Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Pre-diabetes and it's link to increased cancer risks.

Prediabetes Associated With Increase in Cancer Risk

Prediabetes — even at lower levels of impaired fasting glucose (IFG) as defined by the American Diabetes Association (ADA) — is associated with a significant increase in cancer risk that is independent of the effects of obesity, according to the results of a large new meta-analysis.
Yuli Huang, MD, PhD, from First People's Hospital of Shunde, Foshan, China, and colleagues found that prediabetes was associated with a 15% increased risk for cancer overall, based on data derived from 16 prospective cohort studies, with differing risks depending on the type of cancer. The risk was particularly increased for liver cancer and stomach or colorectal cancer.
"Epidemiological studies have shown that diabetes increases the incidence of cancer and mortality from it, but we thought that maybe not only diabetes but prediabetes may be associated with an elevated cancer risk," Dr. Huang told Medscape Medical News.
"And considering the high prevalence of prediabetes as well as the robust and significant association between prediabetes and cancer we demonstrated in our study, a successful lifestyle intervention could have a major public-health impact on cancer prevention," he added.
"This information is important to health professionals and those engaged in the prevention of cancer," Dr. Huang and colleagues stress.
The study was published online September 8, 2014 in Diabetologia.
Screen for Prediabetes Using ADA Criteria for Cancer Prevention
A total of 891,426 participants from the 16 studies, 4 of which were from Asia, 11  from the United States and Europe, and 1 from Africa, were included in the meta-analysis. Prediabetes included individuals with impaired glucose tolerance (IGT), IFG, or a combination of the 2.
Over 10 years ago, the ADA lowered its definition of prediabetes to that of a fasting plasma glucose concentration ranging from 5.6 to 6.9 mmol/L, but other organizations have maintained their definition at a higher level, as a fasting plasma glucose concentration between 6.1 and 6.9 mmol/L.
The risks of site-specific cancer among individuals with prediabetes was highest for liver cancer (relative risk [RR], 2.01), followed by colorectal and stomach cancer (RR, 1.55 for both), endometrial cancer (RR, 1.60), and breast as well as pancreatic cancer (RR, 1.19 for both).
But prediabetes was not associated with cancer of the bronchus, lung, prostate, ovary, kidney, or bladder.
The risks were increased even when a lower fasting plasma glucose value of 5.6 to 6.9 mmol/L was used, as well as in participants with IGT — "an interesting finding," investigators note, "and one that reaffirms the importance of screening for prediabetes using the ADA criteria with a view to cancer prevention."
As the authors point out, obesity — in itself a key risk factor for diabetes — has also been linked to cancer.
To rule out obesity as a potential confounder, the authors did a sensitivity analysis that included only studies that adjusted for body mass index (BMI).
After controlling for BMI, "we found that...the presence of prediabetes remained associated with an increased risk of cancer by 22%," they state. "So we believe that the increased risk of cancer in individuals with prediabetes is independent of obesity."
"Our study indicates that, on the basis of a snapshot blood glucose measurement, prediabetes is associated with an increased risk of cancer," they state.
Speculating on the reasons for the association between prediabetes and increased cancer risk, Dr. Huang and colleagues suggest that chronic hyperglycemia and resulting states, including chronic oxidative stress and the accumulation of advanced glycated end products, may serve as carcinogens.
Alternatively, increased insulin resistance characteristic of prediabetes increases insulin secretion, and increased insulin levels may promote the growth of cancer cells.
Certain genetic mutations may also predispose individuals with prediabetes to an elevated cancer risk, they suggest.
The study was supported by a medical scientific research grant from the Health Ministry of Guangdong, China, the Scientific Research Fund of Foshan, and the Scientific Research Fund of Shunde, both from Guangdong, China. The authors have reported no relevant financial relationships.
Diabetologia. Published online September 8, 2014

Glucose Intolerance and artificial sweeteners, the link!

Medscape Medical News

Artificial Sweeteners Linked to Glucose Intolerance 

Beth Skwarecki September 17, 2014

The artificial sweeteners aspartame, sucralose, and saccharin cause blood glucose abnormalities in mice and some humans, a team reports in an article published online September 17, 2014 in Nature. The changes in glucose tolerance seem to be driven by the microbiome and can be reproduced in germ-free mice by giving them gut microbes from a person who has consumed the sweeteners.
"We found that artificial sweeteners may exaggerated elevation in blood glucose levels, the very same condition that we often aim to prevent by consuming them," Eran Elinav, MD, PhD, from the Department of Immunology at the Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel, said at a press briefing.
The investigators began with experiments in mice, giving each animal 1 of 3 artificial sweeteners in its water: aspartame, sucralose, or saccharin. Because commercial preparations of these sweeteners also contain some glucose, researchers used glucose, fructose, or plain water for the control mice to ensure it was the artificial sweetener and not any added sugar that was responsible for the effect. "To our surprise, we found they all induced a blood sugar disturbance even compared to mice who drank sugary water," Dr. Elinav said. This effect occurred on both a normal diet of rat chow (P < .001) and a high-fat diet in which 60% of calories came from fat (P < .03).
Because these artificial sweeteners are not digested or absorbed by the human body, the investigators hypothesized that gut microbes were responsible for the results. They administered antibiotics to the mice: 1 group received ciprofloxacin and metronidazole, a broad-spectrum approach focusing on gram-negative bacteria, and another group received vancomycin, aimed against gram-positive bacteria. Both treatments, when given for 4 weeks, eliminated the differences in glucose tolerance between sweetener-fed mice and controls.
The symptoms could also be triggered by a microbial transplant. Microbes from mice who had been drinking saccharin were transplanted via feces into germ-free mice and caused the recipients to show impaired glucose tolerance, whereas microbes from mice who had been drinking glucose did not (P < .03). Further, to show that the microbes were responsible, and not some other component of the feces, the researchers cultured bacteria from mice who were not eating sweeteners and added saccharin to the growth media. These bacteria were then transplanted into germ-free mice, resulting in impaired glucose tolerance compared with mice that received a control culture (P < .002).
Bacterial Profiles
The researchers performed both 16S sequencing, to identify the bacteria that were over- or underrepresented in mice with impaired glucose tolerance, and metagenomic sequencing, to identify what those bacteria are doing. In the microbial ecosystems from mice that ate artificial sweeteners, the pathways that were overrepresented included several that had previously been linked to diabetes and glucose intolerance. Glycan degradation, for example, occurs when microbes digest certain chains of sugars and create short-chain fatty acids that the body can use for energy, providing extra calories. The investigators confirmed that the sweetener-fed mice had increased amounts of this end product, the short chain fatty acids, in their guts.
In Humans
Artificial sweeteners caused changes in glucose tolerance in humans, as well, but only for some participants the investigators consider to be "responders." A group of 7 healthy volunteers who do not normally consume artificial sweeteners were given saccharin for 6 days at a dose that met the US Food and Drug Administration's maximum acceptable daily intake of saccharin for humans. No participants saw improvements in glucose tolerance, but 4 showed impairment.
Even before the experiment began, the microbial ecosystems from the 4 responders were different from those of the 3 nonresponders, suggesting their microbiome was somehow more susceptible. These results, said Dr. Elinav, "point to the personalized nature of our food responses and the need to understand this personalized effect in order to fight the metabolic syndrome, which as we all know, is one of the most common and serious epidemics in all history."
Bacteria from responders, sampled at the end of the trial, were able to induce glucose intolerance when introduced into germ-free mice (P < .02), whereas baseline samples from the responders (taken before they had consumed the artificial sweeteners) did not have this effect, nor did bacteria from the nonresponders.
Trend Seen With Long-Term Consumption
A further experiment involving 381 nondiabetic participants showed that long-term consumption of artificial sweeteners was associated with measures of central obesity and glucose intolerance, even when corrected for body mass index.
The authors caution that the results from the human experiments are not yet enough to make recommendations about whether or not people should consume sweeteners. They also point out that the mechanism for the sweeteners' effect is unknown: it may be causing less desirable bacteria to thrive, or it may be poisoning certain normal bacteria, allowing detrimental species to take their place.
In an accompanying editorial, Taylor Feehley, BA, and Cathryn Nagler, PhD, both from the Department of Pathology at the University of Chicago, note that "Whether the bacterial populations or metabolic pathways altered by the consumption of [artificial sweeteners] are similar to those described in people with or developing diabetes remains to be seen."
The authors have disclosed no relevant financial relationships.

Nature. Published online September 17, 2014.

Daily consumption of diet soda linked to metabolic syndrome...

Medscape Medical News

Daily Consumption of Diet Soda Linked to Metabolic Syndrome, Type 2 Diabetes

Laurie Barclay, MD
February 11, 2009
February 11, 2009 — Drinking diet soda at least daily is associated with significantly greater risks for select incident components of the metabolic syndrome (MetSyn) and type 2 diabetes,according to the results of an observational study reported in the January 16, 2009 Online First issue of Diabetes Care.
"Two longitudinal cohort studies have shown positive associations between diet soda consumption and incident MetSyn independent of baseline measures of adiposity," write Jennifer A. Nettleton, PhD, from the University of Texas Health Sciences Center in Houston, and colleagues. "Replication of previously observed diet soda-MetSyn associations in a distinct cohort would bolster their credibility and provide further insight into the nature of the relationship. Previous studies have not addressed associations between diet soda and individual MetSyn components or risk of type 2 diabetes nor have they fully addressed potential longitudinal mediators of these relationships, i.e., changes in adiposity status."
The goal of this study was to evaluate associations between diet soda consumption and the risk for incident MetSyn, its components, and type 2 diabetes in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA).
Initial evaluation was performed from 2000 to 2002, at which time baseline food frequency questionnaires measured diet soda consumption. Three follow-up evaluations were performed from 2002 to 2003, 2004 to 2005, and 2005 to 2007. Incident type 2 diabetes was defined as fasting glucose levels of more than 126 mg/dL, self-reported type 2 diabetes, or use of diabetes medication. National Cholesterol Education Program Adult Treatment Panel 3 criteria were used to define MetSyn and its components. After adjustment for demographic, lifestyle, and dietary confounders, hazard ratios (HRs) were estimated for type 2 diabetes, MetSyn, and MetSyn components.
Compared with participants who did not drink diet soda, those who drank diet soda at least daily had a 36% greater relative risk for incident MetSyn (HR, 1.36; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.11 - 1.66) and a 67% greater relative risk for incident type 2 diabetes (HR, 1.67; 95% CI, 1.27 - 2.20).
Of the individual components of MetSyn, only high waist circumference (men: ≥ 102 cm; women: ≥ 88 cm) and high fasting glucose levels (≥ 100 mg/dL) were prospectively associated with consumption of diet soda. Associations between diet soda intake and type 2 diabetes were independent of baseline measures of adiposity or changes in these measures. In contrast, associations between diet soda and MetSyn were not independent of these factors.
"Although these observational data cannot establish causality, consumption of diet soda at least daily was associated with significantly greater risks of select incident MetSyn components and type 2 diabetes," the study authors write.
Limitations of this study include observational design, precluding determination of causality; possible confounding by other dietary and lifestyle/behavioral factors; and difficulties in estimating intake of diet soda or artificial sweetener.
"These results corroborate findings from the ARIC [Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities] and Framingham studies and show stronger adverse associations exist between diet soda and type 2 diabetes," the study authors conclude. "Diet soda consumption, either independently or in conjunction with other dietary and lifestyle behaviors, may lead to weight gain, impaired glucose control, and eventual diabetes."
The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute supported this study. The study authors have disclosed no relevant financial relationships.
Diabetes Care. Published online January 16, 2009.

Daily quaffing of diet soda heightens vascular-event risk in cohort study

Allison Gandey
February 10, 2011
Los Angeles, CA - Artificially sweetened "diet" soda may not be the healthier alternative many had hoped: an observational study suggests the popular drinks may increase the risk of stroke, MI, and vascular death [1].
Dr Hannah Gardener
"People who had diet soda every day experienced a 61% higher risk of vascular events than those who reported drinking no soda," lead investigator Dr Hannah Gardener(University of Miami, FL) told reporters attending a news conference here at the International Stroke Conference 2011 sponsored by the American Stroke Associati on (ASA).
Previous studies have suggested a link between diet-soda consumption and the risk of metabolic syndrome and diabetes. But the current analysis from the Northern Manhattan Study is the first study to show such an association between diet soft drink consumption and hard vascular-disease end points, according to ASA national spokesperson Dr Larry Goldstein (Duke University Stroke Center, Durham, NC). 
"This is an observational study and not a prospective randomized trial," he pointed out. "This is an association and not yet a proven causal relationship."
Still, Goldstein said, "I think that it's always good to do things in moderation. People should look at this information and consider it in the context of their other risk factors."
More than 2500 people from the multiethnic cohort study were asked to report how much and what kind of soda they drank. Over an average follow-up of 9.3 years, there were 559 vascular events, including both ischemic and hemorrhagic strokes. 
The researchers also observed a marginally significant increased risk of vascular events among those who consumed diet soda daily and regular soda once or more a month (adjusted relative risk 1.74; 95% CI 0.96-3.16).
After researchers controlled for metabolic syndrome, peripheral vascular disease, and cardiac disease history, daily consumption of diet soda posed a 1.48 (95% CI 1.03-2.12) relative risk of vascular events compared with no soda intake.
The potential mechanisms for any association between diet soda and vascular events remain unknown, according to the investigators, who acknowledge that additional studies are needed.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Calories in, calories out...the biggest lie ever sold.

 The predominant misconception is that all fat people are just lazy overeaters.

Our body chemistry and biology has been manipulated from a young age due to the consumption of  fake over processed food. The food industry has spend millions of dollars on making our food more and more addictive and less and less nutritious. They target their advertising and packaging to innocent and impressionable children. Their food chemists work tirelessly to ensure that we remain clueless and addicted. We are an obese starving nation.

To run off a happy meal would mean running for 4 miles everyday for 7 days. Exercising off the sugary, fake, fast food most people consume would take a very, very long time and current research indicates that it would not solve the problem anyway. Add to that the fact that these fake, sugary foods only cause a spike in energy briefly and then we crash. We feel terrible after that quick high and are therefore less likely to have the desire to exercise.

There are also many skinny fat people running around due to the over consumption of fatty, fried, over processed foods. Skinny fat people can contain almost the same amount of visceral fat as obese people. It is important to note that visceral fat (the fat surrounding our organs) is the most dangerous form when it comes to chronic disease risk factors. Unfortunately this fat is also the least visible to the naked eye as it does not show on the outside but coats our organs on the inside impairing their function.

Visceral fat, also known as organ fat or intra-abdominal fat, is located inside the peritoneal cavity, packed in between internal organs and torso, as opposed to subcutaneous fat‚ which is found underneath the skin, and intramuscular fat‚ which is found interspersed in skeletal muscle. Visceral fat is composed of several adipose depots including mesenteric, epididymal white adipose tissue (EWAT) and perirenal fat.

In the late 1980s and early 1990s insightful and powerful imaging techniques were discovered that would further help advance our understanding of the health risks associated with body fat accumulation. Techniques such as computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging made it possible to categorize mass of adipose tissue located at the abdominal level into intra-abdominal fat and subcutaneous fat.    (wikipedia)

Visceral fat has been linked to metabolic disturbances and increased risk for cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. In women, it is also associated with breast cancer and the need for gallbladder surgery.

So enough of that, let's talk about calories. It is not the calories we consume as much as it is where the calories come from. Eating 160 calories in a handful of almonds as apposed to a 160 calories from a low fat, high sugar snack will not have the same effect on and in your body. The almonds have more fiber and a lower GI (Glycemic Index)than the sugary snack. This means the rise in blood sugar is slower and the liver does not need to send an alarming signal to the pancreas to bring down the blood sugar by releasing insulin (a fat storing hormone). This results in more fat being stored from the calories of empty foods (High Fructose corn syrup (HFCS), low fat, processed foods) and simple carbohydrates, than high fiber nutritious foods. 
It does not take a rocket scientist to see that foods high in fiber and nutrients, like vegetables and fruits are a better use of your calories than foods that fill you briefly but ultimately leave you feeling empty and addicted.
When eating fiber rich, nutritious, healthy, real food, we feel better, look healthier and do not over eat. We feel satiated and there is not a crash in energy after eating. The calories we consume should be energizing not exhausting and as all calories are not created equal, chose wisely.

Here's a thought....if you are what you eat, then don't be cheap, easy or fake!

(I also highly recommend the documentary FED UP...discusses this topic in more detail)

Are you an addict?

As it turns out, for most of us the answer is yes. Most Americans and westernized cultures consume tons of sugar on a daily basis.
Sugar has been researched to be more addictive than cocaine and the same centers in the brain that light up from cocaine, light up for sugar.
In actual fact when cocaine addicted mice were given the choice between cocaine and sugar water, most chose the sugar water. Sugar is actually 8 times more addictive than cocaine, so you tell me, are you an addict?

Everything processed and in a box, bottle or can has added sugar.  The major shift from fat to low fat foods happened around the 70's eliciting additional sugar being added to "the new low fat foods" to make them palatable and thus kicking of our addiction years and the consistent rise in obesity.

Like with any other addictive drug, sugar and processed foods cause a temporary high followed by a crash, leading to a vicious cycle of abuse as we tend to eat more for another high and so on. Food addicts, as research shows, are no different from alcoholics or cocaine addicts. Their lives become increasingly out of control, as does their health.

Here are some of the sugar facts and diabesity:

  • Sugar consumption: 152 pounds/year up from 40 lbs in 1980
  • Flour consumption: 146 lbs/yr (GI 100) FYI: flour causes an even higher blood sugar spike than consuming straight sugar.
  • Added sugars:    - 600,000 products and 80% with added sugar, HFCS (high fructose corn syrup) the biggest source of calories in diet.
  • Children sugar consumption facts: 34 tsp a day 
                          - Lustig, R, Nature, Feb 2012, volume 482, 27-29

20 ounces of soda = 15 teaspoons of sugar
A yoplait light yogurt = 1 can of pepsi

Teenage pre-diabetes and diabetes increased from 9% to 23% from 2000 to 2008

Sugar Sweetened Beverages:

  • 60% increased risk of obesity in kids with 1 can of soda a day
  • 80% increased risk of type 2 DM (Diabetes Mellitus) in women with 1 soda a day
  • Sugar sweetened beverages increases risk of Cardio Vascular Disease (CVD), the number one killer in the US

Drinking Soda:

  • spikes blood sugar
  • raises triglycerides
  • lowers "good cholesterol"
  • raises blood pressure
  • lowers testosterone
  • makes men lose body hair
  • makes women infertile
  • makes women bald
  • makes women grow facial hair
This is just soda, not to mention other sweetened beverages. Fruit juice is basically just sugar water and has a very high Glycemic Index (GI)and thus is not the healthier choice.
We tend to forget that all simple carbohydrates act the same way when it enters the converts to sugar. When you eat cookies, flour, grains, pasta, white potato etc. these all convert to sugar and should thus be added to your sugar consumption of the day.
HFCS is added to everything...bacon, sausages, processed meats, boxed foods, gum, sweets....the list is endless.

If you eat fast, easy and cheap food, you are an addict and at risk for premature death. This is not a threat, it's a fact. We have had a flood of an extra 700 calories per person per day since 1970 mostly in the form of HFCS from corn and trans fats. This is a major problem and it is time for all of us to pay attention, read food labels, become informed and educated about our food and health.
It has become more and more important to get off sugar and start eating real food. Our health and the lives of future generations depend on this. For the first time ever the next generation is not expected to outlive us.

The food industry has hijacked our taste buds, our brain chemistry, our biology, but it is still up to us to get of the sugar train, to break free of cravings and life-destroying food addictions and to take our health into our own hands. We have no choice but to make healthier food choices and detox from sugar. Only then can we move forward into a healthier, happier future.

Read more about this in greater detail...The blood sugar solution (10 day detox diet) by Dr. Mark Hyman
and more about the food industry and their ploy to keep you addicted: Michael Moss...Salt, sugar, fat

The ALS Ice Bucket challenge....a worthy cause or just fun for all.

The question remains whether these social media crazes actually help or not...
The ALS Ice Bucket challenge did take the social media market by storm and we saw thousand of people covered in ice and water, but did it educate us to the challenges of ALS and the signs and symptoms or even the possible nutritional implications leading to such a disease?
The answer is no, many people took the challenge because they were nominated. It did raise an enormous amount of money that really just goes into the pockets of the people running the non- profits, as most of it does, in these situations.
Rarely does the money go to further education and awareness or to help those that need it the most, the patients and their families.

Follow this link to learn more about the ALS debacle and the implications of pledging money to non profit organizations.