New Diabetes Tests On Shop

test iconDon’t you just love it when the Universe sends you just what you need at the time you need it?! Here’s me sitting trying to work out how to service you with proper diabetes screening – which you would think is simple, but is not it turns out! – and up pops a reminder from Regenerus about Doctor’s Data’s new Metabolomic Profile which has the key diabetes indicators on it and much more for a great value price. Yay!

So, I  have today listed on the shop two versions of that for you – one bloodspot and one serum and I have also listed the separate elements from TDL as I know some of you want to monitor certain diabetes and blood sugar markers regularly and in different combinations. I aim to please.

So, here is some blurb on the new Metabolomic Test from Regenerus and you can see the tests in the Specific Health Conditions section on the shop. That is coming along nicely now – we have infections, osteoporosis, detoxification, cardiovascular, immunology, chemicals, mould toxins and more as I find and assess ones I think can really help you.

The DD Metabolomic Profile is offered in both blood and blood spot collections.  These tests were developed due to increasing awareness of the need to detect metabolic syndrome before it progresses to adult-onset diabetes and related health consequences. The profiles are designed to assess the likelihood of metabolic syndrome in ‘at-risk’ patients.  

 As always – prevention is better than cure, and early detection is vital in this area.  We all know that you don’t wake up one morning with diabetes – there will be signs and symptoms along the way – sometimes they are ignored – and sometimes they aren’t screened for effectively or early enough. 

Contributing factors for the development of metabolic syndrome may include obesity, insulin resistance, polycystic ovary disease, hormone imbalance or a sedentary, unhealthy (smoking, etc.) lifestyle.    “Over nutrition” and poor dietary choices (highly processed, high fat, high salt, high sugar “empty-calorie” foods), combined with sedentary habits interact with our genetic programming: we store extra calories as fat.  Fat cells (adipocytes) produce hormones (adipokines) that interact with the hypothalamus and or immune system and may have pro-inflammatory or anti-inflammatory effects.  Altered adipokine levels have been observed in Metabolic syndrome. 

The biomarkers that constitute the Metabolomic Profile include:

Hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) – estimates the average blood glucose concentration for the life of the red blood cell (120 days)
Insulin – levels of insulin elevate early in type II diabetes, and then decrease as pancreatic beta cells lose function
High sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) – estimates the risk of cardiovascular disease
Leptin – leptin is a hormone produced by adipocytes to provide a satiety signal to the hypothalamus. Elevated circulating levels of leptin are associated with adipose tissue abundance, and a leptin resistance may ensue. High levels of this adipokine may have pro-inflammatory effects, and leptin accelerates arterial foam cell formation.

*Adiponectin – improves insulin sensitivity and stimulates glucose uptake in adipocytes, and adiponectin has been shown to reduce lipid accumulation in foam cells in vitro.  Very low levels of this anti-inflammatory adipokine may increase the risk for certain cancers.
*Leptin to Adiponectin ratio– the ratio of leptin to adiponectin appears to be a sensitive indicator for a variety of health conditions.  

(*only available in the full blood test, not the finger-prick test).

Patients that may especially benefit from the Metabolomic Profile include those with:

  • Increased waist size or body mass index (BMI) >30
    •  High triglycerides or need for cholesterol medication
    •  Low HDL cholesterol or need for cholesterol medication
    •  Hypertension or need for hypertension medication
    •  Fasting Glucose > 100 mg/dL
    •  Family or personal history of cardiovascular disease, high cholesterol or type II diabetes
    •  Personal history of chronic inflammatory disease

 

Except for obesity, the risk factors for Metabolic syndrome, and the chronic diseases that may develop from it, may present no symptoms until well advanced.  The greatest window of opportunity to prevent the development of atherosclerosis, type II diabetes or heart failure may occur during the early, symptom-free stages of metabolic syndrome – so we need to get on to early detection and we’d like to think this is one tool that can help you do that. 

Couldn’t agree more. I used to do Genova’s Pre-D test for early diabetes screening until they went and delisted it – why?!!! Heaven only knows. Anyway, here’s a replacement for you. Hope it helps.

New Painless Daily Testing For Diabetic Sugars On The Way

I went through a stage of having to test my blood sugars daily with that infernal fingerprick stab test – not nice; I had very sore fingertips!

So, I was pleased to see today that scientists are working on a new ‘tear’ test – where you use a tear drop instead of blood. Although, does that mean we will have to smack ourselves in the eye to produce a tear. or watch a sad film or something? The idea amuses me :).

Here’s the story for you

“TEAR TEST THAT TAKES AWAY PAIN”

Millions of diabetics could soon monitor their glucose levels from a tear drop instead of having to endure painful daily blood tests.  A new technique measures sugar levels in a tiny sample of fluid from the eye, to give a quick accurate reading.  A soft foam tip is touched to the corner of the eye.  It was invented by Dr Jeffrey La Belle at Arizona State Uni In Phoenix, US. 

http://www.livescience.com/16974-diabetes-device-checks-tears-glucose.html

 

Artificial Sweeteners Linked to Obesity and Diabetes?

Many of you know that I, and naturopaths in general, have been saying for years that artificial sweeteners confuse the insulin system and the body treats them the same way as sugar, we reckon.  Certainly, I have never recommended them in cases of diabetes or for weight loss. I have recommended certain ones like xylitol from birch in cases of candida where the xylitol can be used as a sugar substitute as it doesn’t feed candida.

Here today is a study published in Nature that suggests that the sweeteners may indeed be confusing the glucose tolerance system. Lot more research to prove it yet, but…

You can read the Nature abstract here:

Artificial sweeteners induce glucose intolerance by altering the gut microbiota

or a Guardian story about it here:

Artificial sweeteners may promote diabetes, claim scientists

Read more about the different types of sweetener here on Diabetes UK’s site – who may need to look at their recommendation of sweeteners again before too long then.

Rosemary, Marjoram and Oregano Effective For Type 2 Diabetes

 Loads of stuff in the media recently about Type 2 diabetes and the rise and rise of it. This one always makes me so frustrated as, over the years, clinically I have found it one of the easiest diseases to reverse and prevent.

I am in the middle of collecting more resources for you to augment the Diabetes factsheet on the clinic site but, for now, here is an interesting study which suggests using oregano and rosemary in your cooking could help. Apparently, the herbs work in the same enzyme-limiting way as some of the traditional diabetes drugs. Have a read here:

Rosemary, oregano contain diabetes-fighting compounds

and the actual abstract is here:

Bioactive Compounds from Culinary Herbs Inhibit a Molecular Target for Type 2 Diabetes Management, Dipeptidyl Peptidase IV

On a completely different note, I was unaware of that link between DPP-IV enzyme and diabetes. The only way I have come across that enzyme is I know many people use it to help break down the gluten and casein morphine type compounds in conditions like autism and gluten/casein sensitivity. I wonder if lowering it in diabetes would then have an effect on mood in those food-susceptible people – be interesting to see some research on whether people have mood/behavioural issues on the stronger DPP-IV inhibiting drugs wouldn’t it?!

I have written before several times on easy measures to take to avoid diabetes so have a read for some simple advice.

There are also some fantastic tests around to find very early indicators in at-risk people so use them. You can read about Pre-D and MetSyn tests here.

For more posts on diabetes for now, see here and here.

The Importance of Magnesium: It’s Not Just About Calcium!

I must talk about magnesium in some way or another most days. Quite often, it is to explain that magnesium is actually far more important to us than calcium when people are worrying about their calcium levels and taking shed-loads of it, but that is a whole other blog post! (See here, for example).

So, I was pleased to see this great summary about our need for magnesium and the newly-coined phrase, the ‘magnesome’ which really reflects how magnesium binds to proteins and affects our genetic expressions in the body.

As the article points out, as a  result of relatively recent findings:

a deficiency of magnesium may profoundly affect a far wider range of biological structures than previously understood.

When I trained with the fabulous biochemist Lawrence Plaskett, he was always at great pains to make us think about the magnesium status of patients and indeed much of my protocol advice is still based around getting the magnesium level high enough. I spend a lot of time explaining why I want the magnesium generally to be twice as high as calcium in the prescription, which is totally the opposite to most products and other approaches.

Indeed, quite recently, I have been able to start testing the red cell level of magnesium and I am finding most results are low, which rather proves his point.

In this piece, Green Med Info have chosen their seven top magnesium-related conditions from their massive database of research studies. Make sure you read the whole article for more on each of them and for the research links, but here are the top 7 for you:

  • Fibromyalgia
  • Atrial Fibrillation
  • Diabetes, Type 2
  • Premenstrual Syndrome
  • Cardiovascular Disease and Mortality
  • Migraine Disorders
  • Aging

You can read the studies for each area that has brought them to this conclusion. I can attest to the importance of magnesium in pretty much all of those clinically and, personally, with migraine and PMS certainly. I wrote about migraine herefibromyalgia here and, PMS here.

They also include some useful info on which foods give good magnesium sources and the best supplemental types to go for. Here are the top 10 foods for you, although my resources show a slightly different list with kelp, almonds and cashews quite high too:

  • Rice bran, crude (781 mg)
  • Seaweed, agar, dried (770 mg)
  • Chives, freeze-dried (640 mg)
  • Spice, coriander leaf, dried (694 mg)
  • Seeds, pumpkin, dried (535 mg)
  • Cocoa, dry powder, unsweetened (499 mg)
  • Spices, basil, dried (422 mg)
  • Seeds, flaxseed (392 mg)
  • Spices, cumin seed (366 mg)
  • Nuts, brazilnuts, dried (376 mg)

Nice to see our old friend flaxseed in there and I was pleased to see cocoa powder; now there’s an excuse! Just imagine a smoothie or granola breakfast mix you make with flax, brazils, cashews, almonds and pumpkin seeds – a good magnesium booster for you right there.

With regard to supplements, they advise magnesium oxide or citrate for those with a slow gut as that type of magnesium has a gentle laxative effect for most. I like this one generally as my favourite since most people seem to need a bit of extra gut help now and then and this seems to work very gently rather than simple citrates. Don’t forget how flaxseeds help keep you going too.

For non-constipated types, they recommend glycinate like this, although I have to say I have found the above Citrizorb suitable for almost everyone, slow gut or not. I also find the magnesium oil spray works well especially for those who are not absorbing well and for those with pain or restless legs as you can spray it right on the hurty bit.

For more, check out the post I wrote on the Importance of Magnesium here, which itself will take you to a really good video explaining a lot of these links to magnesium.

So, trust me when I say your magnesium level is far more important to you than your calcium one. Honest.

Don’t Forget The Humble Apple

Many of us try hard to get berries of all different sorts into our diets – which is no bad thing – but a recent review of apples reminded me that we shouldn’t disregard their quite substantial health benefits either. In this age of expensive food, apples might save a few pennies over berries and you won’t have to worry you’re not getting enough of your antioxidants.

In the review – courtesy of WDDTY – apple research suggests eating the organic fruit with peel on can help with all sorts including:

Cancer

Tests at the University of Wisconsin revealed that apple peel can slow the growth of prostate and breast cancer cells—probably because of the “exceptionally high” levels of antioxidants it contains, which are known to have anticancer effects.

Heart

This is thought to be because of the significant amount of the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory quercetin they contain. Quercetin is also found in onions, berries, red wine, and other foods and drinks, but apples are one of the top sources.

Weight loss

Eating the whole apple rather than juice with fibre added in studies seems to be very satisfying so people tend to eat less generally.

Cholesterol, diabetes and asthma were all also cited as being helped by the old-fashioned apple a day.

The report then answered the question that was foremost in my mind – which apples should we eat?

 

Factfile: Which apple’s best?

Some apples might do a better job of keeping the doctor away than others, according to some research. Two important compounds in apples that appear to be important for health are flavonoids and phenolics—and different varieties of apples vary greatly in how much of these they contain.  

According to tests carried out by researchers at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY, of 10 most commonly consumed varieties in the US, Fuji apples had the highest total phenolic and flavonoid compounds, followed closely by Red Delicious, Northern Spy and Gala, whereas Cortland and Empire apples were among the varieties with the lowest amounts of phenolics and flavonoids.

The researchers also discovered that the antioxidant activity of apples differed from one variety to another and was positively associated with the level of phenolics—in other words, the apple varieties with the higher levels of phenolics tended to have greater antioxidant activity (Nutr J, 2004; 3: 5).

Joanna Evans

Source: WDDTY vol 23 no.6

I shall be buying organic Red Delicious and Gala mostly then as I don’t think I’ve seen Fuji ones anywhere, and it might not be a bad idea to vary your apple types around to get the different phenolic compound levels.

Actually, I feel rather virtuous that I made five apple and raspberry crumbles this morning with a bag of ‘fallers’ my brother in law dropped in for me yesterday from his allotment! Imagine smug smile…

Toiletries Contributing to #Diabetes Rise?

Following on from yesterday’s post showing the massive rise in diabetic prescriptions – up 50% in the last six years, I spied this report today in WDDTY:

Personal care products are unsuspected cause of diabetes

Personal care products could be an unsuspected cause of diabetes in women.  Chemicals in moisturizers, nail polish, soaps, hair sprays and perfumes increase the risk by up to 70 per cent.

The most dangerous chemicals are the phthalates, which have already been banned in the manufacture of  toys and  baby products across Europe and the US.  However, they are still permitted in personal care products and cosmetics.

Women with the highest levels of the chemical in their body doubled their risk of diabetes, researchers from Brigham and Women’s Hospital discovered. They analysed the urine of 2,350 women, and found a direct link between phthalate levels and diabetes.  Women with higher than average levels had between a 60 and 70 per cent increased risk of diabetes, depending on the type of phthalate found.

(Source: Environmental Health Perspectives, 2012; doi: 10.1289/ehp.1104717).

Now, I’m not sure that making correlations like that study does is altogether reliable, but it does bring up the question of the changes that happen in our bodies as a result of the myriad environmental chemicals we ingest and slather on every day. Most of them, I’m sure, we can only guess at.

For someone who has been nagging on about toxic toiletries now for well over 20 years, I feel smug. And pretty pleased that there are so many alternatives around now as I am discovering as being a judge and commentator on the Skincare Freefrom Awards process. Check here for more on that and to find a fab list of companies to choose from as alternatives to the toxic majority on your High Street.

 

#Diabetes Rises 50% in Six Years!

   Diabetic prescription numbers rose to over 40million for the first time in 2011, from 27.1m in 2005-06 to 40.6million in 2011-12. That’s enormous, and it makes me very sad.

In my clinical – and personal – experience, type 2 diabetes is eminently preventable, if only people would eat better. I have polycystic ovary syndrome which carries with it a big risk factor for developing diabetes. Most PCOS sufferers are diagnosed with diabetes by the time they are 40. I felt it coming on and did something about it pronto. No signs at all now. I have seen many people at risk of diabetes too and the vast majority have managed to stave it off.

How? Simple. Just eat in a low GL kind of way which forces you to avoid the insulin spikes that wear out the pancreas and is the trigger for diabetes. It’s not actually rocket science but you do have to do it and be consistent with it!

Download my ebook Lose Your Belly Fat for a mere fiver and, if you do one thing, shop using the best and worst Low GL foods list. If it’s not in your cupboard, you can’t eat it. It doesn’t mean you have to have a boring diet, far from it, and it doesn’t mean you can’t have treats, of course you can. It does mean you need to think about they way you are eating, for life. Conscious eating. (And note, I wrote the book for weight loss initially, hence the title, but it is applicable to anyone at risk of diabetes).

Also, make sure you have enough of the right minerals, zinc, chromium and magnesium for a start. Take a simple blood sugar control multi like this one which includes plenty of the minerals (albeit not the most fabulous forms but it is an affordable goodie), and it also contains cinnamon in decent amounts. Cinnamon is the darling spice as it is known to control insulin levels well; you could add a teaspoon onto your low GL porridge of a morning too!

I also noticed the sheer cost of this rise to the NHS and therefore to us, the taxpayers. The diabetes drugs’ bill rose from £514million in 2005-6 to £760.3million last year and accounted for almost 10% of the overall bill for all drugs prescribed in 2011. If nothing else, that should make you stop and think, and look after yourself better if you need to.

Finally, this rather hidden shocker: Prescription numbers for other conditions rose 33%.   33%!!! That’s enormous again. The cynic in  me can’t help thinking of Big Pharma rubbing its hands with glee at convincing so many more people that their drugs are needed. Reducing cholesterol targets so that many more people fall into the guidelines of needing a statin is just one single example of how this must affect the number of prescriptions now being given out. Shocking.

Related articles

Vitamin D – The Missing Link in #Diabetes?

Another brief WDDTY report for you, this time on how Vitamin D deficiency could well be exacerbating insulin resistance. I think that is highly likely. I honestly think that checking your D3 status is becoming really important – and you can’t guess it. I was taking what I thought was plenty, checked and found I was still woefully under. I also find GP ‘normal’ levels rarely are. Check the recommendations from the Vitamin D Council against your results, or ask me to do it.

Vitamin D deficiency could be missing link in diabetes therapy

A vitamin D deficiency could be the missing key in understanding type II diabetes, the lifestyle disease.  Although doctors understand the role that obesity plays in the development of diabetes, a vitamin deficiency seems to super-charge the problem of insulin resistance.

When the two are seen together, insulin resistance is nearly twice as common compared to obese diabetics with normal levels of the vitamin.

Researchers from Drexel University School of Public Health believe that vitamin D supplements could be a simple, and cost effective, way to reduce the severity of diabetes.

(Diabetes Care, 2012; doi: 10.23371dc12-0235).

#Diabetes Drug Increases Cancer Risk

Report in the Independent on the Diabetes drug Actos/Competact (active ingredient Piolitazone) with people showing an 88% increased risk of bladder cancer! That’s pretty high.

Independent 1.6.12 “DIABETES DRUG INCREASES CANCER RISK

People prescribed Actos (piolitazone) for type-2 diabetes were found to increase the risk of bladder cancer by 83%.  Montreal researchers studied NHS records of 115,727 people.  Those prescribed it for over 2 years were at an 88% increased risk.

Dr David Juurlink, head of Clinical Pharmacology at Toronto Uni, said he thinks this is the single best study, which leaves little doubt that piolitazone is a potential risk factor for bladder cancer.

Research at McGill University & Montreal’s Jewish General Hospital.  Published in ‘British Medical Journal’ on 31.5.12.

Piolitazone can be given with the drug Metformin for controlling blood sugar. See my recent post on Metformin here too.