Diet and Diabetes, Linked!

New studies reveal that diet is the key to diabetes-risk. All three appear in the July 28 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine. Here they are:
CONCLUSIONS: Regular consumption of sugar-sweetened soft drinks and fruit drinks is associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus in African American women. While there has been increasing public awareness of the adverse health effects of soft drinks, little attention has been given to fruit drinks, which are often marketed as a healthier alternative to soft drinks.
CONCLUSIONS: Higher plasma vitamin C level and, to a lesser degree, fruit and vegetable intake were associated with a substantially decreased risk of diabetes. Our findings highlight a potentially important public health message on the benefits of a diet rich in fruit and vegetables for the prevention of diabetes.
CONCLUSIONS: A low-fat dietary pattern among generally healthy postmenopausal women showed no evidence of reducing diabetes risk after 8.1 years. Trends toward reduced incidence were greater with greater decreases in total fat intake and weight loss. Weight loss, rather than macronutrient composition, may be the dominant predictor of reduced risk of diabetes.
For more, check out Steven Reinberg's report in HealthDay News: Diet Key to Diabetes Risk.

Pesticides Linked to Diabetes-Risk


Research by National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) and the National Cancer Institute have determined that long-term exposure to pesticides heightens diabetes-risk. Bridget M. Kuehn of the Journal of the American Medical Association reports:
The study involved more than 33,000 licensed pesticide applicators enrolled in the Agricultural Health Study, who provided information about lifetime exposure and their medical history. An analysis of the data revealed that exposure to 7 pesticides—aldrin, chlordane, heptachlor, dichlorvos, trichlorfon, alachlor, and cyanazine—increased the workers' odds of developing diabetes and that the incidence of diabetes increased with cumulative days of exposure.
Dale Sandler, PhD, chief of the NIEHS’s epidemiology branch, points out that pesticide exposure is just another factor that contributes to diabetes, like obesity, lack of exercise and family history. Here’s the actual study, via Epidemiology: Incident Diabetes and Pesticide Exposure among Licensed Pesticide Applicators.

Health Points: Wednesday


Eating locally raised food is a growing trend. But who has time to get to the farmer’s market, let alone plant a garden?

That is where Trevor Paque comes in. For a fee, Mr. Paque, who lives in San Francisco, will build an organic garden in your backyard, weed it weekly and even harvest the bounty, gently placing a box of vegetables on the back porch when he leaves.

Call them the lazy locavores — city dwellers who insist on eating food grown close to home but have no inclination to get their hands dirty. Mr. Paque is typical of a new breed of business owner serving their needs.
In a study published in the latest issue of the journal Neurology, taking Topamax (topiramate) during pregnancy was associated with a birth defect risk within the range of risk seen in other anti-epileptic drugs, researchers reported.


But the incidence of birth defects seen when Topamax was taken with other anti-epileptic drugs was higher than expected.

The study was small, but it is among the first to link Topamax to birth defects in humans, confirming what has been seen in previous animal studies.

"More research needs to be done to confirm these results, especially since it was a small study," researcher John Craig, MRCP, of the Royal Group of Hospitals in Belfast, Northern Ireland said in a news release.

I am the mother of two young children, and extremely grateful to my own parents for looking after them for a few hours now and then. My problem is that they stuff the kids with chocolates, crisps and ice cream. This is not good for the children, their behavior and my own efforts to feed them something nutritious. Why do the grandparents have such a different philosophy, and can I do anything to change their thinking…


… Rather than reasoning with your parents, you must change their incentives. Unfortunately, this is not easy. You could try to bribe your parents, but threats will be useless because they are doing you a favor.

Perhaps your best bet is to try to arrange for longer bouts of childcare. Your parents will have a fresh perspective on the merits of carrots after trying to put a three-year-old to bed in the midst of a sugar high.
"There is some evidence suggesting culturally tailored health education can improve some clinical outcomes in the short-term," co-author Dr. Yolanda Robles of Cardiff University the UK told Reuters Health. However, "further research is needed to assess long-term effects," Robles said.


Language and cultural barriers may hinder the delivery of quality diabetes health education to ethnic minorities, yet education is a vital aspect of diabetes care, Robles and colleagues report in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews from The Cochrane Collaboration.

To assess the overall efficacy of culturally tailored diabetes education versus the "usual" care, the researchers combined findings from 11 published research articles that compared the two approaches among minority groups living in middle- or high-income countries. All of the 1,603 study participants were older than 16 years.
  • U.S. inspectors believe a single jalapeño pepper may have caused salmonella outbreak. More from Lauran Neergaard of the Associated Press:

They found the same bacteria strain on a single Mexican-grown jalapeno pepper handled in Texas -- and issued a stronger warning for consumers to avoid fresh jalapenos.


But Monday's discovery, the equivalent of a fingerprint, doesn't solve the mystery: Authorities still don't know where the pepper became tainted -- on the farm, or in the McAllen, Texas, plant, or at some stop in between, such as a packing house.

Nor are they saying the tainted pepper exonerates tomatoes sold earlier in the spring that consumers until last week had been told were the prime suspect.

Still, "this genetic match is a very important break in the case," said Dr. David Acheson, the Food and Drug Administration's food safety chief.
Fully aware of the irony here, biologist Ronald Levy of Stanford University and his team used tobacco plants to grow the vaccine, which would act against follicular B-cell lymphoma. This chronic, incurable form of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma strikes some 16,000 people in the United States each year. For all its horrors, however, follicular B-cell lymphoma just may be tailor-made for a cancer vaccine: all of the malignant cells are the descendants of a single bad actor and have an identical molecule on their surface. But the molecular signature of one patient’s cancer cells is slightly different from every other patient’s; hence the need for potentially expensive personalized vaccines.


The scientists therefore spliced the DNA for the molecular sequences of the antibodies from each of the 16 patients into tobacco cells. The DNA triggered production of antibodies in the tobacco plants’ leaves which were tailor-made for each patient’s lymphoma cells. The scientists ground up the leaves and isolated the antibodies, injecting them into each patient.

The patients’ immune systems got cracking: 70 percent of the patients developed an immune response to the plant-produced vaccine, and 47 percent produced a response specific to the antigen.

"We saw that for women there is still some negative societal fallout to having tattoos", said study author Myrna L. Armstrong, a professor in the school of nursing at Texas Tech University's Health Sciences Center, in Lubbock, Texas. "This isn't a problem for men. Society supports men, because tattoos are related to a macho image, so we don't question it. But for women, having a tattoo seems to be a transgression of gender boundaries."


Armstrong and her colleagues outlined their observations in the July issue of the Archives of Dermatology.

The authors pointed out that about one-quarter of Americans between the ages of 18 and 30 have a tattoo, and women constitute between 45 percent and 65 percent of the tattoo market.

Prior studies show that more than 80 percent of the inked crowd are pleased with their decision to get a tattoo. Among the fifth that are not, about 6 percent ultimately remove their marking.
Almost half of the obstetricians interviewed said they did not routinely ask about alcohol consumption in pregnancy.


An editorial by Professor Elizabeth Elliot from the University of Sydney titled "Alcohol and Pregnancy: the Pivotal Role of the Obstetrician", discusses the state of awareness about the adverse effects of alcohol consumption during pregnancy and the obstetricians’ participation in educating against maternal drinking.

Only 16% of the obstetricians routinely provided information about the consequences of alcohol in pregnancy, while only 5% gave advice which were consistent with the latest guidelines of The National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia (NHMRC) - which states that, for pregnant women, ‘no drinking is the safest option’.

No Evidence that Diet Prevents Diabetes?


A team of researchers from The Cochrane Collaboration, an independent international not-for-profit healthcare information organization, claim that dietary intervention alone cannot prevent type-2 diabetes. Jennifer Beal of EurekAlert reports:
When a team of Cochrane Researchers set out to see if dietary advice alone could help a person with type 2 diabetes, they were only able to identify two trials that together involved just 358 people.

"Considering the importance of this disorder, we were disappointed to find such a small amount of relevant data," says lead researcher Lucie Nield, who works in Centre for Food, Physical Activity & Obesity, University of Teesside, Middlesbrough.

The two studies did, however, indicate that dietary advice alone could play an important role. One study randomly assigned people to either a control group or a dietary advice group. After six years 67.7% of people in the control group had diabetes, compared with only 43.8% in the advice group. This was a 33% reduction. In another study 12 months of dietary advice led to significant reductions in many diabetes related factors, such as insulin resistance, fasting C-peptide, fasting proinsulin, fasting blood glucose, fasting triglycerides, and fasting cholesterol and PAI-1.
This blurs reality. It implies that lifestyle diseases, like diabetes, are unavoidable. So why don’t I have diabetes, or Dr. Fuhrman, or his patients? Eating a nutrient-dense vegetable-based diet is your best defense against—and a treatment for—type-2 diabetes. Dr. Fuhrman explains:
Increasing your consumption of high-nutrient fruits and vegetables is the key to disease resistance, disease reversal, and a long, healthy life. The potential reduction in disease rates shows no threshold effect in the scientific studies. That means that as high-nutrient vegetables and high-nutrient fruits increase as a major portion of caloric intake, disease rates fall in a dose-dependent manner—the more the diet is comprised of these foods, the better your health will be1…


…If the person is obese, with more than fifty pounds of additional fat weight, his body will demand huge loads of insulin from the pancreas, even as much as ten times more than a person of normal weight needs. So what do you think happens after five to ten years of forcing the pancreas to work so hard? You guessed it—pancreatic poop-out…

…Diets high in fiber and vegetables have been consistently shown to be beneficial for diabetic patients and offer considerably better results when compared to the current recommendations of the American Diabetic Association Diet.2 The dietary advice typically offered to diabetics is not science-based, and it caters to Americans’ social and food preferences and food addictions.
Okay, maybe there aren’t enough studies illustrating this—probably because no drug company would fund it—but to say there is “no evidence” that diet staves off type-2 diabetes is naive and irresponsible reporting—don’t you think?
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Confusing News: Sugar Helps School Kids Concentrate


New research by David Benton, Ph.D., a psychologist and professor at Swansea University, Wales, U.K., suggests sugary drinks improve school children’s memories and concentration. Richard Gray of the UK Telegraph reports:
“Children between the ages of five and ten need twice as much glucose for their brains compared to an adult, but unlike other organs the brain does not store energy so it has to obtain it straight from the blood.

“The message we would like to encourage is that children need to be fed a little and often, but the risk is that they get fed a lot and often leading to problems with obesity.”

Professor Benton gave 16 nine and ten-year-olds fruit squash containing either artificial sweetener or glucose, a basic form of sugar. When the children consumed glucose, he found their memory test scores improved by over ten per cent. The children also spent between 11 and 20 minutes longer on a task when asked to work individually in class.

But Professor Benton did insist that schools should not start feeding pupils fizzy drinks between classes, proposing regular fruit of muesli bars instead.
The methodology of this study only serves to confuse. I’m not a nutritionist, but I think I can say this. Isolated sugars and sweeteners are NEVER healthy. In fact, consuming them interferes with your body’s ability to detoxify. Dr. Fuhrman explains:
When you eat a diet that is based on toxic and addictive foods—such as salt, fried foods, snack foods, and sugary drinks—you not only build up free radicals and AGEs in your cells, but you also set the stage for ill feelings when you are not digesting food. Unhealthy food allows your body to create waste byproducts that must be removed by the liver and other organs. Only when digestion ends can the body fully take advantage of the opportunity to circulate and attempt to remove toxins. If the body is constantly digesting, it can’t go through this detoxification process effectively.
If children need glucose, why even consider nutrition-less sugar? Highly nutritious fruits and vegetables are excellent sources of glucose (via Wikipedia), start there instead! Besides, it was recently determined that kids are already consuming WAY too much sugar.

Women: More Green Veggies, Less Diabetes


New research has determined that eating more leafy greens and fruit, lowers women’s risk of developing type-2 diabetes. Laurie Barclay, MD of Medscape Today reports:
"Fruit and vegetable consumption has been associated with decreased incidence of and mortality from a variety of health outcomes including obesity, hypertension, and cardiovascular diseases in epidemiological studies," write Lydia A. Bazzano, MD, PhD, from the Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine in New Orleans, Louisiana, and colleagues. "However, few prospective studies have examined the relationship between fruit and vegetable intake and risk of diabetes, and the results are not entirely consistent. Differences in the nutrient contents of fruits and vegetables by group could lead to differences in health effects…"

“…Consumption of green leafy vegetables and fruit was associated with a lower hazard of diabetes, whereas consumption of fruit juices may be associated with an increased hazard among women," the study authors write. "Our findings of a positive association of fruit juice intake with hazard of diabetes suggest that caution should be observed in replacing some beverages with fruit juices in an effort to provide healthier options. Moreover, the same caution applies to the recommendation that 100% fruit juice be considered a serving of fruit as it is in the present national dietary guidelines…"

"…In general, the observed associations between fruits and vegetables are weaker than those for cardiovascular disease," the study authors write. "However, if fruits and vegetables are used to replace refined grains and white potatoes, both of which have been shown to be associated with increased risk of diabetes, the benefits of regular consumption of fruits and vegetables should be substantial."
Quick, hide this report from the drug companies! The fear of not being able to sell insulin might cause them to stroke out.

FDA: More Safety Tests for Diabetes Drugs


A government panel wants stronger safety standards for diabetes drugs. Of course the drug companies are mad. It’s going to cost them millions! Via the Associated Press:
The majority of the panel said drug companies could begin safety testing -- expected to take between five and seven years to complete -- before they submit drugs to the FDA and finish the studies after their release.

But at least one panelist doubted whether the proposed studies would actually uncover heart risks.

"If you wait this amount of time for testing you're going to be preventing certain drugs from getting out there that may be better than what we already have," said Dr. Eric Felner, a pediatric specialist at Emory University School of Medicine.

The FDA is not required to follow the panel's advise, though it often does.

If the recommendation is adopted, development of diabetes drugs would become longer and more expensive, since it can cost tens of millions of dollars to perform long-term studies that track heart problems in thousands of patients.

GlaxoSmithKline PLC, AstraZeneca and Novartis AG are among the companies developing diabetes treatments to compete in the domestic market, which grew to over $6 billion last year, according to pharmaceutical research firm IMS Heath.
I’m sorry, but spending money on safety is an act of social responsibility—deal with it!
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Extra Body Fat Increases Risk of Type-2 Diabetes


The heavier you are, the greater the risk you will develop type-2 diabetes. For some susceptible individuals, even moderate amounts of excess fat on the body can trigger diabetes. When we have more fat on the body, more insulin is required to deliver glucose to the cells as the coating of fat around our cells makes it difficult for the hormone insulin to easily transport the glucose into the cells.

The pancreas is then required to produce even higher amounts of insulin to accommodate the heightened insulin requirements. This stresses the pancreas’s beta cells to work harder and eventually poop out, but also the effects of NOT eating a diet high in veggies, beans, seeds and fruits places the pancreas at further risk from oxidative stress.

For example, twenty pounds of extra fat may force the pancreas to produce twice as much insulin to do the necessary job. Fifty pounds or more of excess fat on our frame and the pancreas may be forced to produce 6 to 10 times as much insulin as a normal person who is lean. What do you think occurs after ten or twenty years of overworking the pancreas? Again, it poops out and loses the ability to keep up with such huge insulin demands. The pancreas is still overworked, pumping out much more insulin than a thinner person might need, but still not enough to cover all that disease-causing body fat.

Adult diabetes is a disease of insulin resistance, not of insulin deficiency. The pancreas's ability to secrete insulin continues to diminish as the diabetes continues and the overweight condition continues year after year. Total destruction of insulin secreting ability almost never occurs in type-2 (adult onset) as it does in type-1 (childhood onset) diabetes. But the sooner the type-2 diabetic can lose the extra weight causing the diabetes, the more functional reserve of insulin secreting cells in the pancreas will remain.