7.1% (the goal is less than 7% for this marker of long-term diabetes control).
    • The average body mass index (BMI) was about 31 (overweight).

    And, the results.

    • A1c decreased significantly with the low-GI diet vs the high-cereal fiber diet.
    • HDL (good) cholesterol increased significantly with the low-GI diet compared to a decrease with the high-cereal fiber diet.
    • Reducing the dietary GI was associated with a significant reduction in A1c and an increase in HDL cholesterol.

    The bottom line?
    The authors concluded, “In patients with type 2 diabetes, 6-month treatment with a low-GI diet resulted in moderately lower A1c levels compared with a high-cereal fiber diet.”

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