Tag Archives: Type 2 Diabetes

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. FoodFacts.com encourages you to become even more self-aware. Click here: http://www.diabetes.org/diabetes-basics/prevention/diabetes-risk-test/?loc=DropDownDB-RiskTest and take this Diabetes Risk Test to guide you in your conversations with your doctors.

The American Diabetes Association (http://www.diabetes.org) 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 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.


More good news about green tea

FoodFacts.com is always following news regarding the benefits of tea. That’s probably because so many of us here enjoy sitting down to a relaxing cup of hot tea and it’s always a good thing to find that natural foods and beverages can have tangible benefits for our health and well being.

Today we found a new study out of the Keimyung University School of Medicine in the Republic of Korea that has shown evidence that an extract from green tea may be an effective remedy for weight control and may help regulate glucose in type 2 diabetes.

Components of green tea, which have been shown to inhibit intestinal glucose and lipid uptake, are a certain type of flavonoid called gallated catechins.

Researchers tested the effects of green tea extract on body weight and glucose intolerance in both diabetic mice and normal mice who were fed a high-fat diet. To prevent a high dose of gallated catechins from reaching the bloodstream, the authors also used a non-toxic resin, polyethylene glycol, to bind the gallated catechins in the gut to prevent their absorption. They then looked at the effects on the mice of eating green tea extract alone, and eating green tea extract plus polyethylene glycol. They then compared these against the effects of two drugs traditionally prescribed for type 2 diabetes.

Results showed that green tea extract on its own did not have any influence on body weight and glucose intolerance. However, when green tea extract was given with polyethylene glycol, there was a significant reduction in body weight gain, insulin resistance and glucose intolerance in both normal mice on a high fat diet and diabetic mice. The polyethylene glycol had the effect of prolonging the amount of time the gallated catechins remained in the intestines, thereby limiting glucose absorption for a longer period.

What was most interesting was that the effect of the green tea extract were apparent at doses that could easily be achieved by drinking green tea on a daily basis. Even more exciting was the fact that the green tea effects were comparable to those of the two currently prescribed drugs for non-insulin dependent diabetes. Researchers are hopeful that the green tea extract and polyethylene glycol combination may, in fact, present a better option for the prevention and treatment of obesity and obesity-related diabetes.

FoodFacts.com will continue to follow any new information that is released regarding green tea and its benefits. “Let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food.” Hippocrates was definitely on to something!


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

In recent months, FoodFacts.com 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.

FoodFacts.com 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!