Poor Glucose Control Linked To Brain Volume Shrinkage In The Elderly

Older adults suffering from either pre-diabetes or full blown diabetes show significantly greater rates of brain volume shrinkage according to the results of a study presented this month at the joint conference of the International Congress of Endocrinology and European Congress of Endocrinology.

The research, led by Dr. Katherine Samaras, Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of New South Wales in Australia, focussed on 312 adults aged between 70 and 90 who were followed up over 2 years.

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High Intensity Exercise Improves Glucose Control In Type-2 Diabetics

One of the most effective ways for type-2 diabetics to improve glucose control is through endurance training. Unfortunately the time commitment required for this type of exercise is often too much for diabetics. Interestingly, a new study, published last month in the journal Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism has found that short duration high intensity physical activity may be just as effective as longer duration endurance exercise in improving glycemic control in type-2 diabetic patients.

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Reducing Post Meal Glucose Levels With Complementary Foods

One of the most important aspects of managing diabetes is preventing postprandial hyperglycemia, which is an exaggerated blood sugar response following a meal. In general, the glycemic load (GL) gives a good idea of the glucose response that will occur after eating a given amount of a particular food. The GL is calculated by multiplying the glycemic index of a food by the amount of carbohydrate. So for example eating two large grapefruit (GI of 25 and 50g of carbs) would effect blood sugar levels in a similar way to eating one banana (GI of 50 and 25g of carbs).

The idea of complementary foods is a relatively new concept in diabetes management and it refers to certain foods, that when consumed in conjunction with a traditionally high GL meal, help reduce the exaggerated glucose response that would normally occur. Some of these complementary foods are discussed in detail below.

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Is Honey A Better Option Than Table Sugar For Diabetics?

A honey jarA common question asked by diabetics is whether they should substitute honey for table sugar in their diet. This is generally motivated by the belief that a “natural” product like honey will be better for their health than a refined product such as table sugar.

In general, I am of the belief that better management of diabetes comes not from eating a single food or focusing on a particular food group, but instead from the combined effect of numerous lifestyle and dietary changes such as weight-loss, a higher intake of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and increased physical exercise.

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Inadequate Water Intake May Lead To Higher Blood Sugar Levels

A water tapThose who drink less than 0.5 litres of water a day are significantly more likely to develop hyperglycaemia (high blood sugar) according to the results of a French study published in the journal Diabetes Care last month.

The research, led by Ronan Roussel, Professor of Medicine at the Hospital Bichat in Paris, involved 3,615 adults who were followed for 9 years. Over the course of the study there were 565 new cases of hyperglycaemia which was defined as either a fasting glucose level over 6.1 mmol/L or the commencement of treatment for diabetes.

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Pectin Improves Glycemic Control In Diabetic Patients

A jar of marmaladePectin is a substance found in the cell walls of land-based plants. Pectin combines with water to produce a thick, gel like substance, making it useful as a setting agent in jams and marmalades. Pectin has gained some popularity as a health food due to its ability to lower cholesterol levels. Interestingly, pectin has also shown promise as a potential aid to diabetics as several scientific studies have found improvements in glucose control following pectin supplementation.

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Treating Diabetes With Guar Gum

Guar gum is a water soluble fibre that is produced from the endosperm of Guar beans. It is available from speciality health and baking stores, primarily for use as a thickening agent. It is a relatively cheap item to buy with food grade guar gum costing around $3 per pound. Guar gum has some interesting properties that may be beneficial to diabetics including the ability to lower both glucose and cholesterol levels. These properties are discussed in more detail below.

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Is It Safe For Diabetics To Eat Potatoes?

A jar of potatoesDespite being the most popular vegetable in the United States, potatoes have fallen out of favour somewhat with nutritionists over the last few decades due to a relatively low nutrient density and high levels of quickly absorbed carbohydrates. Many diabetics avoid potatoes altogether for fear of exacerbating their condition. Fortunately the news is not all bad when it comes to diabetes and potatoes and most diabetics can include a modest level of potatoes in their diet.

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Garlic Compound As Effective As Insulin At Treating Diabetes

A garlicA compound, found exclusively in garlic, may control blood sugar levels just as well as insulin but without the need for daily injections according to a new study published in the January 2009 issue of Metallomics, a journal published by the Royal Society of Chemistry. The compound, known as Bis(allixinato)oxidovanadium(IV), is a complex consisting of a central vanadium atom connected to two allixin molecules.

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Can Cinnamon Be Used To Treat Diabetes?

According to a study published in the journal Diabetes Care in 2003, cinnamon may be quite effective at reducing blood sugar levels in diabetic patients, reducing the need for diabetes medication.

The study, conducted by Pakistani and American researchers, involved 30 diabetic men and 30 diabetic women who were divided into six groups. The first three groups consumed 1, 3 or 6 grams of cinnamon per day in the form of a cinnamon supplement while the final three groups received placebos.

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Salsalate Improves Glycemic Control, May Treat Diabetes

Salsalate, an NSAID closely related to Aspirin, has been found to reduce fasting glucose levels and improve glucose tolerance in obese individuals according to a small pilot study published in the journal Diabetes Care in February this year. The study raises the possibility of using salsalate as an alternative treatment for type-2 diabetes and for the prevention of diabetes in high risk individuals.

The study involved 20 individuals aged under 30 who were classified as obese (BMI greater than 30).

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Low GI Diets And Diabetes Risk

The Glycemic Index (GI) measures the impact a particular food has on an individuals blood glucose levels. GI is defined as the area under the two-hour blood glucose response curve after consuming a fixed portion of a particular food. A high GI value indicates that consumption of a particular food increases blood glucose levels both faster and to a higher peak than a low GI food.

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Six Supplements That Help Treat Diabetes

Some red pillsThere are numerous dietary supplements that can aid in the treatment and management of diabetes. These typically work by increasing an individuals sensitivity to insulin, or by reducing some of the common symptoms of diabetes.

It is recommended you consult a doctor before beginning a supplement regime that includes one or more of the supplements below due to potential adverse reactions that can occur when certain supplements are combined with other medications.

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What Fruits Can A Diabetic Eat?

Assorted citrus fruitDiabetics often ask whether it is safe for them to eat large quantities of fruit. Many diabetic patients avoid eating fruit because they are worried that the high sugar content found in most fruits will worsen their condition. Fortunately, there are many fruits a diabetic can enjoy which do not significantly affect blood glucose levels, in fact certain fruits may actually improve glucose control and insulin sensitivity over time.

Good Fruits For Diabetics

Fiber rich foods are generally safe for diabetics to eat because they tend to have a lower glycemic index (GI) and therefore do not spike blood sugar levels to the same extent as high GI foods. This is because fiber delays the emptying of stomach contents into the small intestine which slows down the absorption of sugar into the blood stream. Fiber rich fruits tend to be fruits with edible skins and seeds as it is these parts of the fruit that are highest in fiber.

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Can Diabetics Drink Alcohol?

A glass of beerAs a general rule, diabetics are able to drink alcohol in light to moderate amounts without any negative health effects.

Alcoholic drinks are typically very low in carbohydrates – a can of beer contains around 10 grams of carbohydrate while wine (with the exception of port), and spirits contain virtually none. Compare this to some soft drinks which contain up to 35 grams of carbohydrates per serving. Furthermore, alcohol actually lowers blood-sugar levels for up to 8-12 hours after alcohol is consumed. This is because alcohol promotes glucose uptake into the liver in the form of glycogen (a form of short term energy storage).

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Common Symptoms Of Diabetes

The majority of diabetes symptoms are caused by an excess of glucose in the blood. Symptoms are similar for both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Often these symptoms creep up gradually and may go unnoticed for a long period of time so it is important to be aware of the symptoms.

The most common symptom experienced by diabetes sufferers is frequent urination. If you are making trips to the bathroom every few hours then this may be a warning sign of a potential diabetes problem.

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