Type 2 Diabetes – Immediate Release or Extended Release Anti-Diabetic Drugs?

Researchers at the University of Pavia in Pavia, Italy, have found the drug metformin extended release (XR) formula to be more efficient at controlling Type 2 diabetes than the drug metformin immediate release (IR) formula. In a study reported on in May of 2017 in the journal Drug Design and Developmental Therapy, two hundred and fifty-three people diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes had HbA1c levels between 7.0 percent and 8.5 percent (poor control). For six months these Type 2 diabetics were divided into two groups and received either…

  • 1,000 to 3000 mg of metformin IR, or
  • 500 to 1500 mg of metformin XR per day.

By the end of the study weight loss was about the same in both groups. The Type 2 diabetics taking metformin XR showed greater improvement in their…

  • insulin sensitivity,
  • blood sugar control,
  • total cholesterol, and
  • LDL cholesterol or “bad” cholesterol levels.

Metformin XR lowered the levels of visfatin, a hormone recently discovered in fat cells. Visfatin lowers blood sugar levels by preventing the liver from releasing sugar. Fat cells release more visfatin when blood sugar levels go up and less when insulin levels go up. Although it works mostly in belly fat cells, visfatin is also found in the brain, kidneys, lungs, spleen, and testes. Its relationship to Type 2 diabetes is not yet clear. More research is needed to tell us the role of visfatin in maintaining normal blood sugar levels.

Metformin XR also lowered TNF-alpha and hs-CRP, inflammatory molecules, as well as vaspin thought to be released by belly fat. Vaspin is linked with insulin sensitivity and goes up with physical activity. Physical activity is also related to lower insulin resistance. Vaspin may explain how exercise lowers insulin resistance. More research will discover its role in metabolism.

Metformin (Glucophage) works by lowering the amount of sugar the liver makes and the intestines absorb. Immediate-release (IR) metformin is given at the rate of 500 mg twice a day or 850 mg once a day to begin. Gradually the dose is increased to the effective amount. The gradual increase in the drug is so the person with Type 2 diabetes does not get digestive upset by taking the required dose too early. Within a few weeks, the dose is increased to 2000 mg to 2550 mg per day.

Extended-release (ER) metformin is given once a day at bedtime. It begins with a dose of 500 to 1000 mg per day and goes up to 2000 to 2500 mg per day.

Latest Study: Diabetes Drugs Don’t Work, Diet and Exercise Are Still Best

According to a recent study the latest “magic bullet” drug therapy for diabetes and heart disease does not come close to working as advertised. In fact, researchers found that the combination of the high blood pressure drug Diovan (valsartan) and the anti-diabetes drug Starlix (nateglinide) failed to reduce the risk of heart attack at all and Diovan was only slightly successful in slowing the development of type II diabetes.

Lead researcher Robert M Califf from Duke University School of Medicine stated: “This is a sobering confirmation of the need to continue to focus on lifestyle improvements.”

In the study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers found that when compared to a placebo, valsartan and nateglinide failed to statistically reduce the incidence of either extended cardiovascular risk or core cardiovascular risk. The cumulative incidence of diabetes was 33.1% in the valsartan group, as compared with 36.8% in the placebo group.

Type II diabetes is known as a “lifestyle disease” because it is brought on by eating processed foods, junk foods and fast foods. It affects around 150 million people around the world and has become THE lifestyle disease of modern times. According to doctors, the two main risk factors are excess weight and lack of exercise.

Some research has suggested that being overweight, as measured by body mass index (BMI), is the greatest risk factor for diabetes. For example, researchers from Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston conducted a study on 37,878 women who had no diabetes and found that women who were overweight had their diabetes risk increase by nine times. By comparison, those who were relatively inactive only increased their risk by less than one times. What the study evidently did not measure was the kind of foods that led to being overweight. In other words, was the weight increase from relatively healthy food items or was it due to consumption of unhealthy foods, as was likely?

The bottom line is that the best advice for avoiding diabetes is to have both a healthy diet and a healthy, active lifestyle. A sensible diet to help avoid diabetes would be one that includes plenty of vegetables, especially raw and lightly steamed vegetables, some fruits (though little or no fruit juice because of its high sugar content), fermented whole grains, and getting rid of dangerous trans fats. Other good food items include almonds, apples, oranges, coconut oil, garlic, onions, and substances high in omega three oils (such as olive oil, flaxseed oil and fish oil).

Exercise to keep diabetes at bay need not be strenuous. Moderate exercise such as daily brisk walks and staying active should be plenty for most people, though those that are seriously overweight may want to exercise a bit more and restrict their calories to reduce their weight. Even an easily achievable weight loss of 5% has been shown to have significant health benefits, and for many people that might require little more than regular walking and eliminating sugary sodas.

An often overlooked item in diabetes prevention is the importance of adequate iodine. Iodine is a key element in fighting diabetes because it helps regulate the thyroid and is essential for a healthy liver, gallbladder, pancreas, spleens and more. While it is well known that diet, obesity, food allergies, viral infections, and stress are all contributing factors for diabetes, it is less widely recognized that these factors are often either a cause of or caused by a weak liver, spleen, and pancreas.

Type 2 Diabetes – Drugs Will Not Reverse Your Diabetes

Just relying on diabetic medication from your doctor and not addressing the true cause of your Type 2 diabetes, be it your eating plan, smoking, or drinking alcohol, that is keeping your blood sugar constantly high will not help you correctly manage or reverse your Type 2 diabetes.

Every diabetic has the possibility of reversing their diagnosis and can go on to live a life free of oral medication and insulin shots once their blood sugar has come back down to a healthy normal level.

The reason this is not happening enough is because insufficient information is being given out by health professionals about how a person should go about reversing their Type 2 diabetes. Often no information is given out to diabetics on how to go about making positive changes to their diet. Usually the onus is on taking a pill, being told losing weight will help and to come back several months later for a review on their progress. But that’s it – nothing more in terms of advice.

The advice given to a diabetic needs to cover just how Type 2 diabetes can be reversed, how it can be done. Many people have reversed their condition – it is possible. But this reversal only comes about when a diabetic is given more options – usually in the form of advice and referrals to a nutritionist, and clear information on what are healthy foods and healthy lifestyle habits.

Doctors who rely on prescribing drugs to treat Type 2 diabetes are doing a great injustice to the health care industry and, more importantly, to your health. It’s no coincidence the pharmaceutical industry is worth trillions of dollars worldwide.

This is where the injustice comes in. A good doctor will insist you take the most natural and often more cost-effective route. For Type 2 diabetes he will prescribe a drug short-term as well as give useful advice on how to manage and reverse your Type 2 diabetes. Alternatively he will prescribe no drugs and suggest you try the lifestyle and diet changes first.

Empowering a patient on how to take control of their health is the way to reverse Type 2 diabetes. Encouraging a diabetic to think a drug will do it all for them and potentially cure them – will not help in the reversal of the disease.

One great example of someone becoming empowered is a man named Matthew who is in his late thirties. He was diagnosed in May 2013 with Type 2 diabetes. He was given oral anti-diabetic medications and insulin to inject. Eventually, after the oral medications started to make his stomach feel like it was on fire, he decided to stop taking the medications, quit drinking soda and dropped his weight by 19 pounds. He felt the removal of soda from his eating plan was the main contribution to him reversing his Type 2 diabetes – not the medications.