Archive for Sunday, July 20, 2008

Area physician, diabetes expert extols new low-carb diet report

In a two-year study released today, low-carb diets prove to be a more successful weight loss solution than low-fat or non-restricted carb diets.

July 20, 2008


See the show

Dr. Mary Vernon will be one of a few physicians featured on the Diabetes Life Television program "What is good control," along with two of her patients.

The show will air at 6 tonight on the CNBC network, Sunflower Broadband Channel 40.

On the street

What is your opinion of low-carb dieting?

I think it’s pretty successful. I’ve tried it before, and it worked well. You have to watch it if you are going to be doing a lot of exercise, but it helps keep you trim.

More responses

Finally, Atkins and low-carbohydrate diet supporters have their vindication.

In a two-year Israeli study released Thursday in the New England Journal of Medicine, results show low-carb and Mediterranean diets helped patients lose more weight and lowered their cholesterol and sugar levels more than patients on low-fat or non-restricted carb diets.

According to Dr. Mary Vernon, a national expert in obesity and diabetes and chairwoman of the board of the American Society of Bariatric Physicians, this evidence substantiates her practice in using a low-carb diet to help diabetics.

Vernon, who practices in Lawrence and Shawnee, was an associate of Robert C. Atkins, who created the Atkins diet that has been the subject of debate for numerous years. She also co-wrote "Atkins Diabetes Revolution."

The study was sponsored in part by the Atkins Research Foundation and included a small population of diabetics as subjects, so its findings could still be up for debate in mainstream medicine. But Vernon has seen all the proof she needs that food choices can improve diabetics' lives.

"For years, carbohydrate restriction and the low-carb folks, those of us who really spent our lives telling patients they could regain metabolic control and kind of being ostracized for it, we're finally validated," she said.

Vernon said she had seen her patients lose weight, boost energy levels, lower cholesterol and maintain their blood sugar level, all with a low-carb focused diet, which she learned later in her career was a viable alternative to medicine.

She and two of her patients will share their success with the low-carb diet on a national television show, Diabetes Life Television, which will be broadcast at 7 p.m. tonight on CNBC.

If you had asked two of her patients to consider a low-carb diet years ago before they received diabetes diagnoses, they would have scoffed at the idea.

"I thought it was a bunch of rubbish," said Bill Simpson, 51, a retired Emporia State University computer science professor. After receiving a Type 1 diabetes diagnosis five years ago and "finally being talked into" the diet, Simpson said, "I know for a fact it saved my life."

He dropped 60 pounds, lowered his blood pressure and got off insulin all before he had a heart attack in 2004. He said if he hadn't lost the weight, he doesn't think he would have survived.

"I'm not the one that would go out and seek a diet," said Susan Ludwick, 57.

Food, especially sweets, had been her weakness for years. Vernon gave Ludwick a Type 2 diabetes diagnosis in 1986. Ludwick tried to control her diabetes with medicine and diet and exercise for 20 years.

Ludwick, too, lost about 60 pounds, but she still suffered from fatigue and high blood pressure. In March 2006, she said she hit "rock bottom." It was time for a change, she said, and that's when she tried the low-carb diet.

Vernon said she gives patients the option of medicine or diet, and they decide what they want to try. "Nine times out of 10, they will try the diet," she said.

As soon as Ludwick returned home, she cleared her cupboards and refrigerator of carbs, she said. The diet hasn't been easy, but she encourages others who suffer from diabetes or know others with it to consider the lifestyle change. That's a reason participating in the show was important to her, she said.

Ludwick is committed to the changes.

"I think we have an epidemic of diabetes in this country, and I think a lot of that is the kind of stuff we put in our body," she said. "I never want to get back to medication. I never want to get out of the size of clothes I'm wearing today."


Chris Ogle 9 years, 8 months ago

I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes last yr, and was talked to about a low carb diet. I follow a diet very similar to Atkins (The Zone Diet), and it really does work. I feel so much better.... Blood Pressure, and Diabetes are both under control.

tangential_reasoners_anonymous 9 years, 8 months ago

"Not everyone drops their cholesterol."I never drop my cholesterol.And to anyone careless enough to drop their cholesterol,I say you deserve the 50-point penalty.

lori 9 years, 8 months ago

I wonder if there is a typo in this story. According to this article, a man diagnosed with Type I diabetes was able to stop taking insulin. Type I is an autoimmune disease that attacks and kills the cells in the pancreas that manufacture insulin. Changing the diet will not cure this condition.If Bill Simpson had Insulin Dependent Type II diabetes, then yes, a dramatic change in diet and lifestyle could very well have resulted in a complete regression of his disease. If he were diagnosed with Type I diabetes, changing his diet and lifestyle would have had no impact on his need for insulin. It would have positively impacted his health in other ways, but it would not have caused his body to somehow regenerate more beta cells and start creating insulin again. Either his doctor misdiagnosed him, he misunderstood his diagnosis, or the paper misquoted him.Check out: more information.

gr 9 years, 8 months ago

For all you on the Atkin's diet: If you went "on" it, do you have plans to go "off" it? What do you think will happen to your weight at that point - Same thing as before you went on it?Instead of going "on" a diet, why not "change" your diet?

workinghard 9 years, 8 months ago

Well I guess everyone will have to decide for themselves if I'm telling the truth. Also, anyone that decides to try the Adkins diet, if you are planning to use soy in your diet, please check out this website, especially if you take thyroid supplements or have fibromyalgia. Soy can cause problems for some people.

workinghard 9 years, 8 months ago

Decided to search a few other prominent area doctors on LJW, she must have connections on their staff.

workinghard 9 years, 8 months ago

She was always in the papers for unpaid taxes and being sued for not paying her bills. She would write workers at her stable paychecks that would bounce. I have a hard time having confidence in someone like that. I think she had some problems with the humane society a few years back over some cats also.

whatupdown 9 years, 8 months ago

I did the Adkinsish diet and it was is perfect; lost over 20lb first month and now a couple a week, lost 35lbs total of being 45lbs over, I had to cut my bp med dose in half and a hundred other good things, I see food in a proper way now and have now added walking 45 mins most days; Ditch the Carbs and stick to it, nothing else even started to work then bing! All you need to know is online too.

workinghard 9 years, 8 months ago

The taxes and being sued are a matter of public record under MCV Unlimited and one of my relatives that worked for her received bad checks from her so my statements are facts.

overthemoon 9 years, 8 months ago

re soy and Dr. Price...his foundation is a reliable source of misinformation.

workinghard 9 years, 8 months ago

Hard to know what to believe. I guess following the "everything in moderation" rule is best although my doctor did tell me to be careful about eating soy with Synthroid. There are many reports that say it interferes with synthetic thyroid replacements. But they don't really say if it is the same for the natural thyroid replacement prescription (which doctors never prescribe, you have to ask for it). Anyone know the answer to that one? My sister takes the natural one because the synthetics didn't really work on her

cms 9 years, 8 months ago

Dr. Vernon has been involved with low-carb research for many many years. I know because I have been her patient for all those years. I think she is terrific, and for some, low carb diets save their lives. Shouldn't that be celebrated rather than chided?

Godot 9 years, 8 months ago

My experience with low carb is very positive. I only get derailed when my doc tells me to eat grains and fruits and reduce my protein intake. So I do it, and I get fatter and feel lousy and my cholesterol hits the ceiling.To lowcarb or not to low carb - I should let my body guide me. I feel better on low carb....

workinghard 9 years, 8 months ago

FYI, if you think you want to try the natural thyroid replacement (I believe it is made by Armour from pig thyroids) you should ask to smell it first. If you can't stand the smell, it's not for you. You can always hold the bottle at arms length and hold you breath when you take it.

always4ever 9 years, 8 months ago

I have a co-worker who suffered an Atkins-induced heart attack, so beware. It's not for everyone!

gr 9 years, 8 months ago

Could you help resolve the two statements:"There are about 300 U.S. cases each year of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease""There have been only three cases of the human form of mad cow disease in the entire United States,"Unless you are saying CJD is different, but I've heard it called the human form of mad cow. Maybe I have drank too much Fluoride and should have looked at the 50 reasons not to:

therandyteacosy 9 years, 8 months ago

Mary Vernon was pushing phen-phen on prospective patients, including myself, a few years ago. Everyone knows how well that "solution" turned out. Hopefully most people will "just say no" to this quack.

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