Prediabetes Patients Have Fewer Gut Bugs

"Diet, especially the consumption of probiotics and prebiotics, may lead to healthier bacteria profiles," Read the rest of this entry »

Children learning to like vegetables

"If you want to encourage your children to eat vegetables, make sure you start early and often.” Read the rest of this entry »

Higher levels of Inflammation link Diabetes and Depression

People with both depression and diabetes have higher markers of inflammation in their blood than those with diabetes alone, a new study suggests. Read the rest of this entry »

Sleep Apnea association with Diabetes Risk

Up to 30 percent higher chance of developing blood sugar disease seen in study, but findings aren't conclusive Read the rest of this entry »

Is it the Bean?

In our stressed out hyper-driven world of rising global incidence of diabetes, it is always good news to discover evidence that inescapable habits (also known as “well established neural circuits”) can be helpful!

In this case researchers studied over a million coffee drinkers and concluded: “This study provides strong evidence that regular consumption of coffee is beneficial for prevention of diabetes.”

Those who consumed one cup daily demonstrated the best preventative effect with gradual decrease in benefit as the number of cups increases.

Affirmation of the Taoist proverb:

Everything in moderation, Nothing in excess” (with the possible exception of moderation……)

This article was downloaded from an open source:                        


Coffee, Even Decaf, Linked to Lower Type 2 Diabetes Risk

Nancy A. Melville

January 28, 2014

Coffee consumption is strongly associated with a reduced risk for type 2 diabetes, regardless of whether the coffee is caffeinated or not, according to a new meta-analysis of 28 prospective studies, published in the February issue of Diabetes Care.

“Compared with no coffee consumption…6 cups/day of coffee was associated with a 33% lower risk of type 2 diabetes,” the authors write, adding, “Caffeinated coffee and decaffeinated coffee consumption were both associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes.”

Drinking coffee has been well-established in previous meta-analyses as being associated with a reduced risk for type 2 diabetes; however, the new review was needed to account for more recent trials evaluating the benefits of caffeinated vs decaffeinated coffee, the authors explain.

“We found that a 1-cup/day increment of regular coffee was associated with a 9% reduction in diabetes, and 1 cup/day of decaf was associated with 6% reduction in diabetes, but the difference in risk reduction between the 2 types of coffee was not statistically different,” said senior author Frank B. Hu, MD, PhD, a professor of nutrition and epidemiology with the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, Massachusetts.

“This study provides strong evidence that regular consumption of coffee is beneficial for prevention of diabetes,” Dr. Hu told Medscape Medical News. “For individuals who already drink coffee, they may enjoy this and other potential health benefits, and for those who are sensitive to the effects of caffeine, decaf may confer similar benefits.”

Robust Findings

The 28 studies in the analysis included 1,109,272 participants, and all had the outcome of risk for type 2 diabetes; there were 45,335 cases of diabetes, with follow-up ranging from 10 months to 20 years.

The relative risk for type 2 diabetes with coffee consumption, compared with no or rare consumption, ranged from 0.92 for 1 cup per day, 0.85 for 2 cups, 0.79 for 3 cups, 0.75 for 4 cups, 0.71 for 5 cups, and 0.67 for 6 cups.

Meanwhile, the relative risk for diabetes associated with 1 cup of caffeinated coffee per day (compared to no or rare coffee consumption) was 0.91 compared with 0.94 for 1 cup of decaffeinated coffee per day ( P = .17).

The findings were consistent for men as well as women, and while coffee-brewing methods were not assessed in the studies, the inclusion of diverse populations likely covered a wide array of methods, the authors note.

“Most coffee is likely to be filtered coffee, and the results from studies conducted in various populations, including US, European, and Asian, were similar, indicating consistency of the results despite potentially different preparation and processing methods,” they observe.

And while none of the studies assessed levels of sugar and dairy added to coffee, the amounts are “likely to be small compared with other food sources,” they add.

While this meta-analysis does provide “strong evidence” that higher consumption of coffee is associated with a significantly lower risk for diabetes, “longer-term randomized controlled trials are needed to establish causality and to elucidate the underlying mechanisms,” they conclude.

Coffee Just a Small Part of the Diabetes Equation

One possible explanation for the reduced risk for diabetes with coffee consumption could be the role of chlorogenic acid, a phenolic compound and a major component of coffee, Dr. Hu said.

“Chlorogenic acid has been shown to improve insulin sensitivity and reduce blood sugar absorption,” he told Medscape Medical News.

“Compounds in coffee also include antioxidant polyphenols, minerals such as magnesium and chromium, [and] vitamins; however, it is impossible to tease out the effects of individual compounds, because they don’t exist in isolation in coffee and they may have synergistic effects.”

He stressed also that coffee consumption remains a small piece of the picture.

“Coffee is only one of many dietary and lifestyle factors that can contribute to diabetes prevention. Clearly, maintaining a healthy weight through diet and exercise is the most important way to reduce risk of diabetes. For those who drink coffee regularly, they should enjoy it, but they still need to watch their weight and be physically active.”

The research received funding from the National Institutes of Health. The authors have reported no relevant financial relationships.

Diabetes Care . 2013; 37:569-586. Abstract

Diabetes and Depression Combination Raises Heart Attack Risk

This article presents evidence that links a measure of experienced state of  well-being generated in the mid-brain (depression) with a metabolic condition (diabetes) and the risk of myocardial infarction (heart attack.  All three systems are fed by the vagus (ninth cranial) nerve and can be regulated by mindfulness practices.

It was downloaded from open source:


Diabetes and Depression Combo Hikes MI Risk

Published: Sep 26, 2013 | Updated: Sep 27, 2013

By Todd Neale, Senior Staff Writer, MedPage Today
Reviewed by Robert Jasmer, MD; Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco and Dorothy Caputo, MA, BSN, RN, Nurse Planner

BARCELONA — Individuals who have both diabetes and depression have an increased likelihood of having a myocardial infarction (MI), a large Swedish study affirmed.

The odds of having an MI compared with individuals without either condition were greatest among those ages 45 to 64, with the strongest association seen in women (OR 7.1, 95% CI 6.1-8.2), according to Karin Rådholm, of Linköping University in Sweden.

The corresponding odds ratio for men in that age group was 2.8 (95% CI 2.5-3.2), Rådholm reported at the European Association for the Study of Diabetes meeting here.

The chances of having an MI were also elevated — but to a lesser extent — in men and women who had either diabetes or depression, but not both.

Previous studies have shown an association between diabetes and depression, and a study published last year showed that treating both conditions simultaneously in the primary care setting was associated with improved glycemic control. Patients with both conditions have been shown to have an increased cardiovascular risk.

Rådholm and colleagues explored the link between diabetes, depression, and MI using data on 3,738,524 individuals ages 45 to 84 from Swedish national registries of prescription drug use, hospitalizations, and deaths. The analysis excluded those who had had an MI before the beginning of the study period.

Prescriptions for medications for diabetes and depression were used as surrogates for the conditions themselves.

The researchers divided the patients into four groups, which could be shuffled each of the 3 years of the study, based on drug use:

  • Neither type of medication
  • Anti-diabetics only
  • Antidepressants only
  • Both types of drugs

During the 3-year follow-up, 1.2% of the participants had a first MI. Of those, 37% were fatal.

In the older half of the cohort (ages 65 to 84), all three of the drug groups carried an increased likelihood of having an MI, with odds ratios ranging from just over 1.0 to about 3.0 compared with non-users. The greatest odds were observed in those taking both types of medication and in women versus men.

The findings were similar in the younger half of the cohort (ages 45 to 64), with odds ratios ranging from just over 1.0 to about 7.0. The results were not changed by adjustment for the use of anti-hypertensives.

The findings were not surprising, according to Ewan Pearson, PhD, MBBChir, of the University of Dundee in Scotland. “It’s a very nice, large study that establishes the fact that people with diabetes and people with depression have higher rates of cardiovascular events,” said Pearson, who co-chaired the session at which Rådholm presented the results.

What is noteworthy is the large sample size used in the analysis, he said.

“A study of 3.7 million is incredible,” he said. “It just shows the utility of these massive population resources that Sweden has access to.”

Rådholm acknowledged that the study was limited by the lack of information on the indications for use of antidepressants, noting, for example, that tricyclics can be used for neuralgias and other conditions. The analysis also lacked information on important confounders, such as smoking, lipid levels, and lifestyle.

Rådholm did not report any conflicts of interest.

Vegans show lower BMI and obesity rates than meat-eaters

This article is self explanatory.  Note the setting in which the study was done however.  Seventh-Day Adventist Communities are atypically more cohesive than those of mainstream Americans. They also have been practicing social values that exemplify, “clean, spiritually intentional living” for several generations. BMI stands for base metabolism index.


It was downloaded from open source Huffington Post.         

Vegetarians Slimmer Than Meat-Eaters, Study Finds

Posted: 10/05/2013 9:49 am EDT

Vegetarians may not only be more likely to outlive their meat-eating counterparts, they could have a leg up in the weight department, too.

A new study from Loma Linda University researchers shows an association between diet type and weight, with vegetarians having a lower body mass index than non-vegetarians. Interestingly, researchers found this association despite both groups in the study having similar caloric intake.

The Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics study is based on data from the Adventist Health Study 2, which includes dietary data from five groups: meat-eaters, semi-vegetarians (occasional meat-eaters), pesco-vegetarians (vegetarians who eat fish), lacto-ovo vegetarians (vegetarians who consume dairy) and vegans (who don’t consume any animal products). Data was collected between 2002 and 2007 from 71,751 Seventh-Day Adventist men and women, with an average age of 59.

Caloric intake was similar among all dietary patterns — about 2,000 calories a day — with the one exception being the semi-vegetarians, who consumed 1,707 calories a day.

Researchers found that average BMI was lowest among vegans, while average BMI was highest among the meat-eaters. Looking specifically at obesity (defined as having a BMI over 30), researchers found that vegans had the lowest percentage of people who were obese — just 9.4 percent — while meat-eaters had the highest percentage of people who were obese — 33.3 percent. About 24 percent of semi-vegetarians were obese, 17.9 percent of pesco-vegetarians were obese, and 16.7 percent of lacto-ovo vegetarians were obese.

Even though calorie intake was similar across all the groups, there were differences in the types of nutrients consumed. Meat-eaters had the lowest intake of plant proteins, beta carotene, fiber and magnesium, and the highest intake of heart disease-linked fatty acids.

Of course, diet isn’t the only factor in weight — the study didn’t examine other factors, such as exercise or socioeconomic status. It merely showed an association between eating patterns and weight, not a cause-and-effect relationship.

Health status is a community affair- regardless of income levels

More evidence is offered here that given how we measure health, location,  income and wealth disparities correlate with a community’s status.  The wider the disparity in a community, the lower the health status for all individuals whether more or less economically secure.

This article was downloaded from open source DiabetesPro Smart Brief: (


Geographical location, income  determine health care in U.S.

By William Chevalier

Wednesday, October 30, 2013
(Published in print: Thursday, October 31, 2013)

Low-income Americans’ access to health care and the quality of care they receive vary widely based on where they live, according to a recent report released by the Commonwealth Fund, a health policy think tank.

Compared to wealthier people, low-income Americans lose more teeth, have more asthma flare-ups and miss out on vaccinations and cancer screenings. They also are less likely to have health insurance.

The report provides a state-by-state comparison of health care for the 39 percent of people with incomes less than 200 percent of the federal poverty level, or $47,000 for a family of four and $23,000 for an individual. Information garnered from the report indicates that we are often two Americas divided by income and geography when it comes to opportunities to lead long and healthy lives.

Statistics drawn from a recent Time Almanac on income disparity notes that low-income people account for at least one-quarter of total state populations, yet account for almost half in some states, i.e. Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and New Mexico.

To understand how many inhabitants of a country are poor, it is not enough to know a country’s per capita income. The number of poor people in a country and the average quality of life depend on how equally or unequally income is distributed across the population, as measured by the Gini index or coefficient. Information drawn from the World Bank indicates that the United States rates 40.8 on the Gini index. The poorest 20 percent of our population receives approximately 5.2 percent of income, while the richest 20 percent receives 46.4 percent of income.

The disparities regarding the quality of health care received by people with low incomes and higher incomes, more than 400 percent of the poverty level, or $94,000 for a family of four was major across the income distribution in each state.

It has been determined that higher-income people in states with low health care scores are often worse off than low-income people in states with high health care ratings. For example, low-income elderly Medicare beneficiaries in Connecticut and Wisconsin are less likely to receive high-risk medications than high-income elderly people in Mississippi, Louisiana and Alabama.

The report ranks states on 30 indicators, including access to affordable health care, preventive care and quality, potentially avoidable hospital use, and health outcomes.

Hawaii and states in the upper Midwest and Northeast had the best scores, while Southern and South Central states often lagged. Among low-income people, there were two- to five-fold differences in their health care and health outcomes scores, depending on where they lived.

Among the other findings:

The percentage of uninsured low-income adults ranged from a low of 12 percent in Massachusetts to a high of 55 percent in Texas.

Only 32 percent of low-income adults aged 50 and older received recommended preventive care, such as cancer screenings and vaccines. Rates ranged from 26 percent or less in Idaho, Oklahoma and California to 42 percent in Massachusetts.

In eight states, 40 percent or more of Medicare beneficiaries received medications considered high risk for the elderly — rates more than double that of states with safer prescribing.

Asthma-related hospitalizations among children from low-income communities in New York were eight times higher than in Oregon, the state with the lowest rate (477 per 100,000 in New York compared to 56 per 100,000 in Oregon).

At least one of four low-income adults under age 65 in West Virginia, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi and Kentucky lost six or more teeth due to decay or disease, compared to less than 10 percent in Connecticut, Hawaii and Utah, the states with the lowest rates.

Low-income people were more likely to be uninsured or underinsured than those with higher incomes. In 2010-11, nearly 56 million low-income people were uninsured or underinsured, ranging from a low of 36 percent in Massachusetts to a high of more than 60 percent in Alaska, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Utah and Wyoming.

The sharp differences in health care access, quality and outcomes identified in the report result in a substantial loss of lives and missed opportunities to improve health and quality of care.

Using the measurement criteria where all states across the country could provide the same levels of health care accessibility and quality:

About 86,000 fewer people would die prematurely each year.

About 750,000 fewer low-income Medicare beneficiaries would be prescribed potentially dangerous medications.

Tens of millions of adults and children would receive needed preventive care, such as vaccines, check-ups and cancer screenings.

About 30 million more low-income adults and children would have health insurance, reducing the number of uninsured Americans by half.

About 33,000 more infants born to low-income mothers would survive until their first birthday.

We are talking about people’s lives, health and well-being being affected by income disparity and disparity in the level of medical goods and services availability to all across the country. It is hoped that state policymakers and health care leaders use these data to target resources to improve access, care and the health of residents, especially those with below-average incomes.


Author William Chevalier lives in Peterborough.

Diabetes Prevention? Try a Little Chocolate, Tea and Berries

Who said eating well is painful? Enjoy supporting your health!!!

This article was downloaded from open source DiabetesPro Smart Brief: (



A recent study shows how tea, berries and chocolate could all help in the prevention of Type 2 Diabetes due to the high levels of flavonoids.

Based on a study of almost 2,000 people, researchers found that these food groups also help to lower inflammation and insulin resistance.

Professor Aedin Cassidy of the University of Anglia (UEA)’s Norwich Medical School, discusses the study, courtesy of a press release. “Our research looked at the benefits of eating certain sub-groups of flavonoids. We focused on flavones, which are found in herbs and vegetables such as parsley, thyme, and celery, and anthocyanins, found in berries, red grapes, wine and other red or blue-coloured fruits and vegetables.

“This is one of the first large-scale human studies to look at how these powerful bioactive compounds might reduce the risk of diabetes. Laboratory studies have shown these types of foods might modulate blood glucose regulation – affecting the risk of type 2 diabetes. But until now little has been know about how habitual intakes might affect insulin resistance, blood glucose regulation and inflammation in humans.”

For the study, researchers examined close to 2,000 healthy women volunteers from Twins, U.K. who had completed a food questionnaire that estimated their total dietary flavonoid intake as well as six flavonoid subclasses. Blood samples from participants showed evidence of both glucose regulation and inflammation. They also assessed fasting insulin and glucose levels via an equation.

“We found that those who consumed plenty of anthocyanins and flavones had lower insulin resistance. High insulin resistance is associated with Type 2 diabetes, so what we are seeing is that people who eat foods rich in these two compounds – such as berries, herbs, red grapes, wine- are less likely to develop the disease.

“We also found that those who ate the most anthocyanins were least likely to suffer chronic inflammation – which is associated with many of today’s most pressing health concerns including diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease, and cancer.

“And those who consumed the most flavone compounds had improved levels of a protein (adiponectin) which helps regulate a number of metabolic processes including glucose levels.”

However, the researchers note that further studies will be needed to potentially determine how the compounds directly lower the risk.

More information regarding the study can be found via the Journal of Nutrition.


A Fishy Diet May Lower Diabetes Risk

More evidence that Omega 3 fats are beneficial.  The most convincing evidence again involves non-supplemental ingestion as food.

This article was downloaded from open source DiabetesPro Smart Brief:(



Omega 3 polyunsaturated fatty acid consumption linked to lower type 2 diabetes risk
January 16, 2014 / Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD Beth Bolt, RPh
(dailyRx News) Fish is commonly referred to as “brain food,” and now research is also showing that it may help prevent some chronic diseases like diabetes.

A recent study found that men who got more than 5 grams of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids — fats that are primarily found in fish and other seafood — per day had a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes than men who consumed lower amounts.

The authors of this study noted that a more diverse study sample is needed to confirm these findings.

This study was led by Jyrki K. Virtanen, PhD, from the Institute of Public Health and Clinical Nutrition at the University of Eastern Finland in Kuopio, Finland. This research team examined the relationship between omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) from fish and type 2 diabetes.

Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids are essential fats that play a role in brain function and growth and development, but the body does not produce these fats. They must be consumed in the diet.

Dr. Virtanen and colleagues analyzed data from 2,212 men in the Kuopio Ischaemic Heart Disease Risk Factor study. These men, who were between the ages of 42 and 60 years old, did not have type 2 diabetes at the beginning of the study between 1984 and 1989.

The researchers looked at intake of four types of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids. Serum polyunsaturated fatty acid levels were measured from blood samples to determine levels of exposure to polyunsaturated fatty acid levels.

The participants were instructed to record what they ate for four days, and their records were run through a nutrition software program to determine the nutrients present in the foods they ate. They were separated into four groups depending on the amount of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids they consumed ranging from lowest (less than 3.62 grams per day) to highest (more than 5.33 grams per day).

Type 2 diabetes status was determined through a combination of self-report, a fasting plasma glucose test (measures blood sugar levels) and an oral glucose tolerance test (measures how well the body breaks down glucose) at 4, 11 and 20 years after the study began.

The researchers accounted for several factors that could have influenced the development of type 2 diabetes, including medical history, medication use, family history of diabetes, smoking status, alcohol consumption, blood pressure, body mass index (a measure of height and weight), education and annual income.

The researchers found that during the follow-up period, about 19 percent of men developed type 2 diabetes.

Study participants who consumed more than 5.3 grams per day of three of the types of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids — eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), docosapentaenoic acid (DPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) — had a 33 percent lower risk of type 2 diabetes than men who consumed less than 3.62 grams per day.

The fourth type of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid — alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) — was not found to be related to diabetes risk.

Since fish can contain high levels of mercury, which has been linked to a higher risk for cardiovascular diseases, the researchers also measured hair mercury levels to determine the relationship between mercury levels and risk of type 2 diabetes. The researchers did not find a relationship between hair mercury levels and risk of type 2 diabetes.

The study’s authors concluded that omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids appeared to be connected to a lower risk of type 2 diabetes, but research is needed in more diverse populations to confirm this finding.

This study was published in the January issue of Diabetes Care.

The authors reported no competing interests.