Rancho Palos Verdes, CA (PRWEB) November 20, 2012
A federal study designed to determine if intensive diet and exercise within the obese Type 2 diabetic population would reduce heart attack and stroke risk ended two years early because the results to date showed the risk remained the same.
Intensive therapy did not reduce the cardiovascular risk. According to the NY Times, “I was surprised,” said Rena Wing, the study’s chairwoman and a professor of psychiatry and human behavior at Brown University’s medical school.
Like many, she had assumed diet and exercise would help, in part because short-term studies had found that those strategies lowered blood sugar levels, blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
But, Dr. Wing added, “You do a study because you don’t know the answer.”
Still, medical experts said there were many benefits to diet and exercise even if they did not reduce cardiovascular disease in people with diabetes.
The study randomly assigned 5,145 overweight or obese people with Type 2 diabetes to either a rigorous diet and exercise regimen or to sessions in which they got general health information. The diet involved 1,200 to 1,500 calories a day for those weighing less than 250 pounds and 1,500 to 1,800 calories a day for those weighing more. The exercise program was at least 175 minutes a week of moderate exercise.
But 11 years after the study began, researchers concluded it was futile to continue — the two groups had nearly identical rates of heart attacks, strokes and cardiovascular deaths.
The investigators are analyzing their data and will be publishing them in research papers.
But the outcome is clear, said Dr. David Nathan, a principal investigator and director of the Diabetes Center at Massachusetts General Hospital. “We have to have an adult conversation about this,” he said. “This was a negative result.”
The study participants assigned to the intensive exercise and diet program did lose about 5 percent of their weight and managed to keep it off during the study. That was enough to reduce cardiovascular risk factors.
“We showed that meaningful weight loss — let’s put ‘meaningful’ in quotes — could be established and maintained,” Dr. Nathan said. “To me that means we did a good experiment. We had a fair test of this hypothesis.”
The study shows the importance of providing maximum cardiovascular health. Recent studies have shown the cardiovascular protective benefits of omega-3, turmeric, cocoa, cinnamon and vitamin d.
In a study released by the journal Diabetes Care on March 7, 2012 it concluded optimal vitamin D levels lowered all causes of cardiovascular disease mortality in people with metabolic syndrome. “We observed a 75% and 69% reduction in all-cause and cardiovascular disease mortality, respectively, in those with optimal levels compared with those with severe 25(OH)D deficiency.”
A study by Penn State looked at certain cardiac markers and how turmeric impacted those markers. "Elevated triglycerides are a risk factor for heart disease," explains researcher Sheila West. Her study concluded that incorporating turmeric in an otherwise high fat meal actually lowered triglycerides and insulin levels. Levels dropped by about one third for those using turmeric in the meal. "It was surprising," West told us. "I didn't expect such a large decrease."
A meta analysis conducted by the British Medical Journal (BMJ) in 2011 reported the following. “Of the seven studies, five trials reported a significant inverse association between chocolate intake and cardiometabolic disorders. For example, individual studies showed reductions in the risk of coronary heart disease, the risk of cardiovascular disease mortality, and the risk of incident diabetes in men.”
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