Dodging diabetes without drugs


by KING 5 HealthLink

Posted on May 2, 2014 at 6:07 PM

Before people develop Type 2 diabetes, they go through a period of time where their blood glucose levels are higher than normal but not yet high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes – it’s called pre-diabetes.

Researchers are looking for new ways to stop it from progressing.

Last year, nurse Eugene Cosnahan found out he is pre diabetic. Rather than give up all of his favorite foods, he is trying to dodge diabetes in other ways.

“I’ve kind of started on a program to reduce my weight, get in a little bit better physical condition,” said Cosnahan.

Cosnahan has dropped 20 lbs, but sometimes losing weight is not enough. He enrolled in a clinical trial called the D2D study.

Dr. Frank Greenway, MD, with Pennington Biomedical Research Center, wants to see if taking high doses of vitamin D – 4,000 units a day – will help prevent diabetes.

“It’s higher than what is the recommended daily allowance is, but it’s certainly within the range of what’s though to be a safe dose,” said Greenway.

Vitamin D is not the only possible alternative to medicine. 

“People might be able to use food for some of the things that now often require medicine,” said Greenway.

Particularly, purple foods, also known as anthocyanins, have been studied for their potential to prevent diabetes. Researchers hope that their amped-up version of purple rice will help to improve insulin resistance.

“I’m looking forward to hopefully seeing some real improvement,” said Cosnahan.

Other purple foods that can help improve insulin function include blueberries and eggplant.