Saturday, April 16, 2011


Here are tips to help sufferers cut their reliance on medication with exercise and a nutrient-rich diet...
If you’re diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, your doctor will almost certainly tell you to lose weight. Dr Joan Khoo Joo Ching, consultant endocrinologist at Changi General Hospital in Singapore, advises patients to lose weight gradually – aim for up to 1 kilogram per week. The healthiest ways to lose weight are to eat a balanced diet with fewer calories than the normal daily intake, and increase physical activity. Try activities such as brisk walking, jogging, cycling or swimming, at least five times a week.
When it comes to food, research has identified a better way of eating: the Mediterranean way. In a recent trial using diet modification to produce weight loss in overweight people who had just been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, 56% of people on the Mediterranean diet were able to achieve good control of Type 2 diabetes without medication four years after diagnosis, compared to 30% of people on a low-fat diet with similar levels of physical activity. The low carbohydrate and high monounsaturated fat content of the Mediterranean diet is thought to reduce insulin resistance, says Dr Khoo. To help your blood sugar:
Beef, lamb, porkFish, poultry, beans
Butter, margarine, butter substituteExtra virgin olive oil or other vegetableoils, such as soybean or canola
Low-fat crackers,chipsWalnuts or other nuts, sunflower and pumpkin seeds, olives
Reduced-fat biscuitsFresh fruit
Egg substitute, fat-free yoghurt, reduced-fat cheesesEggs; feta, parmesan, and goat’s cheeses
Baked potatoes, white bread, riceSteamed or sautéed vegetables tossed with herbs and drizzled with olive oil
Sleep Tight
If you’re getting eight hours of sleep each night, you stand a better chance of preventing Type 2 diabetes. When researchers at the University of Buffalo looked at the sleeping habits of a group of volunteers, they found that those who slept less than six hours a night during the working week were 4.5 time more likely to develop impaired fasting glucose – a precursor to diabetes – than those who managed six to eight hours. Researchers believe that disturbed sleep can affect the production of insulin and the body’s ability to metabolise glucose.
Activating Sirtuins
A chemical called resveratrol, which is found in red grapes, lowers blood glucose in animals and humans when given in very high doses. Resveratrol works by activating the sirtuin – Sirt1. Sirtuins are proteins that influence many aspects of metabolism, including glucose control and the effects of insulin. Sirt1 activators, which are much more potent than resveratrol, are being tested as potential treatments for diabetes.
The Diabetes Tattoo
Scientists at Draper Laboratory in Cambridge, Massachusetts, have developed a fluorescent nanosensor that can be injected into the skin, like a tattoo dye, alerting patients to rising glucose levels. As levels rise, the “tattoo” changes colour and fluoresces, telling the user if an insulin shot is needed. It is hoped that the tattoo – about the size of the clicker on the end of a ballpoint pen – will replace tedious finger-prick blood testing. Says Dr Heather Clark, the test’s inventor, “We’d like to reach the portion of the population who are not checking glucose levels frequently, and give them a method that is quicker and less painful.
Stem Cell Therapy
In small groups of diabetic patients, injections of their own stem cells were effective in regenerating pancreatic islet cells, so they no longer needed insulin injections to control blood glucose. Stem cell therapy is still in the experimental stage, and the long-term effects, such as the risk of developing tumours from the stem cells, are unknown.

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