Nutrition and Healing

This diabetes drug is a dangerous dud

Diabetic men, hide your hearts.

That’s the urgent message from a recent study that tested metformin, the patent drug that millions of doctors turn to first when treating type 2 diabetes.

Using PET scans, researchers determined that metformin caused men’s hearts to burn more fat and less sugar. And that’s exactly what a diabetic DOESN’T need. It puts a specific kind of stress on the heart muscle that can lead to heart failure.

As one researcher put it, metformin worsened men’s heart metabolism, making the heart look “even more like a diabetic heart.”

For women, results were the exact opposite. Metformin lowered fat metabolism and increased sugar uptake.

Now, this appears to be good news for women. In fact, the press release from Washington University in St. Louis (where the study was conducted) practically GLOWS with reverence for metformin. It mentions again and again the “positive effects” of the drug.

Unfortunately, all that gushing means that women will be more comfortable taking metformin. But they shouldn’t be. Not at all. In fact, they should do what men will do when they read about this study — they should put metformin behind them immediately.

In the current issue of Nutrition & Healing (March 2014), Dr. Wright takes a long hard look at the history of metformin. And it gets pretty ugly.

As you may know, the list of potential side effects is daunting. They include a variety of unpleasant digestive problems, hormone disruption (particularly the thyroid stimulating hormone), dizziness, and sinus infections.

One of the most disturbing side effects is the depletion of two critical nutrients: vitamin B12 and folate. In one study, metformin users took B12 supplements and STILL couldn’t overcome the deficiency!

But of course, jumping from metformin to another type 2 diabetes drug isn’t the answer. Every one of these patent meds has its own unique set of horrors. A diabetic friend of mine told me that his wife once refused to let him try a new drug when she noticed that side effects included high risk of pancreatic cancer.

Everyone should have such a protective spouse!

In his N&H article, Dr. Wright offers this simple rule of thumb: It’s always best to Copy Nature. Following that idea for type 2 diabetes, he relies on a botanical that he calls the “obvious number one alternative” to metformin.

You can read all about this natural approach and Dr. Wright’s recommendations for using it at this link. And if you’re not yet a Nutrition & Healing subscriber, just click here to begin receiving your own copy every month, along with invaluable access to more than a decade of N&H archives.


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