The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has identified a swath of the southern U.S. as the country's "diabetes belt." In this region, made up of parts of 15 states, some 12 percent of the population has type 2 diabetes, compared with 8.5 percent of people in the rest of the country.
A new report recently published in the American Chemical Society's bi-weekly Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry adds a new punch to the power of garlic in the fight against heart disease. The report concludes that garlic has "significant" potential for preventing cardiomyopathy, a form of heart disease that is a leading cause of death in people with diabetes.
New University of Georgia research has found that a statin drug that is often known by the brand-name Lipitor may help prevent blindness in people with diabetes. In a study using diabetic rats, lead author Azza El-Remessy, assistant professor in the University of Georgia College of Pharmacy, and her colleagues found that statins prevent free radicals in the retina from killing nerves important to maintaining vision. The results of the study are published in the March edition of the journal Diabetologia.
Many tragic complications of diabetes, including amputations, heart attack, stroke, and blindness, are due to blood vessel damage. According to Xiaochao Wei, PhD, of the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, all that vascular damage may be caused by a shortage of one enzyme: fatty acid synthase, or FAS.
After the American Heart Association introduced its heart healthy logo in 1995, manufacturers apparently decided that such "healthy" logos were a pretty good marketing idea. Similar logos, called front-of-the-package labels, or FoP labels, have become popular with several food manufacturers, each of which has developed its own labels using its own criteria. Now, not surprisingly, a study by the Prevention Institute has found that these labels are misleading to customers. According to the Prevention Institute's executive director, Larry Cohen, they "emphasize one healthy aspect to trick [customers] into buying something fundamentally unhealthy." Dora the Explorer Fruit Shapes, for example, prominently labels itself as "gluten free," but does not mention the fact that 58 percent of its calories come from sugar.
"Fatty liver" doesn't sound very threatening. In fact, it sounds almost cute, like Fatty Arbuckle. Unfortunately, like Fatty Arbuckle, it's not what it seems. Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease is the most common liver disease in the United States, comprising a quarter of all liver disease and responsible for a rising number of liver transplants. Approximately 20 percent of Americans may be lugging around a fatty liver.
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