Saturday, October 2, 2010

NIH Study Finds Diet and Exercise Almost Twice As Effective As Metformin In Reversing Pre-Diabetes

National Diabetes Information Clearing House, an arm of the National Institute of Health, launched a program called the The Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP). It was a major multicenter clinical research study with over 3,000 participants aimed at discovering whether modest weight loss through dietary changes and increased physical activity or treatment with the oral diabetes drug metformin (Glucophage) could prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes in study participants. At the beginning of the DPP, participants were all overweight and had blood glucose, also called blood sugar, levels higher than normal but not high enough for a diagnosis of diabetes—a condition called pre-diabetes.

The DPP found that participants who lost a modest amount of weight through dietary changes and increased physical activity sharply reduced their chances of developing diabetes. Taking metformin also reduced risk, although less dramatically. The DPP resolved its research questions earlier than projected and, following the recommendation of an external monitoring board, the study was halted a year early. The researchers published their findings in the February 7, 2002, issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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