Archive for the ‘Diabetes’ Category

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Vitamin D Helps Prevent Heart Disease, Dementia and Diabetes

August 27, 2012
Vitamin D Supplements Prevent Chronic Diseases

Vitamin D Supplements Prevent Chronic Diseases

Scientific research bodies extolling the amazing virtues of the prohormone, vitamin D have been published in rapid succession to explain the preventive mechanism shown to prevent cardiovascular disease, diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease. Three independent reviews demonstrate that maintaining a vitamin D blood level between 50 and 70 ng/mL can provide optimal protection against many chronic diseases.

Researchers’ publishing in the journal Nutrition, Metabolism & Cardiovascular Diseases provide evidence that vitamin D is intrinsically involved in the homeostasis of the cardiovascular system. Disruption of the body’s natural stasis system contributes to diabetes, obesity, elevated blood lipids, high blood pressure, endothelial dysfunction, stroke and risk of coronary artery disease. Scientists advise supplementation of 4,000 to 8,000 IU of vitamin D per day to achieve optimal levels, far above the anemic 400 IU currently recommended.

Vitamin D Controls Genetic Receptors to Guard against Chronic Disease

Vitamin D is Shown to Work at the Genetic Level to Halt Heart Disease

Vitamin D is Shown to Work at the Genetic Level to Halt Heart Disease

Scientists at the University of Miami’s School of Medicine demonstrate a direct genetic link between low vitamin D levels and the development of amyloid proteins in the brain, commonly associated with Alzheimer’s disease. Reporting in the journal Neurobiology of Aging, researchers looked at gene signaling in relation to the vitamin D receptor in 492 late onset Alzheimer’s patients and 496 control subjects.

When vitamin D receptors were not activated on the surface of individual cells due to poor vitamin D saturation in the blood, precise gene signaling went awry that halted normal clearance of the dementia-related protein clumps. The team conducting the study concluded “Our findings are consistent with epidemiology studies suggesting that vitamin D insufficiency increases the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.”

Test Vitamin D Blood Levels Regularly to Ensure Optimal Range

Test Vitamin D Blood Levels Regularly to Achieve Optimal Disease Protection

Test Vitamin D Blood Levels Regularly to Achieve Optimal Disease Protection

Researchers in Spain evaluated the vitamin D status of 1,226 individuals in 1996. The participants were again tested eight years later, and vitamin D levels were contrasted with development of diabetes over the course of the study. The results, published in the journal Clinical Nutrition, found that those with vitamin D blood levels above 18.5 ng/mL had an 83 percent lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes during the eight year period. No one in the study with a vitamin D score over 30 ng/mL developed type 2 diabetes.

It has become very clear from countless research studies published over the past decade that vitamin D qualifies among the most crucial and essential hormone-based nutrients. And still millions of people continue to place themselves at unnecessary risk by ignoring this information.

Most people above the age of twenty-one should supplement with a minimum of 2,000 IU of vitamin D every day and have their blood tested to ensure they reach the optimal range of 50 to 70 ng/mL. Extensive research provides more than sufficient evidence that maintaining a proper vitamin D level can dramatically lower the risk of heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease diabetes and many other chronic illnesses.

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Low Vitamin D Levels Associated with Childhood Diabetes Spike

May 7, 2012
Excess Weight in Children Lowers Vitamin D and Raises Diabetes Risk

Excess Weight in Children Lowers Vitamin D and Raises Diabetes Risk

Researchers publishing in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism have found that children with low vitamin D levels, especially when overweight and obese, are at much higher risk for developing insulin resistance progressing to full-blown diabetes by early adulthood. Based on cellular saturation of the vitamin/prohormone, children and adults require higher amounts of vitamin D as body weight increases.

The vast majority of children are vitamin D deficient, a problem exacerbated further by additional fat stores. In addition to a healthy lifestyle including plenty of physical activity and proper diet, parents will want to ensure their children reach proper blood levels of this critical vitamin through exposure to the sun or adequate supplementation.

Low Vitamin D Levels Lead to Insulin Resistance and Diabetes in Overweight Children

Declining insulin Sensitivity Affects Vitamin D Blood Saturation

Declining insulin Sensitivity Affects Vitamin D Blood Saturation

Past research studies have concluded that high rates of vitamin D insufficiency are found most prominently in overweight and obese populations and are linked to dramatically increased risk of heart disease and diabetes. These studies have not explained the mechanism by which excess fat stores and low vitamin D saturation result in chronic disease development and progression.

Dr. Micah Olson and his team from The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center examined the association between vitamin D levels and dietary habits in 498 obese and non-obese children. The researchers checked for levels of abnormal glucose metabolism and blood pressure in the participants. Additionally, the scientists measured vitamin D levels, blood sugar levels, serum insulin and BMI. Study participants were also asked to provide dietary information including daily intake of soda, juice and milk, average daily fruit and vegetable intake, and whether or not they routinely skipped breakfast.

Children with Higher Soda and Juice Consumption Showed Lower Vitamin D Levels

Higher Soda Consumption Directly Correlated with Lower Vitamin D Levels in Children

Higher Soda Consumption Directly Correlated with Lower Vitamin D Levels in Children

The study authors determined that 92% of the obese children tested had a vitamin D saturation (using the standard 25(OH)D test) below the ‘adequate’ level of 30 ng/mL. 50% of the participants were classified as ‘deficient’ with a level below 20 ng/mL. Dr. Olson commented “Poor dietary habits such as skipping breakfast and increased soda and juice intake were associated with the lower vitamin D levels seen in obese children.” The study concluded that obese children with low serum blood levels of vitamin D had higher degrees of insulin resistance that played a significant role in the development of Type II diabetes.

New cases of diabetes and prediabetes are now found in young adults and even children at an alarming and increasing rate. This research highlights the connection between low vitamin D levels, excess body weight and diabetes risk and underscores the importance of vitamin D blood testing for all children and adults. Alternative health practitioners recommend maintaining a vitamin D level between 50 and 70 ng/mL using the 25(OH)D blood test.

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Vitamin E Fractions Lower Coronary Plaque Risk

January 30, 2012
Vitamin E and it's Eight Fractions Help Prevent Coronary Plaque

Vitamin E and it's Eight Fractions Help Prevent Coronary Plaque

Few people pay attention to the importance of vitamin E, much less the multi-fractioned mirror image versions of the vitamin known as isomers (consisting of tocotrienols and tocopherols). Vitamin E has long been known as a nutrient that may play a role in maintaining heart health, but extensive new research explains that the vitamin in all its potent forms is required to dramatically lower the risk of heart disease and heart attack.

Recent studies also confirm that the nutrient family may play a crucial role to thwart the effects of metabolic syndrome, precursor to the diabetes epidemic. Health-minded individuals may need to supplement with a full spectrum form of the vitamin to obtain sufficient quantities to avert a multitude of chronic killer diseases that plaque millions today.

Study Found Vitamin E Tocotrienols Lowered Damage to Heart Muscle by 75%

Vitamin E Tocotrienols Influence Gene Expression to Prevent Heart Disease

Vitamin E Tocotrienols Influence Gene Expression to Prevent Heart Disease

An ever expanding detailed body of evidence is mounting to support the importance of the tocotrienol fraction of vitamin E. While all eight isomers are required for optimal health and disease prevention, the four tocotrienols have emerged as critical components shown to influence LDL cholesterol particle size and oxidation rate. Researchers publishing the result of a study in the journal Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry explain that tocotrienols protect the heart against adverse gene signaling that is a consequence of elevated cholesterol.

A study was designed using rabbits placed on a high cholesterol diet for a period of 60 days. The test animals were supplemented with alpha, gamma, or delta tocotrienols for 30 days, and then subjected to experimentally induced heart attack. Measures of serum cholesterol were cut in half in the rabbits on gamma tocotrienol and nearly in half on those receiving the alpha tocotrienol isomer. The delta tocotrienol form did not exert any effect on cholesterol. Additionally, gamma tocotrienol reduced damage to the heart by 77% and alpha tocotrienol resulted in 67% less damage to the critical heart muscle.

Vitamin E Fractions Reduce the Formation of Cardiovascular Arterial Plaque

Vitamin E is also Shown to Lower Diabetes Risk

Vitamin E is also Shown to Lower Diabetes Risk

Metabolic syndrome is a group of symptoms closely associated with the development of diabetes. People exhibiting metabolic syndrome characteristics run more than twice the risk of developing cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Researchers from the University of Southern Queensland in Australia found “Tocotrienols improved lipid profiles and reduced atherosclerotic lesions, decreased blood glucose and glycated hemoglobin concentrations, normalized blood pressure, and inhibited adipogenesis.”

Researchers determined that a variety of different receptors or genetic signaling mechanisms are involved that can prevent the dangerous systemic inflammation known to precipitate heart disease and diabetes. Natural sources of vitamin E tocotrienols include most varieties of nuts and seeds as well as coconut oil in its unrefined state. Most people will want to ensure adequate intake of this critical nutritional fraction by including a full-spectrum supplement to improve heart health and prevent metabolic syndrome.

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Processed and Red Meats Double Diabetes Risks

November 2, 2011
Red Meats Dramatically Increase Risk of Diabetes Development

Red Meats Dramatically Increase Risk of Diabetes Development

Health-minded adults have been wary of excessive red meat consumption and most avoid any type of processed meats due to the highly carcinogenic nitrite content. Additives used to add taste, cure and prolong shelf life of classic foods such as hot dogs, bologna and sausage not only cause cancer but are now shown to more than double the risk of developing diabetes.

Publishing in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers found that a 50 gram daily serving of processed meat (equivalent to one hot dog or two strips of bacon) was associated with doubled risk of developing diabetes. They also found that protein from other sources such as nuts, seeds and whole grains will have the reverse effect.

Red and Processed Meats Shown to Double Diabetes Risk Factor

Processed Meats More Than Double Diabetes Incidence

Processed Meats More Than Double Diabetes Incidence

Researchers followed 37,083 men in the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study, 79,570 women in the Nurses’ Health Study, and 87,504 women in the Nurses’ Health Study II. Diet was assessed by validated food-frequency questionnaires, and data were updated every four years. Type II diabetes diagnosis was confirmed by a validated supplementary questionnaire. In addition the study included data from a total cohort of more than 442,000 participants to make this the largest study to examine the effect of specific food types on diabetes development and progression.

After all collected data was analyzed with adjustments for age, body mass index (BMI), and other lifestyle and dietary risk factors, researchers found that consumption of 100 grams of unprocessed red meat (about the size of a deck of cards) increased the risk of developing Type II diabetes by 19%. A diet that included only half that amount of processed meats was associated with a 51% increase in diabetes incidence.

Substituting Healthy Proteins from Nuts and Seeds Lowers Diabetes Risk

Substituting Nuts and Seeds For Red Meats Lowers Diabetes Risk

Substituting Nuts and Seeds For Red Meats Lowers Diabetes Risk

Most health professionals believe that diabetes risk is linked to increased intake of refined carbohydrates and sugars. While this may be true, it is important to understand that red and processed meats play a significant role in development of the metabolic disorder, likely due to the increased digestive load placed on the pancreas.

Study authors also found that troubling risk factors can be neutralized or even reversed by substituting healthy protein from nuts, seeds, fish and beans for red and processed meats. Senior research author Dr. An Pan found that “for an individual who eats one daily serving of red meat, substituting one serving of nuts per day was associated with a 21% lower risk of type 2 diabetes; substituting low-fat dairy, a 17% lower risk; and substituting whole grains, a 23% lower risk.”

Many health-minded individuals already limit consumption of red and processed meats. The conclusion of this meta-study drives home the importance of severely restricting red meat and totally eliminating processed meats in favor of healthy proteins to lower diabetes risk factors.

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Carnitine and Lipoic Acid Lower Diabetes, Dementia Risks

October 12, 2011
Potent Antioxidants Improve Insulin Function to Avert Diabetes

Potent Antioxidants Improve Insulin Function to Avert Diabetes

Diabetes is a devastating disease that results from an inability to properly metabolize glucose resulting from poor insulin function. Researchers writing in the Journal of Clinical Biochemistry and Nutrition found that the naturally occurring cellular antioxidant, alpha lipoic acid has the ability to correct abnormal insulin signaling and resistance that are known to promote disease development.

Lipoic acid is shown to rejuvenate energy production in the critical mitochondria and enhance the metabolism of sugars and carbohydrates to restore proper insulin activity. Most health-minded individuals will need to supplement with the biologically active `R` form of this critical antioxidant to effectively thwart metabolic disease and diabetes progression.

Alpha Lipoic Acid Improves Cellular Insulin Function to Thwart Diabetes Progression

Alpha Lipoic Acid Supplementation Improves Blood Glucose Control

Alpha Lipoic Acid Supplementation Improves Blood Glucose Control

Alpha lipoic acid instructs our body`s trillions of cells to effectively burn glucose to be used as a fuel for metabolism and energy production. The result of this study demonstrates that the cofactor compound provides a critical link between the antioxidant status within a cell and normal insulin function. When insulin becomes resistant or ineffective due to the stress of continually high levels of blood glucose, metabolism suffers and diabetes is the end result.

Researchers found that r-alpha lipoic acid (100 mg daily) influences cellular antioxidant nutrients and enzymes. The compound was shown to have a profound influence on these critical protective structures so a perfectly efficient balance was restored that allowed them to perform optimally. As a result, proper gene signaling was restored and insulin and glucose metabolism improved. The study was the first to show that insulin regulation in a cell is closely controlled by antioxidant status, and antioxidant deterioration through poor diet and lifestyle trigger metabolic syndrome and diabetes. Alpha lipoic acid helps to restore cellular antioxidant synergy and can stave off diabetes.

Acetyl-L-Carnitine Inhibits the Formation of Amyloid Brain Tangles

Acetyl-L-Carnitine Inhibits Damaging Protein Accumulation in the Brain

Acetyl-L-Carnitine Inhibits Damaging Protein Accumulation in the Brain

In addition to the amazing health benefits experienced by people supplementing with alpha lipoic acid, another naturally occurring nutrient is showing the ability to boost mood, improve cognitive function and help retain memory loss as we age. Researchers writing in the Journal Neurochemistry documents the precise mechanism that acetyl-l-carnitine (500 mg, twice daily) exhibits to help prevent the formation of brain tangles that are the hallmark of Alzheimer`s disease.

Scientists found that mice supplemented with acetyl-l-carnitine for a period of two weeks protects against the formation of the tau protein tangles that are a hallmark in the development of the memory-robbing form of dementia. While tau proteins are a normal part of nerve cell construction, they are known to accumulate in a hyperactive fashion that can result in cognitive decline and memory loss. Acetyl-l carnitine helps tau proteins behave properly by interceding at the gene and molecular level to prevent dementia and memory decline.

Nature has bestowed us with a multitude of natural compounds that are particularly effective in promoting human health. Alpha lipoic acid and acetyl-l-carnitine are shown to help prevent metabolic dysfunction, diabetes and loss of cognition. Following a natural diet filled with fresh organic vegetables and fruits along with regular physical activity will help to restore youthful levels of these two super-nutrients. Some health-conscious adults may want to supplement to ensure optimal cellular saturation and disease risk reduction.

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Regular Nut Consumption Shown to Lower Diabetes Risk

September 29, 2011
Nuts Contain Healthy Fats and Antioxidants to Prevent Diabetes

Nuts Contain Healthy Fats and Antioxidants to Prevent Diabetes

Research published in the prestigious journal Diabetes Care (published by the American Diabetes Association) suggests that two ounces of nuts consumed daily when substituted for refined carbohydrate foods can prevent diabetes and the deadly complications caused by the disease. Researchers found that nuts eaten as part of a healthy diet can lower serum blood glucose and lipids to lower long-term blood sugar control as measured by the HbA1C blood test. Grab a big handful of almonds, walnuts, pecans or macadamias to ward off diabetes and metabolic syndrome, devastating conditions currently evolving to threaten human health and longevity.

Nut Consumption Improves Long Term Blood Sugar Control to Prevent Diabetes

A Daily Serving of Nuts Improves Blood Sugar Control

A Daily Serving of Nuts Improves Blood Sugar Control

The study was setup by creating three groups among subjects with Type II diabetes. The first group was given high carbohydrate muffins, the second received a mixture of nuts including raw almonds, pistachios, walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts, peanuts, cashews, and macadamias, and the final group was given a mixture of muffins and nuts. The groups receiving nuts were supplemented with two ounces each day that replaced a carbohydrate-rich dietary food item.

All subjects were tested for changes in long-term blood glucose saturation using the industry standard glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c) test. Subjects receiving the nut-only dietary supplement demonstrated the greatest improvement in the HbA1c test as well as a reduction in oxidized low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL cholesterol). Both groups receiving muffins showed no improvement in HbA1c, but the nut-muffin combination group did experience an improvement in LDL cholesterol.

Nuts Include Healthy Monounsaturated Fats and Powerful Antioxidants

Nuts Contain Potent Monounsaturated Fats

Nuts Contain Potent Monounsaturated Fats

The group receiving the full-dose two ounce daily serving of nuts reduced their HbA1c readings by two-thirds the level considered to be a meaningful marker by the FDA. This result is very significant to those currently diagnosed as diabetic as well as the millions of pre-diabetic men, women and children that may be able to prevent full onset of the disease. The research team leader, Dr. David Jenkins of the University of Toronto concluded “Mixed, unsalted, raw, or dry-roasted nuts have benefits for both blood glucose control and blood lipids and may be used as part of a strategy to improve diabetes control without weight gain.” Those following a natural lifestyle will choose non-irradiated nut sources that have not been processed or altered in any fashion.

Researchers believe that the unique mix of monounsaturated fats and phenolic compounds naturally occurring in most nuts is responsible for the glycemic control and lipid profile improvements experienced by the diabetic participants. Furthermore, nuts have not been found to contribute to weight gain in this report or other studies, making this tasty food an ideal choice for weight management goals and long-term diabetes risk reduction.

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Green Tea and Cocoa Supplements Lower Diabetes Risk

August 29, 2011
Natural Flavonoids Lower Risk of Developing Diabetes

Natural Flavonoids Lower Risk of Developing Diabetes

New research published in the Journal of Nutrition provides evidence that potent epicatechin flavonoids from extracts of green tea and cocoa lower the destructive effects of high blood sugar. This can effectively prevent damage that ravages the major organs and especially the coronary arteries lining the heart muscle. Diabetes is a disease that is growing at an epidemic rate and decreases life expectancy by as much as eight years.

Death occurs as a result of complications from multiple chronic conditions. Scientists found that epicatechin flavonoids inhibit the cellular damage caused by rising blood sugar levels and can prevent damage to the heart and liver. Regular supplementation can improve life expectancy by halting organ damage leading to chronic illness.

Green Tea Extracts Shown to Lower Diabetes Risk in Later Life

Green Tea Consumption Improves Insulin Sensitivity

Green Tea Consumption Improves Insulin Sensitivity

This body of research was conducted using five-week old diabetic mice known to present similar metabolic characteristics to humans. Mice were provided drinking water containing .25% epicatechin flavonoids for a period of 15 weeks. This group was compared with lean mice acting as a control. At the end of the study, half of the non-diabetic control mice had died compared with only 8.4% of the diabetic mice provided the epicatechin-supplemented drink. Both groups received the same diet and there was no difference in body weight as the study concluded.

Treatment with the epicatechin-infused water resulted in a significant reduction in deterioration of the aortic vessel of the heart and the liver. Additionally less fat was found to accumulate in the liver of the treated mice, an important factor known to cause progression of metabolic diseases including diabetes and lipid abnormalities. One of the most striking findings in the supplemented animals was a reduced level of systemic inflammation caused by oxidized LDL cholesterol and insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1).

Cocoa and Green Tea Flavonoids Demonstrate Anti-Aging Properties

Cocoa is a Potent Antioxidant that Lowers Diabetes Risk

Cocoa is a Potent Antioxidant that Lowers Diabetes Risk

Many prior studies have demonstrated that sustained high levels of IGF-1 in the circulating blood are consistent with chronic disease and shortened life span. Because of the effect exerted by epicatechin compounds extracted from green tea and cocoa products, the study authors determined that the data derived “further suggests that epicatechin may be a food-derived, anti-aging compound given the important role of IGF-1 in regulating the life span of organisms.”

The potent health-inducing nature of green tea has been in evidence for more than 5,000 years as countless Asian generations have cultivated the plant for medicinal purposes. Nutrition advisors recommend taking 2 to 4 cups of fresh brewed green tea each day or supplementing with 250 to 500 mg of the EGCG active compound found in green tea to lower disease risk and increase healthy lifespan.