Tag Archives: diabetes

Biomarkers Could Predict Best Diets

A new study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, has indicated two biomarkers that can predict the efficacy of certain diets for weight loss: specifically, for people with prediabetes or diabetes.

Through an analysis of over 1,200 adults, researchers discovered that a person’s fasting blood glucose levels, fasting insulin levels, or both, could pinpoint which diets would most likely lead to weight loss. These biomarkers were particularly effective in determining which diets were best for people with pre-diabetes and diabetes.

Each year, millions of us attempt to lose weight through diets, but not all of us succeed. A new study has uncovered two biomarkers that could predict how effective certain diets will be for weight loss, particularly for people with prediabetes or diabetes.

Statistics from the American Diabetes Association indicate that approximately 29.1 million people in the Untied States have diabetes; estimates show that around 75 million people have pre-diabetes, yet almost 90% remain unaware. Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of the condition: the body is unable to effectively use the hormone insulin, which causes high blood glucose levels. For people with prediabetes, blood glucose levels remain higher than normal—yet not high enough to lead to a diagnosis of diabetes.

The researchers in the study believe that a person’s fasting blood glucose and insulin levels could be utilized to help identify the most effective diet for weight loss, after analyzing the data of three dietary clinical trials: the Diet, Obesity, and Genes trial, the OPUS Supermarket intervention (SHOPUS), and the Nutrient-gene interactions in human obesity (NUGENOB) trial. The subjects were all overweight; the researchers evaluated and assessed their fasting blood glucose levels, and fasting insulin levels, in order to determine whether the levels were associated with weight loss in response to certain diets.

These results symbolize a kind of breakthrough in personalized nutrition: among adults with prediabetes, the team found that a diet rich in whole grains, vegetables, and fruits was the most effective for weight loss. For example, in the SHOPUS trial, adults with prediabetes who followed a diet high in the aforementioned foods lost more weight than those who followed a controlled diet. For people with type 2 diabetes, the researchers found that a diet rich in plant-based, “healthy” fats, and low in carbohydrates, was most effective for weight loss.

The team reported that adding participants’ fasting insulin levels to the analysis further strengthened the identified correlations between diet and weight loss, confirming the hypothesis that fasting blood glucose and fasting insulin levels may be biomarkers for weight loss.

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Type 2 Diabetes & A Rigorous Diet

Some people with Type 2 diabetes were able to put the disease in remission without medication by following a rigorous diet plan, according to a study published today in The Lancet medical journal.

“Our findings suggest that even if you have had Type 2 diabetes for six years, putting the disease into remission is feasible,” Michael Lean, a professor from the University of Glasgow in Scotland who co-led the study, said in a statement.

The researchers looked at 149 participants who have had Type 2 diabetes for up to six years and monitored them closely as they underwent a liquid diet that provided only 825 to 853 calories per day for three to five months. The participants were then reintroduced to solid food and maintained a structured diet until the end of the yearlong study.

The researchers found that almost half of the participants (68 total) were able to put their diabetes in remission without the use of medication after one year. In addition, those who undertook the study also lost an average of more than 20 pounds. Thirty-two of the 149 participants in the study, however, dropped out of the program.

The study comes at a time when more than 100 million American adults are living with diabetes or prediabetes, according to a report released earlier this year by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Prediabetes was defined by the CDC as a condition that if not treated often leads to Type 2 diabetes within five years. In addition, approximately 90 to 95 percent of the more than 30 million Americans living with diabetes have Type 2 diabetes, according to the CDC.

Roy Taylor, a professor at Newcastle University in the U.K. who co-led the study said in a statement announcing the findings that the impact that diet and lifestyle has on diabetes are “rarely discussed.”

“Rather than addressing the root cause, management guidelines for Type 2 diabetes focus on reducing blood sugar levels through drug treatments. Diet and lifestyle are touched upon but diabetes remission by cutting calories is rarely discussed,” Taylor said. He added that the participants were not asked to increase their physical activity at all, but only asked to modify their diet.

“A major difference from other studies is that we advised a period of dietary weight loss with no increase in physical activity, but during the long-term follow up increased daily activity is important,” Taylor said.

Taylor also wrote that the study offered a more universal approach to reversing diabetes compared to undergoing bariatric surgery, which can achieve Type 2 diabetes remission for some people, but “is more expensive and risky, and is only available to a small number of patients.”

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American Heart Month turns 50

In 1964, President Lyndon Johnson signed a proclamation declaring the month of February to be American Heart Month. With that being said, each February for the past 50 years, the goal of the American Heart Association (AHA) has been to urge Americans to take responsibility for their heart health. Many things have changed in the past 50 years, but the importance of keeping our hearts healthy is not one of them. Although statistics of Americans dying from heart disease have decreased in recent decades, heart disease remains the # 1 killer of American men and women.

In 1960, over 662,000 Americans died each year from heart disease and over 920,000 died from all forms of cardiovascular disease, according to a Huffington Post article written by AHA CEO, Nancy Brown. In 2010, those numbers were below 600,000 and 784,000. Although less and less people are dying annually from heart related diseases, we’re still not out of the woods. Anyone can develop heart disease but those who smoke, have high blood pressure and high cholesterol are at greater risk. Other factors that contribute include diabetes, obesity, poor diet, lack of exercise, and excessive alcohol consumption.

On January 31, 2014, President Barak Obama instated the 50th proclamation written by an American president declaring cardiovascular disease our number one enemy and redefining February as American Heart Month. In the proclamation, President Obama states that one out of every four deaths in the U.S. is caused by cardiovascular disease. The purpose of this written, official statement, is to encourage the American people to “renew our fight, both as a Nation and in each of our own lives, against the devastating epidemic of heart disease.”

Although every month should be “American Heart Month,” The American Heart Association has numerous events going on throughout the month of February to raise awareness of cardiovascular disease and how individuals can make positive changes to their lifestyle to ensure optimal health. Some events include walks, donation drives, the “Go Red for Women” campaign, national Wear Red Day (Feb. 7th) among others. Also, their website is home to the American Heart Month fact of the day educating visitors on unknown cardiovascular information. The bottom line is, many people think it won’t happen to them but the best way to avoid developing a heart condition is to eat healthy, exercise regularly, and kick the unhealthy habits like smoking and drinking.

The American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine (A4M) offers a Metabolic Cardiovascular Certification from the University of South Florida to physicians wishing to further their ability to treat patients with cardiovascular conditions as well as prevent disease in others. This certification program covers topics including how to apply nutrition, exercise and weight management programs when it comes to vascular aging and disease; the pathophysiology of hypertension, dyslipidemia, cardiovascular disease and heavy metal toxicity; immunologic vascular disease; and various conditions of vascular disease including dysglycemia, insulin resistance and diabetes and much more. Start your Metabolic Cardiovascular Certification in San Francisco, on March 14-16th by registering for Module XVI(A).

For more information on how you can help raise awareness against cardiovascular disease, visit www.heart.org.

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