A Fruitful Approach to Preventing Diabetes

Want to lower your risk of diabetes? Eat plenty of fruit.

An Australian study suggests that two servings a day could lower the odds of developing type 2 diabetes by 36%.

“A healthy diet and lifestyle, which includes the consumption of whole fruits, is a great strategy to lower your risk of developing type 2 diabetes,” said lead author Nicola Bondonno of the Institute for Nutrition Research at Edith Cowan University in Joondalup, Australia.

Her team analyzed data from nearly 7,700 Australians in order to assess the link between consumption of fruit and fruit juice with diabetes cases over five years.

People who ate at least two servings of fruit a day had higher measures of insulin sensitivity than those who ate less than half a serving a day, according to the findings. Insulin sensitivity is key to the body’s ability to use glucose for energy to perform bodily functions and store it for future use.

“We found an association between fruit intake and markers of insulin sensitivity, suggesting that people who consumed more fruit had to produce less insulin to lower their blood glucose levels,” Bondonno said in a university news release. “This is important because high levels of circulating insulin [hyperinsulinemia] can damage blood vessels and are related not only to diabetes, but also to high blood pressure, obesity, and heart disease.”

But the researchers noted: Drinking fruit juice did not boost insulin sensitivity or reduce diabetes risk. Bondonno said that’s probably because juice tends to be much higher in sugar and lower in fiber.

She said it’s unclear how fruit contributes to insulin sensitivity, but there are probably several explanations.

“As well as being high in vitamins and minerals, fruits are a great source of phytochemicals, which may increase insulin sensitivity, and fiber which helps regulate the release of sugar into the blood and also helps people feel fuller for longer,” Bondonno said.

She noted that most fruits typically have a low glycemic index, meaning that their sugar is digested and absorbed into the body more slowly.

The study was published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism.

More than 450 million people worldwide have type 2 diabetes, and another 374 million are at increased risk for the disease.

Source: HealthDay

Video: Does Sugar Cause Diabetes?

If you have diabetes, you have way too much sugar in your bloodstream. So does eating a lot of sugar cause it?

Watch video at You Tube (5:50 minutes) . . . . .

Being a ‘Night Owl’ Raises Odds for Diabetes If You’re Obese

Alan Mozes wrote . . . . . . . . .

Though obesity by itself can drive up heart disease risk, new research suggests diabetes and heart disease risk is especially high when combined with a tendency to stay up late at night.

The finding stems from a comparison of sleep patterns and disease in 172 middle-aged people as part of an ongoing obesity prevention study in Italy.

“The sleep-wake cycle is one of the most important behavioral rhythms in humans,” said lead researcher Dr. Giovanna Muscogiuri. She is an assistant professor in the endocrinology unit of the University of Naples Federico II, in Italy.

For the study, her team grouped participants according to their sleep patterns.

Nearly six in 10 were early risers — the so-called “morning larks.” These folks tend to wake up and be most active early in the day.

About 13% were “night owls.” They tended to wake up late and be most active during late afternoon or evening.

The rest — about three in 10 — fell somewhere in between (the “intermediate-type”).

Though study participants in all three groups had similar BMIs, night owls were more likely to eat big dinners and have other unhealthy habits, such as tobacco use and lack of exercise. (BMI, or body mass index, is an estimate of body fat based on height and weight.)

And all that put them at higher risk for health problems.

While 30% of morning larks had heart disease, that figure hit nearly 55% among night owls, the study found.

The risk of type 2 diabetes, meanwhile, was about 9% among morning people, and almost 37% among night owls. There was no difference between morning people and participants who were in the intermediate-type category.

Muscogiuri noted that prior studies have estimated that late risers have 1.3 times the risk of high blood pressure and high cholesterol, compared with early risers. They are also less likely to follow a heart-healthy Mediterranean diet, which is heavy on fruits, vegetables and fish.

Taken together, she said, all these features leave night owls at higher risk for heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

As to the best way to combat it, Muscogiuri suggested that efforts to get obesity under control might be more successful if sleep patterns were taken into account.

So the idea, she explained, would be to help obese patients develop better sleep-wake habits based on earlier rising, because earlier rising patterns might help such patients develop better dietary and activity habits, and thereby “increase their chance of success for weight loss.”

Unfortunately, getting people to change their sleep, eating and activity routines won’t be easy, warned cardiologist Dr. Kenneth Ellenbogen, of the Medical College of Virginia, in Richmond.

“We know how hard it can be to reset an individual’s biological clock or activity habits,” he said. “And while this is certainly fascinating work, it’s really hard to know what’s really going on from one observational study involving a relatively small number of patients.”

Ellenbogen noted, for example, that it’s unclear whether “sleeping in” is a direct cause of the increased risk for type 2 diabetes or heart disease, or whether it’s the lifestyle associated with sleeping in that indirectly raises risk.

“It’s not at all obvious to me what the answer is,” he said after reviewing the findings. “And I certainly wouldn’t say this study proves anything like cause and effect.”

Ellenbogen suggested that the research should be regarded as the start of an ongoing effort to explore links between sleep patterns and heart function.

Muscogiuri’s team presented the findings at a virtual meeting of the European Congress on Obesity. Research presented at meetings should be considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.

Source: HealthDay

Dementia Risk Rises as Years Lived With Type 2 Diabetes Increases

Amy Norton wrote . . . . . . . . .

The younger people are when they develop type 2 diabetes, the higher their risk of dementia later in life, a new study suggests.

Many studies have pointed to links between diabetes and higher dementia risk. Experts say it’s likely because diabetes can harm the brain in a number of ways.

Now, the new findings suggest that younger people with diabetes may be at particular risk down the road.

At age 70, the study found, people who’d recently been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes had no greater risk of dementia than those without diabetes. The picture was different for people who’d been diagnosed over 10 years prior: They had double the risk of dementia, versus diabetes-free people their age.

That may simply be because they’ve lived with diabetes for years.

“Younger age at onset of diabetes implies longer duration, which allows all the adverse effects of diabetes to develop over a longer period,” said senior researcher Archana Singh-Manoux. She is a research professor with the University of Paris and the French national health institute INSERM.

Type 2 diabetes arises when the body loses sensitivity to insulin, a hormone that regulates blood sugar. That causes chronically high blood sugar, which over time can damage both large and small blood vessels throughout the body.

Those effects, which may impair blood flow to the brain, are one reason why diabetes is linked to dementia, Singh-Manoux said.

She also pointed to other potential pathways: Insulin plays a role in brain function, and diabetes may hinder it from doing its job. Meanwhile, diabetes treatment can cause frequent episodes of low blood sugar, which over long periods may also harm the brain, Singh-Manoux said.

The findings, published April 27 in the Journal of the American Medical Association, have broad public health implications.

In the United States alone, more than 34 million people have diabetes, with the vast majority having type 2, according to the American Diabetes Association.

At one time, type 2 diabetes was a disease of older adults. But with the ever-growing prevalence of obesity — a major risk factor for type 2 diabetes — the disease is increasingly being diagnosed in young people.

“The prevalence of diabetes continues to increase,” Singh-Manoux said, “and the age at onset is getting younger and younger.”

That means more people will be living longer with diabetes, and they will be vulnerable to the disease’s complications. It’s already known that the younger people are when diabetes arises, the greater their risk of heart disease, stroke and premature death, Singh-Manoux said.

This study adds dementia to that list, she said.

The research included over 10,000 adults in the United Kingdom who were between the ages of 35 and 55 at the outset, in the 1980s. Over the next three decades, 1,710 people developed type 2 diabetes, while 639 were diagnosed with dementia.

At age 70, people who’d developed diabetes within the past five years were at no greater dementia risk than people without diabetes.

But those who’d been diagnosed more than 10 years prior showed a doubling in their dementia risk. Their actual rate of the brain disease was 18 cases per 1,000 people each year, versus about nine cases per 1,000 among diabetes-free adults.

Overall, dementia risk at age 70 rose 24% for every five years people had been living with diabetes.

That is not a surprising finding, according to Dr. Medha Munshi, who directs the geriatrics diabetes program at Joslin Diabetes Center, in Boston.

On the other hand, Munshi said, there is “some reassurance” in the lack of extra risk among older people more recently diagnosed with diabetes.

The question is, can younger diabetes patients curb their dementia risk by gaining better control of their blood sugar?

Other studies, Singh-Manoux said, have found that people with well-controlled diabetes have slower mental decline than those with poor control. And in this study, she noted, dementia risk was particularly high among diabetes patients who also developed heart disease.

What’s key, Munshi said, is that prevention starts early.

“People in their 40s and 50s aren’t usually worried about dementia,” she said. “But this is the time to try to prevent it.”

Diabetes control often means taking medication or insulin, along with diet changes and regular exercise — both of which, Munshi noted, can have numerous long-range health benefits.

“What we do in younger and middle age will change how we end up in older age,” she said.

Source: HealthDay

Study: Convincing Evidence that Type 2 Diabetes Is Associated with Increased Risk of Parkinson’s

The study found that those with type 2 diabetes had a 21 per cent increased risk of developing Parkinson’s. However, because Parkinson’s only affects around 1-2 per cent of people over the age of 60, people with type 2 diabetes still have a very small absolute risk of developing Parkinson’s.

The authors say that the most important implications of that findings are that drugs that are already available for type 2 diabetes might be helpful in reducing the risk and slowing the progression of Parkinson’s. They also say that screening for and early treatment of type 2 diabetes in patients with Parkinson’s may be advisable.

Previous systematic reviews and meta-analyses have produced conflicting results around the link between diabetes and the risk of Parkinson’s disease. This new study, published in the Movement Disorders Journal, used meta-analysis of observational data and meta-analysis of genetic data to evaluate the effect of type 2 diabetes on risk and progression of Parkinson’s disease.

Corresponding author Dr Alastair Noyce from Queen Mary University of London said: “This research brings together the results from many other studies to provide convincing evidence that type 2 diabetes likely affects not only Parkinson’s risk, but also Parkinson’s progression. There are many treatment strategies for type 2 diabetes, including prevention strategies, which may be re-purposed for the treatment of Parkinson’s.”

Source: Queen Mary University of London