Tag Archives: Type 2 diabetes

Losing weight through diet and exercise helps brain blood circulation in older diabetics – Study

Once again we have it demonstrated that diet and exercise prove beneficial even to seniors suffering from diabetes, according to HealthyinAging.org.

Type 2 diabetes affects blood circulation. The disease stiffens blood vessels and reduces the amount of oxygen that circulates throughout your body. This includes your brain. When blood flow in the brain is impaired, it can affect the way we think and make decisions.

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People who have type 2 diabetes are often overweight or obese. These are conditions that may also be linked to cognitive problems (problems with thinking abilities). Lowering calorie intake and increasing physical activity are known to reduce the negative effects of type 2 diabetes on the body. However, the effects of these interventions on cognition and the brain are not clear.

Recently, researchers examined information from a 10-year-long study called Action for Health in Diabetes (Look AHEAD). In this study, participants learned how to adopt healthy, long-term behavior changes. In their new study, the researchers focused on whether participants with type 2 diabetes who lowered calories in their diet and increased physical activity had better blood flow to the brain. The researchers published their findings in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. Continue reading

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Diabetic Seniors may have increased risk for fracture – Study

When it rains it pours. As if it weren’t difficult enough to be a senior citizen, it turns out that Type 2 diabetes adds a further level of complexity.

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Though seniors with Type 2 diabetes (T2D) tend to have normal or higher bone density than their peers, researchers have found that they are more likely to succumb to fractures than seniors without T2D. In a new study published in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research, researchers from Hebrew SeniorLife’s Institute for Aging Research found older adults with Type 2 diabetes had deficits in cortical bone–the dense outer surface of bone that forms a protective layer around the internal cavity– compared to non-diabetics. The findings suggest that the microarchitecture of cortical bone may be altered in seniors with T2D and thereby place them at increased risk of fracture.

Participants in this study included over 1,000 member of the Framingham Study who were examined over a period of 3 years. High resolution scanning allowed researchers to determine that many older adults with diabetes had weakness specific to cortical bone microarchitecture that cannot be measured by standard bone density testing.

Osteoporotic fractures are a significant public health problem that can lead to disability, decreased quality of life, and even death – not to mention significant health care costs. Risk of fracture is even greater in adults with T2D, including a 40 – 50% increased risk of hip fracture – the most serious of osteoporotic fractures.

“Fracture in older adults with Type 2 diabetes is a highly important public health problem and will only increase with the aging of the population and growing epidemic of diabetes. Our findings identify skeletal deficits that may contribute to excess fracture risk in older adults with diabetes and may ultimately lead to new approaches to improve prevention and treatment,” said Dr. Elizabeth Samelson, lead author of the study.

Researchers hope that novel studies such as this will help to revolutionize the area of bone health, especially for older adults. It is important to follow screening guidelines for bone density testing, but better understanding of all the factors that affect bone strength and the tendency to fracture is needed.

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Cut diabetes risk by eating legumes – Study

I just wrote about how nuts improve cholesterol levels  three days ago.

Now comes a new study from overseas telling us how good legumes are for our bodies.

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Recent results from the PREDIMED (Prevención con Dieta Mediterranea) study show a protective association between total legumes consumption, especially lentils, and the risk of developing subsequent type 2 diabetes after more than 4 years of follow-up of 3349 participants at high cardiovascular risk. Moreover, the present study shows that replacing a half a serving/day of eggs, bread, rice or baked potato with a  half a serving/day of legumes was also associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes.

Legumes are a food group rich in B vitamins, contain different beneficial minerals (calcium, potassium and magnesium) and sizeable amounts of fibre and are regarded as a low-glycemic index food, which means that blood glucose levels increase only slowly after consumption. Due to these unique nutritional qualities, eating legumes regularly can help improve human health. In fact, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) declared 2016 as the international year of legumes to raise people’s awareness of their nutritional benefits. Continue reading

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Fructose is generated in the human brain

Fructose, a form of sugar linked to obesity and diabetes, is converted in the human brain from glucose, according to a new Yale study. The finding raises questions about fructose’s effects on the brain and eating behavior.

The study was published on Feb. 23 by JCI Insight.

Fructose is a simple sugar found in fruits, vegetables, table sugar, and many processed foods. Excess consumption of fructose contributes to high blood sugar and chronic diseases like obesity. The Yale research team had demonstrated in a prior study that fructose and another simple sugar, glucose, had different effects on brain activity. But it was not known whether fructose was produced in the brain or crossed over from the bloodstream.

 

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To investigate, the research team gave eight healthy, lean individuals infusions of glucose over a four-hour period. They measured sugar concentrations in the brains of the study participants using magnetic resonance spectroscopy, a noninvasive neuroimaging technique. Sugar concentrations in the blood were also assessed.

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Even mildly excessive body iron stores increase the risk of type 2 diabetes – Study

Diabetes was the seventh leading cause of death in the United States in 2010 based on the 69,071 death certificates in which diabetes was listed as the underlying cause of death. In 2010, diabetes was mentioned as a cause of death in a total of 234,051 certificates, according to the latest information from the American Diabetes Association.

In addition,  Diabetes may be under-reported as a cause of death. Studies have found that only about 35 percent to 40 percent of people with diabetes who died had diabetes listed anywhere on the death certificate and about 10 percent to 15 percent had it listed as the underlying cause of death.

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Even mildly elevated body iron contributes to the prevalence and incidence of type 2 diabetes, according to research from the University of Eastern Finland. Excess body iron accumulation is a known risk factor of Type 2 diabetes in hereditary hemochromatosis, but the results presented by Dr Alex O. Aregbesola in his doctoral thesis show that elevated iron is a risk factor in the general population as well, already at high levels within the normal range.

Men accumulate more iron and are more at risk Continue reading

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Riding a bike may help to cut diabetes risks – Study

Must confess I love reading news that meets my bias. In this case, there are more benefits to riding a bicycle besides the wonderful sensation of flying across the pavement and giving the old cardio system a workout.

Opting for two wheels rather than four could lower your risk for type 2 diabetes, new research suggests.

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The study found that people who bike to work or regularly cycle for fun were less likely to get the illness.

That was true even for those who started biking late in life, Danish researchers said. Continue reading

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Moderate Coffee Drinking May Cut Premature Death Risk – Harvard

1439910737525I am a coffee drinker in moderation, so I only worry about the effects of caffeine on me. I have heard horror stories of ‘caffeine headaches’ that die hard coffee drinkers get. So I pretty much limit myself to decaf. I was happy to learn the latest from Harvard on coffee drinking.

People who drink about three to five cups of coffee a day may be less likely to die prematurely from some illnesses than those who don’t drink or drink less coffee, according to a new study by Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health researchers and colleagues. Drinkers of both caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee saw benefits, including a lower risk of death from cardiovascular disease, neurological diseases, type 2 diabetes, and suicide.

“Bioactive compounds in coffee reduce insulin resistance and systematic inflammation,” said first author Ming Ding, a doctoral student in the Department of Nutrition. “That could explain some of our findings. However, more studies are needed to investigate the biological mechanisms producing these effects.”

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Better Diet, Exercise Can Prevent Diabetes in Both Sexes

“Clinically, these findings highlight an important issue. Despite differences in age of onset, detection and burden of type 2 diabetes between men and women, the effectiveness of preventive interventions in people with prediabetes is not influenced by gender,” the researchers explained in a journal news release.

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Taking blood sugar-lowering medications can also help, researchers say.

Lifestyle changes and medicines are equally effective in preventing men and women with prediabetes from progressing to type 2 diabetes, a new analysis finds.

Previous research has shown that lifestyle changes, such as a healthier diet and regular exercise, and use of medicines to lower blood sugar levels can delay or prevent the onset of full-blown diabetes in people with prediabetes.

However, it wasn’t known what effect, if any, gender might have on the effectiveness of these interventions, the researchers from Austria said.

“To the best of our knowledge, this is the first systematic review that assessed potential sex-specific differences in effects of preventive interventions in prediabetic people,” wrote Dr. Anna Glechner, of Danube University Krems, and Dr. Jurgen Harreiter, of the Medical University of Vienna, and colleagues.

People with type 2 diabetes don’t make or use the hormone insulin properly…

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Type 2 Diabetes May Shrink the Brain, Study Suggests

They found that the longer a patient had the disease, the more brain volume loss occurred, particularly in the gray matter. Gray matter includes areas of the brain involved in muscle control, seeing and hearing, memory, emotions, speech, decision-making and self-control.

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Loss of gray matter can lead to dementia, experts say.

People with type 2 diabetes may lose more brain volume than is expected as they age, new research indicates.

Surprisingly, this shrinkage doesn’t appear to be linked to the damaging effect of diabetes on tiny blood vessels in the brain, but instead by how the brain handles excess sugar, the researchers noted.

“We have known for a long time that diabetes is not good for the brain,” said lead researcher Dr. R. Nick Bryan, a professor of radiology at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perleman School of Medicine in Philadelphia.

Diabetes is associated with an increased risk for stroke and dementia, he said. Until now, doctors have thought these risks were likely related to blood vessel damage related to diabetes.

“But our study suggests that there is additional damage to the brain which may be more like a brain disorder such…

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Soda Sabotages Your Diet

Regular readers know that I feel strongly about the damage sodas do to our bodies. So, I was pleased to see the item By Jennifer Gruenemay, ACE-Certified on Lifescript, a website for women’s healthy living.

“Fifteen pounds in one year. That’s how much weight you could gain by drinking just one regular soda every day. Sodas have around 150 calories each and no nutritional value whatsoever. So they should definitely be classified in your book as a “once in awhile” treat, not an everyday indulgence. Not only is your waistline at risk if you have a soda obsession, but your health is too.”

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That is a fact worth noting. Many folks indulge in ‘just one’ soda under the illusion it is harmless. It ain’t.

The item continued, “According to a Nurse’s Health Study of more than 50,000 women, those who had one or more sodas every day not only gained extra weight, they also raised their risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 83%.”

Those are some compelling reasons to avoid soda. Strangely, the Lifescript piece concludes with the recommendation – “If you must indulge in a daily soda, try diluting your regular soda with diet soda and then moving over completely to the diet soda side. Or, fill up on water flavored with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. It’s the best drink available for your body, and it’s free.”

I am totally behind the water and/or fruit juice suggestion, but diet soda?! No way, Jose. There is a good chance that diet soda is more damaging than the sugary kind. I had a friend who drank a lot of diet soda every day. One of his complaints was that he was “always hungry.” That is just one of the reasons to avoid these chemical concoctions. The ingredients in diet soda depress your satiety response and you can feel always hungry no matter how much you eat.

Please check out my Page – What’s Wrong with Soft Drinks? which gives chapter and verse on why you are well advised to avoid both.

Tony

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Filed under calories, diabetes, diet soda, fruit drinks, Lifescript, soda, soft drinks, Weight, weight control, weight loss

Where Do I Find Hidden Sugar in My Diet?

Sugar, like other damaging white powders, salt, cocaine, can often be found in the most unlikely places. Locking down the top of your sugar bowl isn’t enough to save you from consuming too much of this sinful sweet.

WebMD has a super quiz that tests our “Sugar Smarts” which I recommend that you take as soon as possible.

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“Soda, fruit drinks and juices, sports drinks, energy drinks, and other sugar-sweetened beverages are the No. 1 source of added sugar in American diets. (Emphasis mine) A recent study found that drinking one or two sugary drinks a day raises the risk of Type 2 diabetes by 26 percent compared with those who limit sweet drinks to just one a month.

“But sugar alone isn’t to blame for diabetes. Diets that are high in calories from any source, like sugar or fat, lead to weight gain — and being overweight raises your chance of Type 2 diabetes,” the quiz says in answer to its fifth question – where do added sugars hide? That’s all the spoilers I’m going to give you.

The American Heart Association recommends a total of six teaspoons of sugar a day for women and nine for men. In fact, Americans consume an average of 22 teaspoons a day. Those teaspoonsful have little nutritional value but load you up with empty calories. For more on empty calories, check out my Page – A Love Letter to Hostess Ho Ho’s – NOT.

Is it any wonder that 60 percent of us are overweight and 30 percent obese?

Please take the WebMD quiz and learn more about this very damaging ‘nutrient’ in our daily diet.

Tony

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Weight Loss Lessons We Can Learn from the Saudis

When I think of the Saudis on the other side of the world from me here in the U.S., I get an image of oil fields, sand and great wealth, not much to do with great health. So, a recent article in The Wall Street Journal opened my eyes about the latter.

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Regular readers know that I have railed repeatedly on these pages against the current state of our health. The following quote has appeared in several posts: “Some 60 percent of us are overweight including 30 percent actually obese. Another 10 percent has Type 2 diabetes, a preventable and ruinous disease that stems from inactivity and poor nutrition.” Lamentable as those facts are, an item in the Saturday edition of The Wall Street Journal makes us sound like a bunch of jocks compared with the Saudis. Unfortunately, the weight loss lessons to learn from them are of the “Don’t let this happen to you” variety.

“As World’s Kids Get Fatter, Doctors Turn to the Knife” The headline reads ‘world’s kids’ but the article focuses on the dire condition of Saudi children. The subhead says, “Obesity rates are soaring in Saudi Arabia and other wealthy Gulf states, leading to a boom in bariatric surgery on children.”P1-BP125_OBESIT_NS_20140214164803

In the U.S. bariatric surgery is not permitted on anyone under the age of 14. In the Journal piece, they had a three-year-old weighing 61 pounds getting it. That 61 pounds is double the normal weight for a child that age.

The article mentions the ‘growing health crisis’ in Saudi Arabia and elsewhere in the Middle East. “Widespread access to unhealthy foods, coupled with sedentary behavior brought on by wealth and the absence of a dieting and exercise culture, have caused obesity levels in Saudi Arabia and many other Gulf states to approach or even exceed those in Western countries.”

The doctor doing the bariatric surgery on the three-year-old has done nearly 100 such surgeries on children under the age of 14 in the past seven years.

Where there is a weight problem you can bet that diabetes is not far behind.

“Some 20% of the Saudi adult population has Type 2 diabetes, a condition linked to obesity, according to the International Diabetes Federation, compared with 8.3% in the U.S., according to the CDC. The cost of diabetes treatment in Saudi Arabia is expected to rise to $2.4 billion in 2015, more than triple that spent in 2010, according to a recent study in the Journal of Family and Community Medicine,” The Journal reports.

The surgeon, Dr. Alqahtani studied at McGill University in Montreal and in Denver. “When he returned home to Riyadh in 2002, he says, he was inundated with pediatric patients so obese they were suffering from advanced stages fatty liver disease, diabetes and sleep apnea, a disorder in which patients repeatedly stop breathing for short periods during sleep—all diseases typically not seen until middle age.”

As quoted above, access to unhealthy foods, sedentary behavior and the lack of an exercise culture are responsible for these health horrors. The weight loss lessons to be learned here are that no matter who you are and how much money you have there is no escaping the basic requirements of good health – eat intelligently and exercise your body regularly. Don’t let this happen to you. Eat less; move more works every time.

Tony

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Filed under diabetes, diet, Exercise, health, healthy eating, healthy living, Saudi Arabia, Weight

Fresh Bad News for Smokers

“On average people who smoke die about 10 years sooner than non-smokers. The New England Journal of Medicine.

“Smoking triples the risk for cataracts and is also a risk factor for macular degeneration and its response to treatment. Dr. Nicholas Volpe, Tarry Professor and Chairman Department of Opthalmology Feinberg School of Medicine Northwestern University

“The American Cancer Society estimates that in 2012 (latest year with statistics) about 173,200 cancer deaths will be caused by tobacco use. The overall survival rate for those with lung cancer, sadly, remains at around 15%,” so starts my Page – How bad is Smoking.

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But, “nearly half a million people will die from smoking-related diseases this year. Each day, more than 3,200 youths smoke their first cigarette. New products such as e-cigarettes, with effects that aren’t yet understood, complicate public health messages. And if current trends continue unabated, 5.6 million of today’s children and teens will go on to die prematurely during adulthood because of smoking,” the Associated Press said.

The Surgeon General released a fresh report on Friday enumerating the above and more dire consequences that smokers are exposing themselves to.

“Remarkably, the report adds more entries to the official list of smoking-caused diseases, including Type 2 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, erectile dysfunction, the macular degeneration that can blind older adults, two additional cancers – liver and colorectal – and cleft palate birth defects.”

If you are a smoker please consider stopping. If you know a smoker help them to get off this deadly habit.

Tony

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Harvard Offers 7 Ways to Snack Smarter

“I love to snack. I bet you do, too. Yet, some 60 percent of us are overweight including 30 percent who are actually obese. Another 10 percent has Type 2 diabetes, a preventable and ruinous disease that stems from inactivity and poor nutrition. I fear that snacking is the reason for a good deal of those statistics.” Such is the opening paragraph from my Page – Snacking – The Good, The Bad and The Ugly. Check it out for lots more on this important topic.

Now comes the Harvard HEALTHbeat with their list of 7 Ways to Snack Smarter. Their item says, “It’s a great idea to choose snacks wisely. But many foods that seem to be a great nutrition value aren’t. Bran muffins and cereal bars can be packed with unhealthy fats and added sugar. Fat-free foods often contain lots of added salt and sugar.”
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I put it in the blog because it has some excellent suggestions. Regular readers know I am a big fan of nuts, seeds and grains as they are super nutritious.

Here are Harvard’s 7 tips for smarter snacking:

1. Go for the grain. Whole-grain snacks — such as whole-grain low-salt pretzels or tortilla chips and high-fiber, whole-grain cereals — can give you some energy with staying power.

2. Bring back breakfast. Many breakfast foods can be repurposed as a nutritious snack later in the day. How about a slice of whole-grain toast topped with low-sugar jam? Low-sugar granola also makes a quick snack. I think this has great possibilities.

3. Try a “hi-low” combination. Combine a small amount of something with healthy fat, like peanut butter, with a larger amount of something very light, like apple slices or celery sticks.

4. Go nuts. Unsalted nuts and seeds make great snacks. Almonds, walnuts, peanuts, roasted pumpkin seeds, cashews, hazelnuts, filberts, and other nuts and seeds contain many beneficial nutrients and are more likely to leave you feeling full (unlike chips or pretzels). Nuts have lots of calories, though, so keep portion sizes small. Because nuts and seeds leave you full, they actually can result in your eating less.

5. The combo snack. Try to eat more than one macronutrient (protein, fat, carbohydrate) at each snacking session. For example, have a few nuts (protein and fat) and some grapes (carbohydrates). Try some whole-grain crackers (carbohydrates) with some low-fat cheese (protein and fat). These balanced snacks tend to keep you feeling satisfied. I think that  ‘satisfied feeling’ goes a long way toward weight control.

6. Snack mindfully. Don’t eat your snack while doing something else like surfing the Web, watching TV, or working at your desk. Instead, stop what you’re doing for a few minutes and eat your snack like you would a small meal.

7. You can take it with you. Think ahead and carry a small bag of healthful snacks in your pocket or purse so you won’t turn in desperation to the cookies at the coffee counter or the candy bars in the office vending machine.

Harvard offered these tips in a marketing flyer on their 6-Week Plan for Healthy Eating.

Tony

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Filed under calories, carbohydrates, snack foods, Snacking, Weight

Both Mediterranean Diet and Diets Low in Available Carbohydrates Protect Against Type 2 Diabetes

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New research shows that a Mediterranean-style diet and diets low in available carbohydrates can offer protection against type 2 diabetes. The study is published in Diabetologia, the journal of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD), and is by Dr Carlo La Vecchia, Mario Negri Institute of Pharmacological Research, Milan, Italy, and colleagues.

The authors studied patients from Greece who are part of the ongoing European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and nutrition (EPIC), led by Dr. Antonia Trichopoulou, from the University of Athens. From a total of 22,295 participants, actively followed up for just over 11 years, 2,330 cases of type 2 diabetes were recorded. To assess dietary habits, all participants completed a questionnaire, and the researchers constructed a 10-point Mediterranean diet score (MDS) and a similar scale to measure the available carbohydrate (or glycaemic load [GL]) of the diet.

People with an MDS of over 6 were…

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