Archive for the ‘DIABETES’ Category

Diabetes cured in mice. What next? Human Trials

Tuesday, May 9th, 2017

The new technique cures diabetes in mice by bypassing the immune system that attacks beta cells

According to the Center for Disease Control, 1.25 million people suffer from type 1 diabetes in the US alone. So far, it can only be managed with diet and regular doses of insulin, but scientists at UT Health San Antonio have invented a way of curing the disease in mice that may one day do the same for humans even with type 2 diabetes.

Type 1 diabetes is a particularly unpleasant condition. It occurs when the pancreas ceases to produce the insulin needed by the body to metabolize sugar and, until the invention of artificial insulin injections, it was as deadly as cancer. Type 2 is the less severe form of the disease, where the body produces insufficient insulin; it can often be managed through diet alone.

Surprisingly, diabetes is an autoimmune disease. Insulin is made by specialized cells in the pancreas, called beta cells, and sometimes the body’s immune system turns against itself and attacks these beta cells, destroying them. Diabetes results when this destruction is over 80 percent.

Invented by Bruno Doiron and Ralph DeFronzo, the UT Health technique uses gene transfer to alter cells in the pancreases of mice to make them think they’re beta cells and start making insulin. This involves taking selected genes from external beta cells and using viruses as carriers to move them into the new host cells, in the diabetic pancreas.

Bruno Doiron (left), and Ralph DeFronzo co-invented a technique that has cured diabetes in mice for one year without side effects (Credit: UT Health)

According to DeFronzo, the altered cells then produce insulin, but only in the presence of sugar, which is how a functioning beta cell is supposed to work. Otherwise, the cells would just keep cranking out the hormone, metabolizing all the sugar in the bloodstream and causing hypoglycemia.

Only about 20 percent of the lost cells need to be replaced, but if new beta cells are simply introduced, it’s likely that the body would attack and destroy them as well. One big advantage of this technique is that it works around the autoimmune system, which ignores the altered cells.

“If a type 1 diabetic has been living with these cells for 30, 40 or 50 years, and all we’re getting them to do is secrete insulin, we expect there to be no adverse immune response,” says DeFronzo.

The team emphasizes that there is a large gap between curing diabetic mice and achieving the same in human beings. They say that they’d like to start clinical trials in three years, but more animal testing is needed first at a cost of about US$5 million, as well as making an application to the US Food and Drug Administration for investigational new drug approval.

“It worked perfectly,” says Doiron. “We cured mice for one year without any side effects. That’s never been seen. But it’s a mouse model, so caution is needed. We want to bring this to large animals that are closer to humans in physiology of the endocrine system.”

Source: UT Health

Henry Sapiecha

Artificial pancreas for diabetes sufferers could be available within 12 months

Sunday, July 10th, 2016

artificial pancreas could replace insulin injections for type 1 diabetes patients image

An artificial pancreas could replace insulin injections for type 1 diabetes patients. Photo: Matthew Bouwmeester

People living with type 1 diabetes could soon be free of regular insulin injections, after researchers said an artificial pancreas could become available within a year.

Those diagnosed with the autoimmune condition need regular insulin injections, sometimes up to six times a day, to compensate for a pancreas that produces little or no insulin. The body needs insulin in order to convert glucose into energy.

The artificial pancreas is able to monitor the wearer’s blood glucose levels and automatically adjust the level of insulin entering the body. Current devices allow insulin pumps to deliver insulin after a reading from a glucose meter.

Some of the components that make up the artificial pancreas image www,

Some of the components that make up the artificial pancreas. Photo: Diabetologia

Cambridge University researchers behind the artificial pancreas say the device would “close the loop” and combine both tasks.

Roman Hovorka and Hood Thabit reported a positive response from patients who participated in trials, particularly because the device gave them “time off” or a “holiday” from their diabetes management.

“The system is managing their blood sugar effectively without the need for constant monitoring by the user,” they wrote in Diabetologia, the journal of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes.

The artificial pancreas monitors blood glucose in type 1 diabetes patients and automatically adjusts levels of insulin ...

The artificial pancreas monitors blood glucose in type 1 diabetes patients and automatically adjusts levels of insulin entering the body. Photo: Diabetologia

The system works by attaching a smartphone-sized device to the belly of a patient to monitor blood sugar levels. Readings are transmitted to a control gadget attached to clothing, which is linked to an insulin pump to administer the correct dose through the skin.

Insulin requirements vary dramatically between and even within individuals. On one day a person could use a third of their normal requirements and on another, three times what they would normally use.

Developers say the artificial pancreas could also be used by people diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.

A illustration showing the location of the pancreas.

An illustration showing the location of the pancreas. Photo: Malgorzata Tatarynowicz

“Closed-loop technologies are … destined to provide a viable alternative for existing insulin pump therapy and multiple daily insulin injections,” Dr Hovorka and Dr Thabit concluded.

The US Food and Drug Administration is reviewing one of the proposed artificial pancreas models, with approval possible as early as 2017. The UK equivalent authority, the National Institute of Health Research, has said the device could appear on the market by 2018.

However, some challenges still need to be resolved in the artificial pancreas, including addressing the time it takes for the insulin to take effect. Some fast-acting insulin took up to two hours after injection to reach peak levels in the bloodstream, which is not ideal for people participating in vigorous exercise.

The number of adults with diabetes has quadrupled worldwide in under four decades to 422 million, according to the World Health Organisation.

More than 100,000 Australians have developed diabetes in the past year, according to Diabetes Australia, which estimates 1.7 million Australians are living with diabetes.


Henry Sapiecha

Single injection reverses type 2 diabetes symptoms in mice without side effects as shown in this video

Thursday, August 14th, 2014

Researchers at the Salk Institute have found that the FGF1 protein shows promise for the development of safer, more effective diabetes drugs

U.S. researchers have developed a nonsurgical technique to repair severed nerves in minutes instead of months Image

There are numerous research efforts underway to develop new treatments and improve the lives of people suffering type 2 diabetes, whose ranks have increased dramatically in recent decades due in large part to the so-called obesity epidemic. A new generation of safer and more effective diabetes drugs could be in the offing with researchers at the Salk Institute discovering that when mice with diet-induced diabetes were given a single injection of a protein, their blood sugar levels were restored to a healthy range for more than two days.

Although type 2 diabetes can sometimes be managed through a healthy diet and regular exercise in the initial stages, tablets that boost the body’s production of insulin are generally prescribed as the disease progresses. Such tablets can have side effects, including nausea and diarrhea, and aren’t suitable for everyone, such as pregnant women and those with severe liver, kidney or heart disease. They can also cause blood glucose levels to drop too low, potentially resulting in hypoglycemia.

Now Salk researchers have found that injecting obese mice with the equivalent of type 2 diabetes in humans with a single dose of protein FGF1 quickly restored their blood glucose levels to normal levels where they remained for more than two days. Importantly, even when given high doses, the mice suffered none of the side effects common to most current diabetes treatments, such as weight gain or heart and liver problems.

“With FGF1, we really haven’t seen hypoglycemia or other common side effects,” says Salk postdoctoral research fellow Jae Myoung Suh. “It may be that FGF1 leads to a more ‘normal’ type of response compared to other drugs because it metabolizes quickly in the body and targets certain cell types.”

Like the mechanism of insulin resistance that causes diabetes, the team says the mechanism responsible for FGF1 normalizing blood sugar levels isn’t fully understood. But despite FGF1 being a growth factor, the team found that its ability to stimulate growth was independent of its effects on blood glucose levels, thereby increasing the chances of it being used to develop safer, more effective diabetes drugs.

“We want to move this to people by developing a new generation of FGF1 variants that solely affect glucose and not cell growth,” says says Ronald M. Evans, director of Salk’s Gene Expression Laboratory. “If we can find the perfect variation, I think we will have on our hands a very new, very effective tool for glucose control.”

Evans and his team are planning to conduct human trials of FGF1, but admit fine-tuning the protein into a therapeutic drug will take time.

The team’s paper is published in the journal Nature and a video detailing the discovery can be viewed below.

Source: Salk Institute


Monday, August 6th, 2012

Effect of Mulberry Leaf Extract on Blood

Glucose & Breath Hydrogen Results to

Ingestion of 75 g Sucrose by Type 2 Diabetic

Control Subjects

Black mulberries are the most common & very flavoursome. The white ones are sweeter but less flavour .
The white mulberry tree is more of a weeping style in it’s growth pattern
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In Asia, type 2 diabetes is treated with mulberry leaf. Studies supporting this usage include the demonstration that mulberry leaf 1) reduced blood glucose in normal rats (1) and rats with diabetes induced by streptozotocin (2) or alloxan (3), 2) reduced fasting blood glucose and A1C concentrations in 12 subjects with type 2 diabetes (4), and 3) relative to glybenclamide therapy, reduced fasting blood glucose, serum lipids, and lipid peroxidation indicators in subjects with type 2 diabetes (5). In the present study, we determined whether co-ingestion of mulberry extract with 75 g sucrose influenced the blood glucose response and sucrose absorption of type 2 diabetic and control subjects.

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Participants included 10 healthy control subjects (aged 24–61 years) and 10 type 2 diabetic subjects without complications who were receiving oral hypoglycemic agents (aged 59–75 years; glycohemoglobin 7.1 ± 0.9% [normal <6.2%]). The study was approved by the Minneapolis VA Medical Center Human Studies Committee. Mulberry leaf extract was provided by NatureGen (San Diego, CA). Placebo (red dye #40 and caramel) was similar in color and taste to the mulberry.

At 8 a.m., subjects randomly ingested mulberry extract (1 g) or placebo plus 75 g sucrose in 500 ml hot water. The test was repeated in 1 week with the opposite treatment. Medications (except acarbose) were allowed. Hourly breath samples for H2 measurements (6) were obtained for 8 h. Blood glucose was assessed via finger stick (AccuCheck; Roche Diagnostics, Indianapolis, IN) before and at intervals over 120 min after sucrose ingestion in control subjects and additionally at 180 and 240 min in type 2 diabetic subjects. A low H2–producing lunch was provided after completion of glucose measurements. On the test day, subjects kept a diary of severity of abdominal and other symptoms rated on a linear scale (0 = none through 4 = severe) (7).
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Calculations and statistics.

Because blood glucose concentrations often declined below baseline after 120 min, the significance of differences of blood glucose increases between extract and placebo was determined by ANOVA of values obtained over the initial 120 min. The statistical model included treatment and time as repeated measures and the interactions of treatment and time. The influence of treatment on breath H2 was determined from differences between areas under the curves for 8 h (two-tailed paired t test). Sucrose malabsorption was estimated from breath H2 concentrations (8).


Compared with placebo, co-ingestion of mulberry produced significant reductions in blood glucose increases for the initial 120 min of the study (Fig. 1). The mean ± SD increases in glucose for mulberry versus placebo over this period were 15 ± 18 vs. 22 ± 33 mg/dl (P = 0.005) for control subjects and 42 ± 28 vs. 54 ± 46 mg/dl (P = 0.002) for type 2 diabetic subjects. Placebo was associated with greater glucose declines below fasting at the tail end of the study (Fig. 1). The peak-to-trough difference in blood glucose concentration was significantly (P < 0.001) less for mulberry versus placebo for both groups.

Breath H2 concentration was greater (P < 0.01) in the mulberry versus the placebo treatment for both subject groups. Sucrose malabsorption with the extract was estimated to be 12 and 16 g for the control and diabetic subjects, respectively. There was no significant difference in severity for any symptom between mulberry- and placebo-treated subjects; 3 of 20 subjects receiving mulberry or placebo reported mild gas and/or bloating.


The co-ingestion of mulberry extract with 75 g sucrose significantly reduced the increase in blood glucose observed over the initial 120 min of testing in control and type 2 diabetic subjects (Fig. 1). Blood glucose declines at the tail end of the study were less with extract. Thus, peak-to-trough fluctuations in blood glucose were markedly reduced by mulberry ingestion.

The mulberry-induced reduction in blood glucose presumably reflects the ability of mulberry to inhibit intestinal sucrase (9). The increased H2 observed with mulberry indicates that this supplement induced sucrose malabsorption.

The reduction of blood glucose at early time points but higher values at later time points with mulberry would yield relatively minor alterations in A1C. However, factors other than A1C concentrations may play a role in the microvascular complications of diabetes (10,11). Brownlee (12) proposed that generation of reactive oxygen species is the common pathway responsible for diabetes complications, and glucose fluctuations are associated with increased markers of oxidative injury (13). Thus, reductions in blood glucose fluctuation with mulberry extract might reduce diabetes complications despite minor reduction of A1C.

Two drugs (acarbose and miglitol) that inhibit carbohydrate digestion produce modest reductions in fasting blood glucose and A1C (14) and slow progression of glucose intolerance to overt diabetes (15). Use of these drugs has been limited by associated bloating, gas, and diarrhea (16). These symptoms were not significantly increased by mulberry extract; however, convincing evidence of lesser side effects will require studies with extract ingested with each major meal.
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Some individuals prefer an herbal over a pharmaceutical preparation, and such individuals might find mulberry extract more acceptable and better tolerated than acarbose or miglitol. In addition, mulberry extract contains compounds such as fagomine, which induces insulin secretion (17), and antioxidants that putatively reduce lipid peroxidation (5,18,19).

While mulberry leaf is considered safe as a drug and a foodstuff in Asia (20), the extract contains multiple constituents, increasing the potential for idiosyncratic reactions. While unlikely, such reactions can be excluded only after extensive, monitored use of the extract.

Figure 1—

Figure 1—

Changes in blood glucose concentration from the fasting concentration of 10 healthy control subjects (A) and 10 type 2 diabetic subjects (B) after ingestion of 75 g sucrose with 1.0 g mulberry leaf extract (□) or placebo (⧫). The difference between mulberry and placebo over the first 120 min of the study, determined by ANOVA, was highly significant for control (P = 0.005) and diabetic (P = 0.002) subjects.


  1. Miyahara C, Miyazawa M, Satoh S, Sakai A, Mizusaki S: Inhibitory effects of mulberry leaf extract on postprandial hyperglycemia in normal rats. J Nutr Sci Vitaminol 50:161–164, 2004
  2. Chen F, Nakashima N, Kimura I, Kimura M: Hypoglycemic activity and mechanisms of extracts from mulberry leaves (folium mori) and cortex mori radicis in streptozotocin-induced diabetic mice. Yakugaku Zasshi 115:476–482, 1995
  3. Ye F, Shen ZF, Qiao FX, Zhao DY, Xie MZ: Experimental treatment of complications in alloxan diabetic rats with alpha-glucosidase inhibitor from the Chinese medicinal herb ramulus mori. Yao Xue Xue Bao 37:108–112, 2002
  4. Murata K, Yatsunami K, Mizukami O, Toriumi Y, Hoshino G, Kamei T: Effects of propolis and mulberry leaf extract on type 2 diabetes. Focus Alternat Complement Ther 8:4524–525, 2003
  5. Andallu B, Suryakantham V, Srikanthi BL, Reddy GK: Effect of mulberry (Morus indica L.) therapy on plasma and erythrocyte membrane lipids in patients with type 2 diabetes. Clin Chim Acta 314:47–53, 2001
  6. Strocchi A, Corazza G, Ellis CJ, Gasbarrini G, Levitt MD: Detection of malabsorption of low doses of carbohydrate: accuracy of various breath H2 criteria. Gastroenterology 105:1404–1410, 1993
  7. Suarez Fl, Zummaraga LM, Furne JK, Levitt MD: Nutritional supplements used in weight reduction programs increase intestinal gas in persons who malaborb lactose. J Am Diet Association 101:1147–1152, 2001
  8. Zhong L, Furne JK, Levitt MD: An extract of black, green and mulberry teas causes malabsorption of carbohydrate but not triacylglycerol in health controls. J Clin Nutr 84:551–555, 2006
  9. Oku T, Yamada M, Nakamura M, Sadamori N, Nakamura S: Inhibitory effects of extractives from leaves of Morus alba on human and rat small intestinal disaccharidase activity. Br J Nutr 95:933–938, 2006
  10. U.K. Prospective Diabetes Study (UKPDS) Group: Intensive blood-glucose control with sulphonylureas or insulin compared with conventional treatment and risk of complications in patients with type 2 diabetes. Lancet 352:837–853, 1998
  11. Brownlee M, Hirsch IB: Glycemic variability: a hemoglobin A1c-independent risk factor for diabetic complications. JAMA 295:1707–1708, 2006
  12. Brownlee M: The pathphysiology of diabetic complications: a unifying mechanism. Diabetes 54:1615–1625, 2005
  13. Monnier L, Mas E, Ginet C, Michael F, Villon L, Cristol JP, Colette C: Activation of oxidative stress by acute glucose fluctuations compared with sustained chronic hyperglycemia in patients with type 2 diabetes. JAMA 295:1681–1687, 2006
  14. Hanefeld M, Fischer S, Schulze J, Spengler M, Wargenau M, Schollberg K, Fucker K: Therapeutic potentials of acarbose as first line drug in NIDDM insufficiently treated with diet alone. Diabetes Care 14:732–737, 1991
  15. Chiasson JL, Gomis R, Hanefeld M, Josse RG, Karasik A, Laakso M: The STOP-NIDDM trial: an international study on the efficacy of an α-glucosidase inhibitor to prevent type 2 diabetes in a population with impaired glucose tolerance rationale, design, and preliminary screening data. Diabetes Care 21:1720–1725, 1998
  16. Balfour JA, McTavish D: Acarbose: an update of its pharmacology and therapeutic use in diabetes mellitus. Drugs 46:1025–1054, 1993
  17. Taniguchi S, Asano N, Tomino F, Miwa I: Potentiation of glucose-induced insulin secretion by fagomine, a pseudo-sugar isolated from mulberry leaves. Horm Metab Res 30:679–683, 1998
  18. Enkhamaa B, Shiwaku K, Katsube T, Kitajima K, Anuurad E, Yamasaki M, Yamane Y: Mulberry (Morus alba L.) leaves and their major flavonol queretin 3-(6-malonylglucoside) attenuate atherosclerotic lesion development in LDL receptor-deficient mice. J Nutr 135:729–734, 2005
  19. Varadacharylul AB: Antioxidant role of mulberry (Morus indica L. cv. Anantha) leaves in streptozotocin-diabetic rats. Clin Chim Acta 348:215–218, 2004
  20. Srivastava S, Kapoor R, Thathola A, Srivastava RP: Mulberry (Morus alba) leaves as human food: a new dimension of sericulture. Int J Food Sci & Nutr 54:411–416, 2003

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Traditionally, mulberries have been used to nourish and clean the blood, benefit the kidneys, treat weakness, fatigue and anemia. They have a strong anti-inflammatory and antiseptic action, which may help cleanse the digestive tract and benefit those with gout, arthritis, or rheumatic problems. The fruits faint scent and sweet taste make it suitable for all ages.

Black Mulberries are believed to have been consumed by mankind since before recorded history. The mulberry has been cultivated in China for at least 50,000 years, mainly for the rearing of silkworms. The bark of the black mulberry tree is traditionally used for Chinese papermaking. A mulberry tree can live for over 600 years. Until recently many trees in England dated back to the 17th century. King James I planted plantations of trees around England, in an effort to rear silkworms. The entire yield was enough to make only one dress for his Queen.



Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha



Monday, June 20th, 2011

A nasal spray vaccine currently being trialed in Australia could prevent the development of type 1 diabetes.

Previous research showed that the nasal vaccine was successful in preventing the disease in mice, and now the results of a study involving 52 adults with early type 1 diabetes has provided encouraging evidence that it could also be effective in preventing the disease humans.

Type 1 diabetes occurs when the body’s immune system attacks and kills the insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas. The subsequent lack of insulin leads to increased blood and urine glucose, which can result in heart disease, stroke, kidney failure, blindness and premature death if left untreated, with the most common treatment being the daily injection of insulin.

Although the 52 participants in the study had early type 1 diabetes and had evidence of immunity to insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas, they were not yet at the stage of requiring insulin injections. For the study, the participants were given either the nasal vaccine or a placebo for 12 months.

When administered through the nasal passages, the insulin vaccine stimulates the immune system present in the mucosal linings and works to desensitize the whole immune system to insulin so that the immune system’s white blood cells are prevented from attacking insulin in the beta cells.

“The results showed that the vaccine allowed the immune system to restore immune tolerance to insulin,” said Professor Len Harrison of the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute in Melbourne, Australia. “When subsequently given insulin by injection, the participants who had received the nasal insulin vaccine were found to be desensitized to insulin.”

The researchers from the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute and the Royal Melbourne Hospital say the results of the study indicate they are on the right track to finding a vaccine for type 1 diabetes and the same approach could also be adapted to other autoimmune diseases.

“The nasal vaccine approach, if shown to be successful in human type 1 diabetes, could also be tested with different vaccines for the prevention of other autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis,” added Professor Harrison.

The Type 1 Diabetes Prevention Trial, which was previously known as the intranasal insulin trial, INIT II), began in 2006 and is now halfway through the testing phase. Following the encouraging results of the study, hopes are high a nasal vaccine for type 1 diabetes could be available in as little as two years.

Details of the research was published in the April 2011 issue of the journal Diabetes.

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha


Monday, January 10th, 2011

The 7-minute exercise plan for diabetes prevention

Exercise is overrated. I’m always reading more proof that says you don’t need to run a marathon to receive the benefits of a little exercise. Like this British study that claims you can control or prevent diabetes with as little as seven minutes of exercise… per week.

The study’s leader, University of Edinburgh biologist James Timmons, says that you can get the same benefits from minimal amounts of exercise as you can from workouts that last for hours. “This is such a brief amount of exercise you can do it without breaking a sweat,” Timmons said.

In the study, out-of-shape men in their 20s were asked to ride an exercise bike a few times each day – in 30 second bursts of pedaling – two days a week. After just two weeks, the all of the men were 23 % more effective at processing the insulin.

I’ve warned you many times about the potential dangers of over-rigorous exercise, so this minimalist approach appeals to me – and it should to you, too! Like I always say, skip the gym membership and just go for a brisk walk.

Always providing your brain with vigorous exercise,

William Campbell Douglass II, M.D.

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha


Wednesday, December 1st, 2010


The use of cinnamon can be traced way back remote times – Moses is said to have used cinnamon when he made the holy oil, and ancient nations gave cinnamon as a gift for monarchs and gods.  Cinnamon has been regarded as a very valuable spice, its value sometimes being likened to gold. Nations who were involved in trading centuries ago regard cinnamon as highly-priced and highly-coveted item.

Over the years, people have discovered the source of cinnamon and, with the advent of technology, acquiring cinnamon is no longer very difficult.  Cinnamon has been used as a condiment for cooking, giving the dish a sweet flavour coupled with an aroma like no other. Liqueurs, tea, cocoa, chocolates, breads and fruits have benefitted from the use of cinnamon.

Medical experts have been studying the health benefits that one can get from the consumption of cinnamon.  One case to prove that point is a recent randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind study conducted by researchers from London’s Imperial College regarding the benefits of cinnamon on diabetes patients.

Cinnamon and Diabetes:  Is there a link?

In order to find the association between cinnamon and its effects on patients with diabetes, a group of researchers from the Imperial College in London, headed by Dr. Rajadurai Akilen, conducted a study which involved 58 patients diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and whose mean age was 55. Each participant was randomly assigned to either of two groups:  one group received a supplement of 2 grams of cinnamon every day, and another group received placebo.  The length of time wherein the participants received the intervention was 12 weeks.

After the study, the results revealed that the intake of cinnamon supplement was linked to an average decrease in systolic blood pressure of 3.4 mmHg, and a decrease in diastolic blood pressure of 5.0 mmHg.  As for the results of the placebo group, no significant reduction in blood pressure was noted.

When it comes to the participants’ blood sugar level, the researchers noticed a decrease in glycated haemoglobin levels over twelve weeks in the cinnamon group – from 8.22 percent to 7.86 percent.  In the placebo group, on the other hand, researchers noted an increase in glycated haemoglobin levels – from 8.55 percent to 8.68 percent over a period of twelve weeks. Glycated haemoglobin is used in measuring the levels of sugar in the blood.

The Conclusion

Dr. Akilen and his co-workers said that the clinical trial is a first in the UK which has confirmed significant valuable effects of 2 grams cinnamon on the blood pressure and glycated haemoglobin of patients diagnosed with type 2 diabetes coming from different ethnicities. The authors, writing in Diabetic Medicine, said that the 2 gram dose of cinnamon that was administered to the participants of the study was well tolerated and considered safe for the entire duration of the study. They concluded by saying that the durability and sustainability of cinnamon’s effects has not yet been tested, and its long-term safety and tolerability has not yet been determined. Nevertheless, the short-term effects of cinnamon use for type 2 diabetes patients appear to hold a lot of promise.

Health Benefits of Cinnamon

  • It helps lower bad cholesterol (LDL) levels.
  • Studies have shown that it has the ability to stop yeast infections that have become resistant to medications.
  • A study conducted by researchers from the U.S. Department of Agriculture located in Maryland revealed that cinnamon reduced the propagation of lymphoma and leukaemia cancer cells.
  • Cinnamon is said to prevent the formation of blood clots.
  • A study conducted at the Copenhagen University revealed that patients who were given half teaspoon of cinnamon powder mixed with one tablespoon of honey each morning prior to eating breakfast experienced a significant relief in pain brought about by arthritis after one week.
  • Another study indicated that inhaling the smell of cinnamon helps boost memory and cognitive function.

The Facts on Diabetes

More and more people are being diagnosed with diabetes each day that the statistics appear to be very alarming. The European Union 25 currently has 19 million diabetics, and the numbers are expected to rise by up to 26 million by the year 2030.  Four percent of EU 25’s current total population are diabetics.  In the United States, 24 million people – or eight percent of America – are diabetics.  According to the 2005-2007 figures of the American Diabetes Association, the total cost being spent on diabetes is a whopping $174 billion, and $116 billion from this is being spent on medication.

Diabetes results from high amounts of sugar levels in the blood.  If left uncontrolled, diabetes will eventually cause problems in other parts of the body and will seriously interfere with the body parts’ normal functioning.  Examples of body parts that are most commonly affected by the complications brought about by uncontrolled diabetes include the eyes (diabetic retinopathy), feet (peripheral vascular disease), nerves (diabetic neuropathy), and the kidneys (diabetic nephropathy).  Being diagnosed with diabetes also puts a person at a higher risk for cardiovascular diseases as well as joint and bone disorders.  Sexual dysfunction, digestive and skin problems as well as oral and dental problems are long-term complications of uncontrolled diabetes mellitus.

Top Five Ways to Naturally Lower Blood Sugar Levels

  • Get Enough Sleep

Studies have shown that the quality and duration of sleep can affect the body’s ability to properly regulate the production of insulin and that interrupted or short sleep can disturb insulin production. Insulin is produced by the pancreas in order to control the levels of sugar in the blood.

In order to ensure a good night’s sleep, do some exercises during the early part of the day.  It will also help if you establish a regular time for sleeping and waking up.  Also, avoid caffeine especially before going to bed.

  • Stay Active

Regular exercise helps a person lose extra pounds and promotes better health.  However, researchers have also discovered that exercising is associated with the way the liver gives out glucose in order for it to be used by the body.  It is advised that workouts should be done right before a meal. This is according to researchers from the University of Michigan.

  • Reduce your Stress Level

Stress causes the release of hormones, such as adrenaline, responsible for the fight or flight response.  Once these hormones accumulate, fat and glucose stores are released into the blood stream which, in turn, raises the levels of sugar present in the blood.  In order to prevent this from happening, it is important that a person recognizes the stress levels in his life and then try to minimize its impact. Learn to take deep breaths, or do some meditation exercises because having the ability to relax will do wonders to one’s blood sugar levels.

  • Get More Fiber in your Diet

Aside from helping in the digestive process and in easing constipation, soluble fiber helps lower cholesterol levels, and improves blood sugar levels as well. Avoid foods processed foods and those that contain refined carbohydrates. Go for foods rich in fiber such as broccoli, whole wheat breads, beans, etc.

  • Think Mediterranean

Scientists in Spain conducted a study which revealed that a diet rich in vegetables, extra virgin olive oil and fish provided remarkable results when it comes to reducing a person’s risk of diabetes.  It is recommended that a person consume two or more servings of vegetables per day, eat three servings of fish per week, and have fresh fruits for snacks and dessert.

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha


Wednesday, December 1st, 2010



Diabetes is a serious health problem triggered by different factors like an unhealthy diet, sedentary lifestyle and other health conditions like obesity. It affects all demographics with increased prevalence in some races. Also known as diabetes mellitus, diabetes is a composition of several metabolic disorders that results to high levels of blood sugar.

The types of diabetes are classified according to the reason for the increase in blood sugar.

  • The first of type diabetes is a result of the body’s insufficient production of insulin; this is type 1 diabetes. A person with type 1 diabetes will need insulin medication which is normally injected to the body in order to manage blood sugar level.
  • Type 2 diabetes, on the other hand, results to the body cells’ resistance to insulin in order to properly metabolize sugar. This condition may also be worsened by the insufficient production of insulin.

Diabetes can be diagnosed at an early stage. The condition can be genetic but lifestyle factors also play a big role in influencing the onset of the disease. Different studies have shown that the lack of exercise and an unhealthy diet can significantly increase the risk of developing diabetes. The first and most common symptoms of diabetes are:

  • frequent urination or polyuria
  • increased hunger or polyphagia
  • increased thirst or polydipsia

If the three symptoms are felt, the person is advised to go to a physician and undergo sugar blood test.

Unmanaged blood sugar can lead to several health complications; the simplest is the physiological change of the shape of the lenses in the eyes. This leads to vision changes but this effect can be easily handled by lowering blood sugar through lifestyle changes and by controlling one’s diet. In type 1 diabetes, vision change is rapid.  In type 2 diabetes, on the other hand, visual problems appear more gradually. The traditional treatment of diabetes primarily involves the introduction of insulin to the body to help it lower blood sugar level. Nowadays, more and more medical experts turn in to the natural ways of dealing with diabetes. They advise patients to limit their sugar intake and participate in more physical activities in order to manage weight and stimulate the metabolism of glucose.

The risk of developing diabetes is highly influenced by genetics, high blood pressure, obesity, high cholesterol levels and smoking. Unhealthy diet and lack of exercise has also been proven to elevate the risk. Though medications to treat the disease is highly available, the health hazards of its continuous application poses a great risk of trading one serious health condition for another. Alternative procedures to manage blood sugar are being continuously discovered by studies to be effective in better managing diabetes without the adverse effects. A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association showed the efficacy of combination exercise in managing the symptoms of type 2 diabetes.

Combination Exercise against Diabetes

A group of researchers from the Louisiana State University conducted a study evaluating the effects of combination exercise to type 2 diabetes patients. They found that the combination of resistance training and aerobic exercise can offer significant health benefits to type 2 diabetes patients by helping them manage their blood sugar levels. The results of the study were compared to diabetes management plans with either type of exercise and with no exercise at all. Researchers said that exercise can give numerous benefits to type 2 diabetes patients but despite that, it is unclear which type of exercise has greater benefits in managing the condition. This is what they aimed to find out.

The researchers gathered a group of 262 men and women who were diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and who did not use exercise as a means of managing their condition. The researchers compared the effects of aerobic exercise, resistance training program and a combination of the two against not exercising. After the nine-month study period, the researchers observed a significant change in the blood sugar levels in study participants who took the combination exercise program. In addition to this, the patients also needed lesser pharmaceutical medication in order to manage the disease compared to the other groups. The group who did not exercise needed to increase their medication by 39 percent compared to the group which took resistance training, 22 percent against aerobic exercise and 18 percent compared to combination exercise.

The head of the research team, Timothy S. Church, said that even though both aerobic and resistance training program have been proven to be beneficial to diabetes management, the combination of the two programs produced better results. He added that it is also important to consider the lower blood sugar levels in the combination group compared to the group with no exercise despite the latter having increased usage of diabetes medication.

The Many Health Benefits of Frequent Exercise

The list of the many health benefits of maintaining a healthy lifestyle can just go on and on. Here are some examples:

  • Exercising in most days of the week has been found to extend a person’s life expectancy by improving his resistance against diseases. Maintaining an active lifestyle is just as important as eating the right kinds of food.
  • Diet and exercise come hand in hand. Exercise improves the digestion, absorption and metabolism of food. This helps the body get more of the foods we eat.
  • For a fact, participating in physical activities can be fun. Playing sports, going to the gym or jogging around the park can be an effective means to socialize with other people, meet new friends and spending time with family and friends.
  • Exercise can also promote better sleep. People who exercise more have been found to sleep faster and better.
  • Participating in physical activities can also improve ones mood and energy levels.
  • On top of all these, exercise is an effective means of managing and maintaining body weight. People who don’t exercise are found to be more at risk to grow obese and are more prone to develop serious health conditions. In diabetes prevention, for example, exercising is utilized as a means of improving metabolism, control weight and shed out excess pounds.
  • Other diseases like cancer and cardiovascular diseases have also been associated with the lack of exercise, along with an unhealthy diet.
  • Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha


Saturday, November 6th, 2010


Diabetes is one of the biggest health concerns today. The therapies used today in order to cure diabetes are limited to helping the body maintain a healthy sugar level. The most commonly known treatment is the injection of insulin to the body in order to supplement the naturally supplied insulin from the pancreas and to stimulate the cells’ response to the substance. Note that insulin is a very important hormone that helps in the metabolism and balance of sugar in the body.

The approach to treating diabetes may depend on which type a person’s case falls under. Type 1 diabetes occurs when the body’s immune system attacks the cells in the pancreas responsible for producing insulin. It can be triggered by genetic markers but environment factors like diet and viruses can also cause the onset of type 1 diabetes. Insulin-dependent diabetes, as it was previously called, usually happens in people aged 40 or below and will require the injection of insulin several times in a day.

Type 2 or late-onset diabetes happens when the body cells have become resistant to insulin. This is also accompanied with the insufficient production of insulin. People with a family history of type 2 diabetes have higher risk of developing the disease as well. But studies have shown that a person’s lifestyle have great influence over the disease; it can also work the other way around and reduce a person’s risk despite being genetically predisposed.

The usual aphorism for the fight against any disease is “prevention is better than cure.” And nothing can have as much value as avoiding the things in terms of diet that may lead to an increased risk of developing diseases. Specific types of foods and habits have been linked to the development of diabetes. A study from the Harvard School of Public Health showed that drinking sweetened-beverages increases the risk of diabetes by 26 percent.

Sweetened Drinks Can Increase Diabetes Risk

A team of researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health analyzed the data from 11 earlier studies on diabetes risk. The reports contain information from over 320,000 study participants and it gave the researchers an opportunity to look at the issue from higher grounds. Vasanti Malik, one of the researchers, said that drinking beverages with artificial sweeteners have been consistently linked to metabolic syndromes and the development of diabetes in the different studies that they analyzed. They included drinking vitamin and energy drinks, iced tea, fruit drinks, and soft drinks in their study while removing pure fruit juices with no added artificial sweeteners from the list. Some examples of risk factors for metabolic syndromes are increased waist size, low good cholesterol levels, high triglycerides, increased blood sugar levels, and high blood pressure. All these metabolic abnormalities increase diabetes risk.

Malik said that, through the massive information that they have gathered from the previous studies, they were able to look at the bigger picture and found consistent evidence. They were able to summarize the studies and have found an average measurement on the link between drinking sweetened beverages and diabetes risk. According to their analysis, people who habitually drinks sweetened drinks with approximately 1 to 2 sweetened beverages in a day have 20 percent higher risk of developing metabolic syndromes and 26 percent higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes compared to the people who only drank the beverage at least once a month or those who totally do not. The study on diabetes included 310,819 participants of which 15,043 had diabetes, while the study on metabolic syndromes had more than 19,400 participants with over 5,800 cases of metabolic syndromes.

According to the American Diabetes Association, over 18 million people in the United States suffer from diabetes and most of them have type 2 diabetes where the body fails to produce sufficient insulin and at the same time fails to respond to it properly. There are several factors that affect the risk of developing diabetes. These include age, weight, ethnicity and family history. The association between drinking artificially sweetened beverages and diabetes lies in the factor of excessive weight gain according to the researchers. This can also lead to the rapid increase in blood sugar and the accumulation of insulin in the blood which promotes insulin resistance in the cells. They added that the study is dedicated to measuring the relations between sweetened beverage and diabetes, and not to establish causation.

Foods to Avoid

The list of foods that a person with diabetes needs to avoid may go all the way down to the food we love eating the most. And the ingredient that one needs to look for before putting something in the shopping cart is sugar, red meat and saturated fat. Common white sugar, for one, is refined sucrose. It is derived from refining cane juice and removing minerals, protein and fiber. Its ability to be easily absorbed into the blood stream without digestion makes it the worst food for people with diabetes. When a person eats white sugar, his blood sugar levels immediately rises. People with efficient insulin production may not have to worry about it. But people with diabetes can experience hypoglycemia, loss of consciousness, insomnia, dizziness and depression.

The intake of excessive saturated fats may lead to the development of cardiovascular diseases in people with diabetes. Foods with high saturated fats are cocoa butter, coconut oil, palm oil and red meat. Trans-fatty acids from hydrogenated products like margarine can increase not only the risk of diabetes but also heart diseases and even cancer. Trans-fat can also affect the lining of the arteries and result to a 53 percent higher risk of heart attack compared to people who have little or no consumption of the fat. White breads and other products made from white flour needs to be avoided by people with diabetes. White flour is known to contain alloxan which destroys the cells in the pancreas that produces insulin. It causes genetic damage to beta cells and causes them to malfunction and die.

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha


Thursday, September 30th, 2010

Keeping Dieting Simple for Greater Weight Loss Success

When you are dieting it is easy to bounce from one good sounding diet to the next in your bid to lose weight fast. Those who enjoy the most success when losing weight are those who are sensible about the process. Here are some tips that will help you to lose weight sensibly without making you crazy in the process.

The best way to start any attempt to lose excess weight is to record everything that you eat, and what you were doing at the time you were eating as well as how you felt during the meal or snack. Your food diary will reveal a lot about your eating habits. Your eating habits are what makes up your eating pattern which typically involves overeating for a variety of reasons including emotional eating (when you are upset, nervous, or even excited), to avoid having to talk at meals, or because you just love food and have no idea how much food you should be eating at each meal or snack. The food diary will tell a lot about what foods you eat, your food temptations, your emotional state while eating and how often you eat.

Another smart tip is to brush your teeth if you feel tempted to eat a sweet or other goodie that would destroy your goal of losing weight. Most people have an aversion to eating food right after brushing. If you must, give in to the temptation to cheat on your diet with a tasty morsel or sweet by giving yourself permission to eat it, but only half of the food item instead of the entire thing. Another way to avoid temptation is to wait ten minutes before letting yourself have the goodie in order to give yourself time to focus on other things instead of eating. Sometimes this works and sometimes it doesn’t depending on your ability to be distracted and your willpower to lose weight.

Building up willpower is sometimes easier if you have motivation that is right in front of your face when temptation to stray from your diet rears its ugly head. A motivational reminder can be a picture of the new bathing suit your are hoping to wear when you lose weight, or a photo of a wedding couple as a reminder that you want to lose weight before your wedding. Anything that is a physical reminder of your reason for wanting to lose weight will be a visible reminder when you are being tempted.

Make sure that your weight loss goals are reasonable ones and that they are attainable in the time frame that you have given yourself. Make smaller goals along the way to your ultimate goal. Get adequate amounts of sleep, drink 8 glasses of water a day, exercise daily, avoid sugar and eat smaller more frequent meals are perhaps the most important weight loss tips. Have a buddy to go through your weight loss program with, one who is also trying to lose weight or one who is able to support you and understand your weight loss efforts. Drink a full glass of water as soon as you wake up, and before each meal and snack. A full glass of cold water to start your day also starts your metabolism. A metabolism that has been jumpstarted with a glass of cold water will burn more calories than a person who wakes, and does other activities besides drinking water or eating. When you drink adequate amounts of water, the water acts as a diuretic, which will then cut down on the water retention and give you a full feeling before meals and snacks so you eat less.

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha