The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has published a review regarding the long term adverse effects of Diabetes drug Actos to the body. According to the study, data acquired from patients taking Actos has shown more risk of getting bladder cancer. The extended consumption of the drug has shown significance in affecting a person’s susceptibility to bladder cancer.

The presence of unwanted side effects has been one of the primary issues surrounding the use of diabetes pharmaceutical drugs. Another diabetes drug, Avandia, has also been subjected to several debates by health professionals and FDA experts regarding its overwhelming side effects, including the increase of heart failure risk. But the lack of other quality options proven curative or beneficial to controlling diabetes keeps these drugs, including Actos, in the market.

FDA has yet to conduct further studies regarding Actos and its potential influence over bladder cancer risk.  The results may spell the difference between getting the red light, or the green light, with regards to consumption. However, early human and animal studies had linked Actos to the condition.  In fact, the agency had required Takeda Pharmaceuticals, the manufacturer of Actos, to conduct their own study regarding the potential risks brought about by the prolonged use of the drug, especially its influence over bladder cancer. The study is expected to last for 10 years.  Results on its 5th year reveals that intake of the drug did not show increased risk of getting bladder cancer. But when the researchers focused on the patients who had taken the highest dosage of the drug in their lifetime, a significant increase in bladder cancer risk was apparent. The increase in risk was observed in patients who had taken the drug for at least 24 months.

In their published statement, the FDA refused to assure the public that Actos increases the risk of bladder cancer. They advised patients who are taking Actos as a maintenance drug to stop taking the drug and seek consultation from their physicians or a medical professional for alternative ways to control their diabetes, especially if they are finding Actos an unsuitable option, and if they have been experiencing the probable onset of the proposed side effect.

A Closer Look at Diabetes

Diabetes of Diabetes Mellitus with an international symbol of a blue circle is not just one disease but is actually a group of metabolic diseases wherein the person’s body has high blood sugar levels. This is either caused by the body’s reduced capacity to produce insulin or the cells’ incapacitation to respond to insulin in controlling the body’s sugar level.

The usual symptoms of increased sugar levels in the body are increased thirst or polydipsia; frequent urination or polyuria; and increased hunger or polyphagia. The three classifications of diabetes are related to the reasons for the increased sugar level in the person’s body:

  • type 1 diabetes is when the person’s body is producing less insulin than what the body needs;
  • type 2 diabetes is when the cells in the person’s cells fail to respond to the insulin hormone that the body produces;
  • Type 3 diabetes is a special case in pregnant women who experience increased sugar levels during pregnancy.

Natural Methods of Preventing and Controlling Diabetes

Compounds that have been scientifically proven to contain curative and preventative qualities against chronic and degenerative diseases have been discovered to be found in natural sources like fruits and vegetables. People are beginning to be more aware and are now more open to the natural methods of preventing and curing diseases due to the overwhelming side-effects of pharmaceutical drugs to their bodies. In fact, most of the compounds used in pharmaceutical drugs are found in nature but the process and integration of other chemicals make the drugs harmful to the body. Medicines made entirely from natural substances have been flooding the market in synch with the rising demands for organic medicines. In the case of diabetes, the disease is finding powerful enemies in the form of innocent-looking fruits and plants.


There are many foods known to be potent against diabetes. A study conducted by Professor William Cefalu of the Center for the Study of Botanicals and Metabolic syndrome revealed that regular consumption of blueberries may increase the body’s sensitivity to insulin. Blueberry bioactives are thought to have positive effects in reinforcing the body’s sensitivity to insulin; thus, giving the cells more capacity to respond to the said hormone. The study consisted of a group of 32 obese individuals, who were insulin resistant but non-diabetic. The participants were asked to consume a smoothie containing blueberry bioactives for 6 weeks on a daily basis. 67 percent of the participants showed an increase of sensitivity to insulin by 10 percent while the rest of the group produced similar effects. Professor Cefalu also added that the study was the first of its kind to be conducted and the promising results will call for further research and experimentation.

Bitter Gourd

Bitter gourd or bitter melon is a fruit endemic in Asian countries. It has unique bitter characteristics and has been proven to have high nutritional value. Clinical studies showed that bitter gourd contain compounds that are potentially effective in lowering concentrations of glucose in the body. The fruit’s protective properties such as the polypeptide-P and charantin act like insulin and supplement the insulin naturally produced by the body. The consumption of 50 to 60 milliliters of bitter gourd juice has shown positive effects in lowering down the body’s sugar level. Bitter gourd products have been an established supplement to insulin for diabetics.


Incorporation of cinnamon to daily diet has shown benefits in lowering the risk of type 2 diabetes; a condition where the cells are becoming tolerant to insulin. Cinnamon has been clinically proven to optimize the cell’s sugar consumption and half a teaspoon of cinnamon is the recommended daily dosage to lower the risk of type 2 diabetes.

Healthy Diet and Exercise prevents Diabetes

What we put in our mouth and our lifestyle usually contribute to the diseases we develop. Diabetes can be effectively prevented through healthy diet and a healthy lifestyle. Studies have shown that diabetics usually have an unhealthy body mass index. The body’s blood sugar levels are primarily influenced by the food we eat and along with it, the lack of exercise is one of the reasons for the body’s failure to consume sugar properly.


Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha

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