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The following have been selected as key information resources on alternative and complementary therapy options available for the treatment of type 1 and type 2 diabetes and prediabetic conditions such as Syndrome X (also referred to as prediabetes/metabolic syndrome/insulin resistance syndrome), as well as the general issue of blood sugar control (which is often a major factor in weight loss and general health). These resources have been carefully categorized and factually described to aid your own research. Some include key information on the conventional process of diagnosis and pharmacological treatments before exploring complementary and alternative (CAM) approaches.

Type 1 and 2 diabetes are different underlying disorders that happen to produce similar symptoms:

  • In type 1 diabetes, the immune system has damaged the pancreas, which consequently produces little or no insulin. Thus, insulin injections are required.
  • In type 2 diabetes, cells have developed insulin resistance, which prevents them from absorbing glucose, even though the pancreas may be producing large amounts of insulin (and the pancreas may eventually burnout and no longer be able to produce substantial amounts of insulin). Blood glucose levels are excessive.
  • In Syndrome X, cells have developed insulin resistance (as in type 2 diabetes), but (unlike type 2 diabetes) the amount of insulin produced by the pancreas still adequately compensates, resulting in normal blood-sugar levels. However, these high insulin levels in turn further increase insulin resistance (and may eventually burnout the pancreas), often leading to type 2 diabetes. Obesity is a problem for many Syndrome X patients and type 2 diabetics; weight loss is often imperative.


For Type 2 diabetes, some authors insist upon a low-fat, low-protein, high-complex carbohydrate diet (vegetables, fruits, beans, and whole-grains), arguing that fat (particularly animal fat) intake promotes insulin resistance. Some Type I diabetics reportedly "have gotten completely off of their insulin by following a raw food vegan diet" (Cynthia Foster, M.D.;

On the other hand, other authors insist upon a low-carb (sometimes even ketogenic) diet, which is high in fat and animal-protein, arguing that a low-carb intake is essential for maintaining low blood sugar. (Many emphasize the importance of eating protein or fat at each meal to slow the absorption of carbs). A few suggest that the patient's individual metabolism (see Kristal and Worthington below) or blood type (see D'Adamo below) determine which of these diets will be best. Deciding which regimen is best for you can be a challenging task and is best made in consultation with a health practitioner.

Both low-fat and low-carb diets for diabetics tend to have certain common features: Most of them encourage consumption of natural (ideally organic) whole foods, particularly sprouts, salads, leafy greens, cruciferous vegetables, other low-carb vegetables and high-fiber foods, and certain spices (e.g., cinnamon, garlic, onion) and minerals (e.g., vanadium, chromium). Most diets permit, at least in moderation, low-glycemic fruit that are low in sugar, such as berries and grapefruit; bran; nuts and seeds; and (except in strict vegetarian diets) deep-sea, low-mercury seafood such as Alaskan salmon. High-carb and high-glycemic foods (e.g., white potatoes, tropical fruit, dried fruit, sugar), as well as artificial sweeteners, are discouraged. Low/zero-calorie natural sweeteners such as stevia, lo-han, and xylitol are permitted. Omega 3 and 9 fats are often emphasized over omega 6, and trans-fats are strictly prohibited.

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NOTE: The following resource listings are not intended to be comprehensive, nor to be used as a guide for treatment.  They are provided for information only.  The resources are selected and categorized to help you with your own research.



kaptchuk.jpg (3984 bytes) Gabriel Cousens, M.D.
There Is a Cure for Diabetes: The Tree of Life 21-Day+ Program
North Atlantic Books, 2008
Presents a three-week plan for reversing diabetes through juice fasting, nutrition, and a raw vegan diet. 100 recipes are included.

kaptchuk.jpg (3984 bytes) Jack Challem & Ron Hunninghake, M.D.
Stop Prediabetes Now: The Ultimate Plan to Lose Weight and Prevent Diabetes
Wiley 2007
Describes a program for improving eating habits and using supplements to reverse prediabetes and related weight problems. Shopping instructions, meal plans, and easy-to-prepare recipes are included.

kaptchuk.jpg (3984 bytes) Frank Murray & Len Saputo
Natural Supplements for Diabetes: Practical and Proven Health Suggestions for Types 1 and 2 Diabetes
Basic Health, 2007
Discusses natural supplements and treatments for diabetes and complications of diabetes.

kaptchuk.jpg (3984 bytes) Kevin Trudeau
The Weight Loss Cure They Don't Want You to Know About
Alliance, 2007
Although this book is sensationalistic, it contains some valuable information on supplements and natural approaches purported to be highly effective for weight loss and blood sugar control.

kaptchuk.jpg (3984 bytes) Peter J. D'Adamo, N.D. & Catherine Whitney
Diabetes: Fight It with the Blood Type Diet: The Individualized Plan for Preventing and Treating Diabetes (Type I, Type II, and Pre-Diabetes)
Berkley, 2005
D'Adamo presents a targeted plan for diabetes, as well as hypoglycemia, based on his blood type diet.

kaptchuk.jpg (3984 bytes) DeWayne McCulley
Death to Diabetes: The Six Stages of Type 2 Diabetes Control & Reversal
BookSurge, 2005
The author discusses his recovery from diabetes, "live" vs. "dead" foods, supplementation, cleansing/detoxification, exercise, mind & spirit, and recipes.

kaptchuk.jpg (3984 bytes) Frank Shallenberger, M.D.
The Type 2 Diabetes Breakthrough: A Revolutionary Approach to Treating Type 2 Diabetes
Basic Health, 2005
Provides guidelines to increase energy production by increasing oxygen metabolism and to shift energy production away from glucose metabolism and toward fat metabolism.

kaptchuk.jpg (3984 bytes) Robert O. Young & Shelley Redford Young
The pH Miracle for Diabetes: The Revolutionary Diet Plan for Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetics
Wellness Central, 2005
Views acidity as a cause of diabetes. Provides dietary guidelines for alkalinizing, as well as recipes and guidance on exercise and stress management..

kaptchuk.jpg (3984 bytes) Robert C. Atkins, M.D., Mary C. Vernon, M.D., C.M.D., & Jacqueline A. Eberstein, RN
Atkins Diabetes Revolution: The Groundbreaking Approach to Preventing and Controlling Type 2 Diabetes
HarperCollins, 2004

Presents a guide to the Atkins Blood Sugar Control Program (ABSCP), applying Atkins's weight loss approach to diabetics, and discusses supplements for diabetics.

kaptchuk.jpg (3984 bytes) Michael Murray, N.D. & Michael Lyon, M.D.
How to Prevent and Treat Diabetes with Natural Medicine
Riverhead Books, 2004
Provides dietary, lifestyle, and supplementation strategies for dealing with diabetes and complications from it, using an evidence-based approach. Draws on cutting-edge research and the authors' real-life experiences working with thousands of diabetes patients.

kaptchuk.jpg (3984 bytes) Brenda Davis, RD & Tom Barnard, M.D.
Defeating Diabetes: A No-Nonsense Approach to Type 2 Diabetes and the Diabesity Epidemic
Healthy Living, 2003
Provides a vegan food guide with 50 recipes, a self-care checklist, shopping & animal-products-substitution lists.

kaptchuk.jpg (3984 bytes) Fran Gare, N.D.
The Sweet Miracle of Xylitol: The All-Natural Sugar Substitute Approved by the FDA As a Food Additive
Basic Health, 2003
Discusses the health benefits of using Xylitol, a natural sugar substitute, and provides vegan recipes for Xylitol-sweetened treats and guidelines for following the Sweet Miracle Diet.

kaptchuk.jpg (3984 bytes) Stephen Holt, M.D., Jonathan V. Wright, M.D., & Thomas V. Taylor, M.D.
Nutritional Factors for Syndrome X: A Wellness Guide
Wellness, 2003
Three doctors discuss insulin resistance, glucose intolerance, low-carb diets, nutritional factors, and health consequences of syndrome X.

kaptchuk.jpg (3984 bytes) Michael Sichel, D.O, N.D.
Bitter-Sweet Profits: Winners and losers inside the diabetic industry
Bookbound, 2003
Discusses diet and fungal detoxification, and provides a report on the herbal complex Eleotin.

kaptchuk.jpg (3984 bytes) Melissa Diane Smith
User's Guide to Preventing & Reversing Diabetes Naturally: Learn How to Use Foods & Supplements to Protect Against Blood-Sugar Disorders
Basic Health, 2003
Provides information on natural supplements and "a healthy easy-to-follow diet for losing weight, stabilizing blood sugar and insulin, and reducing the risk of diabetes"

kaptchuk.jpg (3984 bytes) C. Leigh Broadhurst, PhD
Prevent, Treat, and Reverse Diabetes
Alive Books, 2002

Provides nutritional and supplement guidelines for Type 2 diabetics.

kaptchuk.jpg (3984 bytes) Gretchen Becker
The First Year Type 2 Diabetes: An Essential Guide for the Newly Diagnosed
Marlowe, 2001
Guides those newly diagnosed through their first year with diabetes, discussing medical, lifestyle, practical, and psychological issues. A low-carb diet is outlined.

kaptchuk.jpg (3984 bytes) Patrick Quillin, PhD, RD, CNS
The Diabetes Improvement Program: The Ultimate Handbook for Using Foods & Supplements to Slow and Reverse the Complications of Diabetes
Leader, 2001
Shows how nature can activate your body's built-in healers once you start eating the right combination of foods. For Type I and II diabetes.

kaptchuk.jpg (3984 bytes) Jack Challem, Burton Berkson, M.D., & Melissa Diane Smith
Syndrome X: The Complete Nutritional Program to Prevent and Reverse Insulin Resistance
Wiley 2000
Provides information on diet, exercise, natural supplements, and guidelines for individualizing one's program.

kaptchuk.jpg (3984 bytes) Vern Cherewatenko, M.D. & Paul Perry
The Diabetes Cure: A Natural Plan That Can Slow, Stop, Even Cure Type 2 Diabetes
Collins, 2000
Discusses hydroxycitric acid, vitamins, diet, exercise, and stress reduction.

kaptchuk.jpg (3984 bytes) R. N. Ellsworth
Natural Treatments for Diabetes
Woodland, 2000
Pamphlet provides dietary guidelines and supplements for prevention and treatment.

kaptchuk.jpg (3984 bytes) Michael T. Murray, N.D.
Diabetes & Hypoglycemia: Your Natural Guide to Healing with Diet, Vitamins, Minerals, Herbs, Exercise, and Other Natural Methods
Three Rivers Press, 1994
Offers guidelines related to early symptoms, diagnosis, lifestyle, blood sugar imbalance and related cardiovascular diseases. Includes 25 recipes.


kaptchuk.jpg (3984 bytes) Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS
Get the Sugar Out: 501 Simple Ways to Cut the Sugar Out of Any Diet (2nd ed.)
Three Rivers Press, 2008
Provides 501 tips and 50 recipes for meals, snacks, desserts, and drinks.

kaptchuk.jpg (3984 bytes) Jeffrey Goettemoeller
Stevia Sweet Recipes: Sugar-Free-Naturally (2nd ed.)
Vital Health, 1999
Provides 168 recipes for desserts, breakfast dishes, main courses, salads, and side-dishes, using the herb Stevia as a sweetener.

kaptchuk.jpg (3984 bytes) Julian Whitaker, M.D. & Peggy Dace
Reversing Diabetes Cookbook: More Than 200 Delicious, Healthy Recipes
Grand Central, 2004
Provides kitchen-tested recipes for appetizers, entrees, side dishes, and desserts, with nutritional breakdowns.

kaptchuk.jpg (3984 bytes) Robin Robertson
Carb Conscious Vegetarian: 150 Delicious Recipes for a Healthy Lifestyle
Rodale Books, 2005
Offers 150 easy-to-prepare vegan recipes, high in protein and fiber.


kaptchuk.jpg (3984 bytes) John M. Fink
Third Opinion: An International Resource Guide to Alternative Therapy Centers for Treating and Preventing Cancer, Arthritis, Diabetes, HIV/AIDS, MS, CFS, and Other Diseases
Square One, 2005
A comprehensive patient resource for finding doctors and clinics offering alternative therapies, as well as educational centers, information services, and support programs.


Alternative Medicine Review
Tel: (800) 228-1966
This journal reviews scientific research on alternative therapies, including alternative treatments for diabetes.

Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine
Tel: (800) 345-8112
A bimonthly clinical research journal with particular emphasis on mind-body approaches to wellness; has occasional articles on diabetes.

Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine
Tel: (914) 740-2100
This clinical research journal is published 10 times a year and has occasional articles on diabetes.

NOTE: Mainstream journals increasingly include articles on alternative treatments for diabetes.

MAGAZINES & NEWSLETTERS [non-peer-reviewed]

Alternative Medicine Magazine
Toll free: (800) 333 HEAL
Provides news on supplements, diet, natural beauty and household products, as well as research on alternative therapies.

Diabetes Action eNewsletter
Contains holistic healthcare tips and the latest diabetes news.

Townsend Letter for Doctors & Patients (TLDP)
Tel: (360) 385-6021
Fax: (360) 385-0699
Presents clinical information on a wide variety of alternative medicine topics.

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“How to Finally Make Diabetes Disappear”
Joseph Mercola, D.O.
Provides an overview of and links to articles on dietary guidelines, sleep, exercise, weight loss, diagnosis, complications, dangers of diabetes drugs, and case studies.

Life Extension Foundation (LEF)
Discusses natural supplements for and articles on diabetes.

Arthur M. Echano, M.D., N.D., MACNEM
“Update on `The Silent Killer’: Diabetes”
Discusses "live" vs. "dead" foods and the herbal complex P-700.

“Reversing Type I Diabetes: Is It Possible To Get Off Of Insulin Gradually With Herbal Healing?”
Cynthia Foster, M.D. (“Dr. Foster’s Essentials”)

“Reversing Type II Insulin Resistant Diabetes”
Cynthia Foster, M.D. (“Dr. Foster’s Essentials”)

Harold J. Kristal, D.D.S. with James M. Haig, N.C.
“Diabetes, Cancer and Weight: A Metabolic Typing Survey”
Discusses diabetes from the perspective of metabolic typing.

“Diabetes Type II and Diabetic Neuropathy”
Discusses the effectiveness of the enzyme serrapeptase and other natural supplements in treating diabetes and preventing neuropathy.

“Diabetes” An Insider's Guide to Natural Medicine
Discusses natural supplements and a low-fat diet high in complex carbohydrates.

Michael Murray, N.D.
Includes several articles on natural treatments for diabetes; supports a low-fat diet high in complex carbohydrates.

William Wong, N.D., PhD
“Treating Diabetes With Enzymes: What We Know Now”
Discusses the use of enzymes with type I diabetes.

Morton Walker, DPM
"The New Canadian Therapeutic Herbal Tea for Non-Insulin-Dependent Diabetes Mellitus"
Townsend Letter for Doctors & Patients, May 1999, pp. 62-66.
Reviews research on Eleotin and other herbal remedies.

Virginia Worthington, PhD
“Metabolic Typing: Slow-Oxidizers, Fast-Oxidizers”
Price-Pottenger Nutrition Foundation Journal, Vol. 22(4), Winter 1998.
Discusses the differences between slow- and fast-oxidizers and the implications for diet and vitamin supplementation.

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Diabetes Unit
Laboratory of Clinical Investigation
National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM)/NIH
10 Center Drive
Building 10, Room 6C-205, MSC 1632
Bethesda, M.D. 20892-1632
Tel: 301-496-6269
Fax: 301-402-1679
Researches nutritional supplements and functional foods in relation to insulin's actions, insulin resistance, and the pathophysiology and complications of diabetes.

PubMed & CAM on PubMed
Free public access to the National Library of Medicine MEDLINE database of clinical research is available through PubMed and the Related Articles feature.

Searches can be tailored to CAM journals at:
Pattern your search terms after the Sample Searches shown on this site.

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Diabetes Action Research and Education Foundation (Diabetes Action)
426 C Street, NE
Washington, DC 20002
Tel: (202) 333-4520
Fax: (202) 558-5240
Provides education and funding for CAM and nutritional research.

The following professional associations provide alternative and complementary medical approaches to a range of health issues including diabetes:

American Association of Naturopathic Physicians (AANP)
4435 Wisconsin Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20016
Toll free: (866) 538-2267
Tel: (202) 237-8150
Fax: (202) 237-8152
This organization represents the naturopathic physicians from recognized schools of naturopathy and provides referrals to naturopathic physicians.

American Board of Holistic Medicine (ABHM)
1135 Makawao Avenue, #230
Makawao, HI 96768
Toll free: (800) 769-0638
Tel: (808) 572-4616
Provides referrals to physicians board certified in holistic medicine.

American College for Advancement in Medicine (ACAM)
24411 Ridge Route, Suite 115
Laguna Hills, CA 92653
Fax: (949) 309-3538
Provides listings of physicians who practice integrative medicine.

American Holistic Medical Association (AHMA)
P.O. Box 2016
Edmonds, WA 98020
Tel: (425) 967-0737
Fax: (425) 771-9588
This organization includes allopathic and osteopathic physicians who practice medicine that acknowledges the interrelationship of body, mind, and spirit. AHMA provides listings of physicians who practice integrative medicine.

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Alternative Cancer Information Resources
Tel: (202) 393-2885
Fax: (202) 364-3314
Free noncommercial information on prevention, diet/nutrition, natural supplements, CAM, and clinics & holistic practitioners around the world for cancer, diabetes, infections, colitis, Parkinson's disease & other health conditions.
2995 Wilderness Place
Boulder, CO 80301
Tel: (800) 515-4325
Provides an extensive online library of alternative medicine information, and a practitioner and clinic directory, and publishes Alternative Medicine Magazine.

Ann Wigmore Natural Health Institute
P.O. Box 429
Puerto Rico 00677
Tel: (787) 868-6307
Fax: (787) 868-2430
Teaches Ann Wigmore's Living Foods Lifestyle, based on a raw-food vegan diet.

Burton Goldberg
309 Paradise Drive
Tiburon CA 94920
Offers coaching, phone consultation, books, videos, and information on alternative and integrative treatment centers worldwide.

Creative Health Institute
112 West Union City Road
Union City, MI 49094
Tel: (866) 426-1213 or (517) 278-6260 voice
Fax: (517) 278-5837
Natural health learning center that provides a program of body purification, nutrition and rejuvenation through the use of fresh raw foods, based on the work of Ann Wigmore.

Gerson Institute
1572 Second Avenue
San Diego, CA 92101
Toll Free: (888) 4 GERSON
Tel: (619) 685-5353
Provides information on the traditional form of Gerson therapy and dietary guidelines for healthy living, and offers training programs. Gerson therapy is a demanding regimen that may not be suitable for most diabetes patients.

Hippocrates Health Institute
1443 Palmdale Court
West Palm Beach, FL 33411
Tel: (800) 842-2125 or (561) 471-8876
Fax: (561) 471-9464
Provides education and retreats focused on a raw-food, enzyme-rich diet, based on the work of Ann Wigmore.

Optimum Health Institute (OHI)
OHI San Diego
6970 Central Avenue, Lemon Grove, CA 91945
Tel: (800) 993-4325 or (619) 464-3346

OHI Austin
265 Cedar Lane, Cedar Creek,
Austin, TX 78612
Tel: (512) 303-4817
Teaches about detoxification, a raw organic vegan diet, healthy living, and spirituality.

Weston A. Price Foundation
PMB 106-380, 4200 Wisconsin Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20016
Tel: (202) 363-4394
Fax: (202) 363-4396
Provides information on the dietary habits and nutritional wisdom of healthy indigenous societies, including information on diabetes prevention.

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New Guide September 2007
Last Updated October 28, 2008
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