Plant-based diet ramps up metabolism

Plant-based participants increased after-meal calorie burn by 18.7% after 16 weeks

The study randomly assigned participants–who were overweight and had no history of diabetes–to an intervention or control group in a 1:1 ratio. For 16 weeks, participants in the intervention group followed a low-fat, plant-based diet based on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes with no calorie limit. The control group made no diet changes. Neither group changed exercise or medication routines, unless directed by their personal doctors.

#plantdiet #metabolism #diet

Hana Kahleova et al, Effect of a Low-Fat Vegan Diet on Body Weight, Insulin Sensitivity, Postprandial Metabolism, and Intramyocellular and Hepatocellular Lipid Levels in Overweight Adults, JAMA Network Open (2020). DOI: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2020.25454

The Powerful Blood Sugar Lowering Effect of Withania Coagulans

The Powerful Blood Sugar Lowering Effect of Withania Coagulans

Finally, diabetic mice that were fed the nanoparticles for 5 days showed about 40% lower blood glucose levels compared to their starting amounts. Surprisingly, even 5 days after the treatment ended, the mice showed a 60% reduction in blood glucose compared to their starting levels.

Kaarunya Sampathkumar, Siriporn Riyajan, Chiew Kei Tan, Philip Demokritou, Nuannoi Chudapongse, Say Chye Joachim Loo. Small-Intestine-Specific Delivery of Antidiabetic Extracts from Withania coagulans Using Polysaccharide-Based Enteric-Coated Nanoparticles. ACS Omega, 2019; 4 (7): 12049 DOI: 10.1021/acsomega.9b00823

Lentils significantly reduce blood glucose levels

Lentils significantly reduce blood glucose levels

Lentils significantly reduce blood glucose levels

Replacing half a serving of rice with lentils caused blood glucose to drop by up to 20 per cent. Replacing potatoes with lentils led to a 35-per-cent drop.

Dita Moravek, Alison M Duncan, Laura B VanderSluis, Sarah J Turkstra, Erica J Rogers, Jessica M Wilson, Aileen Hawke, D Dan Ramdath; Carbohydrate Replacement of Rice or Potato with Lentils Reduces the Postprandial Glycemic Response in Healthy Adults in an Acute, Randomized, Crossover Trial, The Journal of Nutrition, Volume 148, Issue 4, 1 April 2018, Pages 535–541, doi:10.1093/jn/nxy018

Could artificial sweetener CAUSE diabetes? Splenda ‘modifies way the body handles sugar’, increasing insulin production by 20%

  • Study found sugar substitute sucralose had  an effect on blood sugar levels
  • Also discovered that insulin production  increased by 20% when consumed
  • Scientists aren’t sure what implications  are, but said that regularly elevated insulin levels could eventually cause  insulin resistance and even diabetes

By  Rachel Reilly

PUBLISHED: 12:27 EST, 30 May  2013 |  UPDATED: 12:27  EST, 30 May 2013

Sugar substitute Splenda is made of sucralose, which has been found to affect blood glucose and insulin levelsSplenda is made of sucralose, which has been found to  affect blood glucose and insulin levels

Splenda can modify how the body handles sugar  and could lead to diabetes, according to a new study.

Scientists found that consuming the sugar  alternative made of sucralose caused a person’s sugar levels to peak at a higher  level and in turn increase the amount of insulin a person produced.

Researchers said that while they did not  fully understand the implications of the findings, they might suggest that  Splenda could raise the risk of diabetes.

This is because regularly elevated insulin  levels can lead to insulin  resistance, which is a known path to type 2  diabetes.

‘Our results indicate that this  artificial  sweetener is not inert – it does have an effect,’ said Yanina Pepino, research  assistant professor of medicine at the  Washington School of Medicine in St. Louis, who led the study.

‘And we need to do more studies to determine  whether this observation  means long-term use could be harmful.’

Sucralose is made from sugar, but once  processed its chemical make up is very different. Gram for gram it is 600 times  sweeter than table sugar.

The scientists analysed  the effects of Splenda in 17 severely obese people who did not have diabetes and  did not use artificial sweeteners regularly.

Participants had an  average body mass index  of just over 42. A person is considered  obese when their BMI reaches 30.

Scientists gave subjects either water or dissolved sucralose to drink before they consumed glucose (sugar).


They wanted to understand whether the  combination of sucralose and glucose would affect insulin and blood  sugar  levels.

Every participant was tested twice.  Those  who drank water followed by glucose in one visit drank sucralose  followed by  glucose in the next. In this way, each person served as his or her own control  group.

‘We wanted to study [overweight people] because these sweeteners frequently are recommended to them as a way to  make  their diets healthier by limiting calorie intake,’ Pepino said.

They found that when study participants  drank sucralose, their blood sugar peaked at a higher level than when  they  drank only water before consuming glucose.

Better off with the real thing?: Artificial sweeteners were once thought to be the holy grail for dieters and diabetics 

Better off with the real thing?: Artificial sweeteners  were once thought to be the holy grail for dieters and diabetics, but recent  studies have shown that they could pose dangers to health

Insulin levels also rose about 20 percent  higher. So despite no extra sugar being consumed, the artificial sweetener was  related to an enhanced blood insulin and glucose response.

Professor Yanina explained that they do not  fully understand the implications that these rises could have.

She said: ‘The elevated insulin response  could be a good thing because it shows the person is able to make enough insulin  to deal with spiking glucose levels.

‘But it also might be bad because when people  routinely secrete more insulin, they can become resistant to its effects, a path  that leads to type 2 diabetes.’

It has been thought that artificial  sweeteners, such as sucralose, don’t have an effect on metabolism.

They are used in such small quantities that  they don’t increase calorie intake. Rather, the sweeteners react with receptors  on the tongue to give people the sensation of tasting something sweet without  the calories associated with natural sweeteners, such as table sugar.

While scientists are not sure what the implications of the study are, they said there could be an increased risk of diabetes 

While scientists are not sure what the implications of  the study are, they said there could be an increased risk of diabetes

But recent findings in animal studies suggest  that some sweeteners may be doing more than just making foods and drinks taste  sweeter.

One finding indicates that the  gastrointestinal tract and the pancreas can detect sweet foods and drinks with  receptors that are virtually identical to those in the mouth.

That causes an increased release of hormones,  such as insulin.

Some animal studies also have found that when  receptors in the gut are activated by artificial sweeteners, the absorption of  glucose also increases.

Professor Pepino added: ‘Most  of the studies of artificial sweeteners have been conducted in healthy, lean  individuals. In many of these studies, the artificial sweetener is given by  itself.

But in real life, people rarely consume a  sweetener by itself. They use it in their coffee or on breakfast cereal or when  they want to sweeten some other food they are eating or drinking.’

Just how sucralose influences glucose and  insulin levels in people who are obese is still somewhat of a  mystery.

‘Although we found that sucralose affects the  glucose and insulin response to glucose ingestion, we don’t know the mechanism  responsible,’ said Pepino.

‘We have shown that sucralose is having an  effect. In obese people without diabetes we have shown sucralose is more than  just something sweet that you put into your mouth with no other  consequences.’

She said further studies are needed to learn  more about the mechanism through which sucralose may influence glucose and  insulin levels, as well as whether those changes are harmful.

The study was published in the journal  Diabetes Care.

In a statement, Splenda said: ‘Numerous  clinical studies in people with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes and non-diabetic  people have shown that Splenda Brand Sweetener (sucralose) does not affect blood  glucose levels, insulin, or HbA1c.

‘FDA and other important safety and  regulatory agencies from around the world have concluded that sucralose does not  adversely affect glucose control, including in people with diabetes.

‘Experts from around the world have found  that Splenda Brand Sweetener is suitable for everyone, including those with  diabetes.’

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153rd Health Research Report Synopsis 19 APR 2013

In this Issue:


1. Lift weights to lower blood sugar? White muscle helps keep blood glucose levels under control


2. New evidence that natural substances in green coffee beans help control blood sugar levels


3. New evidence that egg white protein may help high blood pressure


4. Omega-3 fatty acids more effective at inhibiting growth of triple-negative breast cancer


5. The adult generations of today are less healthy than their counterparts of previous generations


6. Co-Q10 deficiency may relate to statin drugs, diabetes risk


7. Naturally-occurring substance proves effective against deadly skin cancer in laboratory tests


8. Drinking cup of beetroot juice daily may help lower blood pressure


9. Vitamin D may reduce risk of uterine fibroids, according to NIH study


10. Excess vitamin E intake not a health concern


11. US hospitals make more money when surgery goes wrong


Metformin leads to an accumulation of AMP, which inhibits an enzyme called adenylate cyclase, thereby reducing levels of cyclic AMP and protein kinase activity: WOOPS

Contact: Karen Kreeger 215-349-5658 University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine

Most-used diabetes drug works in different way than previously thought

Findings could lead to diabetes treatments with less side effects

PHILADELPHIA – A team, led by senior author Morris J. Birnbaum, MD, PhD, the Willard and Rhoda Ware Professor of Medicine, with the Institute for Diabetes, Obesity, and Metabolism, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, found that the diabetes drug metformin works in a different way than previously understood. Their research in mice found that metformin suppresses the liver hormone glucagon’s ability to generate an important signaling molecule, pointing to new drug targets. The findings were published online this week in Nature.

For fifty years, one of the few classes of therapeutics effective in reducing the overactive glucose production associated with diabetes has been the biguanides, which includes metformin, the most frequently prescribed drug for type 2 diabetes. The inability of insulin to keep liver glucose output in check is a major factor in the high blood sugar of type 2 diabetes and other diseases of insulin resistance.

“Overall, metformin lowers blood glucose by decreasing liver production of glucose,” says Birnbaum. “But we didn’t really know how the drug accomplished that.”

Imperfectly Understood

Despite metformin’s success, its mechanism of action remained imperfectly understood. About a decade ago, researchers suggested that metformin reduces glucose synthesis by activating the enzyme AMPK. But this understanding was challenged by genetic experiments in 2010 by collaborators on the present Nature study. Coauthors Marc Foretz and Benoit Viollet from Inserm, CNRS, and Université Paris Descartes, Paris, found that the livers of mice without AMPK still responded to metformin, indicating that blood glucose levels were being controlled outside of the AMPK pathway.

Taking another look at how glucose is regulated normally, the team knew that when there is no food intake and glucose decreases, glucagon is secreted from the pancreas to signal the liver to produce glucose. They then asked if metformin works by stopping the glucagon cascade.

The Nature study describes a novel mechanism by which metformin antagonizes the action of glucagon, thus reducing fasting glucose levels. The team showed that metformin leads to the accumulation of AMP in mice, which inhibits an enzyme called adenylate cyclase, thereby reducing levels of cyclic AMP and protein kinase activity, eventually blocking glucagon-dependent glucose output from liver cells.

From this new understanding of metformin’s action, Birnbaum and colleagues surmise that adenylate cyclase could be a new drug target by mimicking the way in which it is inhibited by metformin. This strategy would bypass metformin’s affect on a cell’s mitochondria to make energy, and possibility avoid the adverse side effects experienced by many people who take metformin, perhaps even working for those patients resistant to metformin.


Co-authors are Russell A. Miller and Qingwei Chu from Penn, and Jianxin Xie from Cell Signaling Technology, Mass.

This work was supported by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (RO1 DK56886, PO1 DK49210, F32 DK079572); the Association pour l’Etude des Diabètes et des Maladies Métaboliques; the Programme National de Recherche sur le Diabète; and the Institut Benjamin Delessert.

Penn Medicine is one of the world’s leading academic medical centers, dedicated to the related missions of medical education, biomedical research, and excellence in patient care. Penn Medicine consists of the Raymond and Ruth Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania (founded in 1765 as the nation’s first medical school) and the University of Pennsylvania Health System, which together form a $4.3 billion enterprise.

The Perelman School of Medicine is currently ranked #2 in U.S. News & World Report’s survey of research-oriented medical schools. The School is consistently among the nation’s top recipients of funding from the National Institutes of Health, with $479.3 million awarded in the 2011 fiscal year.

The University of Pennsylvania Health System’s patient care facilities include: The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania — recognized as one of the nation’s top “Honor Roll” hospitals by U.S. News & World Report; Penn Presbyterian Medical Center; and Pennsylvania Hospital — the nation’s first hospital, founded in 1751. Penn Medicine also includes additional patient care facilities and services throughout the Philadelphia region.

Penn Medicine is committed to improving lives and health through a variety of community-based programs and activities. In fiscal year 2011, Penn Medicine provided $854 million to benefit our community.

Blood-sugar lowering medications may increase risk for false positive results in cancer screenings

2010 study posted for filing

Contact: Amy Shaw 703-652-6773 Society of Nuclear Medicine

New study suggests that medication used to control blood sugar levels can distort results of some molecular imaging screenings for cancer

SALT LAKE CITY—A study presented at SNM’s 57th Annual Meeting suggests that medication ingested to control blood-sugar levels can skew the results of cancer screenings using positron emission tomography (PET), a molecular imaging technique, by increasing absorption in the gut of the PET imaging agent called fluorodeoxyglucose (18F-FDG), which mimics sugar inside the body.

“The use of certain medications can influence where and how much of the imaging agent is taken up by the body,” said Kyle Hurtgen, certified nuclear medicine technologist, Saint Louis University Hospital, St. Louis, Mo., and lead author of the study. “It is important for technologists to know the patient’s history and use that information to their advantage to help physicians detect cancer and provide the best possible treatment for diabetic patients.”

According to the study, diabetic patients taking tablet-form medications to help control blood-sugar levels prior to being screened for cancer using PET showed abnormally high intestinal absorption of 18F-FDG, a sign that normally indicates a cancerous tumor.

Suspiciously high absorption of this agent, which is bound with a molecular compound that acts like glucose and is metabolized by cells in the body as fuel, is seen as a “hot spot” on a PET scan. These hot spots can signal the high metabolic activity of cancer cells, but blood-sugar lowering medications called oral hypoglycemics can cause a similar visual effect that may make diagnosis more difficult. Determining the use of these medications and potentially discontinuing their use prior to imaging may improve diagnostic accuracy for diabetics, especially those suspected of having colon or other bowel cancers.

The study was conducted at Saint Louis University Hospital using advanced PET/CT technology. The research involved the imaging of three groups of patients with known or suspected extraabdominal cancer. Patients in one group had been diagnosed with diabetes mellitus and had taken oral hypoglycemics prior to imaging. Another group included diabetic patients who had not taken these medications and the third group included non-diabetic patients. More than 60 percent of those who had taken oral hypoglycemics were determined to have much higher bowel and intestinal uptake of the tracer than patients in the other two groups, prompting technologists and clinicians to carefully evaluate the use of blood-sugar lowering medications when imaging diabetic patients.


Scientific Paper 2015: K.W. Hurtgen, N. Nguyen, D. Oliver, M.M. Osman, Nuclear Medicine, Saint Louis University Hospital, St. Louis, Mo., “Impact of Oral Hypoglycemics on 18F-FDG bowel uptake:  A technologist perspective,” SNM’s 57th Annual Meeting, June 5𔃇, 2010, Salt Lake City, Utah.

About SNM—Advancing Molecular Imaging and Therapy

SNM is an international scientific and medical organization dedicated to raising public awareness about what molecular imaging is and how it can help provide patients with the best health care possible. SNM members specialize in molecular imaging, a vital element of today’s medical practice that adds an additional dimension to diagnosis, changing the way common and devastating diseases are understood and treated.

SNM’s more than 17,000 members set the standard for molecular imaging and nuclear medicine practice by creating guidelines, sharing information through journals and meetings and leading advocacy on key issues that affect molecular imaging and therapy research and practice. For more information, visit

Incidence of type 1 diabetes doubles in 20 years, continues rising at 3 percent per year — but why?

2010 study posted for filing

Contact: Jessica Jonap 305-864-5521
Kaplan Publishing

Book investigates leading scientific hypotheses to explain mysterious increase

NEW YORK–The incidence of type 1 diabetes is now twice as high among children as it was in the 1980s, and 10 to 20 times more common than 100 years ago, according to peer-reviewed research uncovered in a new book from Kaplan Publishing.

While rising levels of type 2 diabetes are well known (and typically linked to increasing obesity), the corresponding rise in type 1, or “juvenile,” diabetes has rarely if ever been described in the news media, despite a substantial body of scientific evidence. While widely accepted by leading diabetes researchers, the increase in type 1 has as yet received scant attention from leading diabetes advocacy organizations.

Now veteran medical journalist Dan Hurley has gathered the evidence from published studies and investigative reporting in DIABETES RISING: How A Rare Disease Became A Modern Pandemic, And What To Do About It. Hurley, an award-winning reporter who has written often for the “Science Times” section of The New York Times, cites studies and analysis by some of the top researchers in the field documenting the long-term and ongoing rise.

Diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 1975, when he was an 18-year-old college freshman, Hurley knew nobody else at the time with the disease, which was then remarkably rare. “Now I know three other people with the disease who live in my own neighborhood,” Hurley says. “As both a person with type 1 diabetes and a reporter who has specialized in medical journalism for more than 20 years, I was shocked to learn in the course of researching this book that type 1 appears to be rising just as fast as type 2. I think the media has given so little coverage to the rise of type 1 because it simply doesn’t fit with the conventional wisdom that it’s supposed to be a super-rare disease caused by a genetic predisposition. Obviously, genes haven’t changed, so something in our environment or lifestyle has.”

Seeking to explain the mysterious rise in type 1, the book examines five leading scientific hypotheses that offer an explanation:

  • The “accelerator hypothesis,” which asserts that the rising weight and height of children over the past century has “accelerated” their tendency to develop type 1 by putting the insulin-producing beta cells in their pancreases under stress. 


  • The “sunshine hypothesis,” which holds that the increased time spent indoors is reducing children’s exposure to sunlight, which in turn reduces their level of vitamin D (the “sunshine vitamin”). Reduced levels of vitamin D, and reduced exposure to sunshine, have each been linked to an increased risk of type 1 diabetes. 


  • The “hygiene hypothesis,” which holds that lack of exposure to once-prevalent pathogens results in autoimmune hypersensitivity, leading to destruction of the body’s insulin-producing beta cells by rogue white blood cells. 


  • The “cow’s milk hypothesis,” which holds that exposure to cow’s milk in infant formula during the first six months of life wreaks havoc on the immune system and increases the risk to later develop type 1. 


  • The “POP hypothesis,” which holds that exposure to persistent organic pollutants increases the risk of both types of diabetes. ” 

The book cites recent studies which show that back in 1890, the reported annual death rate from diabetes for children under the age of 15 was 1.3 per 100,000 children in the United States. “Because any death due to diabetes in those days had to be caused by what we now call type 1, researchers consider the 1.3 per 100,000 figure to be a rough estimate of the yearly incidence of new cases at that time,” Hurley writes. “In Denmark, the rate was fairly similar, about 2 per 100,000 at the beginning of the 20th century. From that baseline, things took off. By the mid-1980s, the yearly incidence of new cases of type 1 had jumped to 14.8 per 100,000 children in Colorado. By the opening years of the 21st century, the incidence rate in six geographic areas of the United States, as measured in a new study run by the CDC, had climbed to 23.6 per 100,000 among non-Hispanic white children. The rates were 68 percent higher than those reported in Colorado in the 1980s, and more than twice as high as reported in Philadelphia in the 1990s.”

The book quotes Dr. Pina Imperatore, chief epidemiologist in the diabetes division at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as noting that it’s important to recognize that reported rates in the past are subject to uncertainties. But, she said, “It seems the trend we’re seeing in the United States today is similar to what has been reported in Europe and worldwide, about a 3 percent increase annually in the incidence of type 1.”

While the CDC is now tracking the incidence of type 1 diabetes in six communities around the country, no national study is tracking rates as they occur elsewhere, Hurley notes. He cites a 2007 editorial in the Journal of the American Medical Association which called for “a coordinated approach for childhood diabetes surveillance (i.e. mandated case-reporting). Only then can society respond effectively to the serious and increasing challenge of diabetes in youth.”



The book cites numerous peer-reviewed studies and editorials, including:

Edwin A.M. Gale, The Rise of Childhood Type 1 Diabetes in the 20th Century. Diabetes; Vol. 51; 2002 (Dec). Pages 3353-3361.

Ronny A. Bell, Elizabeth J. Mayer-Davis, Jennifer W. Beyer, et al: Prevalence, incidence, and clinical characteristics: the SEARCH for Diabetes in Youth Study. Diabetes Care, Vol. 32 (Supplement); 2009. Pages S102-S111.

Kendra Vehik, Richard F. Hamman, MD, Dennis Lezotte, et al: Increasing Incidence of Type 1 Diabetes in 0- to 17-Year-Old Colorado Youth. Diabetes Care, Vol. 30; 2007. Pages 503-509.

Rebecca B. Lipton: Incidence of Diabetes in Children and Youth—Tracking a Moving Target. Journal of the American Medical Association. Vol. 298 (no. 24); 2007 (June 27). Pages 2760-2762.

Reporters seeking a review copy of Diabetes Rising, or an interview with Dan Hurley, can contact Jessica Jonap at or 305-864-5521.

Stopping diabetes damage with vitamin C

2009 study posted for filing

Contact: Diane Clay
University of Oklahoma

First test in humans gets dramatic results from blood sugar control and antioxidant

Researchers at the Harold Hamm Oklahoma Diabetes Center have found a way to stop the damage caused by Type 1 diabetes with the combination of insulin and a common vitamin found in most medicine cabinets.

While neither therapy produced desired results when used alone, the combination of insulin to control blood sugar together with the use of Vitamin C, stopped blood vessel damage caused by the disease in patients with poor glucose control. The findings appear this week in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism.

“We had tested this theory on research models, but this is the first time anyone has shown the therapy’s effectiveness in people,” said Michael Ihnat, Ph.D., principal investigator and a pharmacologist at the OU College of Medicine Department of Cell Biology.

Ihnat said they are now studying the therapy in patients with Type 2 diabetes.

The goal of the work being done by Ihnat and British scientists from the University of Warwick led by Dr. Antonio Ceriello is to find a way to stop the damage to blood vessels that is caused by diabetes. The damage, known as endothelial dysfunction, is associated with most forms of cardiovascular disease such as hypertension, coronary artery disease, chronic heart failure, peripheral artery disease, diabetes and chronic renal failure.

By reducing or stopping the damage, patients with diabetes could avoid some of the painful and fatal consequences of the disease that include heart disease, reduced circulation and amputation, kidney disease and diabetic retinopathy, which can lead to blindness.

Insulin and many other drugs have long been used to control blood sugar, but Ihnat – in an earlier project with scientists in Italy and Hungary – found that cells have a “memory” that causes damage to continue even when blood sugar is controlled. By adding antioxidants like Vitamin C, Ihnat found that cell “memory” disappeared and cell function and oxidation stress were normalized.

“We have speculated that this happens with endothelial dysfunction, but we did not know until now if it was effective in humans. We finally were able to test it and proved it to be true,” Ihnat said. “For patients with diabetes, this means simply getting their glucose under control is not enough. An antioxidant-based therapy combined with glucose control will give patients more of an advantage and lessen the chance of complications with diabetes.”

While researchers do suggest diabetic patients eat foods and take multivitamins rich in antioxidants like Vitamin C, they warn that additional study is needed. The Vitamin C utilized in their study was given at very high doses and administered directly into the blood stream, so it is unlikely someone would get similar results with an over-the-counter vitamin supplement.

The team is now working to determine how antioxidants work at the molecular level to halt the destructive chain reaction set in motion by high blood sugar levels. In addition, they are evaluating several other antioxidants with an ultimate hope that their work will translate into simple, effective and inexpensive treatments for the control of diabetes.




The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism is the world’s leading peer-reviewed journal for endocrine clinical research and cutting-edge clinical practice reviews.

Dr. Ihnat’s latest work, which is funded by the VA Medical Center, can be found online at

Daily vibration may combat prediabetes in youth : 20min daily was better than prescription drugs at reducing levels of hemoglobin A1

Contact: Toni Baker
Georgia Health Sciences University

AUGUSTA, Ga. – Daily sessions of whole-body vibration may combat prediabetes in adolescents, dramatically reducing inflammation, average blood glucose levels and symptoms such as frequent urination, researchers report.

In mice that mimic over-eating adolescents headed toward diabetes, 20 minutes of daily vibration for eight weeks restored a healthy balance of key pro- and anti-inflammatory mediators and was better than prescription drugs at reducing levels of hemoglobin A1c, the most accurate indicator of average blood glucose levels, said Dr. Jack C. Yu, Chief of the Section of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at the Medical College of Georgia at Georgia Health Sciences University.

In normal mice, just four days of vibration also dramatically improved the ability to manage a huge glucose surge similar to that following a high-calorie, high-fat meal. “It’s a very good sign,” said Yu. “If you eat a pound of sugar, your blood glucose will go up. If you are prediabetic, it will go up even more and take longer to come down.”

Interestingly, vibration did not produce similar changes in older, normal mice, Yu told researchers at the Third World Congress of Plastic Surgeons of Chinese Descent.

“This is our model: the average American teenager who eats too much,” said Yu, who regularly operates on obese and often prediabetic adolescent males who want their abnormally large breasts reduced. “The only way to burn fat is to exercise. We shake the bone for you rather than the body’s muscle shaking it. This is a highly efficient way to fool the bone into thinking we are exercising.”

It’s also one way to deal with the reality that many individuals simply will not exercise regularly, he said.

Yu, also a craniofacial surgeon who studies bone formation, said while it’s unclear exactly how vibration produces these desirable results, it seems linked to the impact of movement on bone health. Vibration mimics the motion bones experience during exercise when muscles are doing the work. The slight bending and unbending of bone triggers remodeling so it can stay strong. One result is production of osteocalcin, a protein essential to bone building, which also signals the pancreas to get ready for food. While this prehistoric relationship is tied to the hunt for food, it doesn’t work so well in 21st century living where folks are moving too little and eating too much, Yu said. The constant demand can produce resistance to the insulin required to use glucose as energy.

Additionally, the body tends to hold onto fat for energy and survival, which researchers think is key to the chronic inflammation found in obesity-related type 2 diabetes. The fat itself produces inflammatory factors; the immune system also can misidentify fat as an infection, resulting in even more inflammation but, unfortunately, not eliminating the fat.

The bottom line is an unbalanced immune response: too many aggressors like the immune system SWAT team member Th17 and too few calming regulating factors like FoxP3. Researchers looked in the mouse blood and found vibration produced a 125-fold increase in immune system homeostasis and similar results in the kidney. This included positive movement in other players as well, such as a five-fold reduction in what Yu calls the “nuclear fuel,” gammaH2AX, an indicator that something is attacking the body’s DNA.

The animal model researchers used has a defect in the receptor for leptin, the satiety hormone, so the mice uncharacteristically overeat. Vibration also significantly reduced the mouse’s diabetic symptoms of excessive thirst and diluted urine, resulting from excessive urination. The mice also seemed to like it, Yu said.

Next steps include learning more about how vibration produces such desirable results and large-scale clinical studies to see if they hold true in adolescents.

Prediabetics can avoid type 2 diabetes by making healthy diet changes and increasing physical activity, according to the American Diabetes Association.

Vibration technology was originally developed by the former Soviet Union to try to prevent muscle and bone wasting in cosmonauts. MCG researchers reported in the journal Bone in 2010 that daily whole body vibration may help minimize age-related bone density loss.

Yu and Biomedical Engineer Karl H. Wenger developed the whole-body vibrator used for the animal studies. Study coauthors include Wenger as well as GHSU’s Drs. Babak Baban, Sun Hsieh, Mahmood Mozaffari and Mohamad Masoumy.


Low-carb diets prove better at controlling type 2 diabetes: Diabetes medications were reduced or eliminated in 95 percent of volunteers

2009 study posted for filing

Contact: Debbe Geiger
Duke University Medical Center

DURHAM, NC — In a six-month comparison of low-carb diets, one that encourages eating carbohydrates with the lowest-possible rating on the glycemic index leads to greater improvement in blood sugar control, according to Duke University Medical Center researchers.

Patients who followed the no-glycemic diet experienced more frequent reductions, and in some cases elimination, of their need for medication to control type 2 diabetes, according to lead author Eric Westman, MD, director of Duke’s Lifestyle Medicine Program. The findings are published online in Nutrition and Metabolism.

“Low glycemic diets are good, but our work shows a no-glycemic diet is even better at improving blood sugar control,” he says. “We found you can get a three-fold improvement in type 2 diabetes as evidenced by a standard test of the amount of sugar in the blood. That’s an important distinction because as a physician who is faced with the choice of drugs or diet, I want a strong diet that’s shown to improve type 2 diabetes and minimize medication use.”

Eight-four volunteers with obesity and type 2 diabetes were randomized to either a low-carbohydrate ketogenic diet (less than 20 grams of carbs/day) or a low-glycemic, reduced calorie diet (500 calories/day). Both groups attended group meetings, had nutritional supplementation and an exercise regimen.

After 24 weeks, their glycemic control was determined by a blood test that measured hemoglobin A1C, a standard test used to determine blood sugar control in patients with diabetes. Of those who completed the study, the volunteers in the low-carbohydrate diet group had greater improvements in hemoglobin A1C. Diabetes medications were reduced or eliminated in 95 percent of the low-carbohydrate volunteers, compared to 62 percent in the low-glycemic group. The low-carbohydrate diet also resulted in a greater reduction in weight.

“It’s simple,” says Westman. “If you cut out the carbohydrates, your blood sugar goes down, and you lose weight which lowers your blood sugar even further. It’s a one-two punch.”

The diet is not easy for everybody. “This is a therapeutic diet for people who are sick,” says Westman. “These lifestyle approaches all have an intensive behavioral component. In our program, people come in every two weeks to get reinforcements and reminders. We’ve treated hundreds of patients this way now at Duke and what we see clinically and in our research shows that it works.”


This research is funded by the Robert C. Atkins Foundation.

Garlic chemical tablet treats diabetes 1 and 2

2008 study posted for filing

Contact: Hiromu Sakurai
Royal Society of Chemistry

Oral administration of vanadium-allixin compound lowers blood glucose levels in diabetic mice

A drug based on a chemical found in garlic can treat diabetes types I and II when taken as a tablet, a study in the new Royal Society of Chemistry journal Metallomics says.

When Hiromu Sakurai and colleagues from the Suzuka University of Medical Science, Japan, gave the drug orally to type I diabetic mice, they found it reduced blood glucose levels.

The drug is based on vanadium and allixin, a compound found in garlic, and its action described in an Advance Article from Metallomics available free online from today. The first issue of the new journal will be published in 2009.

In previous work they had discovered the vanadium-allixin compound treated both diabetes types when injected, but this new study shows the drug has promise as an oral treatment for the disease.

Type I diabetes (insulin dependent) is currently treated with daily injections of insulin, while type II (non-insulin dependent) is treated with drugs bearing undesirable side-effects – the authors note neither treatment is ideal.

The researchers aim to test the drug in humans in future work.

Drinking chamomile tea daily with meals may help prevent the complications of diabetes, which include loss of vision, nerve damage, and kidney damage

2008 Post for filing

Drinking chamomile tea may help fight complications of diabetes Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry

Drinking chamomile tea daily with meals may help prevent the complications of diabetes, which include loss of vision, nerve damage, and kidney damage, researchers in Japan and the United Kingdom are reporting.

The findings could lead to the development of a new chamomile-based drug for type 2 diabetes, which is at epidemic levels in this country and spreading worldwide, they note. Their study appears in the Sept. 10 issue of the ACS’ Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, a bi-weekly publication.

In the new study, Atsushi Kato and colleagues point out that chamomile, also known as manzanilla, has been used for years as a medicinal cure-all to treat a variety of medical problems including stress, colds, and menstrual cramps. Scientists recently proposed that the herbal tea might also be beneficial for fighting diabetes, but the theory hasn’t been scientifically tested until now.

To find out, the researchers fed chamomile extract to a group of diabetic rats for 21 days and compared the results to a group of control animals on a normal diet. The chamomile-supplemented animals showed a significant decrease in blood glucose levels compared with the controls, they say. The extract also showed significant inhibition of both ALR2 enzymes and sorbitol, whose elevated levels are associated with increased diabetic complications, the scientists say. — MTS

ARTICLE #2 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE “Protective Effects of Dietary chamomile Tea on Diabetic Complications”


CONTACT: Atsushi Kato University of Toyama Toyama, Japan Fax: 81 76 434 5155 Email:

Pumpkin: A fairytale end to insulin injections? Regenerates Pancreatic Cells

Compounds found in pumpkin could potentially replace or at least drastically reduce the daily insulin injections that so many diabetics currently have to endure. Recent research reveals that pumpkin extract promotes regeneration of damaged pancreatic cells in diabetic rats, boosting levels of insulin-producing beta cells and insulin in the blood, reports Lisa Richards in Chemistry & Industry, the magazine of the SCI.

A group, led by Tao Xia of the East China Normal University, found that diabetic rats fed the extract had only 5% less plasma insulin and 8% fewer insulin-positive (beta) cells compared to normal healthy rats (Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, 87(9) 1753-7 2007).

Xia says: ‘pumpkin extract is potentially a very good product for pre-diabetic persons, as well as those who have already developed diabetes.’ He adds that although insulin injections will probably always be necessary for these patients, pumpkin extract could drastically reduce the amount of insulin they need to take.

David Bender, sub-dean at the Royal Free and University College Medical School, London, says: ‘this research is very exciting… the main finding is that feeding pumpkin extract prevents the progressive destruction of pancreatic beta-cells… but it is impossible to say whether pumpkin extract would promote regeneration in humans.’  He added: ‘I think the exciting thing is that this may be a source of a medication that could be taken by mouth.’

The protective effect of pumpkin is thought to be due to both antioxidants and D-chiro-inositol, a molecule that mediates insulin activity. Boosting insulin levels has the effect of lowering blood sugar levels, which reduces levels of oxidative oxygen species that damage beta-cell membranes, preventing further damage and allowing for some regeneration. Beta cells levels in the diabetic rats are, however, unlikely ever to reach that of controls, because some of the cells will have been damaged beyond repair.

Diabetes affects more than 230m people, almost 6% of the world’s adult population, according to the World Diabetes Foundation. The rats used in this study represent type I diabetes, but the researchers believe the pumpkin extract may also play a role in type II diabetes.

*Requested Repost from my Newsletters 2007