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Bitter Melon Health Benefits: Can Bitter Melon Help Treat Diabetes?

Bitter Melon Health Benefits: Can Bitter Melon Help Treat Diabetes?

Bitter Melon Health Benefits: Can Bitter Melon Help Treat Diabetes?

In tropical areas from China, Asia, and Africa to the Caribbean and South America, bitter melon is both a food and a medicine. Unripe, its fruit resembles a warty, green cucumber that gradually turns orange with bright red edible seeds as it matures. Despite an exceedingly bitter taste, the fruits and sometimes the leaves are widely used in a variety of ethnic dishes. Bitter melon is a major constituent of the Okinawan diet and, some say, is key to the renowned longevity of the Japanese island people. Modern research has largely focused on its potential for treating diabetes.
How Bitter Melon Works
Although the human evidence is not yet strong, laboratory studies show that bitter melon has a hypoglycemic (blood glucose-lowering) action, and helps to control insulin levels. The constituents thought to be responsible for this action are charantin, plus alkaloids and peptides that mimic insulin. They may also trigger the production of a protein that encourages glucose uptake in the body.
In addition, charantin appears to stimulate the growth of pancreatic beta cells, which produce insulin. In type 1 diabetes, the immune system destroys beta cells; in other types of diabetes the functioning of beta cells is impaired.
Laboratory studies support other traditional uses of bitter melon, suggesting that different constituents have antiviral and antibacterial properties that might help to treat disorders including salmonella and E. coli infections, herpes and HIV viruses, malaria, and parasitic worms. An extract of bitter melon proteins is claimed to inhibit prostate tumor growth and Continue reading

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Nick Jonas Chides CrossFit Over Diabetes Tweet; Company Fires Back

Nick Jonas Chides CrossFit Over Diabetes Tweet; Company Fires Back

Singer Nick Jonas is taking on CrossFit after the company’s tweet about diabetes and an iconic sugary drink.
In a tweet on Monday, the extreme fitness company wrote: “Pour some out for your dead homies.” The comment was posted next to an image of a Coca-Cola bottle and the words “Open Diabetes” and with the hashtags #CrossFit #sugarkills. The tweet was signed by CrossFit CEO Greg Glassman.
"Make sure you pour some out for your dead homies."—Greg Glassman #CrossFit #Sugarkills @CrossFitCEO pic.twitter.com/QnwXOe4BTQ
— CrossFit (@CrossFit) June 29, 2015
The “Jealous” singer responded on Twitter to take Glassman to task, writing: “This is not cool. Please know and understand the difference between type one and type diabetes before making ignorant comments. Sensitivity to all diseases, and proper education on the cause and day to day battle is important.”
This is not cool. Please know and understand the difference between type one and type diabetes before making https://t.co/HtptOe8KMa
— Nick Jonas (@nickjonas) June 30, 2015
Ignorant comments. Sensitivity to all diseases, and proper education on the cause and day to day battle is important https://t.co/HtptOe8KMa
— Nick Jonas (@nickjonas) June 30, 2015
Jonas, 22, was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at age 13.
Formerly known as juvenile diabetes or insulin-dependent diabetes, Type 1 occurs when the pancreas produces little or no insulin, according to Dr. Jennifer Ashton, ABC News medical contributor and a practicing obstetrician and gynecologist. The cause appears to be unknown, although the body’s imm Continue reading

Nick Jonas Talks His First Decade with Diabetes, and Partnering with Dexcom

Nick Jonas Talks His First Decade with Diabetes, and Partnering with Dexcom

Nick Jonas is no longer the teenage boy band star with a squeaky clean image. Enter th
e new Nick, now in his early 20s with a grittier edge, and a lot is changing for him and his fans.
In the past year or so, Nick's branched out on his own as an artist, added more adult-oriented TV and movie appearances to his acting resume, and just recently announced he's partnering with singer friend Demi Lovato to start a new record label called Safehouse Recordings. Not to mention that the 22-year-old is of course one of us PWDs (people with diabetes), who's been living with type 1 for almost a decade now since age 13.
Our own AmyT first chatted with Nick back in 2007 and then again five years ago, delving into his then budding music career and how he hoped to use his voice to advocate and serve as a role model for the diabetes community.
Fast forward to 2015: Nick recently announced that he's become a Dexcom Warrior (a group of exemplary users of the leading continuous glucose monitoring product) and that he's collaborating with the California CGM company on a public awareness campaign about his own D-story and the advantages of using the Dexcom G4.
You have to admit that this polished video spot they created with Nick is pretty cool, right?! And those of us who use the Dexcom G4 can relate to his statement that "Having a CGM is like having a best friend that always looks out for you."
We were thrilled to have had another chance to talk with Nick late last week, to hear about all he's up to...
DM) Nick, first off, how are you feeling about being a decade into living with diabetes?
NJ Continue reading

Ask D'Mine: Safe Sex with a Person with Diabetes?

Ask D'Mine: Safe Sex with a Person with Diabetes?

Hey, All -- if you've got questions about life with diabetes, then you've come to the right place! That would be our weekly diabetes advice column, Ask D'Mine, hosted by veteran type 1 and diabetes author Wil Dubois.
Today, Wil is digging into a somewhat awkward question that people without diabetes sometimes ask about intimacy. The answer is pretty clear any way you look at it, but here's how Wil would respond in a style all his own...
{Got your own questions? Email us at [email protected]}
Ray, type 3 from Louisiana, asks: If you have oral sex with someone who has diabetes, can you get it also?
[email protected] D’Mine answers: Boy, am I ever glad you asked me instead of your potential partner in this sexcapade. Because had you asked her or him, I suspect that you’d be having sex by yourself tonight.
So here’s the deal: You cannot get diabetes from someone else. Period. Despite what you might have read about the “diabetes epidemic,” diabetes is not a contagious disease. You simply can’t catch diabetes. At all. It’s not possible. It doesn’t work that way. Diabetes is genetic. If you do get it, you were born with it. To be super clear about this:
You can’t get diabetes by breathing the same air we do.
You can’t get diabetes by shaking the hand of a person with diabetes.
You can’t get diabetes by sharing a fork with someone who has diabetes.
You can’t get diabetes by sitting on a toilet seat that someone with diabetes used.
You can’t get diabetes if one of us sneezes on you, although that would be rude.
You can’t get diabetes from a blood transfusio Continue reading

Diabetes Results That Can Make a Difference

Diabetes Results That Can Make a Difference

Diabetes runs in my family. Three of my four grandparents had type 2 diabetes, which is where your body doesn’t use insulin properly, and your blood sugar levels get too high. I also have an uncle with type 1, where your body doesn’t make insulin at all.
I knew I had multiple risk factors for type 2 diabetes. I had gestational diabetes when I was pregnant with both my boys. My body mass index is high; I’ve tried to lose weight but haven’t been as successful as I’d like. In my early 40s, I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.
I knew a lot about the condition I had developed because at that time, my work was around diabetes control and prevention in North Carolina. In the past few years, my role has expanded to include heart disease. I have served as a staff liaison to the statewide Diabetes Advisory Council, a coalition of diabetes stakeholders, for many years. A couple of years ago, a researcher from the University of North Carolina told the council about a study on finger sticks they were planning. I joined the PCORI-funded study as a stakeholder who had a personal interest in the topic and could talk about the results of the study with our council to share the results statewide.
Avoiding Finger Sticks
The results are important. Our study found that the finger sticks people like me use to check our blood sugar levels don’t help much if we have type 2 diabetes and aren’t using insulin.
Why is this important? Testing supplies are expensive, and the process is painful—you’re sticking yourself and you’re bleeding! Now we know that people like me can manage j Continue reading

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