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Laura Shane-McWhorter Part 3, Are There Any Recommended Nutritional Products?

In part 3 of this Exclusive Interview, Laura Shane-McWhorter talks with Diabetes in Control Publisher Steve Freed during the AACE 2018 convention in Boston, MA about her product recommendations to help with weight loss, which should always be in conjunction with proper diet and exercise, not in place of.

Laura Shane-McWhorter, PharmD, BCPS, BC-ADM, CDE, FASCP, FAADE is a professor at the University of Utah.


Transcript of this video segment:

Freed: So, your presentation was on weight loss. What are some of the better products that you would recommend for weight loss because if you go into a pharmacy, you have all these products that are for weight loss and they all have nutritionals within those products that are over-the-counter – which ones do you recommend?

Shane-McWhorter: Well, I think that I have to defer to my clinician colleagues and always go for things like healthy diet and physical activity – that is something that I think is key because you cannot take these products instead of healthy diet and physical activity. I also this it’s important to remember that these are supplements which means that they will help somewhat – you’re not going to get to a target weight. Just like a supplement is for diabetes, it’s not going to get you to a target A1C or blood glucose. I think they are intended to help and to supplement the diet, not take the place of all of these other things that I think are proven. If you think about studies like the Diabetes Prevention Program, it was lifestyle that was more effective than any other medication that was used in that study. And I think the same thing is true of supplements – they are a help but they are not the overall means by which weight should be achieved in an ideal way.

Freed: I don’t think there is a pharmacist on planet Earth that hasn’t been asked the question, “What should I take for my diabetes?” [Pharmacists] get questions like, “Is cinnamon good? Is Gymnema Sylvestre good?” I can think of, and I wrote down 15 of them, that are supposed to help regulate blood sugars. My comment is always, “They may help a tiny, little bit but don’t expect miracles.” Like you said, nutrition and physical activity are the building blocks for you to improve your health and if you expect cinnamon to do something – yet, you get these questions all the time. So how do you get people to back off on those and do what is really important?

Shane-McWhorter: I think that is probably the key question of the century. I think you would probably get a Nobel Prize if you’ve figured out the answer to that. When you think about all those other things, then the modalities that we were taught like motivational interviewing and trying to establish rapport with a patient and really figure out what it is that they want to do and achieve and why, and look at what are the pros and cons of them doing some of the appropriate things – as I have mentioned, lifestyle and, if necessary, taking medications that have been shown to decrease blood glucose and A1C and better yet, achieve certain outcomes, for instance, cardiovascular outcomes that may be beneficial. I can tell you that there are not really any supplements that have been studied to that extent where we can say there is long-term diabetes control or long-term weight control or safety in terms of cardiovascular disease.

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