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New Study Results Support Effectiveness of the Syndrome X Diet.

Business Editors/Health and Medical Writers

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif.--(BW HealthWire)--Dec. 19, 2000

Shaman Pharmaceuticals, Inc (OTCBB:SHPH.OB) today announced that recent study results indicate that if you thought that a high protein diet would help prevent the various disease manifestations that insulin resistance and Syndrome X can lead to, you've been sorely mislead. The recent study by T. Linn, M.D., Ph.D., and colleagues, published in Diabetologia (2000) 43:1257-1265, entitled "Effect of long-term dietary protein intake on glucose metabolism in humans," shows that high insulin levels occur in response to high protein diets. We also know that high insulin levels make Syndrome X worse and increase risk of heart attack, polycystic ovary syndrome, hypertension, and type 2 diabetes. Preliminary clinical studies show that Syndrome X may also be likely to lead to colorectal and breast cancer.

Syndrome X was first described in 1988 by Gerald Reaven, M.D., professor of Medicine at Stanford University and vice president of Clinical Affairs at Shaman Pharmaceuticals. Syndrome X is a group of risk factors that occur in insulin resistant individuals. Typically their insulin doesn't function as well as it should but they have the added ability to secrete a compensatory amount of insulin from the pancreas to make up for it. By doing so, they are able to force blood sugar into certain cells for energy. When the body responds with compensatory insulin, there are no obvious outward signs. You may not know you have high insulin levels until you land in the emergency room with a heart attack or one of the other diseases associated with Syndrome X manifests. In Reaven's book, Syndrome X: Overcoming The Silent Killer That Can Give You A Heart Attack, there is a simple risk assessment test that can help you evaluate your risk of Syndrome X. Reaven's book is available at any bookstore or through

The Linn study used two diets for six months and focused on the effect of protein intake on pancreatic insulin secretion. The study referred to one group as the "high protein group" and to the other as the "normal protein group." Subjects underwent a glucose tolerance test and their insulin levels were measured. The results showed that glucose-stimulated insulin secretion in the high protein group was almost twice as high as in the normal protein group. Fasting plasma glucose also increased in the high protein group.

"Although there has recently been a glut of popular books on the market pushing high protein diets as the solution to heart disease and a long list of other ailments, it should be no surprise that high protein diets make Syndrome X worse," said Reaven. "When you eat protein, the body breaks it down into amino acids that stimulate insulin secretion. It only makes sense that a reasonable level of protein is a better solution."

"The only way to minimize insulin secretion," added Reaven, "and still deal with other risk factors for coronary heart disease, such as saturated fat that increases LDL cholesterol, is to follow the Syndrome X Diet. It's formulated on the 15/40/45 ratio to help you maintain healthy insulin, blood fat and LDL cholesterol levels. The Syn X Bar from Shaman was developed on the same ratio."

The Syndrome X Diet, based on Reaven's distinguished research career of more than 35 years, is a careful balance of 15% protein, 40% fat (mostly monounsaturated) and 45% carbohydrate. The Syn X Bar, available through the website at, complements the Syndrome X Diet that is formulated to boost your defenses against the multiple disease manifestations of Syndrome X and to promote good overall health. It's nutritionally complete and balanced and healthy for the whole family, whether or not all family members have Syndrome X.

Shaman Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a leader in medicinal plant research and commercialization of proprietary dietary supplements. Shaman works collaboratively with indigenous communities to discover, harvest and reforest medicinal plants. The Company also provides cultural educational programs in conjunction with rainforest communities. Shaman has retained Roth Capital Inc., an investment bank that focuses on emerging growth and middle market companies, to provide a broad range of corporate finance, research, syndicate sales and trading services to assist Shaman in exploring strategic business opportunities to drive shareholder value.

This press release contains, among other things, certain statements of a forward-looking nature relating to Shaman's ability to advance its development and research programs. Such statements involve a number of risk and uncertainties including the Risk Factors listed in the Shaman Pharmaceuticals, Inc.'s Annual Report on Form 10K and 10K/A for the year ended December 31, 1999. These filings are available upon request at 650/952-7070. Also visit Shaman at
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Publication:Business Wire
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Dec 19, 2000
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