Obesity as serious as smoking

On January 6, 2010, in Uncategorized, by Andrea

I could have told them this..  And probably saved them some money in the process.

Quitting smoking raises diabetes risk

On January 5, 2010, in Uncategorized, by Andrea

You wanna be healthier by not smoking, but then you become diabetic?  Seems.. wrong somehow.

From MSNBC.com:

Quitting smoking may raise diabetes risk

Study: Those who kick the habit 70 percent more likely to become diabetic

updated 8:58 p.m. ET, Mon., Jan. 4, 2010

LONDON – Smoking is well-known as a risk factor for type 2 diabetes, but scientists said on Monday that quitting the habit can raise the risk even more in the short term.

A study by U.S. researchers found that people who stop smoking have a 70 percent increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes in the first six years without cigarettes as compared to people who never smoked.

The researchers said they suspected the increased diabetes risk comes from extra weight gain common in people who quit.

Story continues below ↓

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But they said no one should use their findings as an excuse to continue smoking — a habit which can also cause lung disease, heart disease, strokes and many types of cancer.

“The message is: Don’t even start to smoke,” said Hsin-Chieh Yeh of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in the United States, who led the study.

“If you smoke, give it up. That’s the right thing to do. But people have to also watch their weight,” she added.

Type 2 diabetes — often called adult-onset diabetes — is a common disease that interferes with the body’s ability to properly use sugar and insulin, a substance produced by the pancreas which normally lowers blood sugar after eating.

Overweight people and those with a family history of the disease have an increased risk of developing it, as do smokers.

Diabetes is reaching epidemic levels, with an estimated 180 million people suffering from it around the world.

Diabetes cases are forecast to triple in the United States in the next 25 years to 44 million, with the costs of caring for them rising to $336 billion a year.

Yeh’s study, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine journal, looked at almost 11,000 middle-aged adults who did not yet have diabetes from 1987 to 1989. The patients were followed for up to 17 years, and data about diabetes status, glucose levels, weight and more were collected at regular intervals.

The researchers found that people who quit smoking had a 70 percent increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes in the first six years after stopping compared to people who never smoked. The risks were highest in the first three years, and returned to normal after 10 years.

Among those who did not stop smoking, the risk was lower, but the chance of developing diabetes was still 30 percent higher compared with those who never smoked.

Tobacco is the leading preventable cause of death in the world, killing more than 5 million people a year. A report by the World Lung Foundation last August said smoking could kill a billion people this century if trends hold.

Color changing contacts for diabetics

On December 29, 2009, in Uncategorized, by Andrea

Um.  Sign me up.  Like now.  Seriously.  Can we say “hypoglycemic?”

From Medical News Today:

Colour Changing Contact Lenses In Development For Diabetics To Replace The Need To Routinely Draw Blood Throughout The Day

Article Date: 29 Dec 2009 – 0:00 PST

Diabetics may soon be able to wear contact lenses that continuously alert them to variations in their glucose levels by changing colours – replacing the need to routinely draw blood throughout the day.

The non-invasive technology, developed by Chemical and Biochemical Engineering professor Jin Zhang at The University of Western Ontario, uses extremely small nanoparticles embedded into the hydrogel lenses. These engineered nanoparticles react with glucose molecules found in tears, causing a chemical reaction that changes their colour.

Zhang received $216,342 from the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) this morning to further develop technologies using multifunctional nanocomposites.

These technologies have vast potential applications beyond biomedical devices, including for food packaging. For example, nanocomposite films can prevent food spoilage by preventing oxygen, carbon dioxide and moisture from reaching fresh meats and other foods, or by measuring pathogenic contamination; others can make packaging increasingly biodegradable.

Overall, Western was awarded $2,659,595 for 12 projects from the CFI’s Leaders Opportunity Fund today.

For more information, please visit: http://www.innovation.ca/en/news?news_id=214

Source:
Douglas Keddy
University of Western Ontario

Duh?

On December 25, 2009, in Uncategorized, by Andrea

Really?  Must be a European thing, cause I’ve not seen a whole lotta PSA’s saying “gain weight or you’re gonna die from malnourishment!”

From Medical News Today:

Adverse Consequences Of Obesity May Be Greater Than Previously Thought, UK

Article Date: 25 Dec 2009 – 0:00 PST

The link between obesity and cardiovascular mortality may be substantially underestimated, while some of the adverse consequences of being underweight may be overstated, concludes a study published on bmj.com .

This means that the adverse influence of higher BMI and obesity in a population is of greater magnitude than previously thought, say the authors.

Numerous studies have already investigated the link between body mass index (BMI) and mortality. They show that high BMI is associated with higher rates of death from cardiovascular causes, diabetes, and some cancers, while low BMI is associated with increased mortality from other causes, such as respiratory disease and lung cancer.

But there are inconsistencies in the evidence that low body mass index actually increases the risk of causes of death such as respiratory disease and lung cancer.

Some researchers argue that this association may be biased by a process called reverse causality, where a severe illness, such as lung cancer, leads to both weight loss and higher mortality. Other factors such as smoking and poor socioeconomic circumstances may also lead to biasing estimates. This is known as confounding.

So a team from the University of Bristol and the Karolinska Institute in Sweden set out to obtain a valid estimate of the association between body mass index (BMI) and mortality by comparing, for over one million Swedish parent-son pairs, the BMI of the sons as young adults with mortality among their parents.

Using offspring BMI as an indicator of parental BMI avoids problems of reverse causality and is less influenced by confounding, explain the authors.

Their analysis shows strong associations between high offspring BMI (used as a so-called instrumental variable) and parental mortality from cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and some cancers, as reported in other studies of own BMI with mortality. However, unlike previous studies, there was no evidence of an association between low BMI and an increased risk of respiratory disease and lung cancer mortality.

These findings suggest that the apparent adverse consequences of low BMI on respiratory disease and lung cancer mortality may be overstated, whereas the adverse consequences of higher BMI on cardiovascular disease mortality may be substantially underestimated, say the authors.

These conclusions have important implications for public health practice because they suggest that reducing population levels of overweight and obesity (or preventing their rise) will have a considerable benefit to population health, they add. Suggestions to the contrary, which have received considerable media attention over recent years, are probably misguided.

Link to paper

Source
British Medical Journal

Another trigger for Diabetes?

On December 24, 2009, in Vitamins, Water Solubles, by Andrea

File this in the “maybe” file.

I’m a bit skeptical.  I wanna see much much much much much more data.  (Can you tell that I’m REALLY skeptical?)

From Science Daily:

Is Nicotinamide Overload a Trigger for Type 2 Diabetes?

ScienceDaily (Dec. 24, 2009) — Facing the increasing prevalence of type 2 diabetes worldwide in the past few decades, one may ask what is wrong with humans. Geneticists tell us that the human genome has not changed markedly in such a short time. Therefore, something must be happening in our environment or diet. As a matter of fact, dietary pattern is known to be closely linked to the development of type 2 diabetes. The increasing prevalence of type 2 diabetes following worldwide food fortification with niacin suggests that type 2 diabetes may involve excessive niacin intake.

A research article to be published on December 7, 2009 in the World Journal of Gastroenterology addresses the association between nicotinamide overload and type 2 diabetes. The study revealed that diabetic patients have a slow nicotinamide metabolism and thus require a longer time to clear up excess nicotinamide metabolites within the body.

High nicotinamide intake may lead to an increase the generation of reactive oxygen species, and subsequent oxidative stress and insulin resistance, both being the major features of type 2 diabetes. Liver is the main organ responsible for nicotinamide detoxification. This study found that liver-injury-inducing drugs may reduce nicotinamide detoxification and thus impair glucose tolerance.

Most interestingly and importantly, this study demonstrates that sweating is an effective way for expelling excess nicotinamide from the body. The findings from this study may help explain a wide variety of well-documented but poorly understood phenomena in diabetes, such as lifestyle-triggered diabetes, liver-disease-related abnormal glucose metabolism, post-burn insulin resistance, and seasonal diabetes.

Nowadays, the high prevalence of type 2 diabetes may be due to both too much niacin in our foods and too little excretion through our sweat glands. The so-called gene-environment interaction in type 2 diabetes may actually be the outcome of the association of excess niacin intake and relatively low detoxification and excretion from the body, says lead author Dr. Shi-Sheng Zhou, Professor of the Institute of Basic Medical Sciences of Dalian University.

Historically, niacin deficiency was restricted mainly to those with poor nutrition who performed heavy industrial labor. Hence, this study gives rise to an important social and public health issue whether foods need to be fortified with niacin any more, when the people in developed countries have already been living in an age of over-nutrition. The authors found that reducing nicotinamide intake and facilitating the excretion of nicotinamide metabolites may be a useful preventive and therapeutic intervention in type 2 diabetes.

The peer reviewers stated that it is an interesting study with human and experimental data, which investigated a clinically relevant issue, and gave an insight into the pathogenic mechanisms involved.

Journal Reference:

  1. Zhou SS, Li D, Sun WP, Guo M, Lun YZ, Zhou YM, Xiao FC, Jing LX, Sun SX, Zhang LB, Luo N, Bian FN, Zou W, Dong LB, Zhao ZG, Li SF, Gong XJ, Yu ZG, Sun CB, Zheng CL, Jiang DJ, Li ZN. Nicotinamide overload may play a role in the development of type 2 diabetes. World J Gastroenterol, 2009; 15(45): 5674-5684 [link]
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