Three studies just published in the New England Journal of Medicine have discovered that most adults have several grams of brown fat sequestered in little pockets on their necks and backs. It's a tiny amount, but it's big news because brown fat is not your everyday fat, the unwelcome white variety that stores calories and makes us hate mirrors. Brown fat is a busy little heat-producing fat that actually burns calories. It's brown because it contains special mitochondria, tiny factories within the fat cells that produce heat, lots of it, when activated by cold.
In an Australian study that tracked 11,140 people with diabetes, researchers found a strong relationship between the presence of atrial fibrillation-abnormal heart rhythm-and an increased risk of cardiovascular problems and death.
Being overweight is something all doctors and most laypeople know significantly increases the risk of acquiring type 2 diabetes. In fact, the American Diabetes Association (ADA) says that more than 90 percent of people who are newly diagnosed with type 2 are overweight. But why does excess fat increase the risk of diabetes? Isn't the disease, after all, one that involves the body's inability to metabolize glucose?
Whenever Diabetes Health publishes an article about high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), we receive mountains of printed material from corn industry advocates. They argue that the effects of HFCS cannot be extrapolated from research because the "studies look at the effects of fructose independently." They claim, in the words of Christopher Mohr, MS, RD, LDN, of the Corn Refiners Association, that "the absence of glucose makes pure fructose fundamentally different from HFCS."
Finnish scientists have reported that children who develop type 1 diabetes experience disturbances in their lipid and amino acid metabolism months or years before the onset of the disease. Their finding of distinct markers that precede the disease could lead to treatments designed to prevent the body's autoimmune system from attacking the pancreatic insulin-producing cells.
New Zealand researchers say that in clinical trials of people with type 2 diabetes, Actos as stand-alone therapy or in combination with metformin, repaglinide, insulin or a sulphonylurea induced “both long- and short-term improvements in [blood glucose] control and serum lipid profiles.”
Partially substituting carbohydrate with either protein or monounsaturated fat can lower blood pressure, improve lipid levels and reduce estimated cardiovascular risk, according to a study that appeared in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Type 1 diabetics who keep their HDL (good) cholesterol levels elevated may be protecting themselves from the development of albuminuria. Researchers at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago say that it remains to be determined whether the elevated HDL is the cause of the protective effect.
A middle-aged man with a "beer belly," unhealthy cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, and elevated blood glucose is three times more likely to die from cardiovascular problems and twice as likely to die from other causes as a man who doesn't have this metabolic syndrome.
A campaign aimed at educating people with diabetes about their increased risk of heart disease and stroke is called "Be Smart About Your Heart: Control the ABCs of Diabetes"—in other words, control your A1C, blood pressure and cholesterol.
Extended-release niacin (Niaspan), administered in relatively low doses—1,000 or 1,500 mg per day—for lipid therapy is a treatment option for type 2s who exhibit the typical diabetic lipid profile of high triglycerides, small dense LDL ("bad") cholesterol, high free-fatty-acid levels and low HDL ("good") cholesterol.
The FDA recently approved a new drug that offers excellent benefits for people with type 2 diabetes. Metformin, marketed under the name Glucophage by Bristol-Myers Squibb, is an oral medication for people with non-insulin dependent diabetes. Although metformin has been in use in other countries for over two decades, its approval in the United States has taken 38 years. An earlier form of the drug was removed from the market because it caused serious complications. Metformin has been observed in other countries and can be used with confidence by most people with diabetes.
A study of 15 Type 2 diabetic patients who controlled their diabetes through diet, were given 15 grams of guar gum per day over a 48 week period. The results of the study indicate that guar gum improved long-term glycemic control, postprandial (after meals) glucose tolerance, and lipid concentrations (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, October, 1993).
Dyslipidemia is abnormal lipid metabolism. It is very common among people with Type 2 diabetes, and most frequently involves increased levels of triglycerides, very low density lipoprotein (VLDL) cholesterol, and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, as well as decreased levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL). These abnormalities appear to be caused by increased secretion of VLDL particles from the liver due to increased concentrations of free fatty acids and glucose.
In a study from the Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk, the lipid-regulating drug, gem-fibrozil (Lopid), was found to significantly improve triglyceride (blood fat) and high-density lipoprotein (HDL) levels in a group of type 2 diabetes patients. Lipid disorders are a major cause of atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), a condition which accounts for the majority of diabetes-related deaths. The ability to control stable lipid levels would greatly reduce the risk of developing heart disease.
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