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Diabetes Developments - A blog on latest developments in diabetes by David Mendosa

Berberine Is a Diabetes Drug in Disguise

May 27th, 2016 · No Comments

Berberine might be the best supplement that you can take to reduce your blood glucose. But first you need to consider the disadvantages of any supplement.

Berberine has apparently been an important herbal remedy in Chinese medicine for hundreds, if not thousands, of years. Now, it is becoming increasingly well known in the West.

Growing interest in berberine

The U.S. National Library of Medicine indexes about 4,000 studies in professional journals that include berberine. This is far more than the 800 on bitter melon and the 200 on gymnema sylvestre, which quite a few people have told me they use to manage their blood glucose. It’s clear that interest in berberine is growing fast: more than 1,500 of the 4,000 studies were published in the last five years.

But people use berberine for many conditions. Just 243 of these studies are about berberine and diabetes, and 79 of them are human studies (the others are studies of berberine in animals or in test tubes).

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You Can Use Metformin Even with Reduced Kidney Function

May 21st, 2016 · No Comments

Metformin and 18 brand-name drugs that include it are safe for millions of people with diabetes who have reduced kidney function. This month, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a drug safety communication that will let at least 2.5 million more Americans who have this disease use this diabetes drug.

In addition to metformin itself, which is a generic drug, it remains available as Glucophage, the original brand name. Other brands of metformin that the FDA’s decision affects include Actoplus Met, Avandamet, Glucovance, and Janumet.

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How to Manage Your Diabetes with Coffee

May 20th, 2016 · 1 Comment

Coffee can reduce the blood glucose levels of people with type 2 diabetes by improving insulin sensitivity. This is the conclusion of a study just published in the International Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences.

This cross-sectional study compared four groups of people:

  • 48 people who have type 2 diabetes and do drink coffee
  • 42 people who have type 2 diabetes and don’t drink coffee or any caffeinated beverage
  • 143 people who don’t have diabetes and do drink coffee
  • 57 people who don’t have diabetes and don’t drink coffee or any caffeinated beverage

All of the coffee drinkers in the study had drunk 3 to 4 cups of filtered coffee daily for at least 16 years. And all of the people with diabetes in the study took oral diabetes drugs and were free of diabetes complications.

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→ 1 CommentPosted in: Diabetes Diet

Eat Saturated Fat to Help Avoid Diabetes

May 17th, 2016 · No Comments

A new study demonstrates that the fat in dairy foods — which is mostly saturated  – can reduce the risk of diabetes. Its findings challenge the U.S. government’s current “Dietary Guidelines for Americans.”

The American Heart Association published the study online a few days ago before printing it in a forthcoming issue of the association’s peer-reviewed journal Circulation. While only the abstract is free online, a representative of the lead author, Dariush Mozaffarian, M.D., the dean of Tufts University’s School of Nutrition Science, send me the full text, which I carefully studied. The seven other researchers are professors at Harvard and Tufts Universities, including two of the best known and widely published nutritionists in the country, Walter Willett, M.D. and Frank Hu, M.D.

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Check the Consistency of Your Blood Glucose Meter

May 16th, 2016 · No Comments

When you get a new blood glucose meter, you need to determine if it is consistent.

Everyone who has diabetes has to rely on this little home medical device. It is a quick and easy way for you to find out if the food you are eating, the activity you are getting, the medicine and supplements that you use, and the amount of stress that you face are making your blood glucose level dangerously high or low.

Like any medical device, your blood glucose meter isn’t perfect. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration sets their standards and approves which blood glucose meters may be sold to the American public. But the FDA doesn’t set the highest possible standards, so the manufacturers of blood glucose meters naturally compete largely on the basis of price.

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Waist Size Is a Better Predictor of Heart Disease

May 15th, 2016 · No Comments

When it comes to either your waist or your body mass index, bigger isn’t better. But the size of your waist predicts whether you will get diabetic heart disease even better than the body mass index (BMI) does.

A collaborative team of nine researchers from the Intermountain Heart Institute in Salt Lake City and Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore reported their findings this month at this year’s scientific sessions of the American College of Cardiology. I obtained a copy of the study and the poster presented at the scientific sessions from a representative of the institute.

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Do Tai Chi for Your Heart

April 29th, 2016 · No Comments

Credit: Harbor Athletic Club

When you do the ancient Chinese exercise of tai chi, you can minimize your risk of heart problems, the most common and serious complication of diabetes, according to a meta-analysis of 35 randomized clinical trials. Just published in the March 9, 2016, issue of the Journal of the American Heart Association, the study shows that tai chi and other traditional Chinese exercises like qigong can lower the blood pressure, improve the cholesterol and triglyceride levels, boost the quality of life, and reduce the depression of people living with heart disease and stroke.

The improvements in blood pressure and lipid levels were statistically significant. People in the studies reported more satisfaction with their quality of life and lower levels of depression.

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Mindfulness Leads to Better Blood Glucose

April 27th, 2016 · No Comments

Credit: Pixabay

Better blood glucose levels are linked to mindfulness in a new study by Brown University researchers. Because sustained high blood glucose levels lead to the complications of diabetes and prediabetes, nothing could be more important for us.

The study measured several physical and psychological health indicators in 399 volunteers who participate in the New England Family Study. Eric B. Loucks, PhD, and five colleagues published the study, “Associations of Mindfulness with Glucose Regulation and Diabetes,” in the March 2016 issue of the American Journal of Health Behavior. Dr. Loucks is assistant professor of epidemiology at Brown University’s School of Public Health.

Only the abstract of the study is free online, but on my request a representative of Brown University provided me with a copy of the manuscript that Dr. Loucks had written for publication. This let me learn all the details of the study and provided an analysis of how the findings relate to those of us who have to live with diabetes or prediabetes.

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Incompatible Kidney Transplants Offer Survival Benefits

April 16th, 2016 · 1 Comment

Credit: Tareq Salahuddin

Kidney failure is one of the most devastating complications of uncontrolled diabetes. A kidney transplant is the best hope for long-term survival, but finding a compatible donor is almost impossible for some people whose kidneys have failed.

Now, a study that experts have described as “revolutionary” shows that a transplant from an incompatible donor saves many lives. Just last week The New England Journal of Medicine published a long-term study of more than 1,000 transplants of incompatible kidneys that were performed in the past few years at 22 centers. While only the abstract of the study is online, the lead author Dorry Segev, MD, PhD, associate professor of surgery at the Hopkins School of Medicine, sent me the full text upon my request.

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→ 1 CommentPosted in: Diabetes Complications

The High Cost of Diabetes

April 13th, 2016 · 1 Comment

Diabetes isn’t especially expensive because it causes nothing. But uncontrolled diabetes can be one of the most expensive diseases anybody can get.

The visits you have to make to your doctor, the blood glucose meters that you require to check your level, and the prescription medications that most people with diabetes need are only a small part of the economic costs of diabetes.  But all together, these essential components of diabetes management were just one-third of the estimated direct costs of diagnosed diabetes in 2012, the most recent year for which we have data.

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