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July 9, 1999

Alternative Therapies and Explanations

Question from Northbrook, Illinois, USA:

Can vita-nutrients, such as calcium AEP, given during the first year after diagnosis, reverse or improve Type 1 diabetes? In the book Dr.Atkins' Vita-Nutrient Solution, Nature's Answer to Drugs, "The Gratifications of Nutritional Medicine" (Ch.1, p. 20) reads: "Marie, an eleven-year-old who had been recently diagnosed with juvenile diabetes, had been prescribed two varieties of insulin. Doctors are traditionally taught that juvenile diabetes carries with it a life sentence requiring insulin. However, I have learned from treating other diabetic patients that if one of the lesser-known vita-nutrients, calcium AEP, is given during the first year of this illness, the illness can be reversed. I put Marie on a vita-nutrient program, and we were able to lower her insulin dose, week by week, until six months later she stopped taking the drug completely. Her blood sugar levels were virtually normal and have remained so for the past two years, at which time her pancreas responded to a carbohydrate meal with a normal output of insulin." My 10 year old son was diagnosed with type 1 four months ago. Is there any evidence regarding this matter?

Answer:

No sound evidence at all. Type 1 diabetes mellitus is a chronic disease of autoimmune origin. A long list of environmental factors (such as dietary factors and infectious agents as common viruses, toxins and drugs) are nowadays believed to act as precipitators upon an already ongoing slow process of immune destruction of the beta cells of the pancreatic islets, probably years or decades before and initiated at the very beginning by a triggering event which is amplified by a strong genetic susceptibility background. So far, no drugs or vitamins have shown any scientific proof to act towards a beta cell cure.

MS