New study shows link between perfluorinated compounds and diabetes

Press release Published  2013-12-12

Perfluorinated  compounds are environmental toxins that are found in fire extinguishing foam and water-repellent textiles and, for example. In a new study, a research team led from Uppsala University has seen links between high levels of perfluorinated compounds in the blood and diabetes.

The research group at Uppsala University has previously shown associations between high levels of environmental toxins, such as PCB, pesticides, and phthalates and diabetes. In the new study they have investigated whether elevated levels of another type of environmental toxin, so-called perfluorinated compounds, are related to diabetes. Perfluorinated compounds are used in a wide variety of industrial and consumer products, including fire fighting foam, non-stick cookware, and grease and water-repellent materials such as food contact material, ski wax and GoreTex, for example. Continue reading “New study shows link between perfluorinated compounds and diabetes”

Study is the first to show higher dietary acid load increases risk of diabetes ( Up to 56% Increased Risk )

Contact: Dr Guy Fagherazzi Guy.FAGHERAZZI@gustaveroussy.fr 33-142-116-140 Diabetologia

A study of more than 60 000 women has shown that higher overall acidity of the diet, regardless of the individual foods making up that diet, increases the risk of type 2 diabetes. The study, the first large prospective study to demonstrate these findings, is published in Diabetologia, the journal of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD), and is by Dr Guy Fagherazzi and Dr Françoise Clavel-Chapelon, Center for Research in Epidemiology and Population Health, INSERM, Paris, France, and colleagues.

A western diet rich in animal products and other acidogenic foods can induce an acid load that is not compensated for by fruit and vegetables; this can cause chronic metabolic acidosis and lead to metabolic complications. Most importantly from a blood-sugar control perspective, increasing acidosis can reduce the ability of insulin to bind at appropriate receptors in the body, and reduce insulin sensitivity. With this in mind, the authors decided to analyse whether increased acidosis caused by dietary acid loads increased the risk of type 2 diabetes.

A total of 66,485 women from the E3N study (the French Centre of the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition, a well-known ongoing epidemiological study) were followed for new diabetes cases over 14 years. Their dietary acid load was calculated from their potential renal acid load (PRAL) and their net endogenous acid production (NEAP) scores, both standard techniques for assessing dietary acid consumption from nutrient intake.

During follow-up, 1,372 new cases of incident type 2 diabetes occurred. In the overall population, those in the top 25% (quartile) for PRAL had a 56% increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes compared with the bottom quartile. Women of normal weight (BMI of 25 and under) had the highest increased risk (96% for top quartile versus bottom) while overweight women (BMI 25 and over) had only a 28% increased risk (top quartile versus bottom). NEAP scores showed a similar increased risk for higher acid load.

The authors say: “A diet rich in animal protein may favour net acid intake, while most fruits and vegetables form alkaline precursors that neutralise the acidity. Contrary to what is generally believed, most fruits such as peaches, apples, pears, bananas and even lemons and oranges actually reduce dietary acid load once the body has processed them. In our study, the fact that the association between both PRAL and NEAP scores and the risk of incident type 2 diabetes persisted after adjustment for dietary patterns, meat consumption and intake of fruit, vegetables, coffee and sweetened beverages suggests that dietary acids may play a specific role in promoting the development of type 2 diabetes, irrespective of the foods or drinks that provide the acidic or alkaline components.”

They conclude: “We have demonstrated for the first time in a large prospective study that dietary acid load was positively associated with type 2 diabetes risk, independently of other known risk factors for diabetes. Our results need to be validated in other populations, and may lead to promotion of diets with a low acid load for the prevention of diabetes. Further research is required on the underlying mechanisms.”

‘Catastrophe’ as 114 million Chinese suffer diabetes thanks to economic boom

Shocking survey shows 11.6pc of people suffer from rampant diet-related disease, with around one third of the world’s diabetics living in China

Thursday, 05 September, 2013 [Updated: 7:42AM]

Bloomberg and Lo Wei

  • 08d8bcc4d1492d8da026f9c5d08814f6.jpg
Overweight children at a fitness camp in Wuhan. Diabetes in Asians is triggered at a lower weight than in the West. Photo: Xinhua

About 11.6 per cent of adults in mainland China, or 114 million people, suffer from diabetes, a comprehensive nationwide survey on the disease shows.

It means that almost one in three diabetes sufferers globally is in China, a development one world expert on the disease called a catastrophe. It is now more common in China than in the US, where 11.3 per cent of adults are diabetic.

The number of diabetics on the mainland shot up by 22 million, the equivalent of Australia’s population, between 2007 and 2010, according to the study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Rapid changes in lifestyle are the key factor. American diabetics are usually overweight, but those on the mainland are not, the researchers found.

“Diabetes may have reached an alert level in the Chinese general population, with the potential for a major epidemic of diabetes-related complications, including cardiovascular disease, stroke, and chronic kidney disease,” wrote the research team, led by Guang Ning from the laboratory for endocrine and metabolic diseases at the Ministry of Health.

“Poor nutrition in utero and in early life combined with overnutrition in later life may contribute to the accelerated epidemic of diabetes in China.”

The report is based on a survey of a nationally representative sample of 98,658 adults in 2010. A similar survey in 2007 pegged diabetes prevalence at 9.7 per cent, or 92.4 million adults.

Almost two-thirds of patients treated for diabetes did not have adequate blood-sugar control, the authors found. For every mainlander diagnosed with diabetes, at least two more will be unaware they have it.

“China is now among the countries with the highest diabetes prevalence in Asia and has the largest absolute disease burden of diabetes in the world,” the researchers wrote.

Dr Chan Wing-bun, clinical director of Chinese University of Hong Kong’s Diabetes and Endocrine Centre, said: “The most alarming part of the finding is the extremely rapid increase.”

Chan said that when a poor society becomes richer, changes in diet and lifestyle mean that many people will develop diabetes. After a while, people become health-conscious and the rate falls.

Changing diet is a factor in the increase in diabetes. Photo: AFPHe took Hong Kong as an example. The rate increased in the 1980s and 1990s, reaching about 10 per cent. But the most recent survey, conducted in 2004, saw a drop to seven per cent.

Asians have been shown to be more prone to diabetes than Westerners. Scientists have suggested that insulin cell function is weaker in Asians, said Chan.

The average body mass index, or BMI, in diabetics in the study was 23.7, compared with 28.7 in the US.

As in the rest of Asia, the young and middle-aged were most at risk, the study found. Pre-diabetes, or those on the verge of developing diabetes, was present in 40 per cent of adults aged 18 to 29, and 47 per cent among those 30 to 39.

“The alarmingly high figures for pre-diabetes are very scary,” said Juliana Chan, a professor of medicine and therapeutics at Chinese University who wrote an editorial accompanying the study. “A lot of people think diabetes is a disease that mainly affects the elderly, but we have a very unhealthy young population that may lose their ability to work in the prime of their lives, and this would also have an impact on their families and on society,” she said.

Paul Zimmet, honorary president of the International Diabetes Federation, said diabetes in China had become a “catastrophe”. He said the increase in the prevalence of diabetes in the country was “unparalleled globally”.

“The booming economy in China has brought with it a medical problem which could bankrupt the health system,” said Zimmet. “The big question is the capacity in China to deal with a problem of such magnitude.”

China’s diabetes-related medical costs were estimated at 173.4 billion yuan (HK$214 billion) a year in 2010. The rising trend has strained health services and helped fuel growth in drug sales of 20 per cent a year.

Costs are expected to skyrocket in the next 10 to 20 years as the millions of sufferers seek treatment and care for related ailments such as kidney failure, stroke and blindness.

Harry’s view

This article appeared in the South China Morning Post print edition as 114 m mainlanders hit by diabetes epidemic.

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.’

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2333336/Could-artificial-sweetener-CAUSE-diabetes-Splenda-modifies-way-body-handles-sugar-increasing-insulin-production-20.html#ixzz2UqPXYVsA Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

UAB researchers cure type 1 diabetes in dogs

Contact: Octavi López Coronado octavi.lopez@uab.cat 34935813301 Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona

Introducing a ‘glucose sensor’ by gene therapy eliminates the symptoms of the disease

Researchers from the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB), led by Fàtima Bosch, have shown for the first time that it is possible to cure diabetes in large animals with a single session of gene therapy. As published this week in Diabetes, the principal journal for research on the disease, after a single gene therapy session, the dogs recover their health and no longer show symptoms of the disease. In some cases, monitoring continued for over four years, with no recurrence of symptoms.

The therapy is minimally invasive. It consists of a single session of various injections in the animal’s rear legs using simple needles that are commonly used in cosmetic treatments. These injections introduce gene therapy vectors, with a dual objective: to express the insulin gene, on the one hand, and that of glucokinase, on the other. Glucokinase is an enzyme that regulates the uptake of glucose from the blood. When both genes act simultaneously they function as a “glucose sensor”, which automatically regulates the uptake of glucose from the blood, thus reducing diabetic hyperglycemia (the excess of blood sugar associated with the disease).

As Fàtima Bosch, the head researcher, points out, “this study is the first to demonstrate a long-term cure for diabetes in a large animal model using gene therapy.”

This same research group had already tested this type of therapy on mice, but the excellent results obtained for the first time with large animals lays the foundations for the clinical translation of this gene therapy approach to veterinary medicine and eventually to diabetic patients.

The study was led by the head of the UAB’s Centre for Animal Biotechnology and Gene Therapy (CBATEG) Fàtima Bosch, and involved the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology of the UAB, the Department of Medicine and Animal Surgery of the UAB, the Faculty of Veterinary Science of the UAB, the Department of Animal Health and Anatomy of the UAB, the Spanish Biomedical Research Centre in Diabetes and Associated Metabolic Disorders (CIBERDEM), the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (USA) and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute of Philadelphia (USA).

A safe and efficacious gene therapy

The study provides ample data showing the safety of gene therapy mediated by adeno-associated vectors (AAV) in diabetic dogs. The therapy has proved to be safe and efficacious: it is based on the transfer of two genes to the muscle of adult animals using a new generation of very safe vectors known as adeno-associated vectors. These vectors, derived from non-pathogenic viruses, are widely used in gene therapy and have been successful in treating several diseases.

In fact, the first gene therapy medicine ever approved by the European Medicines Agency, named Glybera®, makes use of adeno-associated vectors to treat a metabolic disease caused by a deficiency of lipoprotein lipase and the resulting accumulation of triglycerides in the blood.

Long-term control of the disease

Dogs treated with a single administration of gene therapy showed good glucose control at all times, both when fasting and when fed, improving on that of dogs given daily insulin injections, and with no episodes of hypoglycemia, even after exercise. Furthermore, the dogs treated with adeno-associated vectors improved their body weight and had not developed secondary complications four years after the treatment.

The study is the first to report optimal long-term control of diabetes in large animals. This had never before been achieved with any other innovative therapies for diabetes. The study is also the first to report that a single administration of genes to diabetic dogs is able to maintain normoglycemia over the long term (more than 4 years). As well as achieving normoglycemia, the dogs had normal levels of glycosylated proteins and developed no secondary complications of diabetes after more than 4 years with the disease.

Application in diabetic patients

There have been multiple clinical trials in which AAV vectors have been introduced into skeletal muscle, so the strategy reported in this study is feasible for clinical translation. Future safety and efficacy studies will provide the bases for initiating a clinical veterinary trial of diabetes treatment for companion animals, which will supply key information for eventual trials with humans. In conclusion, this study paves the way for the clinical translation of this approach to gene therapy to veterinary medicine, and eventually to diabetic patients.

Diabetes mellitus

Diabetes mellitus is the most common metabolic disease, and a large number of patients need insulin treatment to survive. In spite of the use of insulin injections to control the disease, these patients often develop serious secondary complications like blindness, kidney damage or amputation of limbs. Moreover, in order to achieve good blood glucose control, insulin has to be injected two or three times a day, which brings a risk of hypoglycemia episodes (lowering of blood sugar): an additional problem that comes on top of the other hardships of the treatment.

Beta carotene may protect people with common genetic risk factor for type-2 diabetes

Contact: Bruce Goldman goldmanb@stanford.edu 650-725-2106 Stanford University Medical Center

STANFORD, Calif. — Stanford University School of Medicine investigators have found that for people harboring a genetic predisposition that is prevalent among Americans, beta carotene, which the body converts to a close cousin of vitamin A, may lower the risk for the most common form of diabetes, while gamma tocopherol, the major form of vitamin E in the American diet, may increase risk for the disease.

The scientists used a “big data” approach to hunt down interactions between gene variants previously associated with increased risk for type-2 diabetes and blood levels of substances previously implicated in type-2 diabetes risk. In people carrying a double dose of one such predisposing gene variant, the researchers pinpointed a highly statistically significant inverse association of beta carotene blood levels with type-2 diabetes risk, along with a suspiciously high positive association of gamma tocopherol with risk for the disease.

“Type-2 diabetes affects about 15 percent of the world’s population, and the numbers are increasing,” said Atul Butte, MD, PhD, associate professor of systems medicine in pediatrics. “Government health authorities estimate that one-third of all children born in the United States since the year 2000 will get this disease at some point in their lives, possibly knocking decades off their life expectancies.”

Butte is the senior author of the new study, which will be published online Jan. 22 in Human Genetics. The first author, Chirag Patel, PhD, is a former graduate student in Butte’s lab and now a postdoctoral scholar at the Stanford Prevention Research Center.

The findings point the way to further experiments that could establish whether beta carotene and gamma tocopherol are, respectively, protective and harmful themselves, or merely “markers” whose blood levels dovetail with the presence or absence of some other substance, process or defect that is a true causal factor.

Moreover, the fact that both beta carotene and gamma tocopherol interact with the same gene variant to influence diabetes risk, albeit in opposite directions, suggests that the protein the gene called, SLC30A4, codes for may play a crucial role in the disease. Indeed, that protein is relatively abundant in insulin-producing islet cells of the pancreas, where it aids the transport of zinc into those cells. This, in turn, triggers the release of insulin, whose adequate secretion by the pancreas and efficient uptake in muscle, liver and fat tissue counters the dangerous buildup of glucose in the blood and, in the long run, the onset of type-2 diabetes.

The genomes of some 50 to 60 percent of the U.S. population carry two copies of that very gene variant, which previous studies have shown to confer a slightly increased risk of contracting type-2 diabetes. This variant was one of 18, each found by other researchers to have a mild association with type-2 diabetes risk, that the Butte team incorporated into its analysis.

These gene/disease connections had been identified via so-called “genome-wide association studies,” or GWAS. In such analyses, the genomes of large numbers of people with a disease are compared with those of people without it to see if certain versions of any gene variants occur with substantially greater frequency in one group than in the other.

The most well-studied gene variations are substitutions of one type of chemical unit of DNA for another one at a single position along the genome. “It’s like a single-letter spelling change,” said Butte. “‘Grey’ versus ‘gray’ may not matter much, if at all. But when ‘grey’ turns into ‘grew,’ you might have some serious semantic issues.” The genome contains millions of spots at which such differences occur, so advanced statistical techniques must be employed to screen out “frequency differences” between the “diseased” and “healthy” groups that are, at bottom, the mere results of blind chance.

“While plenty of genetic risk factors for type-2 diabetes have been found,” said Butte, “none of them taken alone, and not even all of them taken together, comes close to accounting for the prevalence of type-2 diabetes.” But genes don’t act in a vacuum, he added. (If food is hard to find, nobody gets fat, obesity predisposition or not.)

A few years ago, Butte and his associates designed an approach analogous to the GWAS: the EWAS, or environment-wide association study. Unlike the genome, which is huge but finite (about 3 billion chemical units long), the environment contains an infinite number of substances, from dietary micronutrients to synthetic pollutants, to which a person might be exposed over a lifetime. But increasing numbers of exposures are being cataloged by investigators — including, for example, scientists at the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention who conduct massive biennial screenings to collect data that can guide public-health policy decisions. This ongoing endeavor, called the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, involves a detailed analysis of substances in blood drawn from thousands of volunteers along with their heights, weights, blood pressures, fasting blood-glucose levels and other indicators of their medical status.

In 2010, Patel, Butte and their colleagues published the results of the first-ever EWAS, in which they combed large public databases to compare people with or without high blood-glucose levels — a defining marker of type-2 diabetes — in pursuit of differences between the two groups’ exposures to myriad environmental substances. The analysis fingered five substances, including both beta carotene, found in carrots and many other vegetables, and gamma tocopherol, which is relatively abundant in vegetable fats such as soybean, corn and canola oils and margarine.

The Stanford investigators learned that the NHANES contained data on numerous individuals’ environmental exposures and, for many of the same individuals, their genomic compositions. This enabled the researchers to perform a novel study pairing each of the 18 type-2-diabetes-implicated gene variants with each of the five suspect environmental substances to see how, for individuals carrying a particular gene variant, different blood levels of a given substance correlated with those individuals’ blood-glucose levels.

None of the genetic factors studied in isolation had shown a particularly impressive impact on type-2 diabetes risk. But when they were paired off one by one with the environmental factors, a couple of statistically robust results jumped out. First, for those carrying two copies of the variant in SLC30A4, higher beta-carotene levels correlated with lower blood-glucose levels. “This vitamin was already known as being ‘good’ with respect to type-2 diabetes, so it was no surprise that we saw it, too,” said Butte. “But it was reassuring, as it suggested we were doing things right, and interesting to find it paired with SLC30A4.”

The second finding was at once novel and disconcerting. High blood levels of gamma tocopherol appeared to be associated with increased risk for the disease.

The Butte lab is now gearing up to perform studies in which purified beta carotene and gamma tocopherol will be fed to lab mice. This may show whether those substances themselves are critical to preventing or accelerating the onset of type-2 diabetes. It also may throw light on precisely how these substances affect the production or performance of the protein for which the implicated gene codes.

“We can’t say, based on just this study, that ‘vitamin E is bad for you,'” said Patel. He noted that blood levels of alpha tocopherol — another form of vitamin E that predominates in most supplements — showed no deleterious interaction with the predisposing gene variant in the new study.

But maybe it can’t hurt to eat a few more carrots.

###

Other co-authors were John Ioannidis, MD, PhD, professor of medicine and of health research and policy; former staff bioinformatician Rong Chen, PhD; and research associate Keiichi Kodama, MD, PhD.

The Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health, National Library of Medicine, National Institute of General Medical Sciences and other National Institutes of Health agencies funded the study.

Information about the medical school’s Department of Pediatrics, which also supported this work, is available at http://pediatrics.stanford.edu.

The Stanford University School of Medicine consistently ranks among the nation’s top medical schools, integrating research, medical education, patient care and community service. For more news about the school, please visit http://mednews.stanford.edu. The medical school is part of Stanford Medicine, which includes Stanford Hospital & Clinics and Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital. For information about all three, please visit http://stanfordmedicine.org/about/news.html.

Print media contact: Bruce Goldman (650) 725-2106 (goldmanb@stanford.edu)

Broadcast media contact: M.A. Malone at (650) 723-6912 (mamalone@stanford.edu)

Chromium picolinate may lessen inflammation in diabetic nephropathy

Contact: Donna Krupa DKrupa@the-aps.org 301-634-7209 American Physiological Society

Supplement linked to decreased protein in the urine of diabetic mice

Bethesda, Md. (September 22, 2010) – Taking chromium picolinate may help lessen inflammation associated with diabetic nephropathy (kidney disease), say researchers at the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta. In a study comparing diabetic mice treated with chromium picolinate with those that received placebo, the researchers found that mice who received the supplement had lower levels of albuminuria (protein in the urine), an indication of kidney disease.

The Study

To arrive at their conclusions, the researchers compared three groups of mice, one lean, healthy group and two groups genetically engineered to be obese and have diabetes. When the mice were 6 weeks old, the researchers separated them according to treatment plan. The healthy mice and one group of diabetic mice, the untreated diabetic group, were fed a regular rodent diet. The remaining group, the treated diabetic group, were fed a diet enriched with chromium picolinate.

Over the course of 6 months, the researchers measured glycemic control and albuminuria in all three groups. The untreated diabetic mice excreted nearly 10 times more albumin than the db/m mice, which was to be expected. However, the treated diabetic mice, who were fed the diet with chromium picolinate, excreted about half as much albumin compared to their untreated diabetic counterparts.

At the end of 6 months, the mice were euthanized and the researchers studied tissue samples from the mice’s kidneys. They found that the untreated diabetic mice had marked immunostaining for interleukin 6 (IL-6) and interleukin 17 (IL-17), two cytokines associated with inflammation. These mice also had moderate immunostaining for indolamine 2,3-dioxygenase (IDO), an immunoregulatory enzyme that modulates the production of IL-6 and IL-17. However, the treated diabetic mice had intense immunostaining for IDO but reduced IL-6 and IL-17 compared to the untreated diabetic group. The implication is that the chromium picolinate may have reduced inflammation in the treated diabetic group by affecting IDO, IL-6, and IL-7.

Mahmood Mozaffari, DMD, PhD, professor in the Medical College of Georgia Department of Oral Biology and lead author of the study, noted that the results are preliminary and that further studies are necessary to tease out the effects of chromium picolinate. He is particularly interested in the relationship between IDO and chromium picolinate because IDO is involved in the metabolism of tryptophan, an amino acid, and one of the by-products of that metabolism is picolinic acid.

“This clearly raises an important question for us as to whether our observations are related to the provision of picolinic acid from the chromium picolinate or whether the formulation [chromium picolinate], in and of itself, is mediating the effects.”

###

 

NOTE TO EDITORS: Dr. Mozaffari discussed the study at the 2010 American Physiological Society conference, Inflammation, Immunity, and Cardiovascular Disease, in Westminster Colorado. To arrange an interview with him, please contact Donna Krupa at 301.634.7209 or dkrupa@the-aps.org.

Physiology is the study of how molecules, cells, tissues and organs function to create health or disease. The American Physiological Society (www.The-APS.org/press) has been an integral part of this discovery process since it was established in 1887.

91st Health Research Report 10 OCT 2010 – Reconstruction

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Health Research Report

91st Issue 10 OCT 2010

Compiled By Ralph Turchiano

www.vit.bz

www.youtube.com/vhfilm 

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Editors Top Five:

 

1. Diabetes risk may fall as magnesium intake climbs

2. J&J, FDA leaders take heat for ‘phantom’ recall

3. Vitamin D deficiency rampant in patients undergoing orthopedic surgery, damaging patient recovery

4. Think saturated fat contributes to heart disease? Think again

5. Surprise: Scientists discover that inflammation helps to heal wounds

 

In this Issue:

 

1. Diabetes risk may fall as magnesium intake climbs

2. UM School of Medicine Center for Celiac Research finds rate of celiac disease is growing

3. Sparkling drinks spark pain circuits

4. Maternal diet high in trans fats doubles risk of excess body fat in breastfed babies, study finds

5. Garlic oil shows protective effect against heart disease in diabetes

6. Blueberries help fight artery hardening, lab animal study indicates

7. IU researchers: Chemotherapy alters brain tissue in breast cancer patients

8. Dirty hands, dirty mouths: U-M study finds a need to clean the body part that lies

9. Research examines vicious cycle of overeating and obesity

10. Dog ownership is associated with reduced eczema in children with dog allergies

11. Faith in God associated with improved survival after liver transplantation

12. Drugs for low libido raise concerns over industry ‘construction’ of new diseases

13. Bioethics scholars fault requirement that all women in clinical drug trials use contraception

14. J&J, FDA leaders take heat for ‘phantom’ recall

15. Vitamin D levels lower in African-Americans

16. Vigorous exercise reduces breast cancer risk in African-American women

17. Think saturated fat contributes to heart disease? Think again

18. Sleep loss limits fat loss

19. Walnuts, walnut oil, improve reaction to stress

20. Surprise: Scientists discover that inflammation helps to heal wounds

21. Amino acid supplement makes mice live longer

22. Shortfalls in carotenoid ( Pro-Vitamin A )intake may impact women’s health

23. Low Testosterone Linked to Alzheimer’s Disease

24. Vitamin D deficiency rampant in patients undergoing orthopedic surgery, damaging patient recovery

 

Public release date: 24-Sep-2010

 

Diabetes risk may fall as magnesium intake climbs

 

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – Getting enough magnesium in your diet could help prevent diabetes, a new study suggests.

 

People who consumed the most magnesium in foods and from vitamin supplements were about half as likely to develop diabetes over the next 20 years as people who took in the least magnesium, Dr. Ka He of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and colleagues found.

 

The results may explain in part why consuming whole grains, which are high in magnesium, is also associated with lower diabetes risk. However, large clinical trials testing the effects of magnesium on diabetes risk are needed to determine whether a causal relationship truly exists, the researchers note in Diabetes Care.

 

It’s plausible that magnesium could influence diabetes risk because the mineral is needed for the proper functioning of several enzymes that help the body process glucose, the researchers point out. Studies of magnesium and diabetes risk have had conflicting results, though.

 

To investigate the link, the researchers looked at magnesium intake and diabetes risk in 4,497 men and women 18 to 30 years old, none of whom were diabetic at the study’s outset. During a 20-year follow-up period, 330 of the subjects developed diabetes.

 

People with the highest magnesium intake, who averaged about 200 milligrams of magnesium for every 1,000 calories they consumed, were 47 percent less likely to have developed diabetes during follow up than those with the lowest intakes, who consumed about 100 milligrams of magnesium per 1,000 calories.

 

He and colleagues also found that as magnesium intake rose, levels of several markers of inflammation decreased, as did resistance to the effects of the key blood-sugar-regulating hormone insulin. Higher blood levels of magnesium also were linked to a lower degree of insulin resistance.

 

“Increasing magnesium intake may be important for improving insulin sensitivity, reducing systemic inflammation, and decreasing diabetes risk,” He and colleagues write. “Further large-scale clinical trials are needed to establish causal inference and elucidate the mechanisms behind this potential benefit.”

 

SOURCE: http://link.reuters.com/xuz35p Diabetes Care, published online August 31, 2010.

 

Public release date: 27-Sep-2010

 

UM School of Medicine Center for Celiac Research finds rate of celiac disease is growing

 

Study finds increasing number of celiac cases, particularly in the elderly

Working to solve the puzzle of when people develop celiac disease has led researchers from the University of Maryland School of Medicine Center for Celiac Research to some surprising findings. They have found that the autoimmune disorder is on the rise with evidence of increasing cases in the elderly. An epidemiological study published September 27 in the Annals of Medicine supports both trends—with interesting implications for possible treatment and prevention.

 

“You’re never too old to develop celiac disease,” says Alessio Fasano, M.D., director of the University of Maryland’s Mucosal Biology Research Center and the celiac research center, which led the study. The Universita Politecnica delle Marche in Ancona, Italy; the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health; the Women & Children’s Hospital of Buffalo; and Quest Diagnostics Inc. of San Juan Capistrano, Calif., also participated.

 

Celiac disease is triggered by consuming gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley and rye. Classic symptoms include diarrhea, intestinal bloating and stomach cramps. Left untreated, it can lead to the malabsorption of nutrients, damage to the small intestine and other medical complications.

 

Since 1974, in the U.S., the incidence of the disorder has doubled every 15 years. Using blood samples from more than 3,500 adults, the researchers found that the number of people with blood markers for celiac disease increased steadily from one in 501 in 1974 to one in 219 in 1989. In 2003, a widely cited study conducted by the celiac research center placed the number of people with celiac disease in the U.S. at one in 133.

 

As the people in the study aged, the incidence of celiac disease rose, echoing the findings of a 2008 Finnish study in Digestive and Liver Disease that found the prevalence of celiac disease in the elderly to be nearly two and a half times higher than the general population. The recent findings challenge the common speculation that the loss of gluten tolerance resulting in the disease usually develops in childhood.

 

“You’re not necessarily born with celiac disease,” says Carlo Catassi, M.D., of the Universita Politecnica delle Marche in Italy. Dr. Catassi is the lead author of the paper and co-director of the Center for Celiac Research. “Our findings show that some people develop celiac disease quite late in life.” The trend is supported by clinical data from the center, notes Dr. Catassi, who urges physicians to consider screening their elderly patients.

 

Although researchers have identified specific genetic markers for the development of celiac disease, exactly how and why an individual loses tolerance to gluten remains a mystery. “Even if you have these genetic markers, it’s not your destiny to develop an autoimmune disease,” adds Dr. Fasano. “Our study shows that environmental factors cause an individual’s immune system to lose tolerance to gluten, given the fact that genetics was not a factor in our study since we followed the same individuals over time.”

 

The finding contradicts the common wisdom that nothing can be done to prevent autoimmune disease unless the triggers that cause autoimmunity are identified and removed. Gluten is one of the triggers for celiac disease. But if individuals can tolerate gluten for many decades before developing celiac disease, some environmental factor or factors other than gluten must be in play, notes Dr. Fasano.

 

Identifying and manipulating those factors could lead to novel treatment and possible prevention of celiac disease and other autoimmune disorders including type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis. Researchers at the University of Maryland Center for Celiac Research are working toward that goal, says Dr. Fasano. As the third most common disease category after cancer and heart disease, autoimmune disorders affect approximately five to eight percent of the U.S. population, according to the National Institutes of Health.

 

“The groundbreaking research of Dr. Fasano and his team sheds new light on the development of celiac disease, a complex disorder that continues to present challenges to physicians and their patients,” says E. Albert Reece, M.D., Ph.D., M.B.A, vice president for medical affairs, University of Maryland, and John Z. and Akiko K. Bowers Distinguished Professor and dean, University of Maryland School of Medicine.

 

Diagnosis of celiac disease can be a challenge as patients who test positive for the disease may not display the classic symptoms of gastrointestinal distress linked to the disease. Atypical symptoms include joint pain, chronic fatigue and depression. In the study, only 11 percent of people identified as positive for celiac disease autoimmunity through blood samples had actually been diagnosed with the disease.

 

Public release date: 28-Sep-2010

 

Sparkling drinks spark pain circuits

 

Fizzy beverages light up same pain sensors as mustard and horseradish, a new study shows — so why do we drink them?

 

You may not think of the fizz in soda as spicy, but your body does.

 

The carbon dioxide in fizzy drinks sets off the same pain sensors in the nasal cavity as mustard and horseradish, though at a lower intensity, according to new research from the University of Southern California.

 

“Carbonation evokes two distinct sensations. It makes things sour and it also makes them burn. We have all felt that noxious tingling sensation when soda goes down your throat too fast,” said Emily Liman, senior author of a study published online in the Journal of Neuroscience.

 

That burning sensation comes from a system of nerves that respond to sensations of pain, skin pressure and temperature in the nose and mouth.

 

“What we did not know was which cells and which molecules within those cells are responsible for the painful sensation we experience when we drink a carbonated soda,” said Liman, an associate professor of neurobiology in the USC College of Letters, Arts and Sciences.

 

By flowing carbonated saline onto a dish of nerve cells from the sensory circuits in the nose and mouth, the researchers found that the gas activated only a particular type of cell.

 

“The cells that responded to CO2 were the same cells that detect mustard,” Liman said.

 

These cells express a gene known as TRPA1 and serve as general pain sensors.

 

Mice missing the TRPA1 gene showed “a greatly reduced response” to carbon dioxide, Liman said, while adding the TRPA1 genetic code to CO2-insensitive cells made them responsive to the gas.

 

Now that carbonated beverages have been linked to pain circuits, some may wonder why we consume them. A new park in Paris even features drinking fountains that dispense free sparkling water.

 

Liman cited studies going back as far as 1885 that found carbonation dramatically reduced the growth of bacteria.

 

“Or it may be a macho thing,” she speculated.

 

If only a sip of San Pellegrino were all it took to prove one’s hardiness.

 

The pain-sensing TRPA1 provides only one aspect of carbonation’s sensory experience. In 2009, a group led by Charles Zuker of the University of California, San Diego and Nicholas Ryba of the National Institutes of Health showed that carbonation trips cells in the tongue that convey sourness.

 

Public release date: 29-Sep-2010

 

Maternal diet high in trans fats doubles risk of excess body fat in breastfed babies, study finds

 

Athens, Ga. – A new University of Georgia study suggests that mothers who consume a diet high in trans fats double the likelihood that their infants will have high levels of body fat.

 

Researchers, whose results appear in the early online edition of the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, found that infants whose mothers consumed more than 4.5 grams of trans fats per day while breastfeeding were twice as likely to have high percentages of body fat, or adiposity, than infants whose mothers consumed less than 4.5 grams per day of trans fats.

 

The researchers investigated different fatty acids, but determined trans fats to be the most important contributor to excess body fat. “Trans fats stuck out as a predictor to increased adiposity in both mothers and their babies,” said study co-author Alex Anderson, assistant professor in the UGA College of Family and Consumer Sciences.

 

Anderson explained that although breast milk is optimal for the health of infants, it could also contain high levels of trans fats, depending on the mother’s diet. A better understanding of how a mother’s consumption of trans fats may impact the health of her baby would aid nutritionists in making more accurate dietary recommendations to prevent chronic disease later in life by encouraging mothers to select a diet low in trans fats, he said.

 

To determine the effect of the intake of trans fats by the child through breast milk, the researchers studied three different groups; mothers who only breast fed their infants, those that only used formula and those that used a combination of breast milk and formula.

 

It is important to measure body fat in addition to weight, said Anderson, since being overweight does not always mean having a high percent of body fat and vice versa. “It’s not just the weight, but the amount of body fat in the person that affects their health,” Anderson said. “That is why adiposity is such an important measure of cardiovascular risk.”

 

The researchers also found that mothers who consumed more than 4.5 grams of trans fats per day increased their own risk of excessive fat accumulation, independent of pre-pregnancy weight, by almost six times. This data suggests that trans fats intake could have a more significant weight-gain effect on breastfeeding mothers than it does at other times in their lives, Anderson said.

 

The researchers studied 96 women, many of whom were highly educated non-Hispanic white women, and note that the study should be replicated in a larger, more diverse group to strengthen information about the health dangers of eating trans fats. “It would help to be able to follow the child from when the mother was pregnant, through birth, and then adolescence, so that we can confirm what the type of infant feeding and maternal diet during breastfeeding have to do with the recent epidemic of childhood obesity,” said Anderson.

 

Maternal diet high in trans fats doubles risk of excess body fat in breastfed babies, study finds

Athens, Ga. – A new University of Georgia study suggests that mothers who consume a diet high in trans fats double the likelihood that their infants will have high levels of body fat.

 

Researchers, whose results appear in the early online edition of the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, found that infants whose mothers consumed more than 4.5 grams of trans fats per day while breastfeeding were twice as likely to have high percentages of body fat, or adiposity, than infants whose mothers consumed less than 4.5 grams per day of trans fats.

 

The researchers investigated different fatty acids, but determined trans fats to be the most important contributor to excess body fat. “Trans fats stuck out as a predictor to increased adiposity in both mothers and their babies,” said study co-author Alex Anderson, assistant professor in the UGA College of Family and Consumer Sciences.

 

Anderson explained that although breast milk is optimal for the health of infants, it could also contain high levels of trans fats, depending on the mother’s diet. A better understanding of how a mother’s consumption of trans fats may impact the health of her baby would aid nutritionists in making more accurate dietary recommendations to prevent chronic disease later in life by encouraging mothers to select a diet low in trans fats, he said.

 

To determine the effect of the intake of trans fats by the child through breast milk, the researchers studied three different groups; mothers who only breast fed their infants, those that only used formula and those that used a combination of breast milk and formula.

 

It is important to measure body fat in addition to weight, said Anderson, since being overweight does not always mean having a high percent of body fat and vice versa. “It’s not just the weight, but the amount of body fat in the person that affects their health,” Anderson said. “That is why adiposity is such an important measure of cardiovascular risk.”

 

The researchers also found that mothers who consumed more than 4.5 grams of trans fats per day increased their own risk of excessive fat accumulation, independent of pre-pregnancy weight, by almost six times. This data suggests that trans fats intake could have a more significant weight-gain effect on breastfeeding mothers than it does at other times in their lives, Anderson said.

 

The researchers studied 96 women, many of whom were highly educated non-Hispanic white women, and note that the study should be replicated in a larger, more diverse group to strengthen information about the health dangers of eating trans fats. “It would help to be able to follow the child from when the mother was pregnant, through birth, and then adolescence, so that we can confirm what the type of infant feeding and maternal diet during breastfeeding have to do with the recent epidemic of childhood obesity,” said Anderson.

 

Public release date: 29-Sep-2010

 

Garlic oil shows protective effect against heart disease in diabetes

 

Garlic has “significant” potential for preventing cardiomyopathy, a form of heart disease that is a leading cause of death in people with diabetes, scientists have concluded in a new study. Their report, which also explains why people with diabetes are at high risk for diabetic cardiomyopathy, appears in ACS’ bi-weekly Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

 

Wei-Wen Kuo and colleagues note that people with diabetes have at least twice the risk of death from heart disease as others, with heart disease accounting for 80 percent of all diabetes-related deaths. They are especially vulnerable to a form of heart disease termed diabetic cardiomyopathy, which inflames and weakens the heart’s muscle tissue. Kuo’s group had hints from past studies that garlic might protect against heart disease in general and also help control the abnormally high blood sugar levels that occur in diabetes. But they realized that few studies had been done specifically on garlic’s effects on diabetic cardiomyopathy.

 

The scientists fed either garlic oil or corn oil to laboratory rats with diabetes. Animals given garlic oil experienced beneficial changes associated with protection against heart damage. The changes appeared to be associated with the potent antioxidant properties of garlic oil, the scientists say, adding that they identified more than 20 substances in garlic oil that may contribute to the effect. “In conclusion, garlic oil possesses significant potential for protecting hearts from diabetes-induced cardiomyopathy,” the report notes.

 

Public release date: 29-Sep-2010

 

Blueberries help fight artery hardening, lab animal study indicates

 

Blueberries may help fight atherosclerosis, also known as hardening of the arteries, according to results of a preliminary U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)-funded study with laboratory mice. The research provides the first direct evidence that blueberries can help prevent harmful plaques or lesions, symptomatic of atherosclerosis, from increasing in size in arteries.

 

Principal investigator Xianli Wu, based in Little Rock, Ark., with the USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Arkansas Children’s Nutrition Center and with the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, led the investigation. The findings are reported in the current issue of the Journal of Nutrition.

 

Atherosclerosis is the leading cause of two forms of cardiovascular disease–heart attacks and strokes. Cardiovascular disease is the number one killer of Americans.

 

The study compared the size, or area, of atherosclerotic lesions in 30 young laboratory mice. Half of the animals were fed diets spiked with freeze-dried blueberry powder for 20 weeks; the diet of the other mice did not contain the berry powder.

 

Lesion size, measured at two sites on aorta (arteries leading from the heart), was 39 and 58 percent less than that of lesions in mice whose diet did not contain blueberry powder.

 

Earlier studies, conducted elsewhere, have suggested that eating blueberries may help combat cardiovascular disease. But direct evidence of that effect has never been presented previously, according to Wu.

 

The blueberry-spiked diet contained 1 percent blueberry powder, the equivalent of about a half-cup of fresh blueberries.

 

All mice in the investigation were deficient in apolipoprotein-E, a trait which makes them highly susceptible to forming atherosclerotic lesions and thus an excellent model for biomedical and nutrition research.

 

Wu’s group wants to determine the mechanism or mechanisms by which blueberries helped control lesion size. For example, by boosting the activity of four antioxidant enzymes, blueberries may have reduced the oxidative stress that is a known risk factor for atherosclerosis.

 

In followup studies, Wu’s group wants to determine whether eating blueberries in infancy, childhood and young adulthood would help protect against onset and progression of atherosclerosis in later years. Early prevention may be especially important in light of the nation’s epidemic of childhood obesity. Overweight and obesity increase atherosclerosis risk.

 

Public release date: 29-Sep-2010

 

IU researchers: Chemotherapy alters brain tissue in breast cancer patients

 

INDIANAPOLIS — Researchers at the Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center have published the first report using imaging to show that changes in brain tissue can occur in breast cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy.

 

The cognitive effects of chemotherapy, often referred to as “chemobrain,” have been known for years. However, the IU research is the first to use brain imaging to study women with breast cancer before and after treatment, showing that chemotherapy can affect gray matter. The researchers reported their findings in the October 2010 edition of Breast Cancer Research and Treatment.

 

“This is the first prospective study,” said Andrew Saykin, Psy.D., director of the Indiana University Center for Neuroimaging and a researcher at the IU Simon Cancer Center. “These analyses, led by Brenna McDonald, suggest an anatomic basis for the cognitive complaints and performance changes seen in patients. Memory and executive functions like multi-tasking and processing speed are the most typically affected functions and these are handled by the brain regions where we detected gray matter changes.”

 

Dr. Saykin, who is Raymond C. Beeler Professor of Radiology at the IU School of Medicine, and colleagues studied structural MRI scans of the brain obtained on breast cancer patients and healthy controls. The scans were taken after surgery, but before radiation or chemotherapy, to give the researchers a baseline. Scans were then repeated one month and one year after chemotherapy was completed.

 

The researchers found gray matter changes were most prominent in the areas of the brain that are consistent with cognitive dysfunction during and shortly after chemotherapy. Gray matter density in most women improved a year after chemotherapy ended.

 

For many patients, Dr. Saykin said, the effects are subtle. However, they can be more pronounced for others. Although relatively rare, some patients — often middle-aged women — are so affected that they are never able to return to work. More commonly, women will still be able to work and multi-task, but it may be more difficult to do so.

 

The study focused on 17 breast cancer patients treated with chemotherapy after surgery, 12 women with breast cancer who did not undergo chemotherapy after surgery, and 18 women without breast cancer.

 

“We hope there will be more prospective studies to follow so that the cause of these changes in cancer patients can be better understood,” Dr. Saykin said.

 

Dr. Saykin and his colleagues started their research at Dartmouth Medical School before finishing the data analyses at IU. A new, independent sample is now being studied at the IU Simon Cancer Center to replicate and further investigate this problem affecting many cancer patients.

 

Public Release: 29-Sep-2010

 

Dirty hands, dirty mouths: U-M study finds a need to clean the body part that lies

 

ANN ARBOR, Mich.—Apparently your mom had it right when she threatened to wash your mouth out with soap if you talked dirty. Lying really does create a desire to clean the “dirty” body part, according to a University of Michigan study.

 

“The references to ‘dirty hands’ or ‘dirty mouths’ in everyday language suggest that people think about abstract issues of moral purity in terms of more concrete experiences with physical purity,” said Spike W.S. Lee, a U-M doctoral candidate in psychology, who conducted the study with Norbert Schwarz, a psychologist at the U-M Institute for Social Research (ISR), the Ross School of Business, and the U-M psychology department.

 

The findings of the study, published in the current (October) issue of Psychological Science, support that connection.

 

For the study, Lee and Schwarz asked 87 students to play the role of lawyers competing with a colleague, “Chris,” for a promotion. Each was asked to imagine they found an important document that Chris had lost, and that returning the document would help his career and hurt their own career. Each participant was instructed to leave Chris a message by either voice mail or email, telling him who they were and either lying that they could not find his document or telling the truth that they had found the document.

 

Next, participants rated the desirability of several products as part of a supposed marketing survey and reported how much they were willing to pay for each product. The products included mouthwash and hand sanitizer.

 

Study participants who lied on the phone, leaving an untrue and malevolent voicemail, felt a stronger desire for mouthwash and were willing to pay more for it than those who lied on e-mail. And conversely, those who lied on e-mail, typing the same mean message, felt a stronger desire for hand sanitizer and were willing to pay more for that. Saying nice and ethical things, on the other hand, made it less appealing to clean the body part involved in conveying the message.

 

In scientific terms, the findings showed that “the embodiment of moral purity is specific to the motor modality involved in the moral transgression.” Verbal lying increased participants’ assessment of mouthwash while lying on e-mail, using their hands, increased the assessment of hand sanitizer’s value.

 

“This study shows how ‘concrete’ the metaphorical links are between abstract and concrete domains of life,” Schwarz said. “Not only do people want to clean after a dirty deed, they want to clean the specific body part involved.”

 

Public release date: 29-Sep-2010

 

Research examines vicious cycle of overeating and obesity

 

New research provides evidence of the vicious cycle created when an obese individual overeats to compensate for reduced pleasure from food.

 

Obese individuals have fewer pleasure receptors and overeat to compensate, according to a study by University of Texas at Austin senior research fellow and Oregon Research Institute senior scientist Eric Stice and his colleagues published this week in The Journal of Neuroscience.

 

Stice shows evidence this overeating may further weaken the responsiveness of the pleasure receptors (“hypofunctioning reward circuitry”), further diminishing the rewards gained from overeating.

 

Food intake is associated with dopamine release. The degree of pleasure derived from eating correlates with the amount of dopamine released. Evidence shows obese individuals have fewer dopamine (D2) receptors in the brain relative to lean individuals and suggests obese individuals overeat to compensate for this reward deficit.

 

People with fewer of the dopamine receptors need to take in more of a rewarding substance — such as food or drugs — to get an effect other people get with less.

 

“Although recent findings suggested that obese individuals may experience less pleasure when eating, and therefore eat more to compensate, this is the first prospective evidence to show that the overeating itself further blunts the award circuitry,” says Stice, a senior scientist at Oregon Research Institute, a non-profit, independent behavioral research center. “The weakened responsivity of the reward circuitry increases the risk for future weight gain in a feed-forward manner. This may explain why obesity typically shows a chronic course and is resistant to treatment.”

 

Using Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI), Stice’s team measured the extent to which a certain area of the brain (the dorsal striatum) was activated in response to the individual’s consumption of a taste of chocolate milkshake (versus a tasteless solution). Researchers tracked participants’ changes in body mass index over six months.

 

Results indicated those participants who gained weight showed significantly less activation in response to the milkshake intake at six-month follow-up relative to their baseline scan and relative to women who did not gain weight.

 

“This is a novel contribution to the literature because, to our knowledge, this is the first prospective fMRI study to investigate change in striatal response to food consumption as a function of weight change,” said Stice. “These results will be important when developing programs to prevent and treat obesity.”

 

Public release date: 30-Sep-2010

 

Dog ownership is associated with reduced eczema in children with dog allergies

 

Cincinnati, OH, September 30, 2010 — Children with eczema, a chronic skin condition that often begins in childhood, have a greater risk of developing asthma and food allergies. The number of children with eczema is rising, but the reasons for this are unclear. A new study soon to be published in The Journal of Pediatrics examines the relationship between pet ownership and eczema. Researchers found that dog ownership among children with dog allergies may reduce the risk of developing eczema by age 4 years; cat ownership, however, may increase the risk among children with cat allergies.

 

Dr. Tolly Epstein and colleagues from the University of Cincinnati and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center gathered data from 636 children enrolled in the Cincinnati Childhood Allergy & Air Pollution Study (CCAAPS), a long-term epidemiologic study examining the effects of environmental particulates on childhood respiratory health and allergy development. Children enrolled in the study are considered at high risk for developing allergies because they were born to parents with allergies. The researchers focused on several potential risk factors for developing eczema, including dog and cat ownership. The children were tested for 17 separate allergies on a yearly basis from ages 1 through 4 years, and the parents completed yearly surveys.

 

The results provided interesting information regarding pet ownership. The researchers found that children who tested positive for dog allergies were less likely to develop eczema by age 4 years if they owned a dog before age 1 year. According to Dr. Epstein, “Children with dog allergies who did not own dogs were 4 times more likely to develop eczema.”

 

Unlike dog ownership, cat ownership seemed to have a negative effect on children with cat allergies. “Children who owned a cat before age 1 year and were allergic to cats based on a skin allergy test were 13 times more likely to develop eczema by age 4 years,” Dr. Epstein explains. She notes, however, that children who were not allergic to cats were not at an increased risk for eczema if they owned a cat. Dr. Epstein suggests that parents of children at risk for eczema may want to consider these findings when choosing a family pet.

 

Public release date: 30-Sep-2010

 

Faith in God associated with improved survival after liver transplantation

 

Study reveals religiosity prolongs life span

 

Italian researchers report that liver transplant candidates who have a strong religious connection have better post-transplant survival. This study also finds that religiosity—regardless of cause of death—prolongs the life span of individuals who underwent liver transplantation. Full findings are now available online and in the October issue of Liver Transplantation. a journal published by Wiley-Blackwell on behalf of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD).

 

Much of the medical profession today is focused on the delivery of services, rather than whole patient care which not only takes into account physical well-being, but psychological, social, and spiritual aspects as well. Although there is a lack of interest in religion by the medical community, the authors point out that 90% of the world’s population today is involved in some form of religion or spiritual pursuit. Prior studies have demonstrated that religiosity allows individuals to better cope with illness, and may even influence disease progression. Furthermore, a report by McCullough et al. that included a meta-analysis of 42 studies (surveying roughly 126,000 people) found active religious involvement increased the odds of being alive at follow-up by 26%.

 

“Our study tested the hypothesis that religiosity—seeking God’s help, having faith in God, trusting in God, trying to discern God’s will even in the disease—improves survival of patients with end-stage liver disease who underwent liver transplantation,” explains Franco Bonaguidi, D.Psych., and lead author of the study. The study team selected 179 patients who received a liver transplant between January 2004 and December 2007, and who also completed the religiosity questionnaire. Participants (129 males and 50 females) had a media age of 52 years and were followed for 4 years (median = 21 months) post-transplantation. Indications for liver transplant included: viral hepatitis (68%), alcoholic liver disease (17%), and autoimmune hepatitis (7%).

 

Results indicate that the Search for God factor (hazard ratio = 2.95) and length of stay in the intensive care unit (1.05) were independently associated with survival. Furthermore, it was the personal relationship between the patient and God, regardless of religious creed (Christian, Muslim, or other) rather than formal church attendance that positively affected survival. As one participant described, “I recovered my life by the will of Someone up there…I had great faith in Him. This closeness made me feel strong and calm.”

 

Dr. Bonaguidi concluded, “We found that an active search for God—the patient’s faith in a higher power rather than a generic destiny—had a positive impact on patient survival.” The authors caution that this study focuses on a severely ill patient population, therefore the conclusions may not be applicable to individuals with different illnesses or degrees of disease severity.

 

Public release date: 30-Sep-2010

 

Drugs for low libido raise concerns over industry ‘construction’ of new diseases

 

Feature: Merging of marketing and medical science: female sexual dysfunction

 

Drug companies have not only sponsored the science of a new condition known as female sexual dysfunction, they have helped to construct it, in order to build global markets for new drugs, reveals an article in this week’s BMJ.

 

Researching his new book ‘Sex, Lies and Pharmaceuticals’ Ray Moynihan, journalist and lecturer at the University of Newcastle in Australia, discovered that drug industry employees have worked with paid key opinion leaders to help develop the disease entity; they have run surveys to portray it as widespread; and they helped design diagnostic tools to persuade women that their sexual difficulties deserve a medical label and treatment.

 

He believes that “drug marketing is merging with medical science in a fascinating and frightening way” and he asks whether we need a fresh approach to defining disease.

 

He quotes a company employee saying that her company was interested in “expediting the development of a disease” and he reveals how companies are funding surveys that portray sexual problems as widespread and creating tools to assess women for “hypoactive sexual desire disorder.”

 

Many of the researchers involved in these activities were drug company employees or had financial ties to the industry, writes Moynihan. Meanwhile, scientific studies conducted without industry funding were questioning whether a widespread disorder of low desire really existed.

 

Industry is also taking a leading role in “educating” both professionals and the public about this controversial condition, he adds.

 

For example, a Pfizer funded course designed for doctors across the United States claimed that up to 63% of women had sexual dysfunction and that testosterone and sildenafil (Viagra) may be helpful, along with behavioural therapy. And he points out that German drug company Boehringer Ingelheim’s “educational” activities “went into overdrive” as the planned 2010 launch of its desire drug, flibanserin, approached.

 

In June, flibanserin was rejected by advisors to the US Food and Drug Administration and Pfizer’s sildenafil was also pulled after studies showed virtually no difference from placebo. But although the drugs have so far failed, Moynihan warns that “the edifice of scientific evidence about the condition remains in place … creating the impression that there is a massive “unmet need” for treatment.”

 

And with more experimental drugs in the pipeline, “the drug industry shows no signs of abandoning plans to meet the unmet need it has helped to manufacturer,” he says.

 

“Perhaps it’s time to reassess the way in which the medical establishment defines common conditions and recommends how to treat them,” he suggests.

 

“Perhaps it is time to develop new panels to take responsibility for defining treatable illness, made up of people without financial ties to those with vested interests in the outcomes of their deliberations and much more broadly representative of the wider public … and start the slow process of untangling the marketing from the medical science.” he concludes.

 

“Faced with a woman in tears whose libido has disappeared and who is terrified of losing her partner, doctors can feel immense pressure to provide an immediate, effective solution,” says Dr Sandy Goldbeck-Wood, a specialist in psychosexual medicine, in an accompanying commentary.

 

She says Moynihan’s research clarifies both the conflicts of interest at work and the relative paucity of good quality evidence for pharmacological solutions to women’s sexual problems. However, she argues: “his argument that female sexual dysfunction is an illness constructed by pathologising doctors under the influence of drug companies will fail to convince clinicians who see women with sexual dysfunction, or their patients.”

 

Women who have struggled to overcome the psychological and cultural barriers to requesting help with their sexual difficulties will not welcome the argument that they are to be “left alone,” she writes.

 

She believes the problem is one of oversimplification and believes that more studies are needed that reflect the complexity of sexual life. “It’s time to invest in more research into the most realistic, respectful and evidence based treatments, rather than narrow biological ones founded on poor evidence,” she says.

 

Public release date: 30-Sep-2010

 

Bioethics scholars fault requirement that all women in clinical drug trials use contraception

 

(Garrison, NY) Research ethics review committees often require all women of childbearing age who enroll in clinical trials to use contraceptives to protect against a developing fetus being exposed to potentially harmful drugs. A mandatory contraceptive policy is often imposed even when there is no evidence that a trial drug could harm a fetus or when women have no chance of becoming pregnancy. This requirement is excessive and can safely be relaxed in many cases, according to a report in IRB: Ethics & Human Research.

 

Policies on contraceptive use in research should reflect the level of potential risk the study drug poses to the fetus, write Chris Kaposy, an assistant professor of Health Care Ethics at Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada; and Françoise Baylis, professor and Canada Research Chair in Bioethics and Philosophy at Dalhousie University in Halifax. They point to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s categories for prescription drug labeling for drug use in pregnancy as a helpful guide. The FDA has five categories, each with different degrees of evidence of risk to fetuses.

 

Category A, for example, indicates that “adequate, well-controlled studies in pregnant women have not shown increased risk of fetal abnormalities.” And yet the policy of the University of Nebraska Medical Center’s institutional review board – which Kaposy and Baylis reviewed as a typical example of IRB contraceptive use policies – permits researchers to petition the IRB to impose a mandatory contraception or abstinence requirement for trial participants in studies that use Category A drugs. However, the authors argue that an ideal policy for Category A drugs would not require contraception or abstinence.

 

The authors also say that contraception should not be mandated for women who have no chance of becoming pregnant while participating in a clinical drug trial. “Consider, for example, women who are not sexually active (e.g., nuns) or who are not sexually active in a heterosexual relationship (e.g., lesbians),” they write. Mandating contraception for these groups sends “a paternalistic message of mistrust” that undermines the normal practice of treating research participants as autonomous decision-makers.

 

“Our recommendations are an attempt to find an appropriate balance between the interests of potential fetuses and the autonomy and well-being of women,” they write.

 

Public release date: 30-Sep-2010

 

J&J, FDA leaders take heat for ‘phantom’ recall

 

By MATTHEW PERRONE, AP Health Writer Matthew Perrone, Ap Health Writer

Thu Sep 30, 5:58 pm ET

 

WASHINGTON – Johnson & Johnson executives and the Food and Drug Administration both shouldered the blame Thursday for a secret recall in which hired contractors quietly bought up defective painkillers to clear them from store shelves.

 

J&J Chief Executive William Weldon told House lawmakers the company “made a mistake” in conducting the so-called “phantom recall,” which is one of a string of problems that have drawn congressional scrutiny

 

In the same committee hearing, the FDA’s deputy commissioner, Dr. Joshua Sharfstein, said his agency should have acted sooner to halt J&J’s plan. At the same time, though, he stressed that regulators were not aware of the deceptive nature of the recall.

 

Sharfstein and Weldon testified before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, which held its second hearing on J&J’s unprecedented spate of recalls. The largest, involving more than 135 million bottles of infants’ and children’s Tylenol and other medicines, triggered the committee’s investigation.

 

“We recognize that we need to do better, and we will work hard to restore the public’s trust and faith in Johnson & Johnson,” Weldon told lawmakers.

 

Democrats and Republicans pressed Weldon on its “phantom” recall involving 88,000 packets of Motrin, which Weldon acknowledged as “not one of our finer moments.”

 

But lawmakers also pressed the FDA on when and what it knew about the activity. New Brunswick, N.J.-based J&J has repeatedly claimed it alerted the agency’s officials in Puerto Rico, where the defective Motrin was originally manufactured.

 

Sharfstein said J&J informed the FDA of its plan to repurchase the pills – which did not dissolve correctly – in April 2009.

 

“From this point, it took until July for the FDA to tell the company that a recall should be conducted,” Sharfstein said in his testimony. “In my opinion that message should have been given sooner.”

 

But Sharfstein stressed that the FDA did not know J&J had instructed contractors to pose as regular customers while buying the product and to not alert store employees to their activity.

 

“Based on the documents I reviewed, I don’t see any indication that the FDA was aware of the surreptitious, lying nature of the recall,” he said.

 

Republican lawmakers criticized a “too cozy” relationship between FDA and J&J employees, citing months-long e-mail exchanges between the two before regulators took action. But Sharfstein said ultimate blame lies with J&J, pointing out that the FDA does not have the authority to order when and how companies conduct recalls.

 

“I think fundamentally the responsibility is with the company to handle their quality problems in a much different way,” Sharfstein said.

 

Companies are advised to work with the FDA on recalls, although that isn’t a legal requirement.

 

Committee Chairman Edolphus Towns, D-N.Y., has introduced a bill that would give the agency the power to order recalls.

 

The maker of trusted brands like Tylenol and Benadryl, J&J has announced nine recalls of drugs for children and adults since last September with problems ranging from too much active ingredient to tiny shards of metal.

 

In May, J&J closed its Fort Washington, Pa., facility, the largest manufacturing site for children’s medications. J&J announced Thursday it would begin shipping its grape-flavored Children’s Tylenol next week, the first of its children’s formulas to return to the market.

 

Weldon said the company plans to invest $100 million across the company to improve facilities, equipment and operations around the world.

 

Weldon, who has been CEO since 2002, missed the committee’s last hearing because of back surgery.

 

Testifying beside him Thursday was J&J executive Colleen Goggins, who oversaw the consumer division of the company’s McNeil Healthcare unit during the recalls.

 

At the May hearing, Goggins told lawmakers she had no knowledge of instructions to contractors involved in the phantom recall to not tell store employees what they were doing. In her testimony Thursday, Goggins acknowledged that the company wrote those instructions.

 

“Based on what I have learned since May, I believe that McNeil should have handled things differently,” Goggins said.

 

Goggins will retire in March, Johnson & Johnson announced this month.

 

Ralph’s Note – If all the product did was not dissolve correctly….Then why the incredible secrecy, and deception? I’m sorry.. First the FDA and J&J admit being dishonest….Then they issue this weak press release. Yes the FDA may not of had the authoity to issue a recall…BUT IT IS THEIR JOB TO AT LEAST INFORM THE PUBLIC.. Now that all the recalled tablets have been secretly REMOVED AS EVIDENCE….How will we ever know the TRUTH. Whatever Tablets remain, need to go to an independent testing facility…. WHY are no lot numbers mentioned in this article? They are probably still sitting in medicine cabinets across the country….

 

Public release date: 1-Oct-2010

 

Vitamin D levels lower in African-Americans

 

MIAMI — African-American women had lower vitamin D levels than white women, and vitamin D deficiency was associated with a greater likelihood for aggressive breast cancer, according to data presented at the Third AACR Conference on the Science of Cancer Health Disparities.

 

“We know that darker skin pigmentation acts somewhat as a block to producing vitamin D when exposed to sunlight, which is the primary source of vitamin D in most people,” said Susan Steck, Ph.D., M.P.H., associate professor of epidemiology at the University of South Carolina.

 

Steck and colleagues observed 107 women who were all diagnosed with breast cancer in the previous five years. Sixty of these women were African-American, while the remaining 47 were white.

 

All women donated a blood sample, and vitamin D status was determined using circulating 25 hydroxyvitamin D levels as a marker. The mean serum concentration of vitamin D was 29.8 ng/ml in white women and 19.3 ng/ml in African-American women.

 

Researchers defined vitamin D deficiency as a serum concentration less than 20 ng/ml, and found this to be the case in 60 percent of African-American women compared with 15 percent of white women. Serum levels were lowest among patients with triple-negative breast cancer, and aggressive disease was eight times more likely among patients with vitamin D deficiency.

 

Steck said the findings of this study provide a foundation for a possible prevention strategy, but further research would be required.

 

Public release date: 1-Oct-2010

 

Vigorous exercise reduces breast cancer risk in African-American women

 

MIAMI — Vigorous exercise of more than two hours per week reduces the risk of developing breast cancer in postmenopausal African-American women by 64 percent, compared to women of the same race who do not exercise, according to researchers at Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center.

 

Results were presented at the Third AACR Conference on The Science of Cancer Health Disparities, held Sept. 30 to Oct. 3, 2010.

 

“People often want to know what they can do to reduce their risk of disease, and we have found that just two or more hours of vigorous activity per week can made a difference in one’s risk of developing breast cancer,” said the lead researcher Vanessa Sheppard, Ph.D., a cancer control scientist and assistant professor in the department of oncology at the Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center.

 

In this study, more than two hours of aerobics, running or similar activity over the span of a week counted as vigorous activity.

 

“We also know from other studies that being physically active can have benefits in other diseases that occur at high rates in African-American women, such as diabetes and hypertension,” Sheppard said. “Four out of five African-American women are either overweight or obese, and disease control is a particularly important issue for them.”

 

Evidence showing exercise reduces breast cancer risk has been inconsistent, and there are few that look specifically at African-American women, Sheppard said. The issue is important, she added, because breast cancer has some important differences in this community. Whereas more white women are diagnosed with breast cancer, African-American women have a higher risk of developing premenopausal breast cancer than white women do, and comparatively more African-American women develop the most aggressive form of the disease, known as triple-negative breast cancer.

 

The researchers identified 97 recently diagnosed African-American breast cancer patients in the Washington, D.C., area and matched them with 102 African-American women without breast cancer. Participants filled out a questionnaire about exercise routines; the responses were analyzed and compared.

 

Women who exercised vigorously for more than two hours a week in the past year had a 64 percent reduced risk of breast cancer compared to women who did not exercise. Women who engaged in moderate exercise, like walking, had a 17 percent reduced risk, compared to women who were sedentary.

 

After evaluating those who were pre- and postmenopausal, they found that vigorous exercise only significantly benefitted postmenopausal women — they had a 62 percent reduction in risk.

 

“I was surprised that we did not find a significant effect in premenopausal women, but it may be because we need a larger sample,” Sheppard said.

 

However, when the researchers examined the effect of total physical activity, which combined walking with vigorous activity of two or more hours per week, they saw significant gains for both premenopausal and postmenopausal women.

 

“We suggest that our findings, while promising, should be interpreted with caution. This is a pilot study and a larger, more rigorous study is needed to precisely quantify the effect of exercise on development of breast cancer. I think it is fair to conclude that if African American women exercise they can help take charge of their health,” said Sheppard.

 

Public release date: 1-Oct-2010

 

Think saturated fat contributes to heart disease? Think again

 

Leading scientists re-examine the role of saturated fat in the diet

(Rosemont, IL) Oct. 1 – For the past three decades, saturated fat has been considered a major culprit of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and as a result dietary advice persists in recommending reduced consumption of this macronutrient. However, new evidence shows that saturated fat intake has only a very limited impact on CVD risk — causing many to rethink the “saturated fat is bad” paradigm.

 

A series of research articles published in the October issue of Lipids provides a snapshot of recent advances in saturated fat and health research, based on science presented at the 100th American Oil Chemists’ Society (AOCS) annual meeting in Orlando, Florida (May 2009). During a symposium entitled “Saturated Fats and Health: Facts and Feelings,” world-renowned scientists specializing in fat research analyzed the evidence between saturated fat intake and health, and overall agreed upon the need to reduce over-simplification when it came to saturated fat dietary advice.

 

“The relationship between dietary intake of fats and health is intricate, and variations in factors such as human genetics, life stage and lifestyles can lead to different responses to saturated fat intake,” said J. Bruce German, PhD, professor and chemist in the Department of Food Science and Technology, University of California at Davis. “Although diets inordinately high in fat and saturated fat are associated with increased cardiovascular disease risk in some individuals, assuming that saturated fat at any intake level is harmful is an over-simplification and not supported by scientific evidence.”

 

Professor Philippe Legrand of Agrocampus-INRA in France confirmed this by discussing various roles that different saturated fatty acids play in the body. His main conclusion was that saturated fats can no longer be considered a single group in terms of structure, metabolism and cellular function, and recommendations that group them together with regard to health effects need to be updated.

 

Effect of Saturated Fat Replacement on CVD Risk

 

Results from a research review conducted by Dariush Mozaffarian, MD, MPH, Department of Epidemiology and Nutrition at Harvard University School of Public Health, found that the effects of saturated fat intake on CVD risk depend upon simultaneous changes in other nutrients. For example, replacing saturated fat with mono-unsaturated fat yielded uncertain effects on CVD risk, while replacing saturated fat with carbohydrates was found to be ineffective and even harmful especially when refined carbohydrates such as starches or sugars were used in place of fat . Replacing saturated fat with polyunsaturated fat gave a small reduction in CVD risk, but even with optimal replacement the magnitude of the benefit was very small. According to Mozaffarian it would be far better to focus on dietary factors giving much larger benefits for CVD health, such as increasing intake of seafood/omega-3 fatty acids, whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and decreasing intake of trans fats and sodium.

 

”Carbohydrate intake has been intimately linked to metabolic syndrome, which is a combination of risk factors that can increase CVD risk,” said Jeff Volek, PhD, RD, Department of Kinesiology, University of Connecticut. His research showed that very low carbohydrate diets can favorably impact a broad spectrum of metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular risk factors, even in the presence of high saturated fat intake and in the absence of weight loss.

 

Kiran Musunuru, MD, PhD, MPH. Cardiovascular Research Center and Center for Human Genetic Research, Massachusetts General Hospital, focused on the role of carbohydrates and fats on atherogenic dyslipidemia – a new marker for CVD risk often seen in patients with obesity, metabolic syndrome, insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. He showed that low-carbohydrate diets appear to have beneficial lipoprotein effects in individuals with atherogenic dyslipidemia, compared to high-carbohydrate diets, whereas the content of saturated fat in the diet has no significant effect.

 

Full-Fat Dairy: An Unnecessary Target?

 

As long as saturated fat targets remain firmly rooted in dietary advice, nutrient-rich foods that contribute saturated fat to the diet, like full-fat dairy products, will continue to be unduly criticized regardless of their health benefits.

 

A recent meta-analysis of epidemiological and intervention studies of milk fat conducted by Peter Elwood, DSc, MD, FRCP, FFPHM, DUniv, Hon DSc, Honorary Professor at the School of Medicine, Cardiff University, found that milk and dairy consumption actually was associated with a decrease in CVD risk .

 

“It is clear that we have barely scratched the surface in our understanding about the biological effects of saturated fatty acids,” said Cindy Schweitzer, PhD, Technical Director, Global Dairy Platform. “Scientific meetings where researchers from different disciplines within the field of nutrition share information are extremely important to identify both the gaps in our knowledge and the studies that are needed to answer the important questions about diet and health.”

 

All of these recent research advances add to the growing body of science re-assessing the role of saturated fat in the diet. Whether it’s nutrient replacement or better understanding the role certain foods can play in CVD risk, saturated fat is definitely not be as bad as once thought.

 

Public release date: 4-Oct-2010

 

Sleep loss limits fat loss

 

Cutting back on sleep reduces the benefits of dieting, according to a study published October 5, 2010, in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

 

When dieters in the study got a full night’s sleep, they lost the same amount of weight as when they slept less. When dieters got adequate sleep, however, more than half of the weight they lost was fat. When they cut back on their sleep, only one-fourth of their weight loss came from fat.

 

They also felt hungrier. When sleep was restricted, dieters produced higher levels of ghrelin, a hormone that triggers hunger and reduces energy expenditure.

 

“If your goal is to lose fat, skipping sleep is like poking sticks in your bicycle wheels,” said study director Plamen Penev, MD, PhD, assistant professor of medicine at the University of Chicago. “Cutting back on sleep, a behavior that is ubiquitous in modern society, appears to compromise efforts to lose fat through dieting. In our study it reduced fat loss by 55 percent.”

 

The study, performed at the University of Chicago’s General Clinical Resource Center, followed 10 overweight but healthy volunteers aged 35 to 49 with a body mass index ranging from 25, considered overweight, to 32, considered obese. Participants were placed on an individualized, balanced diet, with calories restricted to 90 percent of what each person needed to maintain his or her weight without exercise.

 

Each participant was studied twice: once for 14 days in the laboratory with an 8.5-hour period set aside for sleep, and once for 14 days with only 5.5 hours for sleep. They spent their waking hours engaged in home- or office-like work or leisure activities.

 

During the two-week, 8.5-hours-in-bed phase, volunteers slept an average of 7 hours and 25 minutes each night. In the 5.5-hour phase, they slept 5 hours and 14 minutes, or more than two hours less. The number of calories they consumed, about 1,450 per day, was kept the same.

 

The volunteers lost an average of 6.6 pounds during each 14-day session. During weeks with adequate sleep, they lost 3.1 pounds of fat and 3.3 pounds of fat-free body mass, mostly protein. During the short-sleep weeks, participants lost an average of 1.3 pounds of fat and 5.3 pounds of fat-free mass.

 

Getting adequate sleep also helped control the dieters’ hunger. Average levels of ghrelin did not change when dieters spent 8.5 hours in bed. When they spent 5.5 hours in bed, their ghrelin levels rose over two weeks from 75 ng/L to 84 ng/L.

 

Higher ghrelin levels have been shown to “reduce energy expenditure, stimulate hunger and food intake, promote retention of fat, and increase hepatic glucose production to support the availability of fuel to glucose dependent tissues,” the authors note. “In our experiment, sleep restriction was accompanied by a similar pattern of increased hunger and … reduced oxidation of fat.”

 

The tightly controlled circumstances of this study may actually have masked some of sleep’s benefits for dieters, suggested Penev. Study subjects did not have access to extra calories. This may have helped dieters to “stick with their lower-calorie meal plans despite increased hunger in the presence of sleep restriction,” he said.

 

The message for people trying to lose weight is clear, Penev said. “For the first time, we have evidence that the amount of sleep makes a big difference on the results of dietary interventions. One should not ignore the way they sleep when going on a diet. Obtaining adequate sleep may enhance the beneficial effects of a diet. Not getting enough sleep could defeat the desired effects.”

 

Public release date: 4-Oct-2010

 

Walnuts, walnut oil, improve reaction to stress

 

A diet rich in walnuts and walnut oil may prepare the body to deal better with stress, according to a team of Penn State researchers who looked at how these foods, which contain polyunsaturated fats, influence blood pressure at rest and under stress.

 

Previous studies have shown that omega-3 fatty acids — like the alpha linolenic acid found in walnuts and flax seeds — can reduce low density lipoproteins (LDL) — bad cholesterol. These foods may also reduce c-reactive protein and other markers of inflammation.

 

“People who show an exaggerated biological response to stress are at higher risk of heart disease,” said Sheila G. West, associate professor of biobehavioral health. “We wanted to find out if omega 3-fatty acids from plant sources would blunt cardiovascular responses to stress.”

 

The researchers studied 22 healthy adults with elevated LDL cholesterol. All meals and snacks were provided during three diet periods of six weeks each.

 

The researchers found that including walnuts and walnut oil in the diet lowered both resting blood pressure and blood pressure responses to stress in the laboratory. Participants gave a speech or immersed their foot in cold water as a stressor. Adding flax seed oil to the walnut diet did not further lower blood pressure. They report their findings in the current issue of the Journal of the American College of Nutrition.

 

“This is the first study to show that walnuts and walnut oil reduce blood pressure during stress,” said West. “This is important because we can’t avoid all of the stressors in our daily lives. This study shows that a dietary change could help our bodies better respond to stress.”

 

A subset of the participants also underwent a vascular ultrasound in order to measure artery dilation. Results showed that adding flax oil to the walnut diet significantly improved this test of vascular health. The flax plus walnuts diet also lowered c-reactive protein, indicating an anti-inflammatory effect. According to West, that could also reduce risk of cardiovascular disease.

 

The researchers used a randomized, crossover study design. Tests were conducted at the end of each six-week diet, and every participant consumed each of the three diets in random order, with a one-week break between. Diets included an “average” American diet – a diet without nuts that reflects what the typical person in the U.S. consumes each day. The second diet included 1.3 ounces of walnuts and a tablespoon of walnut oil substituted for some of the fat and protein in the average American diet. The third diet included walnuts, walnut oil and 1.5 tablespoons of flaxseed oil. The three diets were matched for calories and were specifically designed for each participant so that no weight loss or gain occurred. The walnuts, walnut oil, and flax oil were either mixed into the food in such offerings as muffins or salad dressing or eaten as a snack. About 18 walnut halves or 9 walnuts make up the average serving used by the researchers.

After each diet, the participants underwent two stress tests. In the first test, they received a topic; and they were given two minutes to prepare a three-minute speech, which they presented while being videotaped. The second stressor was a standard physical test of stress consisting of submerging one foot in ice-cold water. Throughout these tests, the researchers took blood pressure readings from the participants.

 

Results showed that average diastolic blood pressure — the “bottom number” or the pressure in the arteries when the heart is resting — was significantly reduced during the diets containing walnuts and walnut oil.

 

Walnuts are a rich source of fiber, antioxidants, and unsaturated fatty acids, particularly alpha linolenic acid, an omega-3 fatty acid, and these compounds could be responsible for the beneficial effects on blood pressure. Flax oil is a more concentrated source of omega-3 fatty acids than walnut oil, but this study did not test whether flax oil alone could blunt cardiovascular responses to stress.

 

“These results are in agreement with several recent studies showing that walnuts can reduce cholesterol and blood pressure,” noted West. “This work suggests that blood pressure is also reduced when a person is exposed to stress in their daily life.”

 

Public release date: 4-Oct-2010

 

Surprise: Scientists discover that inflammation helps to heal wounds

 

New research in the FASEB Journal suggests that muscle inflammation after acute muscle injury is essential to muscle repair by means of insulin-like growth factor-1

A new research study published in The FASEB Journal (http://www.fasebj.org) may change how sports injuries involving muscle tissue are treated, as well as how much patient monitoring is necessary when potent anti-inflammatory drugs are prescribed for a long time. That’s because the study shows for the first time that inflammation actually helps to heal damaged muscle tissue, turning conventional wisdom on its head that inflammation must be largely controlled to encourage healing. These findings could lead to new therapies for acute muscle injuries caused by trauma, chemicals, infections, freeze damage, and exposure to medications which cause muscle damage as a side effect. In addition, these findings suggest that existing and future therapies used to combat inflammation should be closely examined to ensure that the benefits of inflammation are not eliminated.

 

“We hope that our findings stimulate further research to dissect different roles played by tissue inflammation in clinical settings, so we can utilize the positive effects and control the negative effects of tissue inflammation,” said Lan Zhou, M.D., Ph.D., a researcher involved in the work from the Neuroinflammation Research Center/Department of Neurosciences/Lerner Research Institute at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio.

 

Zhou and colleagues found that the presence of inflammatory cells (macrophages) in acute muscle injury produce a high level of a growth factor called insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) which significantly increases the rate of muscle regeneration. The research report shows that muscle inflammatory cells produce the highest levels of IGF-1, which improves muscle injury repair. To reach this conclusion, the researchers studied two groups of mice. The first group of mice was genetically altered so they could not mount inflammatory responses to acute injury. The second group of mice was normal. Each group experienced muscle injury induced by barium chloride. The muscle injury in the first group of mice did not heal, but in the second group, their bodies repaired the injury. Further analysis showed that macrophages within injured muscles in the second group of mice produced a high level of IGF-1, leading to significantly improved muscle repair.

 

“For wounds to heal we need controlled inflammation, not too much, and not too little,” said Gerald Weissmann, M.D., Editor-in-Chief of The FASEB Journal, “It’s been known for a long time that excess anti-inflammatory medication, such as cortisone, slows wound healing. This study goes a long way to telling us why: insulin-like growth factor and other materials released by inflammatory cells helps wound to heal.”

 

Public release date: 5-Oct-2010

 

Amino acid supplement makes mice live longer

 

When mice are given drinking water laced with a special concoction of amino acids, they live longer than your average mouse, according to a new report in the October issue of Cell Metabolism, a Cell Press publication. The key ingredients in the supplemental mixture are so-called branched-chain amino acids, which account for 3 of the 20 amino acids (specifically leucine, isoleucine, and valine) that are the building blocks of proteins.

 

“This is the first demonstration that an amino acid mixture can increase survival in mice,” said Enzo Nisoli of Milan University in Italy, noting that researchers last year showed that leucine, isoleucine, and valine extend the life span of single-celled yeast.

 

In the new study, the researchers gave middle-aged, male mice extra branched-chain amino acids (BCAA) in their drinking water. The animals were otherwise healthy and eating standard mouse chow.

 

Animals that were given the extra amino acids over a period of months lived longer, with a median life span of 869 days compared to 774 days for untreated control animals, the researchers report. That’s an increase of 12 percent.

 

Those survival gains were accompanied by an increase in mitochondria in cardiac and skeletal muscles. Mitochondria are the cellular components responsible for powering cells. The supplement-fed mice also showed increased activity of SIRT1, a well-known longevity gene, and of the defense system that combats free radicals. They therefore showed fewer signs of oxidative damage.

 

The benefits of the amino acid supplements appear similar to those earlier ascribed to calorie restriction, Nisoli said.

 

Treated animals also showed improvements in their exercise endurance and in motor coordination, the researchers report. (It is important to note that the animals in the current study were all male, Nisoli said. They plan to test the effects in females in future studies.)

 

The findings in older mice suggest that the supplementary mixture may be specifically beneficial for those who are elderly or ill. “It may not be useful in young people or body builders,” who are already in good condition, he said. But it might be a useful preventive strategy, he added, emphasizing that the mice they studied “were just aged, not sick.”

 

Nisoli emphasized that consuming amino acid supplements is different from consuming proteins containing those amino acids. That’s because they do not have to be digested, and can enter the bloodstream immediately. “They come with no energy cost.”

 

He suspects that BCAA nutritional supplements may prove to be particularly helpful for people with heart failure, the muscle-wasting condition known as sarcopenia, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or other conditions characterized by energy defects. In fact, there are already some small studies in human to support that idea and BCAA supplements are already available for purchase in several countries, including Italy.

 

The challenge, Nisoli says, will be convincing clinicians that these supplements might be a benefit to their patients. He says a large clinical trial is needed, but there is little incentive for companies to do such trials for dietary supplements as opposed to drugs.

 

Overall, Nisoli said the new work supports a “general philosophy of a nutritional approach to disease, aging, and problems of energy status.”

 

Public release date: 5-Oct-2010

 

Shortfalls in carotenoid ( Pro-Vitamin A )intake may impact women’s health

 

Newly released report finds younger women have greater ‘carotenoid gap’ in the diet than older women

GRAND RAPIDS, MICH., Oct. 5, 2010 – Only about a third of American women are meeting their fruit and vegetable intake recommendations, which means they are likely missing out on potentially important breast and ovarian health benefits (1). Along with vitamins, minerals and fiber, fruits and vegetables contain a type of phytonutrient called carotenoids, which research suggests help support women’s health including breast and ovarian health.

 

Based on a new report called America’s Phytonutrient Report: Women’s Health by Color, older women have total carotenoid intakes 20 percent greater than younger women after accounting for differences in caloric intake. Similar to the original America’s Phytonutrient Report: Quantifying the Gap which found that on average eight out of 10 American adults are falling short on phytonutrient consumption, the new report revealed a troubling shortfall, this time among women and carotenoids. America’s Phytonutrient Reports are released by The Nutrilite Health Institute, a worldwide collaboration of experts who are dedicated to helping people achieve optimal health – through research, education, and practical, personalized solutions. Nutrilite is the world’s leading brand of vitamin, mineral, and dietary supplements, based on 2008 sales.

 

Carotenoids are compounds that give fruits and vegetables their vibrant colors, which research suggests may offer breast, ovarian and other health benefits for women. Using NHANES energy-adjusted data to compare the diets of women 45 years and older with those younger, the report finds that many women of all ages lack carotenoid-rich foods in their diet, but the relative magnitude of the “carotenoid gap” is greater among women less than 45 years old as compared to older women.

 

“This points to a troubling phenomenon where younger women may be missing some of the benefits of consuming more carotenoid rich fruits and vegetables, and yet calorie for calorie, older women are eating more of these important nutrients,” said Keith Randolph, Ph.D., Technology Strategist for Nutrilite.

 

The Carotenoids by Color Category

 

This new report examined consumption of five different carotenoids across three phytonutrient color categories including alpha-carotene, beta-carotene and beta-cryptoxanthin in the yellow/orange category, lutein/zeaxanthin in the green category and lycopene in red. In every color category, older women consumed equal or greater amounts compared to younger women after adjusting for differences in caloric intake. Specifically, women age 45 and older consume:

 

•50 percent more beta-carotene;

•40 percent more alpha-carotene and lutein/zeaxanthin;

•and, 10 percent more beta-cryptoxanthin.

For lycopene, younger and older women consume comparable amounts.

 

Carotenoids Shown To Reduce Cancer Risk

 

A growing body of research suggests carotenoids may be associated with protective benefits against certain cancers. The research points to an apparent lowered risk for breast and ovarian cancers among women of all ages who increase their intake of fruits and vegetables rich in various carotenoids including lutein/zeaxanthin, lycopene, alpha-carotene, beta-carotene and beta-cryptoxanthin according to Randolph.

 

Top Food Sources

 

It turns out that a limited number of foods account for significant portions of carotenoid intakes, according to the new report. Following are the single largest food contributors in the diets of American women by color category of phytonutrient:

 

•Green Carotenoid: Lutein/Zeaxanthin

 

◦Spinach accounts for 33% of lutein/zeaxanthin intake among younger women and 31% among older.

•Red Carotenoid: Lycopene

 

◦Tomatoes (and tomato products) account for 93% of lycopene intake among younger women and 89% among older.

•Yellow/Orange Carotenoid: Alpha-carotene

 

◦Carrots account for 76% of alpha-carotene intake among younger women and 73% among older.

•Yellow/Orange Carotenoid: Beta-carotene

 

◦Carrots account for 33% of beta-carotene intake among younger women and 30% among older.

•Yellow/Orange Carotenoid: Beta-cryptoxanthin

 

◦Oranges (and orange juice) account for 61% of beta-cryptoxanthin intake among younger women and 60% among older.

Powering Up Produce

 

Choosing to increase the amount of the fruit and vegetables richest in carotenoids is important for long-term preventative health among women. While foods like spinach, tomatoes and carrots are certainly part of a healthy diet, there are opportunities for women to choose a wider variety of produce. For example, while carrots are among the top food sources of alpha and beta-carotenes, cooked pumpkin is also a concentrated food source of not only those carotenes, but of beta-cryptoxanthin. However, based on the current data analysis, cooked pumpkin accounts for less than 3% of total intake of these carotenoids among American women.

 

“It’s concerning that so many American women lack a variety of carotenoid-rich foods in their regular diets,” says Amy Hendel, Nutrilite’s Phytonutrient Coach. “By selecting the most carotenoid-rich produce choices, women can purposefully increase their carotenoid and phytonutrient intakes which can impact health significantly as they age.”

 

Hendel, a registered physician assistant and health/wellness expert, offers these easy substitutions to “power up” your plate and add new flavors to your meal plan:

 

•Green: A serving of cooked kale provides triple the amount of lutein/zeaxanthin as a serving of raw spinach.

•Red: A serving of guava delivers more than one and a half times the lycopene in a raw tomato.

•Yellow/Orange:

◦A serving of sweet potatoes has nearly double the beta-carotene as a serving of carrots.

◦A serving of carrots delivers four times the amount of alpha-carotene as a serving of winter squash.

◦A serving of fresh papaya has roughly 10 times the beta-cryptoxanthin found in an orange.

 

Hendel adds, a good goal for most individuals is to consume 10 servings of fruits and vegetables daily, with an emphasis on quality, not just quantity. If this proves challenging, consider a natural, plant-based dietary supplement which includes phytonutrients such as carotenoids.

 

“Just remember, small changes in the diet each day can add up to powerful changes over time. Older women may eat more carotenoids, but women of all ages are falling short. Diet is a lifetime of exposure and best we teach younger women how to eat right, up those carotenoids, and exercise more from the beginning,” says Hendel.

 

Public release date: 5-Oct-2010

 

Low Testosterone Linked to Alzheimer’s Disease

 

SLU Geriatrician Collaborates on Year-Long Study of Chinese Older Men

 

ST. LOUIS — Low levels of the male sex hormone, testosterone, in older men is associated with the onset of Alzheimer’s disease, according to research by a team that includes a Saint Louis University scientist.

 

John Morley, M.D.

 

“Having low testosterone may make you more vulnerable to Alzheimer’s disease,” said John E. Morley, M.D., director of the division of geriatric medicine at Saint Louis University and a study co-investigator. “The take-home message is we should pay more attention to low testosterone, particularly in people who have memory problems or other signs of cognitive impairment.”

 

The study was published electronically prior to its print publication in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease and led by Leung-Wing Chu, M.D., who is chief of the division of geriatric medicine at Queen Mary Hospital at the University of Hong Kong.

 

Researchers studied 153 Chinese men who were recruited from social centers. They were at least 55 years and older, lived in the community and didn’t have dementia. Of those men, 47 had mild cognitive impairment – or problems with clear thinking and memory loss.

 

Within a year, 10 men who all were part of the cognitively impaired group developed probable Alzheimer’s disease. These men also had low testosterone in their body tissues; elevated levels of the ApoE 4 (apolipoprotein E) protein, which is correlated with a higher risk of Alzheimer’s disease; and high blood pressure.

 

“It’s a very exciting study because we’ve shown that a low level of testosterone is one of the risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease,” Morley said.

 

The findings corroborate findings in previous studies of older Caucasian men that show low testosterone is associated with impaired thinking and Alzheimer’s disease. They suggest that testosterone may have a protective value against Alzheimer’s disease.

 

The next step, Morley said, is to conduct a large-scale study that investigates the use of testosterone in preventing Alzheimer’s disease. Morley and his co-authors advocate studying the effectiveness of testosterone replacement in older men who have both mild memory problems and low testosterone in staving off Alzheimer’s disease.

 

Public release date: 6-Oct-2010

 

Vitamin D deficiency rampant in patients undergoing orthopedic surgery, damaging patient recovery

 

Doctors provide strategy to improve outcomes

 

Almost 50 percent of patients undergoing orthopedic surgery have vitamin D deficiency that should be corrected before surgery to improve patient outcomes, based on a study by researchers at Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) in New York City. Vitamin D is essential for bone healing and muscle function and is critical for a patient’s recovery. The study appears in the October issue of The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery.

 

“In the perfect world, test levels, fix and then operate,” said Joseph Lane, M.D., professor of Orthopedic Surgery and chief of the Metabolic Bone Disease Service at HSS, who led the study. “If you put people on 2,000-4,000 [milligrams] of vitamin D based on what their deficient value was, you can usually get them corrected in four to six weeks, which is when you are really going to need the vitamin D. If you are really aggressive right before surgery, you can correct deficient levels quickly, but you have to correct it, measure it, and then act on it.”

 

According to Dr. Lane, bone remodeling or bone tissue formation, a part of the healing process, occurs about two to four weeks after surgery. This is the critical stage when your body needs vitamin D.

 

For their study, investigators conducted a retrospective chart review of 723 patients who were scheduled for orthopedic surgery between January 2007 and March 2008 at HSS. They examined the vitamin D levels, which had been measured in all patients before their surgery, and found that 43 percent had insufficient vitamin D and 40 percent had deficient levels.

 

Vitamin D inadequacy was defined as

 

The highest levels of deficiency were seen in patients in the trauma service, where 66 percent of patients had insufficient levels and 52 percent had deficient levels. Of the patients undergoing foot and ankle surgery, 34 percent had inadequate levels and of patients undergoing hand surgery, 40 percent had insufficient levels.

 

In the Sports Medicine Service, 52.3 percent had insufficient levels and of these, one-third of these or 17 percent of the total had deficient levels. “We frequently see stress fractures in the Sports Medicine Service and if you want to heal, you have to fix the calcium and vitamin D,” Dr. Lane said.

 

In the Arthroplasty Service, which conducts hip and knee replacements, 38 percent had inadequate levels and 48 percent had deficient levels. “With arthroplasty, there is a certain number of patients that when you put in the prothesis, it breaks the bone adjacent to the protheses, which can really debilitate patients.” This could be prevented or minimized by rectifying vitamin D levels. Dr. Lane also explained that they now perform procedures where they grow a bone into a prosthesis without using cement. “In those people, it would be an advantage to have adequate vitamin D, because it matures the bone as it grows in, it is really healing into the prosthesis,” he said.

 

“The take home message is that low vitamin D has an implication in terms of muscle and fracture healing, it occurs in about 50 percent of people coming in for orthopedic surgery, and it is eminently correctable,” Dr. Lane said. “We recommend that people undergoing a procedure that involves the bone or the muscle should correct their vitamin D if they want to have an earlier faster, better, result. What we are saying is ‘wake up guys, smell the coffee; half of your patients have a problem, measure it, and if they are low, then fix it.'”

 

In recent years, vitamin D deficiency has been recognized as a common phenomenon and is caused by many factors. It is difficult to get from foods, except, for example, cod liver oil and fish. Until recently, the recommended daily allowance was set too low so foods were not supplemented with adequate doses. And third, while people can absorb vitamin D from sunlight, people these days often work long hours and often use sunscreen that impedes vitamin D intake.

 

________________________________

These reports are done with the appreciation of all the Doctors, Scientist, and other

Medical Researchers who sacrificed their time and effort. In order to give people the

ability to empower themselves. Without the base aspirations for fame, or fortune.

Just honorable people, doing honorable things.

 

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

2010 study posted for filing

Contact: Amy Shaw ashaw@snm.org 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 http://www.snm.org.

U.S. sees diabetes rates skyrocket

By Agence France-Presse Thursday, November 15, 2012 20:56 EST

HHS

Topics:

The United States saw a dramatic rise in the number of adults suffering from diabetes between 1995 and 2010, according to official statistics released Thursday.

The prevalence of the disease increased by at least 50 percent in 42 of the country’s 50 states. In 18 of those, the rate at least doubled, according to a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“Regionally, we saw the largest increase in diagnosed diabetes prevalence in the South, followed by the West, Midwest, and Northeast,” said Linda Geiss, lead author of the report.

The states that saw the highest rise in cases included Oklahoma (226 percent), Kentucky (158 percent), Georgia (145 percent), Alabama (140 percent) and Washington (135 percent).

In 1995, only three states along with the District of Columbia — home of the nation’s capital, Washington — and Puerto Rico had a diagnosed diabetes prevalence of at least six percent.

But by 2010, all 50 US states recorded a prevalence of more than six percent, said Ann Albright, who heads the CDC’s Division of Diabetes Translation.

“These rates will continue to increase until effective interventions and policies are implemented to prevent both diabetes and obesity,” she said in a statement. More than a third of American adults are obese.

Type 2 diabetes, which accounts for 90-95 percent of all diabetes cases in the United States, could be prevented by making lifestyle changes, the statement said.

The CDC, together with its partners, is working on initiatives to prevent type 2 diabetes and minimize complications in those already diagnosed with the disease.

The study used data from an annual telephone survey of health behaviors and conditions of US adults aged 18 and older.

 

http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2012/11/15/u-s-sees-diabetes-rates-skyrocket/

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 Jessica@JonapPR.com 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 Jessica@JonapPR.com or 305-864-5521.

Diabetes linked to flu

The flu virus has another trick up its sleeve – it may trigger diabetes. The good news is that this discovery may give us a way to prevent some forms of the disease.

In diabetes, cells do not take up sugar from the blood. This can happen because cells have lost sensitivity to the hormone insulin, leading to what is called type 2 diabetes. Linked to diet and lifestyle, this form of the disease is rapidly becoming more common worldwide. Another cause of diabetes happens when the immune system destroys the pancreatic cells that produce insulin. People inherit a genetic predisposition for this condition, called type 1 diabetes, but an environmental trigger is also needed for it to appear.

Since the 1970s, researchers have suspected that viruses may provide this trigger, as type 1 diabetes often sets in suddenly after an infection. Enteroviruses and rotaviruses were both implicated; something about these infections confuses the immune system enough to make it attack the pancreas. But the picture remained unclear.

Then Ilaria Capua, of the World Organisation for Animal Health reference lab for bird flu in Legnaro, Italy, and her team decided to infect turkeys with flu. They did this because they knew birds with flu often have an inflamed pancreas, even when they have strains of the virus that do not normally spread outside the lungs. The team found that many of the turkeys developed severe pancreatic damage and diabetes.

Next, the researchers infected human pancreatic tissue with two common flu viruses. Both “grew really well” in the tissue, including in insulin-producing cells, says Capua.

Inflammatory response

Crucially, the presence of flu in the pancreatic cells triggered production of a set of inflammatory chemicals that have been shown to be central to the autoimmune reactions that lead to type 1 diabetes. One theory is that immune cells present bits of the infected tissue to destructive T-cells, to teach them to recognise the virus. But in the process the T-cells also learn to recognise the cells that make insulin, and to destroy them.

Can flu reach the pancreas? In humans, the virus is normally restricted to the lungs and gut, but can sometimes get into the blood. The virus might also travel up the duct that links the small intestine to the pancreas, Capua suspects. “Either way, when it gets to the pancreas it finds a good place to replicate.”

Capua is now testing the effects of flu on mouse models of type 1 diabetes. She is also looking for signs of recent flu infection in people with newly diagnosed diabetes. She suspects the H1N1 swine flu virus that caused the pandemic of 2009, and is still circulating, could be a particularly good trigger. Doctors in Japan and Italy have reported many newly diagnosed cases of type 1 diabetes in people who had recently had flu, and an upsurge in type 1 diabetes after the 2009 pandemic.

Real impact

“The great thing is that even if flu only causes a few per cent of type 1 diabetes cases, we can vaccinate and prevent flu in people who are genetically predisposed, and that can have a real impact,” says Capua. There are 65,000 new cases of type 1 diabetes worldwide annually, and that figure is growing by 3 to 5 per cent each year.

The link between diabetes and flu adds to growing evidence that many diseases considered non-infectious are actually caused by infection – and can therefore spread.

There is also new evidence that flu can cause heart attacks. Previously, this was suspected, because of the surge in heart attacks that regularly follows the annual flu season. But researchers at the University of Toronto, Canada, have  now demonstrated the effect in individual patients. They reported this week that vaccinating adults for flu, whether they already have cardiac problems or not, makes them half as likely to have a heart attack or stroke in the following year (Canadian Journal of Cardiology, doi.org/jnr).

Journal reference: Journal of Virology, doi.org/jnp

http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn22456-diabetes-linked-to-flu.html?full=true&print=true

Stopping diabetes damage with vitamin C

2009 study posted for filing

Contact: Diane Clay
diane-clay@ouhsc.edu
405-271-2323
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 http://jcem.endojournals.org/cgi/content/abstract/jc.2009-0762v1.

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

Contact: Toni Baker
tbaker@georgiahealth.edu
706-721-4421
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.

###

Obese Teen Boys Have Up to 50 Percent Less Testosterone than Lean Boys, UB Study Finds

Results send “grim message” that obese teen males may become impotent, infertile adults

Release Date: October 12, 2012

BUFFALO, N.Y. — A study by the University at Buffalo shows for the first time that obese males ages 14 to 20 have up to 50 percent less total testosterone than do normal males of the same age, significantly increasing their potential to be impotent and infertile as adults.

The paper was published online as an accepted article in Clinical Endocrinology.

The authors are the same researchers in the University at Buffalo’s School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences who first reported in 2004 the presence of low testosterone levels, known as hypogonadism, in obese, type 2 diabetic adult males and confirmed it in 2010 in more than 2,000 obese men, both diabetic and nondiabetic.

“We were surprised to observe a 50 percent reduction in testosterone in this pediatric study because these obese males were young and were not diabetic,” says Paresh Dandona, MD, PhD, SUNY Distinguished Professor in the Department of Medicine, chief of the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism in the UB medical school and first author on the study. “The implications of our findings are, frankly, horrendous because these boys are potentially impotent and infertile,” says Dandona. “The message is a grim one with massive epidemiological implications.”

The paper is available at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22970699.

The small study included 25 obese and 25 lean males and was controlled for age and level of sexual maturity. Concentrations of total and free testosterone and estradiol, an estrogen hormone, were measured in morning fasting blood samples. The results need to be confirmed with a larger number of subjects, Dandona says.

“These findings demonstrate that the effect of obesity is powerful, even in the young, and that lifestyle and nutritional intake starting in childhood have major repercussions throughout all stages of life,” he says.

In addition to the reproductive consequences, the absence or low levels of testosterone that were found also will increase the tendency toward abdominal fat and reduced muscle, Dandona says, leading to insulin resistance, which contributes to diabetes.

“The good news is that we know that testosterone levels do return to normal in obese adult males who undergo gastric bypass surgery,” says Dandona. “It’s possible that levels also will return to normal through weight loss as a result of lifestyle change, although this needs to be confirmed by larger studies.”

The UB researchers now intend to study whether or not weight loss accomplished either through lifestyle changes or through pharmacological intervention will restore testosterone levels in obese teen males.

Co-authors with Dandona are Muniza Mogri, MD, a medical resident in the UB Department of Pediatrics, Sandeep Dhindsa, MD, clinical assistant professor of medicine at UB; Husam Ghanim, PhD, research assistant professor of medicine; and Teresa Quattrin, MD, A. Conger Goodyear Professor and chair of the Department of Pediatrics, housed in Women and Children’s Hospital of Buffalo.

 

[ photograph ]“These findings demonstrate that the effect of obesity is powerful, even in the young,” says UB’s Dandona, who led the research.

Download JPEG

Contact

Ellen Goldbaum

goldbaum@buffalo.edu

716-645-4605 twitter @egoldbaum

Garlic chemical tablet treats diabetes 1 and 2

2008 study posted for filing

Contact: Hiromu Sakurai
sakuraih@suzuka-u.ac.jp
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”

DOWNLOAD FULL TEXT ARTICLE http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/jf8014365

CONTACT: Atsushi Kato University of Toyama Toyama, Japan Fax: 81 76 434 5155 Email: kato@med.u-toyama.ac.jp

39th Health Research Report 16 SEP 2008 – Reconstruction

Editors Top Five:

1. Substance found in fruits and vegetables reduces likelihood of the flu

2. New study will make criminals sweat

3. Common bronchodilator linked to increased deaths

4. Higher urinary levels of commonly used chemical, BPA, linked with cardiovascular disease, diabetes

5. FDA defends plastic linked with health risks

In this issue:

1. Loss of sleep, even for a single night, increases inflammation in the body

2. Study finds B-vitamin deficiency may cause vascular cognitive impairment

3. Innate immune system targets asthma-linked fungus for destruction

4. New study reveals higher protein breakfast may help dieters stay on track

5. Substance found in fruits and vegetables reduces likelihood of the flu

6. Oxidative Stress: Mechanism of Cell Death Clarified

7. Study shows pine bark naturally reduces knee osteoarthritis

8. Vitamin B12 may protect the brain in old age

9. Fluctuations in serotonin transport may explain winter blues

10. Diet may eliminate spasms for infants with epilepsy

11. Calcium during pregnancy reduces harmful blood lead levels

12. Eating fish while pregnant, longer breastfeeding, lead to better infant development

13. Is yakult helpful in the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome?

14. New research could hold the key to keeping older people fit for longer

15. COPD? Eat your veggies

16. Drinking chamomile tea may help fight complications of diabetes

17. Study highlights underlying reasons for why patients are missing their supplementation

18. New study will make criminals sweat

19. Avoid coupon redeemers: Their stigma is contagious (unless they’re attractive)

20. Is re-emerging superbug the next MRSA?

21. Common bronchodilator linked to increased deaths

22. Higher urinary levels of commonly used chemical, BPA, linked with cardiovascular disease, diabetes

23. Expert urges FDA to take action to reduce BPA exposure

24. FDA defends plastic linked with health risks

Health Technology Research Synopsis

39th Issue Date 16 SEP 2008

Compiled By Ralph Turchiano

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New research suggests diabetes transmitted from parents to children

2008 posted for filing
Contact: Nick Zagorski
nzagorski@asbmb.org
301-634-7366
American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

An unusual form of inheritance may have a role in the rising rate of diabetes, especially in children and young adults, in the United States

A new study in the September issue of the Journal of Lipid Research suggests an unusual form of inheritance may have a role in the rising rate of diabetes, especially in children and young adults, in the United States.

DNA is the primary mechanism of inheritance; kids get half their genes from mom and half from dad. However, scientists are just starting to understand additional kinds of inheritance like metabolic programming, which occurs when an insult during a critical period of development, either in the womb or soon after birth, triggers permanent changes in metabolism.

In this study, the researchers looked at the effects of a diet high in saturated fat on mice and their offspring. As expected, they found that a high-fat diet induced type 2 diabetes in the adult mice and that this effect was reversed by stopping the diet.

However, if female mice continued a high-fat diet during pregnancy and/or suckling, their offspring also had a greater frequency of diabetes development, even though the offspring were given a moderate-fat diet. These mice were then mated with healthy mice, and the next generation offspring (grandchildren of the original high-fat fed generation) could develop diabetes as well.

In effect, exposing a fetal mouse to high levels of saturated fats can cause it and its offspring to acquire diabetes, even if the mouse goes off the high-fat diet and its young are never directly exposed.

The study used mice so it’s not time to warn women to eat differently during pregnancy and breastfeeding but earlier research has shown that this kind of inheritance is at work in humans. For example, there is an increased risk of hypertension and cardiovascular disease in children born of malnourished mothers.

###

From the article: “Effects of High Fat Diet Exposure During Fetal Life on Type 2 Diabetes Development in the Progeny” by Donatella Gniuli, Alessandra Calcagno, Maria Emiliana Caristo, Alessandra Mancuso, Veronica Macchi, Geltrude Mingrone, and Roberto Vettor.

Article link: http://www.jlr.org/cgi/content/abstract/M800033-JLR200v1

Corresponding Author: Donatella Gniuli, Istituto di Medicina Interna, Universita’ Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Rome; Tel: +39-3204261273; email: dgniuli@gmail.com

38th Health Research Report 02 SEP 2008 – Reconstruction

Editors Top Five:

 

1.      How to stop a new type of heart attack
2.      Flu shot does not cut risk of death in elderly
3.      Scientists discover leptin can also aid type 1 diabetics
4.      Killer carbs — Monash scientist finds the key to overeating as we age
5.      Low cholesterol associated with cancer in diabetics

 

In This Issue:

 
1.      Silver-coated endotracheal tubes appear to reduce risk of pneumonia associated with ventilator use
2.      Arsenic exposure could increase diabetes risk
3.      Low level cadmium exposure linked to lung disease
4.      79 million US adults have medical bill problems or are paying off medical debt
5.      How to stop a new type of heart attack
6.      New research suggests diabetes transmitted from parents to children
7.      Positive thinking may protect against breast cancer
8.      Killer carbs — Monash scientist finds the key to overeating as we age
9.      The big gulp: consumers avoid extremes in soda sizes
10.  Low cholesterol associated with cancer in diabetics
11.  Anti-psychotic drug use in the elderly increases despite drug safety warnings
12.  New study shows health benefits of probiotic could extend to the entire body
13.  Anti-Cancer Flower Power
14.  Oral Administration of Lactobacillus from Breast Milk May Treat Common Infection in Lactating Mothers
15.  Scientists discover leptin can also aid type 1 diabetics
16.  Flu shot does not cut risk of death in elderly
17.  Researchers find high levels of toxic metals in herbal medicine products sold online
18.  Caesarean babies more likely to develop diabetes
19.  Olive leaf extract can help tackle high blood pressure and cholesterol
20.  Why do eyelids sag with age? UCLA study answers mystery
21.  New evidence on addiction to medicines Diazepam has effect on nerve cells in the brain reward system
22.  Study examines use of opioids
23.  Heart attack patients who stop statin risk death, say McGill researchers
24.  All types of antipsychotic drugs increase the risk of stroke
25.  Class of diabetes drugs carries significant cardiovascular risks
26.  National Study Shows Magnesium Sulfate Reduces Risk of Cerebral Palsy in Premature Births
27.  Sex hormones link to heart risk
28.  Large-scale Survey Links “Burnout” to Suicidal Thoughts in Med Students
29.  New evidence on folic acid in the diet and colon cancer
30.  Survey: ‘Tanorexia’ common among university students
31.  Post-marketing studies finding adverse events in drugs used in children
32.  Most vaccine-allergic children can still be safely vaccinated, Hopkins experts say
33.  Higher anaphylaxis rates after HPV vaccination: CMAJ study
34.  Safety of antithrombotic treatment in acute coronary syndromes
35.  Study finds B-vitamin deficiency may cause vascular cognitive impairment

Health Technology Research Synopsis

38th Issue Date 02 SEP 2008

Compiled By Ralph Turchiano

www.healthresearchreport.me www.vit.bz

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Study explains decrease in insulin-producing beta cells in diabetes: Current Theory is wrong

Contact: Karin Eskenazi
ket2116@columbia.edu
212-342-0508
Columbia University Medical Center

Findings suggest new approach to treatment

IMAGE:The life cycle of transcription factor FoxO1 closely mirrors the state of health of the pancreatic beta cell. In a healthy cell, FoxO1 (stained red) is inactive and co-localizes with…

Click here for more information. 

New York, NY (September 13, 2012) — Scientists generally think that reduced insulin production by the pancreas, a hallmark of type 2 diabetes, is due to the death of the organ’s beta cells. However, a new study by Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) researchers shows that beta cells do not die but instead revert to a more fundamental, undifferentiated cell type. The findings suggest that strategies to prevent beta cells from de-differentiating, or to coax them to re-differentiate, might improve glucose balance in patients with type 2 diabetes. The study, conducted in mice was published today in the online edition of the journal Cell.

“The prevailing theory is that the death of beta cells is responsible for the decline in insulin production in type 2 diabetes,” said study leader Domenico Accili, MD, professor of Medicine and the Russell Berrie Foundation Professor at CUMC. “But when you look at a diabetic pancreas, you find very few, if any, dead beta cells. So, the organ dysfunction is out of proportion with the number of dead cells. Nobody has had a plausible explanation for this.”

Dr. Accili and co-author Chutima Talchai, PhD, suspected that some answers might lie in the activity of FoxO1 protein. FoxO1 — a transcription factor, or protein that controls when genes are switched on or off — serves as a kind of gauge of the body’s nutritional status. When a cell is well nourished, FoxO1 is inactive and stays in the cell body, or cytoplasm. In the face of a physiologic stress, such as high blood sugar, FoxO1 travels to the nucleus and ultimately disappears. “The starting point of our study was to ask, why does FoxO1 go to the nucleus in the early phases of diabetes, and is the decrease in FoxO1 a cause of diabetes or a consequence?” said Dr. Accili.

To address these questions, Dr. Talchai created a strain of mice whose beta cells lack FoxO1. Initially, the mice appeared normal, but after a physiologic stress, such as pregnancy or aging, the mice developed low levels of insulin and high levels of glucagon (a pancreatic hormone that counters the effects of insulin) — responses also seen in human diabetes.

The researchers then used a novel form of cell-lineage tracing to find out what happened to the beta cells. “To our surprise, we found that the beta cells had not disappeared but had changed into a different cell type. They had sort of walked back from fully committed insulin-making cells to an uncommitted progenitor-like, multipotent development stage,” said Dr. Accili. In addition, some of the beta cells became glucagon-producing cells, which would explain why people with diabetes have abnormally high glucagon levels. The same changes in beta cells were observed in other mouse models of diabetes.

“Our findings tell us that FoxO1 is necessary to maintain the identity of beta cells,” said Dr. Accili. “During metabolic stress, beta cells gradually lose FoxO1 and begin to de-differentiate, probably as a self-protective mechanism.”

The study has important implications for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. “Currently, we give patients medications that force beta cells to work even harder,” said Dr. Accili. “But it’s like flogging a dying horse. You can push beta cells only so far. Our findings would suggest that treatment should begin by giving beta cells a rest, by administering insulin. Then, we should give an agent that promotes the re-differentiation of beta cells. What that agent could be, we don’t know; but we do have some inkling from our work that certain signaling pathways, such as the wnt or notch pathways, could be targeted for this purpose.”

 

###

 

The study is titled, “Pancreatic B-Cell Dedifferentiation As Mechanism Of Diabetic B-Cell Failure.” Contributors are Domenico Accili (CUMC), Chutima Talchai (CUMC and Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand), Shouhong Xuan (CUMC), Hua V. Lin (Eli Lilly China Laboratories, Shanghai, People’s Republic of China), and Lori Sussel (CUMC). Dr. Talchai is a postdoctoral research scientist at CUMC and a New York Stem Cell Foundation-Druckenmiller Fellow.

The study was supported by grants from the Druckenmiller Fellowship of the New York Stem Cell Foundation, the National Institutes of Health (DK64819, DK58282, and DK63608), the Brehm Coalition, and the Russell Berrie Foundation.

The authors have filed a patent for an assay that can distinguish normal cells from de-differentiated cells. The authors declare no other financial or other conflicts of interest.

Columbia University Medical Center provides international leadership in basic, pre-clinical and clinical research, in medical and health sciences education, and in patient care. The medical center trains future leaders and includes the dedicated work of many physicians, scientists, public health professionals, dentists, and nurses at the College of Physicians and Surgeons, the Mailman School of Public Health, the College of Dental Medicine, the School of Nursing, the biomedical departments of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and allied research centers and institutions. Established in 1767, Columbia’s College of Physicians and Surgeons was the first institution in the country to grant the M.D. degree and is among the most selective medical schools in the country. Columbia University Medical Center is home to the largest medical research enterprise in New York City and State and one of the largest in the United States.

Upon its official opening in October 1998, the Naomi Berrie Diabetes Center at Columbia University Medical Center established a new standard of care for the 1.6 million people with diabetes in the New York area—combining world-class diabetes research and education programs with unprecedented family-oriented patient care. Named for the mother of the late Russell Berrie, founder of RUSS™ Toys, the center is today recognized as the most comprehensive diabetes research and treatment center in the tri-state region and has been designated a national “Diabetes Center of Excellence.” Approximately one hundred faculty and students, affiliated with the Center, conduct basic and clinical research related to the pathogenesis and treatment of all forms of diabetes and its complications. For more information, visit www.nbdiabetes.org.

26th Health Research Report 19 MAR 2008 – Reconstruction

 

 

Editors Top Five:

 
1.      Mayo Clinic proceedings highlights research about cardiovascular benefits of omega-3 fatty acids
2.      Weight loss more effective than intensive insulin therapy for type 2 diabetics
3.      Extra vitamin D in early childhood cuts adult diabetes risk
4.      What effect does melatonin have in colitis?
5.      Only two per cent of paediatric drug trials reported using independent safety monitoring

 

 

In this Issue:

 

1.      Study finds bacteria may reduce risk for kidney stones
2.      Type 2 Diabetes May Be Caused by Intestinal Dysfunction
3.      When the chips are down — soak them!
4.      High levels of estrogen associated with breast cancer recurrence
5.      U of I scientists aim to overcome allergic reactions to soy
6.      UCLA study finds that broccoli may help boost the aging immune system
7.      One small step for man, one giant leap for advertising
8.      Curing addiction with cannabis medicines
9.      New bacteria contaminate hairspray
10.  Oregon study raises questions on synthetic progestins
11.  Magnesium associated with lower risk for some strokes in male smokers
12.  HPV vaccine reduces abnormal pap test results
13.  Mayo Clinic proceedings highlights research about cardiovascular benefits of omega-3 fatty acids
14.  Postoperative chemotherapy does not improve survival in gastric cancer patients
15.  Weight loss more effective than intensive insulin therapy for type 2 diabetics
16.  Study raises caution on new painkillers
17.  Is a cup of tea really the answer to everything — even anthrax?
18.  Killer fungus spells disaster for wheat
19.  Fertility in developing countries: words into action
20.  Extra vitamin D in early childhood cuts adult diabetes risk
21.  Rodent study finds artificial butter chemical harmful to lungs
22.  Study in Circulation Research details how diabetes drives atherosclerosis
23.  Legal exposure to asbestos-like material linked to lung damage 25 years later
24.  An anti-inflammatory response to the vegan diet
25.  Foodborne outbreaks from leafy greens on rise
26.  Solving the drug price crisis
27.  New study: Pycnogenol improves memory in elderly
28.  Pneumococcal disease rates down significantly post-vaccine
29.  What effect does melatonin have in colitis?
30.  Do bacterial combinations result in enhanced cytokine production? No!
31.  Grape skin compound fights the complications of diabetes
32.  Scientists successfully awaken sleeping stem cells
33.  Only two per cent of paediatric drug trials reported using independent safety monitoring
 
http://healthresearchreport.me/2008/03/19/26th-health-research-report-19-mar-2008-reconstruction/

Health Technology Research Synopsis

Health Research Report

26th Issue Date  19 MAR 2008

Compiled By Ralph Turchiano

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How a virus might make you diabetic later in life : Cytomegalovirus (CMV)

Contact: Hilary Glover hilary.glover@biomedcentral.com 44-020-319-22370 BioMed Central

Cytomegalovirus (CMV) is one of the viruses that most infected people carry without ill effects. Once infected you are infected for life and, although it normally is dormant, it can become active again at any point in time. New research published in BioMed Central’s open access journal Immunity and Ageing shows that CMV infection is a significant risk factor for the type 2 diabetes in the elderly.

Obesity, inactivity and aging are known to be associated with insulin resistance, one of the first signs of incipient diabetes. However only a third of those with insulin resistance go on the develop type 2 diabetes. So what marks these people as different? Why do their pancreas’ fail? Genetic and environmental factors are thought to play a part but so also does inflammation. People with type 2 diabetes usually have raised levels of biological markers for inflammation such as elevated CRP and larger numbers of active white blood cells.

Chronic infections including CMV can ‘stress’ the immune system and when researchers from Leiden University Medical Centre and University of Tubingen Medical School compared glucose regulation with antibodies to CMV (or CMV seropositivity) in over 500 participants of the Leiden 85-plus Study they found that having CMV was associated with type 2 diabetes.

The researchers suggest that CMV could be either acting directly on pancreatic cells or  indirectly by causing the immune system attacking the pancreas. Dr Andrea Maier, who led the investigation explained, ” In our study we realised that although CMV seropositivity was associated with type 2 diabetes, higher levels of HnA1c and high non-fasting glucose the actual level of antibodies against CMV was not. ”

This study is looking at the effect of CMV on the very old. By their very nature these people have had longer to become infected with CMV and have low risks for other factors which are linked to diabetes or to cardiovascular disease. While it may not be possible to extrapolate these findings to the general population it seems likely that finding a way to overcome CMV infections may reduce diseases, such  as diabetes, later in life.

###

Media contact

Dr Hilary Glover Scientific Press Officer, BioMed Central Tel:  +44 (0) 20 3192 2370 Mob: +44 (0) 778 698 1967 Email: hilary.glover@biomedcentral.com

Notes to Editors

1. Cytomegalovirus seropositivity is associated with glucose regulation in the oldest old. Results from the Leiden 85-plus Study Sijia Chen, Anton JM de Craen, Yotam Raz, Evelyna Derhovanessian, Ann CTM Vossen, Westendorp GJ Rudi, Graham Pawelec and Andrea B MaierImmunity & Ageing (in press)

Please name the journal in any story you write. If you are writing for the web, please link to the article. All articles are available free of charge, according to BioMed Central’s open access policy.

Article citation and URL available on request on the day of publication.

2. Immunity & Ageing is an open access, peer-reviewed, online journal that considers manuscripts on all aspects of ageing examined from an immunological point of view.

3. BioMed Central (http://www.biomedcentral.com/) is an STM (Science, Technology and Medicine) publisher which has pioneered the open access publishing model. All peer-reviewed research articles published by BioMed Central are made immediately and freely accessible online, and are licensed to allow redistribution and reuse. BioMed Central is part of Springer Science+Business Media, a leading global publisher in the STM sector. @BioMedCentral

Relationship between statins and cognitive decline more complex than thought

 

 

INDIANAPOLIS – Previous explorations of a link between statins, a cholesterol lowering medication, and cognitive decline have produced inconsistent results. New research reveals that the relationship between statin use and cognitive decline appears even more complex than had been thought.

 

In a three year epidemiological study, researchers from the Indiana University School of Medicine and the Regenstrief Institute, Inc. have found an association of statin use with less cognitive decline in elderly African Americans and report that, surprisingly, the association is even stronger for those who had discontinued use than for continuous users. Their findings are published in the Nov. 6 issue of Neurology.

 

In 2001 and again in 2004, the IU School of Medicine researchers evaluated 1146 African Americans aged 70 and older living in Indianapolis testing them in various cognitive areas including language, attention and calculation, memory and orientation. The researchers also compared use of statins and whether, if used, they were taken consistently. While cognitive decline in statin users was less than those who did not take statins, those who continued to take statins from 2001 to 2004 had greater cognitive decline than those who were taking statins in 2001 but were no longer taking them in 2004. Study participants who discontinued statin use did not differ from those who continued to use statins in any other health, demographic, clinical or biochemical characteristics.

 

If statin use were directly associated with a reduction in cognitive decline, continuously taking statins would presumably produce the greatest effect. The study authors say that in light of their findings that the association between statins and decreased cognitive decline is more complex than previously realized, carefully designed randomized clinical trials of statins are needed to provide definitive answers to their potential role in dementia prevention.

 

***Ralph’s note- It appears that initial use of statins had some benefit on cognitive ability, but then had a negative rebound effect. The wording here is difficult so those in the initial study up to 2001 had an advantage. However, that same group when re analyzed from 2001 to 2004. The Statin users fared much worse than those who stopped after 2001.

* Requested Repost

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

Glucosamine causes the death of pancreatic cells

EEV: Repost 2010 Study, that slipped past our prior research reports

Contact: Jean-François Huppé jean-francois.huppe@dc.ulaval.ca 418-656-7785 Université Laval

This release is available in French.

Quebec City, October 27, 2010—High doses or prolonged use of glucosamine causes the death of pancreatic cells and could increase the risk of developing diabetes, according to a team of researchers at Université Laval’s Faculty of Pharmacy. Details of this discovery were recently published on the website of the Journal of Endocrinology.

In vitro tests conducted by Professor Frédéric Picard and his team revealed that glucosamine exposure causes a significant increase in mortality in insulin-producing pancreatic cells, a phenomenon tied to the development of diabetes. Cell death rate increases with glucosamine dose and exposure time. “In our experiments, we used doses five to ten times higher than that recommended by most manufacturers, or 1,500 mg/day,” stressed Professor Picard. “Previous studies showed that a significant proportion of glucosamine users up the dose hoping to increase the effects,” he explained.

Picard and his team have shown that glucosamine triggers a mechanism intended to lower very high blood sugar levels. However, this reaction negatively affects SIRT1, a protein critical to cell survival. A high concentration of glucosamine diminishes the level of SIRT1, leading to cell death in the tissues where this protein is abundant, such as the pancreas.

Individuals who use large amounts of glucosamine, those who consume it for long periods, and those with little SIRT1 in their cells are therefore believed to be at greater risk of developing diabetes. In a number of mammal species, SIRT1 level diminishes with age. This phenomenon has not been shown in humans but if it were the case, the elderly—who constitute the target market for glucosamine—would be even more vulnerable.

“The key point of our work is that glucosamine can have effects that are far from harmless and should be used with great caution,” concluded Professor Picard.

The results obtained by Picard and his team coincide with recent studies that cast serious doubt on the effectiveness of glucosamine in treating joint problems.

###

This study was co-authored by Mathieu Lafontaine-Lacasse and Geneviève Doré.

Information: Frédéric Picard Faculty of Pharmacy Université Laval 418-656-8711 ext. 3737 frederic.picard@criucpq.ulaval.ca