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

    This blog ran from 2006 to 2016 and was 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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