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Low Calorie Diet May Reverse Type 2 Diabetes, According To A New Study
Type 2 Diabetes Is About Energy Balance In The Body...
A new study is now reporting that following an extreme low calorie diet could reverse the condition in just eight weeks.
The research, published in the journal Diabetologia, reports that a low calorie diet of 600 calories a day for two months can remove excess fat clogging up the pancreas;
By allowing normal insulin secretion to be restored, this dietary therapy reverses the long held belief that type 2 diabetes is a lifelong condition.
The early stage clinical trail in eleven people reported a 100 per cent reversal of diabetes symptoms during the two month diet period, with 64 per cent of the participants remaining diabetes free three months after the diet had finished.
"To have people free of diabetes after years with the condition is remarkable, and all because of an eight week diet."
"This is a radical change in understanding Type 2 diabetes. It will change how we can explain it to people newly diagnosed with the condition. "It has long been believed that someone with Type 2 diabetes will always have the disease, and that it will steadily get worse ... we have shown that we can reverse the condition," said the researchers from Newcastle University, UK.
Under close supervision of a medical team, 11 people who
had developed diabetes later in life were put on an extreme
diet of just 600 calories a day, consisting of liquid diet drinks and non-starchy vegetables.
They were compared to a control group of people without diabetes and then monitored over eight weeks to measure
the production of insulin from their pancreas and fat content in the liver and pancreas.
After just one week, the research team found that pre-breakfast blood sugar levels had returned to normal;
Scans revealed that fat levels in the pancreas had lowered from an elevated level of eight per cent to the preferred healthy level of six per cent.
In combination with the reduction of fat levels, the pancreas was found to regain its normal ability to produce insulin. As a result, blood sugar after meals was reported to steadily improve.
"We believe this shows that Type 2 diabetes is all about energy balance in the body," they explained. "if you are eating more than you burn, then the excess is stored in the liver and pancreas as fat which can lead to Type 2 diabetes in some people."
The researchers said that the new insight "allows an understanding of the causality of type 2 diabetes in individuals as well as in populations."
"It carries major implications for information to be given to newly diagnosed patients, who should know that they have a potentially reversible condition and not one that is inevitably progressive," they concluded.
"Reversal of type 2 diabetes: normalization of beta cell function in association with decreased pancreas and liver triacylglycerol"
This article is for informational and educational purposes only, and is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
Consult with your doctor or healthcare professional for medical and nutrition advice.
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Acai Berry Demonstrates Valuable Heart Health Benefits...
Acai Berries may reduce cholesterol levels and improve metabolic syndrome risk factors in overweight individuals,
suggest early findings from a pilot study.
Daily intake of the açai pulp (ingested in the form of a smoothie) was associated with a reduction in levels of blood sugar and total cholesterol of 5.3 and 10.6 percent, respectively, according to findings published in the "Nutrition Journal"
"These reductions are greater than those determined necessary for a change in risk status for developing diabetes,
" wrote the researchers conducting the study.
Açai berries have long formed part of the staple diet of Indian tribes. With the appearance of a purple grape and taste of a tropical berry,
it has been shown to have powerful antioxidant properties thanks to a high level of anthocyanins, pigments that are also naturally present in red wine.
This is not the first time açai has been reported to offer potential heart health benefits. Recently, a study found that the berry's juice may provide anti-inflammatory benefits that offer protection from Atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries.)
The research, published in "Atherosclerosis" also supports the possibility that açaí berry juice may boost protective effects against the development of atherosclerosis by helping to inhibit pro-inflammatory compounds called cytokines, through regulating inflammatory mediators.
The objective of new study was to evaluate the potential of açai fruit pulp in overweight subjects.
"It appears that this high fiber, high fatty acid blend with phenolics is one of the reasons that this mixture was effective," the researchers said.
The researchers recruited 10 overweight subjects and provided them with a daily dose of 200 grams of açai pulp. One month later, the researchers analyzed the risk factors of metabolic syndrome, including cholesterol levels, insulin and glucose levels, and blood levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), a marker for inflammation.
Metabolic syndrome is a condition characterised by central obesity, hypertension, and disturbed glucose and insulin metabolism. The syndrome has been linked to increased risks
of both type-2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease (CVD).
Results showed that, compared to levels at the start of the study, açai ingestion was associated with significant reductions in glucose, insulin, and total cholesterol levels. CRP levels were unaffected, they added.
"In this uncontrolled pilot study, consumption of acai fruit pulp reduced levels of selected markers of metabolic disease risk
in overweight adults, indicating that further studies are warranted," concluded the researchers.
Source:Nutrition Journal 2011
"Effects of Acai berry preparation on metabolic parameters in a healthy overweight population: A pilot study"
Why It's More Difficult To Remember New Information, Especially As We Get Older...
The older we get, the more difficulty we seem to have remembering things. We can leave our cars in the same parking lot each morning, but unless we park in the same space each and every day, it's a challenge eight hours later to recall where we left the vehicle.
Another common example... We can be introduced to new people at a meeting and will have forgotten their names before the initial handshake. Typically, we reassure ourselves that our brains are just too full to handle the overload of new information that comes in daily.
According to a team of Johns Hopkins neuro-scientists, the real difficulty is that our aging brains are unable to process this information as "new" because the brain pathways leading to the specific area of the brain that stores memories called the hippocampus become degraded over time. As a result of hippocampus degradation, our brains cannot accurately "file" new information (like the names of new people we meet and where we left the car in the parking garage), and we experience confusion.
"Our research uses brain imaging techniques that investigate both the brain's functional and structural integrity to demonstrate that age is associated with a reduction in the hippocampus's ability to do its job, and this is related to the reduced input it is getting from the rest of the brain," said researchers of psychological and brain sciences in Johns Hopkins' Krieger School of Arts and Sciences. "As we get older, we are much more susceptible to "interference" from older memories than we are when we are younger."
When faced with an experience similar to what it has encountered before, such as parking the car, our brain tends to recall old information it already has stored instead of filing new information and being able to retrieve that. Thus, you can't find your car immediately and find yourself wandering the parking lot."Maybe this is also why we tend to reminisce so much more as we get older: because it is easier to recall old memories than make new ones," the researchers explained.
The study appears in the May 9 online edition of the "Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences"
The Johns Hopkins team used MRI scans to observe the brains of 40 healthy young college students and older adults, ages 60 to 80, while these participants viewed pictures of common, everyday objects and classified each (by pressing a button) as either "indoor" or "outdoor." (The team used three kinds of MRI scans in the study: structural MRI scans, which detect structural abnormalities; functional MRI scans, which
document how hard various regions of the brain work during tasks; and diffusion MRIs, which monitor how well different regions of the brain communicate by tracking the movement of water molecules along pathways.)
Some of the pictures were similar but not identical, and others were markedly different. The team used functional MRI to watch the hippocampus when participants saw items that were exactly the same or slightly different to ascertain how this region of the brain classified that item: as familiar or not.
"Pictures had to be very distinct from each other for an older person's hippocampus to correctly classify them as new. The more similar the pictures were, the more the older person's hippocampus struggled to do this. A young person's hippocampus, on the other hand, treated all of these similar pictures as new," they explained.
Later, the participants viewed a series of completely new pictures and again were asked to classify them as
either "indoor" or "outdoor." A few minutes later, the researchers presented the participants with the new set
of pictures and asked whether each item was "old," "new" or "similar.""The 'similar' response was the critical response for us, because it let us know that participants could distinguish between similar items and knew that they're not identical to the ones they had seen before," they said. "We found that older adults tended to have fewer 'similar' responses and more 'old' responses instead, indicating that they could not distinguish between similar items."
The inability among older adults to recognize information as "similar" to something they had seen recently is linked to what is known as the "perforant pathway," which directs input from the rest of the brain into the hippocampus. The more degraded the pathway, the less likely the hippocampus is to store similar memories as distinct from old memories.
"We are now closer to understanding some of the mechanisms that underlie memory loss with increasing age," according to the researchers. "These results have possible practical ramifications in the treatment of Alzheimer's disease, because the hippocampus is one of the places that deteriorate very early in the course of that disease."
The team's next step would be to conduct clinical trials in early Alzheimer's disease patients using the mechanisms that they have isolated as a way to measure the efficacy of therapeutic medications.
"Basically, we will now be able to investigate the effect of a drug on hippocampal function and pathway integrity," they noted. "If the drug slows down pathway degradation and hippocampal dysfunction, it's possible that it could delay the onset of Alzheimer's by five to 10 years, which may be enough for a large proportion of older adults to not get the disease at all. This would be a huge breakthrough in the field."
The study was funded by the National Institute on Aging.
Story Source: Johns Hopkins University (2011, May 13).
Age-related memory deficits linked to circuit-specific disruptions in the hippocampus. Proceedings of the
National Academy of Sciences, 2011;
Experts Urge Calcium and Vitamin D Supplements To Patients Before Starting Prescriptive Bone-Building Medications...
A University of Illinois study now finds that "For many people, prescription bone-building medicines should be a last resort." If a bone density scan places you at risk for osteoporosis and your doctor prescribes a widely advertised bone-building medication, a more effective first course of action is increasing dietary calcium and vitamin D or taking calcium and vitamin D supplements.
The study reported that adults who increase their intake of calcium and vitamin D usually increase bone mineral density and reduce the risk for hip fracture significantly. These results were often successfully accomplished with supplements, but food is also a good source of these nutrients, the experts said.
"Many doctors reach for their prescription pads because they believe it's unlikely that people will change their diets," the researchers noted.
The scientist said that prescription bone-building medications are expensive, and many have negative side effects, including an increase in hip fractures and jaw necrosis. They should be used only if diet and supplements don't work.
"Bisphosphonates, for instance, disrupt normal bone remodeling by shutting down the osteoclasts, the cells
that break down old bone to make new bone. When that happens, new bone is built on top of old bone. Yes,
your bone density is higher, but the bone's not always structurally sound," the researchers explained.
A bone density test measures quantity, not quality, of bone. "Although the test reports that you're fine or doing better, you may still be at risk for a fracture," they cautioned.
"Menopausal women should consume 1,200 milligrams of calcium a day. Three glasses of 1 percent to skim milk will get you up to 900 milligrams. The rest can easily be obtained through calcium-rich and calcium-fortified foods," they also said. A woman in midlife can get enough calcium in her diet without gaining weight, said director of the University of Illinois's dietetics program.
The number of foods fortified with calcium and vitamin D is increasing every day! Examples are soy milk, orange juice, yogurt, crackers, cereal, bread, breakfast bars, and now, even pancakes.
The researchers also looked at the effects of dietary protein, vitamin K, soy, and sodium in their literature review. The new USDA food pyramid guidelines recommend that Americans decrease their sodium intake.
"Following a low-sodium diet does also seem to have a positive effect on bone density. You have to choose
different foods," they recommended.
Smoked or processed meats, bacon, lunch meat, and processed foods all contain a lot of sodium and could actually sabotage bone health. "Cheese is also very high in sodium so try to get your calcium some other way more often," the team said.
They're recommending a "portfolio diet" that contains a number of nutrients, not just extra calcium and vitamin D.
For bone health, the researchers also encourage consuming adequate protein, less sodium, and more magnesium and potassium.
"That can be done by following a diet that's high in fruits and vegetables, has adequate calcium and protein, and is light on salt," citing the optimal dietary regimen.
The National Osteoporosis Foundation recommends more physical activity. She suggests a combination of aerobic, strength, balance, and flexibility exercises with a focus on improving your core muscles so you can catch yourself if you start to fall.
Whatever sort of exercise you're doing, you have to introduce new forms of activity every so often because your bones will stop responding to the same old routine and rebuilding will slow. The researchers set out to determine the impact of dietary, supplemental, and educational interventions over the last 10 years and reached their conclusions after reviewing 219 articles in scientific journals.
Bone Health Nutrition Issues in Aging. Nutrients, 2010; 2 (11):
University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (2011, May 11).
"Before you start bone-building meds, try dietary calcium and supplements, experts urge"
Antioxidants, Carotenoids, Phytochemicals and Plant Extracts For Diabetes, Continue To Be Important Topics For Nutritional Healthcare Research
Daily supplements of resveratrol (Grape Seed Extract) may help improve how the body responds to insulin, the hormone responsible for sugar and fat metabolism,
according to a new report from Hungarian researchers.
According to findings published in the British Journal of Nutrition, a daily dosage of 10 milligram of resveratrol was
associated with reductions in insulin resistance in type-2 diabetics.
"The study has demonstrated that the efficacy of resveratrol at low doses might increase the possibility for its medicinal application. It also suggests that resveratrol could become a useful tool in gaining a deeper understanding of the specific mechanisms underlying the development of insulin resistance and oxidative stress." report researchers from the University of Pécs, Hungary.
Resveratrol, a powerful polyphenol and anti-fungal chemical, is often explained as the bioactive compound in grapes and red wine, and has particularly been associated with the so-called 'French Paradox'. The phrase, coined in 1992 by Dr Serge Renaud from Bordeaux University, describes the low incidence of heart disease and obesity among the French, despite their relatively high-fat diet and levels of wine consumption.
Interest in the compound exploded in 2003 when research from David Sinclair and his team from Harvard reported that resveratrol was able to increase the lifespan of yeast cells. The research, published in Nature, was greeted with international media attention as an anti-aging remedy.
Since then studies in a variety of laboratory controlled studies with worms, fruit flies, fish, and mice have linked resveratrol to longer lives. Other studies with only resveratrol have reported anti-cancer effects, anti-inflammatory effects, cardiovascular benefits, anti-diabetes potential, energy enhancement, endurance booster and protection against Alzheimer's.
Important Data from New Research
The Hungarian researchers recruited 19 people type-2 diabetics and randomly assigned them to receive either resveratrol supplements (or placebo) for a four week period.
Results showed that after four weeks of resveratrol supplementation, the participants showed a significant
decrease in insulin resistance, compared to the placebo group.
In terms of a potential mode of action for the polyphenol, the researchers noted that this may be related to its antioxidant activity, because oxidative stress is "widely accepted" as a key driver in the onset of insulin resistance.
There is also the possibility that resveratrol's potential benefits are linked to its ability to activate Akt phosphorylation, an intracellular insulin dependent protein that facilitates the uptake of glucose into cells.
An increase in the levels of phosphorylated Akt (activated) to Akt was observed."The present study shows for the first time that resveratrol improves insulin sensitivity in humans, which may be due to a resveratrol-induced decrease in oxidative stress that leads to a more efficient insulin signalling
via the Akt pathway," concluded the researchers.
Source: British Journal of Nutrition (Published online)
Editor's Note: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
Multivitamin Use Linked to
Fewer Heart Attacks for Women
Daily Supplementation of Multiple Vitamins
And Minerals are Now
Recognized as Being
Beneficial For Supporting
Women who take a daily multivitamin may be at a reduced Nutra Femin: 90 Tablets risk of heart attacks, according to new research.
The study, published in the American Journal of Clinical
Nutrition, bserved multivitamin use to be inversely associated
with myocardial infarction in women with no history of
cardiovascular disease. The researchers noted that the
association grew stronger with long-term use, and was
not affected by how often supplements were taken.
"From a public health point of view, it is important to
evaluate whether multivitamins should be recommended
to prevent myocardial infarction," stated the researchers from the Divisions of Nutritional Epidemiology at the
Karolinska Institutet, Sweden.
The new research shows correlation and not causation,
however, and the researchers noted that further research
must be completed in order to confirm or refute their
findings. If such findings supported this study's observation
then it would be important to "clarify what composition of
multivitamins (doses and ingredients included) and duration
of use is needed to observe beneficial effects on myocardial
infarction," wrote the researchers.
Multivitamin and mineral supplements are the most
frequently used supplements in industrialized countries,
where there is a common belief is that they ensure an
adequatenutrient intake, which can help to prevent coronary
Most multivitamins contain a wide spectrum of nutrients,
including antioxidant vitamins, B vitamins, and minerals
such as magnesium and selenium, all of which have been inversely related to heart disease by previous research.
Despite the widespread use of multivitamins, the authors
noted the limited data available on the relationship between
multivitamin use and coronary heart disease incidence, with only one previously published randomized controlled
trial on low-dose multivitamin supplements and heart
disease incidence, which showed no significant effects.
Some observational studies have associated multivitamin
use with statistically significant effects on the risk of
myocardial infarction, with a Dutch study finding a
51 percent lower risk of incidence in a prospective cohort
study (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 69, No. 2).
Additionally, an American study observed combined use of
multivitamins and supplements of vitamin A, C, or E to be
associated with a 25 percent lower risk of coronary heart
The new study prospectively investigated the association
between multivitamin use and myocardial infarction in a
population of over 30,000 Swedish women between 49
and 83 years old.
Lower Risk In women with no history of cardiovascular disease, the
researchers observed that use of multivitamins alone,
compared with no use of supplements: was associated
with a 27 percent lower risk of myocardial infarction.
They found women using multivitamins together with
other supplements had a 30 percent lower risk of
myocardial infarction; however the use of supplements
other than multivitamins was not significantly associated
with such effects.
Researchers noted that the observed associations were
similar among regular and occasional users of multivitamin
On the other hand, multivitamin use, alone or in combination
with other supplements, was not statistically significantly
associated with myocardial infarction in womenwith a
history of cardiovascular disease.
The association between multivitamin use and myocardial
infarction was seen to be stronger among women using
multivitamins for more than five years.
Protective Effect? Researchers suggested the potentially protective effects
of multivitamins on myocardial infarctions may the due to
antioxidant vitamins, such as vitamin C and vitamin E, and
B vitamins and minerals included.
"Even if multivitamins contain low amounts of antioxidant
vitamins they may be involved in mitigating the
atherosclerosis process by scavenging free radicals,"
suggested the authors.
Source: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (Published online) "Multivitamin use and the risk of myocardial infarction:
a population-based cohort of Swedish women"
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Spinach and Other Green
Leafy Vegetables May Reduce
The Risk of Diabetes
Important New Research Supports The Evidence
On The Benefits Of Vegetable Source Antioxidants,
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Increasing intakes of green leafy vegetables may reduce
the risk of developing type-2 diabetes by about 15 per cent,
according to a meta-analysis of six studies.
Researchers from the University of Leicester in the UK
state that the benefits of the vegetables may be linked to
their antioxidant content, with other observational studies
highlighting the likes of beta-carotene, vitamin C, polyphenols
Writing in the British Medical Journal (BMJ), the researchers
state, however, that the their results "support the evidence that
foods rather than isolated components such as antioxidants are
beneficial for health".
"The results support the growing body of evidence that lifestyle
modification is an important factor in the prevention of type 2
diabetes," wrote the researchers. "The potential for tailored
advice on increasing intake of green leafy vegetables to reduce
the risk of type 2 diabetes should be investigated further."
Diabetes affects an estimated 24 million Americans, equal to
8 percent of the population. The total costs are thought to be
as much as $174 billion, with $116 billion being direct costs
from medication, according to 2005-2007 American Diabetes
In an accompanying editorial in the BMJ, Professor Jim Mann
from the University of Otago in New Zealand, and Dr Dagfinn
Aune from Imperial College, London (UK), said that the findings
are a useful reminder that giving dietary advice may be just as
good, if not better, than prescribing drugs.
The researchers and their co-workers searched the literature
and found six studies that met their criteria. The studies
provided data for 223,512 people aged from 25 to 70. While
no overall association was seen for the consumption of
vegetables, fruit, or fruit and vegetables, a greater intake of
green leafy vegetables was associated with a 14 percent lower
risk of type-2 diabetes.
Sources: British Medical Journal 2010
"Fruit and vegetable intake and incidence of type 2
diabetes mellitus: systematic review and meta-analysis"
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Polyphenols in Red Wine And Green Tea Halt Prostate Cancer Growth
In what could lead to a major advance in the treatment of prostate cancer, scientists now know exactly why polyphenols in red wine and green tea inhibit cancer growth.
This new discovery, published online in The FASEB Journal (Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology - Stanford University Libraries), explains how antioxidants in red wine and green tea produce a combined effect to disrupt an important cell signaling pathway necessary for prostate cancer growth. This finding is important because it may lead to the development of drugs that
could stop or slow cancer progression, or improve current treatments.
"Not only does SphK1/S1P signaling pathway play a role in prostatecancer, but it also plays a role in other cancers, such as colon cancer,breast cancer, and gastric cancers," reported The FASEB Journal.
"Even if future studies show that drinking red wine and green tea isn't as effective in humans as we hope, knowing that the compounds inthose drinks disrupts this pathway is an important step towarddeveloping drugs that hit the same target."
Scientists conducted in vitro experiments which showed that