Pennington Biomedical Marks American Diabetes Awareness Month with New Diabetes Research Study

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Released: Friday, November 13, 2015

Baton Rouge, LA – LSU's Pennington Biomedical Research Center is marking National Diabetes Awareness Month by opening screening for an innovative research study that may help women minimize the risk of being diagnosed with diabetes.

Pennington Biomedical's RISE research study is investigating whether a current post-menopausal treatment can also improve the body's response to insulin-an important step in protecting against diabetes. The FDA-approved generic medication is already used for the treatment of post-menopausal symptoms and prevention of osteoporosis.

"What we learn through this research study could help us improve treatment options for post-menopausal women around the world and possibly minimize the risks associated with diabetes," said Dr. Eric Ravussin, associate executive director for clinical science at Pennington Biomedical and principal investigator on the RISE research study. "After menopause, women struggle with side effects (hot flashes, weight gain) associated with declining estrogen levels, which can lead to decreased insulin sensitivity – a risk factor for diabetes."

Learn more on the RISE research study and specifications for participating at

Pennington Biomedical is a leader in the study of diabetes – a disease that affects nearly 30 million people in the United States. Further, one in three Americans has pre-diabetes, a condition which leads to diabetes if left untreated. Diabetes is the 7th leading cause of death in the United States and is one of the leading causes of blindness, amputation and kidney failure.*

Each year diabetes costs Louisiana $4.5 billion in medications, doctor's visits and lost time at work. In many parts of Louisiana, the prevalence of diabetes is 50 percent higher than the national average.

"From the research under the microscope in the lab to real world application in a clinical setting, we have a long history of innovation in the battle against diabetes," said Dr. William T. Cefalu, executive director of Pennington Biomedical. "In addition to the RISE study led by Dr. Ravussin, our researchers are working everyday on an array of new diabetes science aimed at better treatment strategies and improved health outcomes. We welcome participation in these efforts from those in the community who may be able to benefit."

November is American Diabetes Month®, a time designed to focus the nation's attention on the disease and those who are impacted by it. In addition to the RISE research study, Pennington Biomedical has a number of diabetes and prediabetes research studies currently enrolling participants:

  • The GRADE study is working to find out which of four FDA-approved diabetes medications, when combined with metformin (Glucophage®), is most effective in treating the disease.
  • The D2d study is investigating whether taking vitamin D can prevent diabetes in people who are at high risk for the disease.
  • The Cranberry study is looking to learn if cranberry extract can improve blood sugar and insulin levels.
  • The Raspberry study aims to discover the effect of red raspberries on insulin resistance, pancreatic cells and inflammation in people with type 2 diabetes.
  • The STARCH study is trying to determine the effect of a slowly digesting starch on gut bacteria, sugar and fat metabolism, hunger hormones and body fat in people with pre-diabetes.

Anyone interested in participating in a research study at Pennington Biomedical can visit or call 225-763-3000.

*Figures from the American Diabetes Association


The Pennington Biomedical Research Center is at the forefront of medical discovery as it relates to understanding the triggers of obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer and dementia. It is a campus of Louisiana State University and conducts basic, clinical and population research. The research enterprise at Pennington Biomedical includes approximately 80 faculty and more than 25 post-doctoral fellows who comprise a network of 44 laboratories supported by lab technicians, nurses, dietitians, and support personnel, and 13 highly specialized core service facilities. Pennington Biomedical's more than 500 employees perform research activities in state-of-the-art facilities on the 222-acre campus located in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.