Tag Archives: diabetes

Arginine may have anti-diabetic effect

As FoodFacts.com 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.

FoodFacts.com 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.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/09/130909121954.htm

Sugar-sweetened beverages directly linked to deaths all over the world

FoodFacts.com has been keeping up to date on the subject of sugary beverages. The New York City ban on sugary drinks has been in the news consistently and has been responsible for shining a brighter spotlight on the subject. Today we found important new information that we wanted to make sure and share with our community.

New research has revealed that drinking sugary soft drinks is responsible for close to 180,000 deaths worldwide every year. The finding comes from research presented at the American Heart Association’s Epidemiology and Prevention/Nutrition, Physical Activity and Metabolism 2013 Scientific Sessions.

We are already aware that sugary beverages are associated with increased body weight and obesity. These conditions can lead to cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer. Using data published in the 2010 Global Burden of Diabetes Study, researchers found an association between the consumption of sugary drinks and 180,000 deaths around the world. 133,000 of those deaths were related to diabetes, 44,000 to cardiovascular disease and 6,000 to cancer. In the United States, data showed that about 25,000 deaths were linked to sugary beverages in 2010.

Countries in Latin America and the Caribbean had the highest number of diabetes deaths due to consumption of sugar-sweetened drinks with 38,000. Mexico had the highest rate of death due to sugary drink consumption at about 318 deaths per million.

Japan, the country that consumes the least amount of sugary drinks in the world only had 10 deaths per million linked to sugary beverage consumption.

Over the past 30 years, global consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages has risen tremendously. The Yale Rudd Center for Food Policy and obesity has stated that sugary drinks are the number one source of calories for American Adolescents.

This study is quite a bit different than those we normally read regarding the consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages. And seeing a direct link between sugary drink intake and death certainly puts things in better perspective. FoodFacts.com hopes that this information receives the attention it deserves and serves as a catalyst for consumers to reconsider their beverage choices for the sake of their health and longevity.

Read more here: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/257958.php

Does grilling contribute to the American obesity problem?

FoodFacts.com has been staying on top of everything related to the growing rates of obesity in the United States. When we find information we deem valuable we share it with our community through here, through our blog. And today we came across some new research that might link the development of abdominal obesity along with insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes with the cooking of food over dry heat (aka grilling).

The study was conducted by the Mount Sinai School of Medicine. They’ve identified a common compound in our diets that results from grilling food or cooking food with dry heat. That compound is methyl-glyoxal or MG. They have published their findings this month in Proccedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The study found that mice who were fed a diet of food cooked with dry heat on a consistent basis (therefore experiencing prolonged exposure to MG) gained a significant amount of abdominal weight, insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. MG is a type of advanced glycation endproduct or AGE. And AGEs can lower the body’s protection against inflammation.

The study spanned four generations of mice and was split into two groups. One was fed a traditional diet without MG and one group was fed a diet high in MG. Over those foru generations of mice, the group fed high-MG food experienced and increase in body fat, and early insulin resistance. The other control group did not develop any of these conditions. There was a definite deficiency in the protective mechanisms of the mice bodies that was related to MG.

Led by Helen Vlassara, MD, Professor and Director of the Division of Experimental Diabetes and Aging, the study presents important information regarding the control and possible prevention of both obesity and diabetes. “This was a prolonged but rewarding study showing that a specific AGE compound … contributes to the increase in weight gain, insulin resistance and diabetes, reproducing the pattern seen increasingly in humans over the last decades,” said Dr. Vlassara.

“The study demonstrates how the prolonged ingestion of seemingly innocuous substances common in human food, such as MG, can reduce defenses and compromise native resistance to metabolic and other diseases,” said Dr. Vlassara. “The mouse findings are also quite exciting because they provide us with new tools, not only to study, but to begin taking measures to prevent diabetes, either by suppressing their formation or by blocking their absorption with our food.”

Because of this research it does appear that just a small decrease in foods high in AGEs can really improve the insulin resistance of adults with type 2 diabetes. The researchers are recommending that clinical guidelines be revised to eliminate foods cooked with dry heat. Of course, further study is needed to corroborate these findings. But it is possible that avoiding consumption of foods cooked with dry heat and using other methods instead of grilling our foods, we might be able to reduce the instances of both obesity and diabetes.

FoodFacts.com invites our community to read more: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120820152102.htm

Important nutrition news for diabetics

FoodFacts.com ran across some very important information today that we wanted to share with our community. It’s especially pertinent for diabetics or anyone with diabetics in their family or circle of friends and warrants attention.

Many diabetics and folks who know and love them have considered diet food products as an answer to keeping their sugar levels down. In addition to understanding how carbohydrates affect their disease, and adjusting their diets accordingly, they can also consider sugar-free diet, light, or low fat food products acceptable choices. After all diabetes is a disease that is directly related to sugar … right?

There’s been new research released that point to two additives in foods that can actually cause an increase in fasting blood glucose levels and have been found to be linked to the onset of type 2 diabetes. This is the most common form of the disease, affecting anyone from young children to older adults. And it turns out that the foods that some people think may actually be safe to eat for diabetics really may not be at all.

The study involved mice and its results showed that both aspartame and MSG are actually increasing fasting blood glucose levels and reducing insulin sensitivity … not a good combination for folks with dietabetes.

The presence of aspartame as a product ingredient was shown to have both these effects. When both aspartame and MSG are included in product ingredients a dual effect was discovered – both the spike in fasting blood glucose levels and reduced insulin sensitivity along with weight elevation. As double whammy for diabetes.

This study is fairly ground breaking as it is the first one published that illustrates a hyperglycemic effect from chronic exposure to a combination of food additives that are incredibly common in the food supply. Just take a look at products labeled “sugar-free”, “diet”, “light”, “low-calorie” or “low fat”. And it’s especially important to remember that looking for MSG isn’t just a simple search for monosodium glutamate on an ingredient list. MSG is hidden in many ingredients that are added to processed food. The dual effects described in this study show that this combination can actually spur the development of diabetes.

As with all studies, more research is needed. But since FoodFacts.com understands how many of the products in stores across the country contain both of these ingredients, we felt it especially important to inform and educate our community. Whether you have diabetes or there’s someone in your family who does, it’s more important than ever to read and understand the ingredients of food products. Once again, the ingredient list can tell us what we need to know to keep our families safe and healthy.

Read more: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22697049

Fish oil may not help to prevent depression afterall

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Many health articles have reported in recent months that fish oils, primarily omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, help to prevent depression in women. Before you go purchase a lifetime supply of fish oils, know that these research studies are constantly evolving. Though some may claim new dietary benefits one month, chances are those recommendations could change the next. Currently, researchers are still looking into the link between these fatty acids and depression. Also, they are continuing to look into fish oil consumption and diabetes in women. Make sure you conduct your own research or consult with a physician before initiating any supplementation.

Eating fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids doesn’t appear to stave off the blues in women, U.S. researchers have found.

Their study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, adds to the conflicting evidence on the benefits of fish oil, which some research has hinted might help certain people with depression.

“We know that omega-3s are important in brain function,” study researcher Dr. Alberto Ascherio, a nutrition expert at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, told Reuters Health.

“We approached this work thinking that when it comes to preventing depression, it’s conceivable that you are what you eat,” he said.

But the researchers’ findings didn’t bear out that prediction.

The team followed nearly 55,000 nurses over 10 years. All the women, between 50 and 77 years old, were free of depression when the study began in 1996.

Over the next decade, five percent of them eventually developed clinical depression. But the risk was the same regardless of how much DHA and EPA — two omega-3 fatty acids — women got from eating fish.
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Fish rich in omega-3s include salmon, trout, sardines and herring.

The researchers did find preliminary signs that a plant-based omega-3 called alpha-linolenic acid could play a role in mood.

For every increase of half a gram in daily intake of the substance –common in walnuts and canola oil, for instance — there was an 18-percent reduction in the risk of depression.

A study like the current one can’t prove cause-and-effect, and Ascherio said the area needs further research before any recommendations can be made.

His team also examined omega-6 fatty acids, but was unable to come up with conclusive findings on its impact on depression. Omega-6s are found in refined vegetable oils and are ubiquitous in snack foods, sweets and fast foods.

Depression strikes twice as many women as men, with one in five U.S. women experiencing the problem at some point.

Dr. Teodore Postolache, who directs the mood and anxiety program at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore, told Reuters Health he is not yet ready to give up on fish oil.

“There are inherent limitations on studies about depression, including determining with certainty what exactly depression is for patients,” Postolache said.

Using data from nurses, for example, can skew results because nurses are more educated in matters of health and diet than the general population.

“If groups who may have underlying deficits in fish oil were studied, like lower socioeconomic groups, we might have seen a more powerful effect of the omega-3s in preventing depression,” he said.

He also noted that the study excluded women who had previous episodes of depression, although this group is one of “the most important targets for intervention because they are at high risk for a repeat episode.”

He called for more research on animals and in broader swaths of the population.

(Yahoo Health)

SOURCE: http://bit.ly/kmB4rn American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, April 2011.

New Nutrition Standards! .. made by Major Food Companies???

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Today at Foodfacts.com, we have come across a recent event that we feel should be mentioned. We know many of our followers are taking a healthy initiative to better feed themselves and their families. However, sometimes this can be difficult because the amount of processed foods that plague many supermarkets. The majority of junk in stores is directly targeted at children, of course by major food corporations just looking to make profit. Take a look at what is currently going on.

Today the Council of Better Business Bureaus in Washington, DC announced that major food companies such as Kellogg’s, Nestle, Kraft, and ConAgra will be cutting down on marketing unhealthy products aimed at children. Products will now only be marketed if they meet a new set of nutritional standards. What they forgot to mention was that the government had recently proposed a strict set of standards that these food companies disapproved of and discarded, then they turned around and made their own. Is this really ethical? Can food companies with a reputation of marketing mostly junk in boxes really be allowed to come up with their own nutritional standards? And why just now? After years of increasing numbers of children with obesity and diabetes, do they just start initiating nutritional standards? Sounds sketchy.

Here is the new criteria list set by the “Sensible Food Policy Coalition” (which is now what the big food corporations now refer to themselves as):

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Juices. For juices, no added sugars are permitted, and the serving must contain no more than 160 calories.

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Dairy. This category includes products such as milk and yogurt. For ready to drink flavored milk, an 8 fluid ounce portion is limited to 24 grams (g) of total sugars. For yogurt products, a 6 ounce portion is limited to 170 calories and 23 grams of total sugars. These sugars criteria include both naturally-occurring and sugars added for flavoring.

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Grains, fruits and vegetable products (and items not in other categories). This category includes products such as cereals, crackers and cereal bars. Foods with ≤ 150 calories, such as most children’s breakfast cereals, must contain no more than 1.5 g of saturated fat, 290 milligrams (mg) of sodium and 10 g of sugar (products with > 150−200 calories get proportionately higher limits). Foods in this category also must provide ≥ ½ serving of foods to encourage (fruits, vegetables, non- or low-fat dairy, and whole grains) or ≥ 10% of the Daily Value of an essential nutrient.

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Seeds, nuts, nut butters and spreads. Foods in this category, which includes peanut butters, must have no more than 220 calories, 3.5 g of saturated fat, 240 mg of sodium and 4 g of sugar per 2 tablespoons. Foods in this category also must provide at least one ounce of protein equivalent.

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Main dishes and entrees. Foods in this category, such as canned pastas, must have no more than 350 calories, 10 percent calories from saturated fat, 600 mg of sodium and 15 g of sugar per serving. Foods in this category also must provide either ≥ 1 serving of foods to encourage or ≥ ½ serving of foods to encourage and ≥ 10% of the Daily Value of two essential nutrients.

What do you think about these new standards? Let us know!

Interesterified Fat: A Controversial Replacement for Trans Fat

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blog.foodfacts.com wants to make people more aware of what controversial food additives are being put into their foods. Today foodfacts.com looks into the controversial food additive Interesterified Fat. What is interesterified fat? Just as food manufacturers have started to remove them from their products, restaurants have been eliminating them from their menus, and government entities have begun to ban them, transfats have been replaced by a new kind of fat with a lengthy and unpronounceable name—INTERESTERIFIED FATS. While these fats may be interesting, the root word from which their name is derives is not INTEREST, but ESTER . Esters are organic compounds formed from an organic acid and an alcohol.

Interesterification
Interesterification is one of three main fat modification techniques. The other two techniques are fractionation and hydrogenation, which is the process used to produce transfats.

Interesterification is the process of rearranging the fatty acids in triglyceride molecules. Triglycerides form the basic structure of most fats and oils. They are composed of glycerol and three chains of fatty acids. Interesterified fats (IFs) are used in shortening for baked goods, fat for frying, in butter substitutes, such as soft margarine. The interesterification process maintains solid fat content at ambient temperatures while lowering the melting point of the fat.

Interestified Fat in Food
While consumers are being regularly informed by the food manufactures and restaurants that transfats are being removed from their menus, very little is being said about the fats that are replacing transfats. The class of interesterified fats provides one of the least expensive options for fats used in baking and frying. There are two types of interestification–one that uses chemical catalysts —usually metals or salts, and another that uses enzymic catalysts. Use of chemical catalysts is less expensive than use of enzymic catalysts, but the chemical catalysts require manufacturing steps to purify and deodorize the finished product.

Why should the consumer care about how fats are made? Interestingly, it appears that changing or re-arranging the molecules of fats or a combination of fats during the interesterification process may affect how the fats are metabolized in the human body. A recent joint study conducted in Malaysia and at Brandeis University indicated that not only did IFs depress beneficial HDL cholesterol, it appeared to raise blood glucose levels and decrease insulin production. Elevation of blood glucose and suppression of insulin production are precursors to diabetes. In addition, further elevation of blood glucose and reduction in insulin levels could be dangerous to those who are already have diabetes. Further studies are needed, but this study has raised real concerns about the use of IFs to replace transfats, especially if they are used widely and without the knowledge of consumers.

Sodium Nitrate Warnings

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Overview
Foodfacts.com wants to make you more aware of what controversial ingredients are being put into our foods. Sodium nitrate is a food additive in processed meats used to prevent the deadly bacteria botulism from growing. It is found in processed meats such as hot dogs, bologna, bacon, deli meats, ham and salami. It is this preservative that gives pink color to these meats. There are some harmful effects of eating these meats and taking in high amounts of sodium nitrates that you should be aware of.

Cancer
Sodium nitrate additives cause the formation of nitrosamines in the body, which are cancer-causing chemicals. Sodium nitrate is being linked to colorectal cancer and pancreatic cancer, but research still is being done to determine the relationship between this additive and other cancers. According to Medicalnewstoday.com, 90 percent of nitrites and nitrates have been determined as carcinogenic to the body and specific organs.

Increased Risk of Heart Disease and Diabetes
Sodium nitrate might damage blood vessels, causing the narrowing and hardening of arteries, which can lead to heart disease, says MayoClinic.com. A study by the Harvard School of Public Health found that eating processed meats increases your risk of heart disease by 42 percent and diabetes by 19 percent compared with non-processed meats with the same saturated fat content. Further studies are being done on the possible link between insulin-dependent diabetes and sodium nitrates.

High Blood Pressure
High sodium foods are the leading cause of high blood pressure, and additives such as sodium nitrates add even more sodium than what is naturally found in the product. Read through the ingredients list on the food label to look for additives such as sodium nitrate, sodium alginate, monosodium glutamate, all of which add unnecessary sodium to your diet.

Increased Death Rates from Disease
According to Dailyscience.com, a study by researchers at Rhode Island Hospital found a substantial link between increased levels of nitrates in our environment and food with increased deaths from diseases, including Alzheimer’s, diabetes mellitus and Parkinson’s. These diseases are associated with increased insulin resistance and DNA damage, which has drastically increased and is thought to be related to nitrates.

Can Blueberries Help Fight Obesity?

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Blueberries have been shown to have a positive effect on everything from cardiovascular health to aging, and now it seems that eating these berries could help you slim down as well.

Shiwani Moghe, a researcher from Texas Woman’s University in Denton, Texas, looked at whether blueberries and their high polyphenol content could play a role in fighting obesity.

In a study of tissue cultures taken from mice, Moghe examined what effect the polyphenols in the berries have in fighting the development of fats cells, and what she found was the highest dose of polyphenols cut the number of fat cells by 73 percent, while the smallest dose showed a 27 percent decrease.

“We still need to test this dose in humans, to make sure there are no adverse effects, and to see if the doses are as effective. This is a burgeoning area of research. Determining the best dose for humans will be important,” Moghe said. “The promise is there for blueberries to help reduce adipose tissue (body fat) from forming in the body.”

Moghe presented her research at the Experimental Biology 2011 meeting for the American Society for Nutrition.

Information provided by http://www.foxnews.com/health/2011/04/11/blueberries-help-fight-obesity/

Diabetes may affect as many as 1 in 3 Americans by 2050

Donald McEwen, a type II diabetic, checks his blood sugar at his Westlake, Ohio office in March 2008. A new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report says cases of the disease are projected to double, possibly even triple, by 2050.Donald McEwen, a type II diabetic, checks his blood sugar at his Westlake, Ohio office in March 2008. A new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report says cases of the disease are projected to double, possibly even triple, by 2050.

Diabetes may affect as many as 1 in 3 Americans by 2050.

Foodfacts.com has learned that the future of diabetes in America looks bleak, according to a new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report, with cases projected to double, even triple, by 2050. Continue reading