Category Archives: Type 2 Diabetes

Obesity and Inflammation … new insights into obesity-related metabolic conditions

1263-obese-woman-eating-enormous-burger_0Metabolic conditions caused by obesity are in the news consistently. Complications like high blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes, cancer and heart disease can, in many instances, be linked with obesity. While we know the link exists, it’s been difficult to understand how these things are a direct result of excessive body fat. Understanding that obesity affects health negatively isn’t enough. Getting to the root of the problem is key to help doctors and individuals reverse the obesity crisis for generations to come.

Teams led by Nicolas Venteclef, Inserm Research Fellow (Cordeliers Research Centre, Inserm/Pierre and Marie Curie University Joint Research Unit 1138, Paris, France) and Irina Udalova (Kennedy Institute of Rheumatology, University of Oxford, UK) in collaboration with several teams, have succeeded in elucidating part of the mechanisms involved in the development of these metabolic complications associated with obesity. Results of these studies are published online in the journal Nature Medicine.

Currently, over one and a half billion people worldwide suffer from overweight or obesity. We have known for about a decade that a chronic state of inflammation is present in obese patients. This state might play a fundamental role in the development of associated metabolic diseases. This inflammation results from abnormal activity of the immune system observed both systemically (bloodstream) and locally (in metabolic organs such as the liver, muscles, pancreas and especially the adipose tissue).

Following excessive weight gain, the adipose tissue develops in an abnormal manner in the intra-abdominal region (android obesity), and becomes an important source of pro-inflammatory mediators, the “chemical messengers” that activate inflammation, with harmful metabolic consequences. This phenomenon is particularly provoked by the accumulation of pro-inflammatory macrophages in this tissue. Paradoxically, some obese subjects do not develop metabolic alterations. Indeed, when adipose tissue expansion occurs in the more superficial deposits, such as the subcutaneous adipose tissue (gynoid obesity), the risk of developing metabolic complications is reduced.

In an earlier study (Dalmas et al. Diabetes 2014), the team led by Karine Clément (Guerre-Millo and coll., UMR_S 1166, Paris, France), in collaboration with Nicolas Venteclef, had observed the importance of inflammatory and prodiabetogenic cross-talk between macrophages and lymphocytes in the visceral adipose tissue of obese patients. By characterising these macrophages, they were able to identify transcription factor IRF5 (Interferon Regulatory Factor 5) as the orchestral conductor of macrophage activation in adipose tissue in obesity.

In order to demonstrate the importance of IRF5 in obesity and type 2 diabetes, the authors generated mice lacking this factor, and then subjected them to a high-fat diet that usually induces obesity and type 2 diabetes. Surprisingly, mice deficient in IRF5 did develop obesity, but without metabolic complications, in contrast to wild-type mice expressing IRF5. This beneficial adaptation by IRF5-deficient mice can be explained by preferential storage of fat in the subcutaneous (protective) and not the intra-abdominal (harmful) region. Decoding of molecular and cellular mechanisms made it possible to show a substantial reprogramming of inflammation in the visceral adipose tissue when IRF5 is absent, which helps to limit its expansion. Indeed, in the absence of IRF5, obesity induces an immune response characterised by the presence of anti-inflammatory macrophages and reduced immune response activation. This modification induces tissue remodelling that limits the expansion of intra-abdominal adipose tissue. This allows the redistribution of lipids in the intra-abdominal cavity to the subcutaneous deposits, a less harmful form of storage for the body.

Data obtained with mice were confirmed in overweight, obese or massively obese patients, by showing significant correlation between IRF5 expression in the visceral adipose tissue and metabolic dysfunctions associated with obesity.

This pioneering study suggests that the immune system (in this case the macrophages of the adipose tissue) directly influences the accumulation of fatty matter in the visceral region, a likely target in the prevention of type 2 diabetes. For the researchers, “It is therefore crucial to decipher the different aspects of inflammation in order to better understand the multifactorial diseases associated with obesity, such as type 2 diabetes.”

The approach implemented in this study encapsulates translational research, which is aimed at developing effective therapies for patients by establishing a fruitful dialogue between clinicians and researchers, in order to produce robust results that are supported by mouse models while being relevant to humans.

Obesity and inflammation appear to go hand in hand. Scientists are beginning to understand exactly how obesity affects the body which will eventually yield treatments, not simply for the metabolic difficulties that plague the obese population, but hopefully for the treatment of obesity as a disease. is hopeful that research like this will not only result in successful treatments, but also add to a different understanding of obesity as a health condition. By removing the stigma attached to obesity in society and creating an understanding of the disease of obesity, we’re more likely to move in the right direction for everyone.

Eat eggs and reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes

egg1Does anyone remember the “no tat” craze during the 1990s? The grocery store shelves were lined with non-fat products — non-fat cheese, fat-free ice cream, fat-free cookies — even fat free bologna. Statistically, America actually got fatter while this was going on … all the time believing that we were doing the best thing for our health.

One of the biggest taboos during the fat-free era were eggs, or more specifically egg yolks. That’s when the egg white trend started. Long after most of those fat-free products disappeared from the grocery shelves, or at least took a back seat to lower fat or full fat items, the trend against whole fresh eggs continued. It did die down slowly but surely as new research and advice found that whole egg consumption (in moderation) is actually healthy. Today there’s more research showing more health benefits from the incredible, edible egg.

Type 2 diabetes is becoming increasingly widespread throughout the world. Research has shown that lifestyle habits, such as exercise and nutrition, play a crucial role in the development of the disease. In some studies, high-cholesterol diets have been associated with disturbances in glucose metabolism and risk of type 2 diabetes. In contrast, in some experimental studies, the consumption of eggs has led to improved glucose balance, among other things. However, there is no experimental data available on the effects of egg consumption on the incidence of type 2 diabetes. In population-based studies, too, the association between egg consumption and type 2 diabetes has been investigated only scarcely, and the findings have been inconclusive. Egg consumption has either been associated with an elevated risk, or no association has been found.

The dietary habits of 2,332 men aged between 42 and 60 years were assessed at the baseline of the Kuopio Ischaemic Heart Disease Risk Factor Study, KIHD, at the University of Eastern Finland in 1984-1989. During a follow-up of 19.3 years, 432 men were diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.

The study found that egg consumption was associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes as well as with lower blood glucose levels. Men who ate approximately four eggs per week had a 37 per cent lower risk of type 2 diabetes than men who only ate approximately one egg per week. This association persisted even after possible confounding factors such as physical activity, body mass index, smoking and consumption of fruits and vegetables were taken into consideration. The consumption of more than four eggs did not bring any significant additional benefits.

A possible explanation is that unlike in many other populations, egg consumption in Finland is not strongly associated with unhealthy lifestyle habits such as smoking, low physical activity or consumption of processed meats. In addition to cholesterol, eggs contain many beneficial nutrients that can have an effect on, for example, glucose metabolism and low-grade inflammation, and thus lower the risk of type 2 diabetes. The study also suggests that the overall health effects of foods are difficult to anticipate based on an individual nutrient such as cholesterol alone. Indeed, instead of focusing on individual nutrients, nutrition research has increasingly focused on the health effects of whole foods and diets over the past few years.

Fresh eggs are real food. believes that focusing our diets as much as possible on fresh, whole foods benefits our health. More and more research is released almost daily testifying to the importance of our dietary habits. We strive for balance, moderation and nutritional quality in the foods we choose to consume. We hope you do, too!

Too much salt may spell heart disease for diabetics

iStock_000030596950SmallDiabetes rates have soared in recent decades. For those who suffer with the disease, dietary vigilance becomes a way of life. It’s a condition that requires constant attention in order to maintain health and well-being. Diabetes can lead to any number of serious health problems, including heart disease.

Many have come to relate diabetes with sugar. Diabetics have to be careful of sugar and carbohydrate consumption. But it’s not only sugar that raises alarms for people with diabetes. Eating a high-salt diet may double the risk of developing heart disease in people with diabetes, according to a new study from Japan.

For any person, too much salt in the diet can raise blood pressure, which is a major risk factor for developing heart disease. To assess how people with diabetes fare in relation to the salt in their diet, the researchers surveyed nearly 1,600 diabetic patients, ages 40 and 70, from across Japan. The study participants answered questions about their diets, including their sodium intake, and were followed for eight years.

Participants with the highest sodium intake (about 6,000 milligrams per day, on average) were twice as likely to develop heart disease over the study period than those with the lowest sodium intake (about 2,800 milligrams per day, on average), the researchers found. Among the 359 people with the highest sodium intake, 41 developed heart disease, compared with 23 of the 354 people with lowest sodium intake. [4 Tips for Reducing Sodium]

“To reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular disease, it is important for people who have Type 2 diabetes to improve their blood sugar control as well as watch their diet,” study researcher Chika Horikawa, of the University of Niigata Prefecture in Japan, said in a statement.

The researchers adjusted the results for other factors that may contribute to people’s heart disease risk, such as their alcohol consumption and total calorie intake, according to the study published today (July 22) in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

The findings add to the evidence that consuming less salt could help prevent dangerous complications from diabetes, the researchers said.

The negative effects of salt on blood pressure and heart health has long been established. Even for healthy, young people, dietary guidelines recommend limiting sodium to less than 2,300 mg a day. A limit of 1,500 mg is recommended for groups at increased risk of heart disease, including African-Americans, people older than 51, and people with high blood pressure, kidney disease or diabetes.

The average American takes in about 3,300 mg of sodium per day, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Main sources of salt in people’s diet include salt used in cooking and sodium naturally found in meat, vegetables and dairy, as well as processed foods, which have high levels of sodium.

People with Type 2 diabetes have high blood sugar levels, which can lead to serious health problems if left untreated, and the condition is a risk factor for heart disease. More than 29 million people in the United States have type 2 diabetes, and another 86 million have high blood sugar levels and could progress to having diabetes, according to the CDC.

In the study, the researchers also found the effects of a high-sodium diet were worsened by poor blood sugar control. But they didn’t find a link between high-salt diet and other complications of diabetes, such as kidney disease or vision problems, or dying.

Sugar and salt. Sugar and salt. It seems we hear disturbing news about either or both more and more consistently. wants to remind everyone in our community that Americans consume far too much of each of them on a daily basis. And most importantly, we want to remind everyone that the bulk of the sugar and salt we are consuming does not come from the sugar bowls and salt shakers in our kitchens. Rather, they come from the copious amounts of processed foods it becomes more and more difficult for average consumers to avoid on a daily basis. This research is one more reason to be as conscious as we possibly can be about the quality and content of the foods we consume.

Great news for chocolate lovers — your favorite sweet may help prevent obesity and diabetes

iStock_000013818677Small.jpgEvery chocolate lover carries just a little guilt over indulging in their favorite sweet. As more and more research is released revealing the health benefits of moderate chocolate consumption, that guilt dissipates a bit. But the newest research may prove to be the most surprising of all, unexpectedly linking chocolate to the possible prevention of both obesity and type 2 diabetes.

In a mouse study, led by Andrew P. Neilson of the Department of Food Science and Technology at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, researchers discovered that a certain antioxidant in cocoa – the main ingredient in chocolate – prevented mice from gaining weight and lowered their blood sugar levels.

This is not the only study to suggest that consuming chocolate can prevent such health conditions.

Earlier this year, a study claiming that chocolate, as well as wine and berries, protects against type 2 diabetes, while other research found that teens who eat lots of chocolate tend to be slimmer.

Such studies claim that the reason chocolate may have these health benefits is because of the flavanols it contains. These are types of antioxidants.

But the researchers of this most recent study say that not all flavanols are the same. In fact, cocoa has several different types.

In their study, published in the Journal of Agricultural Food and Chemistry, the investigators set out to determine exactly which flavanol may be responsible for preventing weight gain and lowering blood glucose levels.

For the research, the investigators assigned mice to one of six different diets for 12 weeks.

These consisted of high- and low-fat diets, and high-fat diets supplemented with either monomeric, oligomeric or polymeric procyandins (PCs) – types of flavanols. Mice were given 25 milligrams of these flavanols each day for every kilogram of their body weight (25 mg/kg).

The research team found that a high-fat diet supplemented with oligomeric PCs was the most effective for maintaining weight of the mice and improving glucose tolerance – a factor that could help prevent type 2 diabetes.

Commenting on the findings, the researchers say:

“Oligomeric PCs appear to possess the greatest antiobesity and antidiabetic bioactivities of the flavanols in cocoa, particularly at the low doses employed for the present study.  Additional studies of prolonged feeding of flavanol fractions in vivo are needed to further identify the fractions with the highest bioactivities and, therefore, the greatest potential for translation to human clinical applications at reasonable doses.”

The investigators point out that the doses of flavanols used in this study are significantly lower than doses used in past research and are more feasible when translated into flavanol levels for human consumption.

“Therefore, our data suggest that moderate doses of cocoa flavanols or cocoa powder have the potential to be more effective in human clinical trials than previously thought,” they add.

While understands that this study is by no means suggesting we all stock up on our favorite candy bars, it is exciting news for chocolate lovers everywhere. It’s also fascinating to understand that chocolate — which has for so long been thought of as an unnecessary source of calories — may actually help prevent the diseases with which it has been associated. Hearing good news about a food we love is always a welcome thing … especially when that food is such a sweet indulgence!

Low-fat yogurt linked to lower risk of Type 2 diabetes

There are so many yogurts in the refrigerator section of our grocery stores these days. You can find fruit yogurts, chocolate yogurts, coffee yogurts, yogurts that taste like apple pie, or red velvet cake … the list is endless. Sadly, we seem to have lost sight of the idea that yogurt was one of the original health foods. It didn’t become popular because of calorie content, it became popular because of health benefits. The first record of possible health benefits from yogurt was in the 1500s. The Sultan of the Ottoman Empire sent his doctor with yogurt to Francois I, the King of France, to cure his intestinal disorder. It worked.

The majority of yogurts available today, however, don’t resemble the yogurt that was around in the 1500s. Just check the database and you’ll find yogurts with numerous controversial ingredients that you’re probably trying to avoid in your diet. There are some, though, that remind us that yogurt is supposed to be a healthy food. A new report has been released that points to the health benefits of low-fat yogurt.

Researchers found that people who ate low-fat fermented dairy products like yogurt and cottage cheese slashed their risk of developing Type 2 diabetes by 24% compared to those who didn’t eat those foods. The 11-year study also showed that yogurt by itself could help ward off the disease. Those who ate low-fat fermented dairy products were 24 percent less likely to develop diabetes.

Eating yogurt and low-fat cheese can cut the risk of developing diabetes by around a quarter compared with consuming none, according to a study of 3,500 Britons published on Wednesday.

The evidence comes from a long-term health survey of men and women living in the eastern county of Norfolk, whose eating and drinking habits were detailed at the start of the investigation.

During the study’s 11-year span, 753 people in the group developed adult-onset, also called Type 2, diabetes. Those who ate low-fat fermented dairy products — a category that includes yogurts, fromage frais and low-fat cottage cheese — were 24 percent less likely to develop the disease compared to counterparts who ate none of these products.

When examined separately from the other low-fat dairy products, yogurt by itself was associated with a 28-percent reduced risk.

People in this category ate on average four and a half standard (4.4-ounce) pots of yogurt each week.

Only low-fat, fermented dairy products were associated with the fall in risk. Consumption of high-fat fermented products, and of milk, had no impact.

The new report is a reminder for us all that enjoying a good quality yogurt as part of our regular diet can, indeed benefit our health. Of course, we’d have to assume that would probably remove key lime pie or strawberry cheesecake yogurt from the list of available options. But most of us who are concerned about diet and nutrition probably weren’t eating those anyway!

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November is American Diabetes Month … Are you aware????

American Diabetes Month is going on right now, throughout November. This national effort by the American Diabetes Association is aimed at raising the general awareness of diabetes, the issues surrounding the disease and the effects it has on the millions who suffer.

Even through 26 million people currently have diabetes in the United States and even though most people believe they have an understanding of the condition, there’s so much to learn here for all of us.

For instance, did you know that 79 million Americans have a condition known as prediabetes. This is a condition in which a person’s blood glucose level is elevated, but it isn’t high enough to be considered diabetes. Of those estimated 79 million people, only 11 percent actually know they have it. And all 79 million of them are 45% more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than those who aren’t prediabetic.

Diabetes costs the United States about $245 Billion every year – that’s Billion … with a B. That’s pretty expensive for a condition that is, in many cases, preventable and is also, in many cases, controllable.

What can all of us do every day to decrease our own risk of type 2 diabetes? Basic lifestyle and dietary choices are key to helping us avoid diabetes.

We can and should:

• Eat fruits and vegetables every day.
• Choose fish, lean meats, and poultry without skin.
• Include whole grains with every meal.
• Be moderately active at least 30 minutes per day five days a week.
• Choose water to drink instead of beverages with added sugar.
• Speak to your doctor about your diabetes risk factors, especially if you have a family history or are overweight.

Let’s go further than these important points, though. encourages you to become even more self-aware. Click here: and take this Diabetes Risk Test to guide you in your conversations with your doctors.

The American Diabetes Association ( has a wealth of really valuable information that will keep you educated, aware and informed on the myriad of issues surrounding diabetes. During American Diabetes Month, we should all make it a priority to stay on top of the things we need to know to keep ourselves and our families healthy, safe and happy.

Arginine may have anti-diabetic effect

As reports on new findings regarding the increase in Type 2 diabetes in our population, we always keep in mind that almost 400 million people worldwide are living with chronic diabetes – 90% of whom are suffering from Type 2 diabetes which is largely lifestyle-related. Today we read promising new information regarding the effects of the amino acid arginine as it relates specifically to the treatment of this common form of the condition.

New experiments conducted by researchers from the University of Copenhagen show that the amino acid arginine — found in a wide variety of foods such as salmon, eggs and nuts — greatly improves the body’s ability to metabolise glucose. Arginine stimulates a hormone linked to the treatment of type 2 diabetes, and works just as well as several established drugs on the market. The research findings have just been published in the scientific journal Endocrinology.

In new experiments, researchers from the University of Copenhagen working in collaboration with a research group at the University of Cincinnati, USA, have demonstrated that the amino acid arginine improves glucose metabolism significantly in both lean (insulin-sensitive) and obese (insulin-resistant) mice.

“In fact, the amino acid is just as effective as several well-established drugs for type 2 diabetics,” says postdoc Christoffer Clemmensen. He has conducted the new experiments based at Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen. He is currently conducting research at the Institute for Diabetes and Obesity at Helmholtz Zentrum München, the German Research Centre for Environmental Health in Munich.
To test the effect of the amino acid arginine, researchers subjected lean and obese animal models to a so-called glucose tolerance test, which measures the body’s ability to remove glucose from the blood over time.

“We have demonstrated that both lean and fat laboratory mice benefit considerably from arginine supplements. In fact, we improved glucose metabolism by as much as 40% in both groups. We can also see that arginine increases the body’s production of glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1), an intestinal hormone which plays an important role in regulating appetite and glucose metabolism, and which is therefore used in numerous drugs for treating type 2 diabetes,” says Christoffer Clemmensen, and continues:
“You cannot, of course, cure diabetes by eating unlimited quantities of arginine-rich almonds and hazelnuts. However, our findings indicate that diet-based interventions with arginine-containing foods can have a positive effect on how the body processes the food we eat.”

The new findings provide optimism for better and more targeted drugs for treating type 2 diabetes; the outlook is long-term, but promising. is always excited by the prospect that future treatments for Type 2 diabetes – and any other debilitating health condition – may actually become dietary in nature. Whole, fresh, natural foods contain the nutrients we need to help us maintain optimal health … and they may just prove to help our bodies in ways we are just beginning to realize.

Eating whole fruits every day may keep diabetes away has always thought highly of the old adage, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away.” It works well with our mission of educating consumers about the benefits of healthy eating. There are foods that help our bodies remain strong and healthy, enabling us to avoid conditions that unhealthy foods may, in fact, contribute to. So we always enjoy reading new information that relates the consumption of fresh, whole foods to lowered risk of specific diseases.

Today we read that eating more whole fruits, particularly blueberries, grapes, and apples, was significantly associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes, according to a new study led by Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) researchers. Greater consumption of fruit juices was associated with a higher risk of type 2 diabetes. The study is the first to look at the effects of individual fruits on diabetes risk.

“While fruits are recommended as a measure for diabetes prevention, previous studies have found mixed results for total fruit consumption. Our findings provide novel evidence suggesting that certain fruits may be especially beneficial for lowering diabetes risk,” said senior author Qi Sun, assistant professor in the Department of Nutrition at HSPH and assistant professor at the Channing Division of Network Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

The researchers examined data gathered between 1984 and 2008 from 187,382 participants in three long-running studies (Nurses’ Health Study, Nurses’ Health Study II, and Health Professionals Follow-up Study). Participants who reported a diagnosis of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, or cancer at enrollment were excluded. Results showed that 12,198 participants (6.5%) developed diabetes during the study period.

The researchers looked at overall fruit consumption, as well as consumption of individual fruits: grapes or raisins; peaches, plums, or apricots; prunes; bananas; cantaloupe; apples or pears; oranges; grapefruit; strawberries; and blueberries. They also looked at consumption of apple, orange, grapefruit, and “other” fruit juices.

People who ate at least two servings each week of certain whole fruits — particularly blueberries, grapes, and apples — reduced their risk for type 2 diabetes by as much as 23% in comparison to those who ate less than one serving per month. Conversely, those who consumed one or more servings of fruit juice each day increased their risk of developing type 2 diabetes by as much as 21%. The researchers found that swapping three servings of juice per week for whole fruits would result in a 7% reduction in diabetes risk.

The researchers theorize that the beneficial effects of certain individual fruits could be the result of a particular component. Previous studies have linked anthocyanins found in berries and grapes to lowered heart attack risk, for example. But more research is necessary to determine which components in the more beneficial fruits influence diabetes risk. understands that Type 2 diabetes is a condition affecting millions worldwide. It can result in serious health problems, and even death for many in our population. The concept that eating blueberries, grapes and apples could markedly reduce the risk of diabetes is yet another reason for us all to add these whole fruits to our daily diets. And spreading the word about this possibility will help increase the nutritional awareness of those in our networks, and, hopefully in turn, those in theirs.

More news on the sugary beverage debate … drinking even one 12-Ounce sugar-sweetened soft drink a day can increase your risk for Type 2 Diabetes listens to a lot of consumers say things like “I don’t drink that much soda, maybe I have one every day.” There’s been a lot of debate recently surrounding the consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages. The attempt by the New York City mayor to ban the sale of large-sized sugar-sweetened beverages in an effort to curb the obesity crisis raised all sorts of arguments both for and against his proposition. Some of the recent research into the effects of those beverages may lead some to believe that he really had a point.

Today we found just that sort of research and wanted to share it with you. A new study out of the Imperial Collage in London, England has shown that for every 12 oz. serving of a sugar-sweetened soft drink each day, the risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes increases by about 22%. So if you have one sugar-sweetened soda at lunch, your risk increases by 22% and then if you have another one later at dinner that same day, your risk increases by another 22%. That’s quite substantial.

Most of the research that has been conducted on the effects of sugar-sweetened beverages comes from populations in North America. The study sought to establish whether there is a link between sugary-beverage consumption and Type 2 Diabetes in Europe. They used data on consumption of juices, nectars, sugar-sweetened soft drinks and artificially sweetened soft drinks that had been collected from eight European countries participating in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition. This included about 350,000 participants.

The researchers study included 12,403 type 2 diabetes cases and a random sub-cohort of 16,154 identified within the larger European study. They found that, after adjusting for confounding factors, consumption of one 12oz serving size of sugar-sweetened soft drink per day increased the risk of type 2 diabetes by 22%.

The authors also discovered a significant increase in Type 2 Diabetes as it relates to the consumption of artificially sweetened soft drinks. When the BMI of the participants was taken into account, however, this association disappeared, indicating that the participants weight was driving the increase. The consumption of fruit juices and nectars was not linked to an increase for Type 2 Diabetes. The researchers noted that their findings are similar to the results of studies conducted in North America.

Knowing that this research confirms the results of many studies conducted across North America does motivate us here at to get behind efforts to curb the consumption of sugary-beverages. We understand that there are many different ways to accomplish this large undertaking. Our belief, as always, is that education is the first, best step to incite change. We do that every day with our website and hope to see more efforts to educate consumers on the importance of eliminating sugar-sweetened soft drinks from their diets.

Protection from Type-2 Diabetes may come from the simplest of sources

In recent months, has followed a number of different findings regarding nutrition and how it relates to Type-2 Diabetes. We know that this common form of diabetes affects our population in great numbers, and has major implications for the health and well being of so many. Today we wanted to share with you a recent study that indicates that beta carotene might actually help protect those with a predisposition to the disease.

We already understand that beta carotene (a member of the carotenoid group of fat-soluble compounds) is converted in the body to Vitamin A (retinol) and protects eye health, immune system health as well as supporting skin and mucus membranes. Beta Carotene is found in a number of fruits, grains, oil and vegetables – most especially carrots.

Coming out of the Stanford University of Medicine, the research used “big data” to observe how gene variants linked with a higher risk for Type 2 Diabetes along with blood levels of substances that had already been related to Type 2 Diabetes risk.

“Type-2 diabetes affects about 15 percent of the world’s population, and the numbers are increasing,” according to the study’s senior author Dr. Atul Butte, an associate professor of systems medicine in pediatrics at Stanford University Medical Center. He also explained that “Government health authorities estimate that one-third of all children born in the United States since the year 2000 will get this disease at some point in their lives, possibly knocking decades off their life expectancies.”

The risk of diabetes was influenced by beta carotene and gamma tocopherol’s interaction with the common gene variant and the researchers then became interested in studying a specific protein – SLC30A4 and its impact on the disease. Researchers believe that this protein is abundant in certain cells in the pancreas which produce insulin and helps the cells import zinc. . Zinc causes a release of insulin in the the pancreas to the muscles, liver and fat tissue. This offsets the buildup of glucose in the blood, preventing the development of Type 2 Diabetes.

It was noted that while there are many genetic risk factors for Type 2 Diabetes, none of those alone or even together can account for the prevalence of Type 2 Diabetes in the worldwide population.
Researchers are planning to take this work further through additional studies involving lab mice fed purified beta carotene and gamma tocopherol. This could help scientists understand how these substances impact the production of the SLC30A4 protein. will be keeping an eye out for these future studies. In the meantime, let’s all eat our carrots anyway. There’s so much we already know they do for our health … this might just be another added benefit!