High Fructose and Diabetes

Surprise-surprise, high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) may increase diabetes risk. The Diabetes Blog is on it:
Not surprisingly, the food industry has always defended HFCS against claims that it is harmful. But here's the latest contradiction of that claim: a recent study found that HFCS is "astonishingly" high in reactive carbonyls, which are thought to contribute to the development of diabetes. The study was led by Dr. Chi-tang Ho, head of Rutgers University's Department of Food Science, and colleagues. They concluded that one can of HFCS-sweetened soda contains five times the reactive carbonyls that are normally found in the blood of a person with diabetes.

A news release by the American Chemical Society, announcing Dr. Ho's findings, notes that previous studies have already linked HFCS to cell and tissue damage. They suggest that HFCS consumption may raise the risk of diabetes, not to mention obesity. Say's Dr. Ho: "People consume too much high-fructose corn syrup in this country. It's in way too many food and drink products and there's growing evidence that it's bad for you."
You’re not going to find any love for HFCS here. Dr. Fuhrman considers it unnatural and should be avoided. From Disease-Proof Your Child:
HFCS is not only fattening, but this inexpensive and ultra-concentrated sugar has no resemblance to real food made by nature. It is another experiment thrust upon our unsuspecting children with unknown dangerous consequences. Besides sugar, corn syrup, and chemicals, these drinks often contain caffeine, an addictive stimulant. Children crave more and more as they get older. By adolescence most children have become soft-drink addicts. It is no surprise that six out of the seven most popular soft drinks contain caffeine. Contrast this high level of sugary “liquid candy” with the meager intake of fresh produce by children and teenagers, and it is no surprise that we have an obesity epidemic beyond all expectations.

Diabetes, Diabesity

The Diabetes Blog has an interesting little ditty about diabetes. Maybe we should eat less and exercise more? Check it out:
These days we live in houses, and consume more than we need to sustain homeostasis and beyond. We walk very little and we all put on weight as we get older, especially around our waists. As we continue on this path of least resistance, and most convenience -- diabesity is becoming a mainstay in our lives. If eating healthy and walking more became an easy and convenient option for everybody -- could this be an automatic resolution to an unforgiving problem?
The plain truth is you don’t have to settle for diabetes.

NY Times: Fat to Diabetes to Heart Disease

Maybe I’m wrong on this—chances are I am—but I think most people compartmentalize disease. I don’t think they realize having one disease can lead to another and so on and so on. Take this guy for example. Mr. Smith didn’t realize his diabetes was setting him up for a heart attack. Gina Kolata of The New York Times reports:
Mr. Smith, a 43-year-old pastor in Fairmont, Minn., tried hard. When dieting did not work, he began counting carbohydrates, taking pills to lower his blood sugar and pricking his finger several times a day to measure his sugar levels. They remained high, so he agreed to add insulin to his already complicated regimen. Blood sugar was always on his mind.

But in focusing entirely on blood sugar, Mr. Smith ended up neglecting the most important treatment for saving lives — lowering the cholesterol level. That protects against heart disease, which eventually kills nearly everyone with diabetes.

He also was missing a second treatment that protects diabetes patients from heart attacks — controlling blood pressure. Mr. Smith assumed everything would be taken care of if he could just lower his blood sugar level…

…Mr. Smith, like 90 percent of diabetes patients, has Type 2 diabetes, the form that usually arises in adulthood when the insulin-secreting cells of the pancreas cannot keep up with the body’s demand for the hormone. The other form of diabetes, Type 1, is far less common and usually arises in childhood or adolescence when insulin-secreting pancreas cells die.

And, like many diabetes patients, Mr. Smith ended up paying the price for his misconceptions about diabetes. Last year, he had a life-threatening heart attack.
Apparently it never dawned on him that his fatness might be setting him up for diabetes either. To get the full effect of this article, check out the video report. There are a couple dopey quotes from the doctors they interviewed. Take a look:

You’ve got to love it when medical professionals downplay just how much diet factors into the development of diseases. It makes you wonder where they're getting their doctorates from—Hamburger U! Now, back to reality, we all know that diet is a major determinant of disease, especially when you’re fat like Mr. Smith. Dr. Fuhrman talks about it in Eat to Live:
Overweight individuals are more likely to die from all causes, including heart disease and cancer. Two-thirds of those with weight problems also have hypertension, diabetes, heart disease, or another obesity-related condition.1 It is a major cause of early mortality in the United States.2 Since dieting almost never works and the health risks of obesity are so life-threatening, more and more people are desperately turning to drugs and surgical procedures to lose weight…

…As a good rule of thumb: for optimal health and longevity, a man should not have more than one-half inch of skin that he can pinch near his umbilicus (belly button) and a woman should not have more than one inch. Almost any fat on the body over this minimum is a health risk. If you have gained even as little as ten pounds since the age of eighteen or twenty, then you could be at significant increased risk for health problems such as heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes. The truth is that most people who think they are at the right weight still have too much fat on their body.
So, with that being said, maybe Mr. Smith should spend less time in church and more time in the gym. Not to mention snagging a copy of Eat to Live so that he can get rid of all those pills and syringes.
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Can't Beat Those Z's

The Diabetes Blog is all over research linking lack of sleep to obesity and type-2 diabetes. Check it out:
The study found that sleep loss reduced glycogen release from the liver. Since the patient was still awake, requiring energy (and none was being supplied) - the islets withheld production of insulin to sustain existing blood sugar. The aftermath of this suspended glucose metabolism resulted in increased hunger. Yikes.
I’m definitely the pot calling the kettle black here. I know I should be getting more sleep—anyone else an ultra-busy taskmaster? And I’m not exactly doing myself any favors by skipping out on bed time. According to Dr. Fuhrman sufficient sleep is an important part of long-term health:
Adequate sleep is a necessary component of good health. Our modern society stays up late into the night and wakes in the morning to an alarm clock—long before sleep requirements have been fulfilled. To make matters worse, most Americans partake in stimulating substances—such as caffeine and sugar—to remain artificially alert during the day.

During sleep, your body removes the buildup of waste in the brain. Sufficient sleep is necessary for the normal function of your nervous and endocrine systems. Most civilizations in human history recognized the value of mid-afternoon naps. The desire for a rest, short sleep, or “siesta” after lunch should not be seen as an abnormal need, but rather a normal one. People who “cover up” their lack of sleep by using drugs (such as caffeine) as food and/or food (such as highly processed, sugary foods) as drugs sometimes claim (even boast) that they can get by with very little sleep. As you begin to live more healthfully, you may quickly recognize that you need more sleep than you previously thought.

We need to avoid stimulants in order to be in touch with our body’s need for sleep, and only by meeting these needs can we maximize the body’s tremendous capacity for ongoing repair and regeneration of cells.
Remind me to kill my alarm clock.