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Diabetes By The Numbers

Diabetes by the Numbers

Diabetes by the Numbers

We Americans love our sweets, that’s a fact. There are hundreds of varieties of candies and cakes out there; enough to satisfy even the largest of sweet-tooths (you can even get fried Coca-Cola at some county fairs! Fried soda!). Though we do love these treats, there should be general restraint used. That’s not to say they should be cut out entirely; eating sweets in limited quantity every once in awhile might not be so bad, but it’s once you start habitually over-consuming that the problems can occur. One of the (obvious) unintended consequences of this sugar over-consumption is the toll that can be taken on your health, specifically in the form of diabetes.
Today’s infographic from jsonline.com gives us an overview of Americans with diabetes. According to the graphic, more than 8% of the U.S. population has diabetes. While that might not seem like a huge percentage, it still equals out to around 28 million people who are afflicted! Diabetes is also a leading cause of limb amputation, but with comprehensive foot care programs the number of limbs lost could be reduced drastically.
For more information on diabetes in America refer to the infographic below. [Via]
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New Sweetener From The Tequila Plant May Aid Diabetes, Weight Loss

New Sweetener From The Tequila Plant May Aid Diabetes, Weight Loss

Could a new sugar substitute actually lower blood sugar and help you lose weight? That's the tantalizing - but distant - promise of new research presented at the American Chemical Society (ACS) this week.
Agavins, derived from the agave plant that's used to make tequila, were found in mouse studies to trigger insulin production and lower blood sugar, as well as help obese mice lose weight.
Unlike sucrose, glucose, and fructose, agavins aren't absorbed by the body, so they can't elevate blood glucose, according to research by Mercedes G. López, a researcher at the Centro de Investigación y de Estudios Avanzados, Biotechnology and Biochemistry Irapuato, in Guanajuato, Mexico.
And by boosting the level of a peptide called GLP-1 (short for glucagon-like peptide-1), which triggers the body's production of insulin, agavins aid the body's natural blood sugar control. Also, because agavins are type of fiber, they can make people feel fuller and reduce appetite, López's research shows.
"We believe that agavins have a great potential as light sweeteners since they are sugars, highly soluble, have a low glycemic index, and a neutral taste, but most important, they are not metabolized by humans," read the study abstract. "This puts agavins in a tremendous position for their consumption by obese and diabetic people."
The caveat: The research was conducted in mice, and more study is necessary before we'll know whether agavins are effective and safe in humans. In other words, we're a long way from agavins appearing on grocery store shelves.
That said, with almost 26 millions of America Continue reading

Sugars found in tequila may protect against obesity, diabetes

Sugars found in tequila may protect against obesity, diabetes

Tequila shots may do more than lighten the mood at a party; the drink may be beneficial for your health as well.
According to researchers from Mexico, natural sugars derived from the agave plant, called agavins, greatly protected a group of mice against diet-induced obesity and type 2 diabetes, MedPage Today reported.
In a new study presented at the American Chemical Society (ACS) annual meeting in Dallas, mice were distributed into seven groups. One group received a diet of plain water, while the other groups received water supplemented with either aspartame, glucose, fructose, sucrose, agave syrup or agavins.
The mice that consumed agavins showed a reduction in food intake and weight and a decrease in blood glucose levels. These findings were similar to the control group that received standard water.
Because agavins act as dietary fibers and do not raise blood sugar, the researchers believe the ingredient could be used as an alternative sweetening agent.
"We believe agavins have a great potential as a light sweetener," Mercedes G. López, of the Centro de Incetagcioan y de Estudios Avanzados, Biotechnology and Biochemistry Irapuato, in Guanajuato, Mexico wrote in the ACS abstract. "They are sugars, highly soluble, with a low glycemic index and a neutral taste…This puts agavins in a tremendous position for their consumption by obese and diabetic people."
The alcoholic beverage tequila is made from the blue agave plant, primarily around the Mexican city of Tequila. However, Lopez noted that agavins are not widely available and not as sweet as regular sugars. Continue reading

Probiotics and Diabetes: Can Probiotics Help?

Probiotics and Diabetes: Can Probiotics Help?

The word “bacteria” is enough to make most people cringe. And the knowledge that there are about 39 trillion bacteria in the human body can seem horrifying (there are more bacteria in the body than there are cells!). Yes, there are the bad, harmful bacteria that can cause disease and illness. But there are also the helpful, good bacteria that research increasingly indicates play a role in health promotion and disease prevention.
Microbiome 101
We all have bacteria in our digestive tract. While it’s unpleasant to think about, the reality is that they’re there to stay. The collection of bacteria, fungi, viruses, and parasites (called microorganisms) in our gut is called the microbiome. Some are potentially harmful, but many of them are the good guys with the potential to help fight off illness and chronic disease.
Everyone’s microbiome is unique; in other words, no two people have the same microbiome. That’s because the microbiota is determined, initially, by your DNA. When you’re born, you’re exposed to your mother’s microorganisms during delivery, and, if you’re breastfed, through your mother’s breast milk. Over time, the environment and your diet influence the type of microorganisms. For example, people who eat foods of animal origin have a very different microbiome (or gut flora) than those who eat plant-based foods.
Research has shown that people who eat a typical American diet have less diverse microbiota than those eating a plant-based diet. The more diversity you have in your gut, the more likely you are to have better digestion, nutrient absorpt Continue reading

Probiotics Have Adjunctive Role in Diabetes Care

Probiotics Have Adjunctive Role in Diabetes Care

Nearly a decade ago, microbiome researchers began publishing reports suggesting that bacteria in the intestines play a role in glucose metabolism. Recent studies support that thesis, and provide a basis for use of probiotics as adjunctive treatments for people with type 2 diabetes.
The notion that microflora can affect insulin sensitivity has its roots in a landmark study by Nadja Larsen and colleagues at the University of Copenhagen. The Danish team showed that people with T2D have striking compositional changes in their intestinal flora compared to non-diabetic subjects.
Moreover, they found that the ratio of Bacteroidetes (“bad” bacteria) to Firmicutes (“good” bacteria) significantly correlated with reduced glucose tolerance (Larsen N, et al. PLoS One. 2010 Feb 5;5(2):e9085).
Since then, many groups have explored the use of probiotic supplements to alter the microbial ecosystem to improve insulin sensitivity and glucose metabolism. A number of these studies are turning up positive findings.
Small, Meaningful Changes
In a study published in late 2016, 46 patients with type 2 diabetes who were already on insulin therapy were randomly assigned to receive low-dose or high-dose Lactobacillus reuteri DSM 17938 supplements, or a placebo for 12 weeks. The low-dose probiotic regimen provided 108 colony-forming units (CFU) per day; the high-dose preparation contained 1010 CFU. The patients took the probiotics in addition to standard insulin treatments.
At the end of the study, those on the highest dose of L.reuteri had increases in insulin sensitivity index (ISI) scores, a Continue reading

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