About Food and Diabetes

Some health experts examine food issues surrounding type-2 diabetes. More from Peter Jaret of The New York Times:
Experts have yet to come up with anything close to a surefire approach to help people shed pounds. And dietary recommendations to prevent or slow diabetes have often been contradictory and confusing. Nearly 30 years after the American Diabetes Association recommended a low-fat, high-carbohydrate diet to control diabetes, overturning the high-fat, low-carbohydrate approach of earlier decades, controversy still swirls around the amount and types of carbohydrates to eat.

Much of the debate focuses on the glycemic index, a measure of how carbohydrate-rich foods affect blood sugar, and whether these effects play a significant role in the progression of Type 2 diabetes. Foods high on the glycemic index, like sugared beverages, cake and white rice, are known to send blood sugar levels up sharply after a meal. Foods low on the index, like broccoli, lettuce, brown rice and whole grains, on the other hand, take longer to digest and hence keep blood sugar levels on a more even keel.

The American Diabetes Association has decided that patients should not be counseled to take the glycemic index into account when choosing foods. “Although it is clear that carbohydrates do have differing glycemic responses,” its policy statement declares, “the data reveal no clear trend in outcome benefits.”

That’s a mistake, says Dr. David Ludwig, an endocrinologist at Children’s Hospital in Boston and an associate professor at Harvard Medical School.
I think these “experts” should give Dr. Fuhrman a call or at least snoop around Followhealthlife’s diabetes category—don’t you think?

Diabetes: Eat and Live Well...

According to a new study drinking less alcohol, eating more veggies, and exercising can hold off diabetes. Michael Kahn of Reuters reports:
Diet and exercise reduced the incidence of diabetes by about 43 percent over 20 years among 577 high-risk Chinese adults, the researchers reported in the journal Lancet.

At the end of the 20 years, 80 percent of those who changed what they ate and exercised more had diabetes, compared with 93 percent who made no changes, said Guangwei Li of the China-Japan Friendship Hospital in Beijing and Ping Zhang at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The findings came as part of a series of studies addressing new research about diabetes, which affects 246 million adults worldwide, and accounts for 6 percent of all global deaths.

"The challenge is to translate research findings into substantial clinical improvements for patients. Although prospects are hopeful, they are not assured," the Lancet wrote in a commentary.
Sometimes the answers are SO obvious, but still overlooked—sigh.

America Hopped Up on Prescription Drugs

A new report claims more than half of Americans are taking some sort of prescription medication; mostly for heart disease, obesity, and diabetes. More from the Associated Press:
Experts say the data reflect not just worsening public health but better medicines for chronic conditions and more aggressive treatment by doctors. For example, more people are now taking blood pressure and cholesterol-lowering medicines because they need them, said Dr. Daniel W. Jones, president of the American Heart Association.

In addition, there is the pharmaceutical industry's relentless advertising. With those factors unlikely to change, doctors say the proportion of Americans on chronic medications can only grow.

"Unless we do things to change the way we're managing health in this country ... things will get worse instead of getting better," predicted Jones, a heart specialist and dean of the University of Mississippi's medical school.

Americans buy much more medicine per person than any other country. But it was unclear how their prescriptions compare to those of insured people elsewhere. Comparable data were not available for Europe, for instance.
Americans love magic pills. Kind of agrees with yesterday’s post, Have a Healthy Heart!

Cow's Milk and Diabetes

A new Finnish study claims consuming dairy products early on correlates with diabetes risk. NewScientist is on it:
One explanation is that beta-lactoglobulin, a protein in cow's, but not human, milk prompts babies to make antibodies that also attack glycodelin, a protein vital for training the immune system. The mistuned immune system then mistakenly destroys insulin-producing pancreatic cells, leading to type 1 diabetes.

“The mistuned immune system mistakenly destroys insulin-producing cells”

Now Marcia Goldfarb of the company Anatek-EP in Portland, Maine, has found that five children with type 1 diabetes, who were fed cow's-milk formula, all have antibodies to beta-lactoglobulin.
Not that surprising. Cow’s milk is not exactly good for you, especially for kids. Dr. Fuhrman explains:
The leading cause of digestive intolerance leading to stomach complaints is dairy products. Many kids have subtle allergies to cow's milk that perpetuate their nasal congestion, leading to ear infections.


Milk, which is designed by nature for the rapidly growing cow, has about half its calories supplied from fat. The fatty component is concentrated more to make cheese and butter. Milk and cheese are the foods Americans encourage their children to eat, believing them to be healthy foods. Fifty years of heavy advertising by an economically powerful industry has shaped the public's perception, illustrating the power of one-sided advertising, but the reality and true health effects on our children is a different story. Besides the link between high-saturated-fat foods (dairy fat) and cancer, there is a body of scientific literature linking the consumption of cow's milk to many other diseases. If we expect our children to resist many common illnesses, they simply must consume less milk, cheese, and butter. Dairy foods should be consumed in limited quantity or not at all.

Cow's milk contains the calcium people need, but other foods are rich in calcium, too, including vegetables, beans, nuts, and seeds. Today we do not need to rely on cows for our calcium. We can eat greens directly for calcium, the place where cows get it to begin with, and orange juice and soy milks are fortified with calcium and vitamin D, too. It is easy to meet our nutrient needs for these substances without the risks of cow's milk.
Yucky, milk makes me nauseas.

Health Points: Friday

York company voluntarily recalled more than 286,000 pounds of its products.

Officials said certain products labeled Gourmet Boutique, Jan's and Archer Farms may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes, although there were no reports of illness before the recall.

Listeria can cause a potentially fatal disease that it is rarely contracted by healthy people, the Monterey County Health Department reported. Symptoms include high fever, severe headaches, neck stiffness and nausea. Rare but serious symptoms can occur in those with compromised immune systems. Pregnant women make up about a third of listeriosis cases, health officials said.
Arthritis strikes more than half of the 20.6 million American adults who have diabetes, and the painful joint condition may be a barrier to exercise among these patients, a new government report shows.


Being physically active helps people manage both diseases better by controlling blood sugar levels and reducing joint pain, according to the report in the May 9 issue of Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, a publication of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"The prevalence of arthritis is astoundingly high in people with diabetes," said Dr. John H. Klippel, president and CEO of the Arthritis Foundation. "Over half the people with diabetes have arthritis."
Nudging reluctant seniors to take physical fitness classes represents just one strategy to reduce the risk of falling. It's also vital to evaluate their vision and the medications they're taking. Aged pupils, for example, don't dilate as well in darkness or constrict as well in brightness.


One study showed that falls decreased 34 percent among seniors who had the milky opaqueness of a cataract removed from their eyes. Some specialists also point to bifocals and trifocals, which can blur vision, as potentially contributing to falls.

It's also common for lighting to be so inadequate that navigation of hallways and rooms can be treacherous, said Dr. Gary Chu, vice president for community collaborations at the New England Eye Institute.
"I've asked all the presidential candidates whether America should be smoke-free," he told a Senate committee hearing on how to tackle cancer.


"The consensus is that it's better left to the cities and states," he said, agreeing that state- or community-level bans were "the way to go."

"Second-hand smoking is something I'm very passionate about," he told the committee.
Young children who live in neighborhoods with lots of trees have lower rates of asthma than children who reside in areas with fewer trees, a new study finds. Researchers looked at asthma rates among children age 4 to 5 in New York City. Asthma rates decreased by almost one-quarter for every standard deviation increase in tree density, equivalent to 343 trees per square kilometer, the study found. The researchers said that trees may help reduce asthma rates by encouraging children to play outdoors more or by improving air quality.
Male postpartum depression may have more negative effects on some aspects of a child's development than its female counterpart, says James F. Paulson, PhD, of the Center for Pediatric Research at the Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk, Va.


Paulson and colleagues reviewed data on more than 5,000 two-parent families with children aged 9 months.

They found that one in 10 new dads met standard criteria for moderate to severe postpartum depression.

That's a "striking increase" from the 3% to 5% of men in the general population that have depression, Paulson tells WebMD.
In the current study, researchers found that professional firefighters had higher-than-expected rates of colon cancer and brain cancer. There was also evidence, albeit weaker, that they had elevated risks of bladder and kidney cancers, as well as Hodgkin's lymphoma.


Dr. Letitia Davis with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health in Boston, and colleagues report the findings in the American Journal of Industrial Medicine.

Firefighters are exposed to many potentially cancer-causing chemicals released from burning materials. At the scene of the fire, toxic substances such as benzene, lead, uranium and asbestos can be inhaled or absorbed through the skin.
A drug from a new class of weight-loss treatments disrupted wiring needed for brain development in young mice, U.S. researchers said on Wednesday, raising concerns about using such medications in children.


Mark Bear and colleagues at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology studied the effects of a chemical that suppresses appetite by blocking cannabinoid receptors in the brain, the same brain mechanisms that make people hungry when they smoke marijuana.

"I think that the cautionary note is that these mechanisms play an important role in ... brain development," said Bear, whose study appears in the journal Neuron.
Even a benign lesion on a mammogram makes women and doctors nervous, and doctors sometimes recommend a biopsy anyway. But new data show that waiting six months for a follow-up mammogram is a safe option.


Researchers tracked more than 45,000 women who were given six-month follow-up mammograms after an initial scan found lesions that were “probably” benign. In most cases, they were. Only about one in 100 women were eventually diagnosed with cancer six to 12 months later, according to the study, which appears in the May issue of the American Journal of Roentgenology.
It is well known that high blood sugar levels indicative of the diabetes that occurs during pregnancy present risks for expectant mothers and their infants. The current study is believed to be the first to show that higher blood sugar levels -- not high enough to be considered diabetes -- also convey these increased risks.


In a study of nearly 24,000 pregnant women who had their blood sugar levels tested between 24 and 32 weeks of pregnancy, researchers found that the higher the mother's blood sugar level, the greater the chances that she would require Caesarean delivery and deliver an abnormally large baby.

NYC: Supermarkets Packing Up Shop


More and more supermarkets are leaving New York City, making it hard for many people to find healthy fresh food in their neighborhoods. David Gonzalez of The New York Times reports:
The dearth of nearby supermarkets is most severe in minority and poor neighborhoods already beset by obesity, diabetes and heart disease.

According to the food workers union, only 550 decently sized supermarkets — each occupying at least 10,000 square feet — remain in the city…

… In some cases, the old storefronts have been converted to drug stores that stand to make money coming and going — first selling processed foods and sodas, then selling medicines for illnesses that could have been prevented by a better diet.

The supermarket closings — not confined to poor neighborhoods — result from rising rents and slim profit margins, among other causes. They have forced residents to take buses or cabs to the closest supermarkets in some areas. Those with cars can drive, but the price of gasoline is making some think twice about that option. In many places, residents said the lack of competition has led to rising prices in the remaining stores…

…The lack of easily available fresh food has prompted city and state officials to convene several task forces to address the public health implications.

The recent study conducted by the Department of City Planning estimated that as many as three million New Yorkers live in what are considered high-need neighborhoods — communities characterized by not enough supermarkets and too many health problems.
This is a major reason why certain neighborhoods in New York have staggering rates of obesity and diabetes. More from this New York Times miniseries:
As someone who eats primarily fruits and vegetables, and, wants to live in New York, I’m concerned. I need a steady stream of fresh produce.

Broncos QB Has Type 1 Diabetes

Denver Broncos quarterback Jay Cutler has been diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. Pat Graham of the Associated Press reports:
The 25-year-old Cutler found out about two weeks ago that he was diabetic and needed daily insulin injections, Garafalo told The Associated Press.

He said Cutler was managing his disease and “in no way is his football career jeopardized.”

Some 21 million Americans have diabetes, meaning their bodies cannot properly turn blood sugar into energy. Either they don’t produce enough insulin or don’t use it correctly. With the Type 1 form, the body’s immune system attacks insulin-producing pancreatic cells, so that patients require insulin injections to survive.

“It’s something that he’s dealing with and something a lot of other people have,” Garafalo said. “Even though it’s a serious condition, it’s a condition that can be managed. That’s the way he’s treating it right now.

“Everything’s fine,” Garafalo continued. “His condition is fine.”
Tough break for a rising star—as a Raiders fan that was hard for me to say—but there is plenty of hope for Type 1 diabetics. Dr. Fuhrman explains:
I find that when type 1 diabetics adopt a nutritarian lifestyle, they can lower their insulin requirements by about half. They no longer have swings of highs and lows, and their glucose levels and lipids stay under excellent control. In other words, it is not Type 1 diabetes itself that causes such negative health consequences. Rather, it is the combination of the diabetes and the typical nutritional “advice” given to these patients—advice that requires them to take large amounts of unnecessary insulin.


The extra insulin and the high glucose levels raise lipids, accelerate atherosclerosis, and damage the body. With this in mind, it should be clear that while the Standard American Diet (SAD), which has spread to all industrialized nations, is dangerous for everyone, it is particularly deadly for diabetics.

With a truly health-supporting lifestyle, including exercise and real food designed by nature, the type 1 diabetic can have the same potential for a long, disease-free life as everyone else. Even though the type 1 diabetic still will require exogenous (external) insulin, they will no longer need excessive amounts of it.
Odds are Jay’s diet could use an overhaul because as we’ve seen many professional athletes don’t exactly make wise food choices.
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