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Ferdowsian H.R.,Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine | Levin S.,Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine
Skin therapy letter | Year: 2010

Acne vulgaris has anecdotally been attributed to diet by individuals affected by this skin condition. In a 2009 systematic literature review of 21 observational studies and 6 clinical trials, the association between acne and diet was evaluated. Observational studies, including 2 large controlled prospective trials, reported that cow's milk intake increased acne prevalence and severity. Furthermore, prospective studies, including randomized controlled trials, demonstrated a positive association between a high-glycemic-load diet, hormonal mediators, and acne risk. Based on these findings, there exists convincing data supporting the role of dairy products and high-glycemic-index foods in influencing hormonal and inflammatory factors, which can increase acne prevalence and severity. Studies have been inconclusive regarding the association between acne and other foods.

Barnard N.D.,George Washington University | Bunner A.E.,Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine | Agarwal U.,Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine
Neurobiology of Aging | Year: 2014

Cognitive disorders of later life are potentially devastating. To estimate the relationship between saturated and trans fat intake and risk of cognitive disorders. PubMed, EMBASE, and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials were searched for studies reporting saturated or trans fat intake and incident dementia, Alzheimer's disease (AD), or mild cognitive impairment (MCI) or cognitive decline. Only observational studies met the inclusion criteria: 4 for AD or other dementias, 4 for MCI, and 4 for cognitive decline. Saturated fat intake was positively associated with AD risk in 3 of 4 studies, whereas the fourth suggested an inverse relationship. Saturated fat intake was also positively associated with total dementia in 1 of 2 studies, with MCI in 1 of 4 studies, and with cognitive decline in 2 of 4 studies. Relationships between trans fat intake and dementia were examined in 3 reports with mixed results. Several, although not all, prospective studies indicate relationships between saturated and trans fat intake and risk of cognitive disorders. © 2014 The Authors.

Cavanaugh S.E.,Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine | Pippin J.J.,Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine | Barnard N.D.,Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine | Barnard N.D.,George Washington University
Altex | Year: 2014

Alzheimer disease (AD) is a medically and financially overwhelming condition, and incidence rates are expected to triple by 2050. Despite decades of research in animal models of AD, the disease remains incompletely understood, with few treatment options. This review summarizes historical and current AD research efforts, with emphasis on the disparity between preclinical animal studies and the reality of human disease and how this has impacted clinical trials. We provide a mechanism for shifting the focus of AD research away from animal models to focus primarily on human biology as a means to improve the applicability of research findings to human disease. Implementation of these alternatives may hasten development of improved strategies to prevent, detect, ameliorate, and possibly cure this devastating disease.

Wang B.,Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine | Chandrasekera P.C.,Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine | Pippin J.J.,Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine
Current Diabetes Reviews | Year: 2014

Among the most widely used animal models in obesity-induced type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) research are the congenital leptin- and leptin receptor-deficient rodent models. These include the leptin-deficient ob/ob mice and the leptin receptor-deficient db/db mice, Zucker fatty rats, Zucker diabetic fatty rats, SHR/N-cp rats, and JCR:LA-cp rats. After decades of mechanistic and therapeutic research schemes with these animal models, many species differences have been uncovered, but researchers continue to overlook these differences, leading to untranslatable research. The purpose of this review is to analyze and comprehensively recapitulate the most common leptin/leptin receptor-based animal models with respect to their relevance and translatability to human T2DM. Our analysis revealed that, although these rodents develop obesity due to hyperphagia caused by abnormal leptin/leptin receptor signaling with the subsequent appearance of T2DM-like manifestations, these are in fact secondary to genetic mutations that do not reflect disease etiology in humans, for whom leptin or leptin receptor deficiency is not an important contributor to T2DM. A detailed comparison of the roles of genetic susceptibility, obesity, hyperglycemia, hyperinsulinemia, insulin resistance, and diabetic complications as well as leptin expression, signaling, and other factors that confound translation are presented here. There are substantial differences between these animal models and human T2DM that limit reliable, reproducible, and translatable insight into human T2DM. Therefore, it is imperative that researchers recognize and acknowledge the limitations of the leptin/leptin receptor-based rodent models and invest in research methods that would be directly and reliably applicable to humans in order to advance T2DM management. © 2014 Bentham Science Publishers.

Trapp C.B.,Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine | Barnard N.D.,Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine
Current Diabetes Reports | Year: 2010

Significant benefits for diabetes prevention and management have been observed with vegetarian and especially vegan diets. This article reviews observational studies and intervention trials on such diets, and discusses their efficacy, nutritional adequacy, acceptability, and sustainability. Research to date has demonstrated that a low-fat, plant-based nutritional approach improves control of weight, glycemia, and cardiovascular risk. These studies have also shown that carefully planned vegan diets can be more nutritious than diets based on more conventional diet guidelines, with an acceptability that is comparable with that of other therapeutic regimens. Current intervention guidelines from professional organizations offer support for this approach. Vegetarian and vegan diets present potential advantages in managing type 2 diabetes that merit the attention of individuals with diabetes and their caregivers. © Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010.

Chandrasekera P.C.,Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine | Pippin J.J.,Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine
Altex | Year: 2014

Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) has reached epidemic proportions worldwide and animal models mimicking human T2DM are widely used to study mechanisms of disease and to develop pharmacotherapeutics. Over the last three decades, rodent models of T2DM have yielded more than 50 publications per month; however, many details of human T2DM pathogenesis remain unclear, and means of preventing disease progression remain elusive. This review investigates the reasons for this translational discrepancy by analyzing the experimental evidence from rodent models of T2DM. The analysis reveals significant species-specific differences at every level of glucose regulation, from gene/protein expression, cellular signaling, tissue and organ to whole organism level, when compared with data acquired using human cells, tissues, organs, and populations. Given the extensive species-specific barrier that creates an immutable translational gap, there is an urgent need to further employ and develop human-based research strategies to make significant strides against the current T2DM epidemic.

News Article | November 1, 2016
Site: www.prweb.com

For Diabetes Month this November, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine— a national nonprofit promoting good health through good nutrition—is inviting people to spread the message that plant-based foods can prevent or even reverse diabetes. The campaign, Stick a Fork in Diabetes, taps into the power of social media and selfies. By using the hashtag #StickAForkInDiabetes to share a selfie featuring a plant-based food on a fork, social media users will reach millions with the lifesaving message. “Our goal with this campaign is to empower people to manage or prevent diabetes altogether,” says Maggie Neola, R.D., dietitian with the Physicians Committee. “If the American diet doesn’t change, by 2050, one in three people will have diabetes. Eating more plants or adopting a plant-based diet could change that outcome completely.” Supporters of the campaign include actor Alec Baldwin, rapper Waka Flocka Flame, actress Maggie Q, and musician Chris Thomas King. Baldwin is featured in an introductory video on the campaign’s website, StickAForkInDiabetes.org. Right now, 422 million people suffer from diabetes, a debilitating disease that causes nerve pain, kidney damage, heart disease, and vision loss. A whole-foods, low-fat plant-based approach has been shown to be three times more effective than the American Diabetes Association nutrition guidelines at controlling blood sugar. Cutting back on animal products and increasing consumption of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and legumes can prevent new diabetes diagnoses and alleviate symptoms in those already suffering. Many people with diabetes who switch to a plant-based diet see their need for medications go down—some can even go off their medications altogether. For recipes, information on related research, success stories, or more information, visit StickAForkInDiabetes.org. For an interview with Maggie Neola, R.D., please contact Reina Pohl at 202-527-7326 or rpohl(at)pcrm(dot)org. Founded in 1985, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine is a nonprofit organization that promotes preventive medicine, conducts clinical research, and encourages higher standards for ethics and effectiveness in research.

News Article | February 15, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

BOSTON--Nutrition researcher Neal D. Barnard, M.D., and other speakers at the American Association for the Advancement of Science's Annual Meeting call for a new approach to research on Alzheimer's disease and related dementias. Since decades of animal experiments have failed to produce meaningful treatments or cures, the focus must shift to human-relevant research. "Population studies and other human-focused research suggests that one's risk of developing Alzheimer's disease and other dementias can be reduced with changes to diet and other modifiable lifestyle factors," says Ann Lam, Ph.D., senior medical research specialist at the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine and co-director of the Green Neuroscience Laboratory, Neurolinx Research Institute. "Research with human patients and populations holds the greatest promise." What: "Shifting Perspectives on Dementia, Science, and Health Policy," a symposium chaired by Dr. Lam at the 2017 AAAS Annual Meeting #AAASmtg When: 10 to 11:30 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 17, 2017 Rhoda Au, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Neurology, Boston University School of Medicine; Director of Neuropsychology, Framingham Heart Study Neal Barnard, M.D., President, Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine; Adjunct Associate Professor of Medicine, George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences In her talk, "Roads to Dementia Prevention: Leveraging the Past and Enabling the Future," Dr. Au will present on the historical significance of the Framingham Heart Study as well as her recent findings which show the untapped potential to better understand preclinical Alzheimer's using real-time data and other aspects captured with current technology. In addition, she will discuss the limitations of current diagnostic methods and how IoT can advance studies of modifiable risk factors for dementia and spawn solutions for precision health of dementia. Dr. Barnard's talk "Alzheimer's Disease: Prevention Through Dietary Interventions," will provide an overview of the failures in translation from animal models in Alzheimer's research and the rapidly refining human-based approaches and clinical studies on prevention of dementia. He will present examples of global communities that are highly engaged in prevention research and are models of harmonizing traditional knowledge and perspectives on lifestyle factors. He will also describe how to better integrate nutrition and lifestyle factors into research design. In her talk "The Need for National Engagement in Alzheimer's Disease Prevention Strategies," Dr. Langbaum will present an overview of the evolution and strategies of the state-wide Arizona Alzheimer's Registry to the nationwide Alzheimer's Prevention Registry and discuss the enormous potential of engaging citizens in science at the national level. She will also show how new infrastructure for prevention research can unlock potential for individuals to change perceptions on their role in research and educate participants in their impact in scientific discoveries and health policy. For an interview with Dr. Barnard, please contact Jeanne McVey at 202-527-7316 or jeannem@pcrm.org. Founded in 1985, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine is a nonprofit health organization that promotes preventive medicine, conducts clinical research, and encourages higher standards for ethics and effectiveness in research.

News Article | November 10, 2016
Site: www.eurekalert.org

The Physicians Committee and the Green Neuroscience Lab to host event at San Diego's Manchester Grand Hyatt Hotel On Monday, November 14, at 6:30 p.m., the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine and the founders of the Green Neuroscience Laboratory will recognize individuals and organizations that help forward the principles and culture of Green and Open Neuroscience. Green and open neuroscience aims to help improve our understanding of the brain, as well as health, through research and perspectives that strengthen ethics, the environment, education, arts, and protection of neurodiversity. Award recipients will present short talks about their work and vision for an ethical science future that forwards health and saves lives. Hosts: The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine and the founders of the Green Neuroscience Laboratory Jacopo Annese, Ph.D., Founder and President, the Institute for Brain and Society HOW: Please RSVP at: https:/ . The event is free and is open to anyone (registration for the Society for Neuroscience conference is not necessary). Children are welcome and encouraged to attend. Founded in 1985, the Physicians Committee is a nonprofit organization that encourages higher standards for ethics and effectiveness in education and research.

News Article | December 2, 2016
Site: www.prweb.com

HyPR Media announces the release of the debut album by CarbonWorks, the adventurous musical ensemble led by DC-based composer and guitarist, Neal Barnard. The group’s self-titled CD is officially released today on iTunes and all other digital music sites. The album showcases 11 tracks of Barnard’s original music that is a fusion of rock, blues, jazz, contemporary and Vietnamese music. Equally diverse are the CarbonWorks members, comprised of a classical string quartet, a jazz band, rock musicians, traditional Vietnamese musicians, and Barnard himself on guitar and piano. Among the artists featured on the album are award-winning Italian vocalist Naif Hérin and New Orleans blues guitarist and actor, Chris Thomas King, best known for his supporting acting roles in the Coen Brothers’ film O Brother, Where Art Thou? and Ray. As a child in Fargo, North Dakota, Barnard studied piano, cello, and guitar, and took his love of music with him to Washington, DC, where he attended medical school while establishing himself in the DC music scene. Barnard started composing and recording songs in the 80s, and he played music professionally throughout his medical school and residency. With a penchant for the avant garde, Neal constantly writes songs that defy any genre categorization. He chooses unconventional time meters as well, in order to “tilt the song ever so slightly and give you that little jolt between the ears,” as he puts it. Be sure to check out the debut CarbonWorks CD - out today on all digital music sites! CarbonWorks music will surprise those who know Barnard as the physician who has authored more than 70 scientific publications and 18 books, whose NIH-funded research revolutionized the nutritional treatment of diabetes, and who is a recognized authority on science and health. As founder of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine and a faculty member at the George Washington University School of Medicine, the trailblazing physician has dramatically influenced U.S. nutrition policies, arm-wrestled with the food industry, and worked to replace the use of animals in education and research with kinder methods. In keeping with the tradition of luminaries like Albert Einstein, who played violin with symphony orchestras and Harvard researcher Rudy Tanzi, who played keyboards with Aerosmith, Barnard’s scientific innovations are complemented by his explorations in music. As a way of bridging together these two worlds, Barnard gives talks about his findings on how music profoundly affects the brain and “why it beats heroin and Velveeta!”

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