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The Cheese Trap: Fighting Diabetes With A Dairy-Free Diet

The Cheese Trap: Fighting Diabetes with a Dairy-Free Diet

The Cheese Trap: Fighting Diabetes with a Dairy-Free Diet

Have you ever felt pulled to a certain food? Maybe it’s chocolate, potato chips, a hamburger, or a bowl of ice cream. For some people, it’s cheese.
After 30 years of conducting clinical research studies and prescribing the same approach—a low-fat vegan diet—to participants eager to lose extra weight, lower blood pressure, improve cholesterol, alleviate headaches and joint pain, and feel great again, I always get pushback about the same food: cheese.
Parting ways with this ultra-processed substance, which smells like the bacteria it is, seems harder than eliminating chicken, turkey, yogurt, fish, and milk, which collectively don’t have the same gravitational pull as cheddar, mozzarella, feta, and baked brie.
Part of this habitual preference is neurological. As cheese digests it may release tiny molecules, casomorphins, that can bind to dopamine receptors in our brain.[1][2][3] This “feel good” chemical reaction looks similar to any other dopamine trigger, from alcohol and drug use to exercise or listening to music. The casomorphins in cheese may be what drives pizza, along with its hyperpalatable state, to the No. 1 spot on the Yale Food Addiction Scale.[1]
While this neurological tangle isn’t as potent as alcohol, drugs, and tobacco, it’s still present and lingers in our minds. It’s also entrenched in our society. We consume 37 pounds of cheese, per person, each year.[5] This is nearly twice the amount of cheese we consumed, per person, in 1975.[6]
The dairy industry’s marketing wizards do a good job: they sell their products, keep us coming back, and Continue reading

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Type 2 diabetes news: THIS magnesium-rich diet could reduce risk of condition

Type 2 diabetes news: THIS magnesium-rich diet could reduce risk of condition

Foods like leafy greens, fish, nuts and wholegrain could help reduce the risk of chronic health conditions such as diabetes and even heart disease - experts have revealed.
Experts said previous studies have linked insufficient magnesium levels to a greater risk of developing a wide range of health problems including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, and cardiovascular disease.
Dr Xuexian Fang, a nutrition researcher at Zhengzhou University in China has looked at the link between dietary magnesium and chronic disease.
The team looked at data from 40 studies published from 1999 to 2016 on more than one million people across nine countries.
Compared with people who had the lowest levels of magnesium in their diets, people who got the most magnesium were 26 percent less likely to develop diabetes.
The researchers also found people were 10 percent less likely to develop heart disease and 12 percent less likely to have a stroke.
Combined, the studies in the analysis included 7,678 cases of cardiovascular disease, 6,845 cases of coronary heart disease, 701 cases of heart failure, 4,755 cases of stroke, 26,299 cases of type 2 diabetes and 10,983 deaths.
Researchers looked at the effect of increasing dietary magnesium by 100 milligrams a day.
Fri, August 19, 2016
Diabetes is a common life-long health condition. There are 3.5 million people diagnosed with diabetes in the UK and an estimated 500,000 who are living undiagnosed with the condition.
They found there was no impact on total risk of cardiovascular disease or coronary heart disease Continue reading

Diabetes Drug vs. Cancer

Diabetes Drug vs. Cancer

Considerable evidence has indicated that a drug used for more than 50 years to treat Type 2 diabetes can also prevent or slow the growth of certain cancers. But the mechanism behind metformin’s anticancer effects has been unknown.
Now, a team of Harvard Medical School investigators at Massachusetts General Hospital has identified a pathway that appears to underlie metformin’s ability both to block the growth of human cancer cells and to extend the lifespan of the C. elegans roundworm. Their findings imply that this single genetic pathway plays an important role in a wide range of organisms.
“We found that metformin reduces the traffic of molecules into and out of the nucleus—the ‘information center’ of the cell,” said Alexander Soukas, HMS assistant professor of medicine at Mass General and senior author of the study published in Cell.
“Reduced nuclear traffic translates into the ability of the drug to block cancer growth and, remarkably, is also responsible for metformin’s ability to extend lifespan,” Soukas said. “By shedding new light on metformin’s health-promoting effects, these results offer new potential ways that we can think about treating cancer and increasing healthy aging.”
Metformin appears to lower blood glucose in patients with Type 2 diabetes by reducing the liver’s ability to produce glucose for release into the bloodstream. Evidence has supported the belief that metformin blocks the activity of mitochondria, the powerhouses of the cell. But, Soukas said, more recent information suggests the mechanism is more complex.
Several stu Continue reading

Coffee and Diabetes: What’s the Relationship?

Coffee and Diabetes: What’s the Relationship?

Coffee continues to come up smelling good in the research on its health effects. Two new, large studies published in the Annals of Internal Medicine found that coffee drinking was associated with longer life and lower risks of various common diseases including type 2 diabetes.
The findings confirm previous, smaller studies that also found signs that there might be benefits to moderate coffee consumption. One of the studies looked in particular at whether the perceived benefits, which had looked largely at populations of European decent, also extended to other racial and ethnic groups. They did.
The subjects, 185,000 of them, were followed for about 16 years. Those who drank at least two cups of coffee a day were 18 percent less likely to die during that period. The researchers controlled for various factors that might also affect longevity, such as smoking, eating habits and obesity levels.
And the more coffee that subjects drank, the less likely they were to die of a variety of the most common ailments that kill Americans including diabetes, heart disease, cancer, stroke and chronic lower respiratory disease. It didn’t matter whether people drank decaf or regular. Not affected were rates of death from Alzheimer’s disease, pneumonia or flu.
The second study was the largest ever conducted on coffee’s possible health effects, examining the records of more than 521,000 people in 10 European countries, also over about 16 years. In addition to similar results, it found, looking at a subset of about 15,000 participants, that the coffee drinkers also had better biomarkers as Continue reading

What You Should Know About Using American Ginseng for Diabetes Care

What You Should Know About Using American Ginseng for Diabetes Care

As the diabetes epidemic continues to grow, herbs such as American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius) are being studied for their potential effects on the disease (now the seventh leading cause of death in the United States). Also used for such health purposes as fending off colds and fighting fatigue, American ginseng appears to aid in diabetes management in part by improving blood sugar control.
American ginseng contains a class of compounds called ginsenosides.
Known to possess antioxidant properties, ginsenosides have been found to reduce oxidative stress and inflammation (two factors that may play a key role in the development and progression of diabetes).
Research Related to Blood Sugar Control
For people with diabetes, maintaining control over blood sugar levels is essential for health. Elevated blood sugar levels can lead to a host of serious complications, including atherosclerosis and other cardiovascular issues.
In preliminary research on animals, scientists have found that compounds extracted from the root of the American ginseng plant may help improve blood sugar control. This research includes a mouse-based study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food in 2013, which also found that American ginseng may help promote the secretion of insulin (a hormone that helps regulate blood sugar levels by allowing your cells to take in blood sugar to use as energy).
To date, only a few small studies have tested American ginseng's effects on blood sugar control in humans. In one study involving nine people with diabetes and 10 diabetes-free participants, for instance, researc Continue reading

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