Tag Archives: diabetes

Yoga May Benefit People With Type 2 Diabetes



Everyone benefits from yoga – if they undergo proper training and continue with the practice. Regular practice of yoga benefits the body in the following ways:

It improves digestion, circulation, and immunity
Yoga enhances function of neurological and endocrine organs
It can prevents and provides relief from chronic illnesses
Overall the body feels healthier, more energetic
Diabetes is of two types – Type 1, where there is no production of insulin and Type 2, where the pancreas does not produce enough insulin. In many cases, it is also easy to ignore diabetes in its early stage, especially, when you do not experience any symptoms.

The practice of yoga is effective as a preventive measure and also to treat Type 2 diabetes, where the causes are attributed to life style and stress.

Yoga attends to every aspect of an asana from start to finish, as well as the breath-work. So correct training is essential, before individual practice. The following asanas and pranayamas are effective for diabetes. They should be learned with proper guidance, before putting them into practice:

Mandukasan (the version with fists in stomach region)
Supta Vajrasan
Viprit karni – Sarvangasan – Halasan – Sarvangasan
Lie down and relax for a minute
Natrajasan (both legs on one side)
Purna Shalabhasan
Triyak Bhujangasan
Upward facing dog (Udharmukh swan asan)
Child pose
Udiyan Bandh
Parvatasan-Yog Mudra
Kapalbhati Nadisodhan pranayam

Drinking Water May Reduce Chances Of Developing Type 2 Diabetes

The UK’s Daily Mail Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (9/17, Bates) reported, “Drinking water instead of fizzy drinks could dramatically reduce your chances of developing type 2 diabetes,” according to a study presented Sept. 16 at the Sustaining the Blue Planet: Global Water Education Conference in Montana. Harvard University researchers presented “new evidence which shows replacing sugar-sweetened drinks with water can lead to weight loss and help reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes by seven per cent.”

Yoga May Benefit People With Type 2 Diabetes

Reuters Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (9/3, Norton) reported that according to a study Share to FacebookShare to Twitter recently published online in the journal Diabetes Care, yoga classes in addition to standard medical care may benefit middle-aged and senior patients with type 2 diabetes. The practice may help with weight and blood glucose control, the study of 123 people found. What’s more, practicing yoga may lead to fewer signs of oxidative stress, which may lead to fewer complications associated with type 2 diabetes, such as damage to the kidneys, heart, and eyes.

Building Muscle May Decrease Diabetes Risk


USA Today Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (7/29, Marcus) reports, “More muscle may reduce the odds of developing diabetes,” according to a study published in the September issue of the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism. After analyzing “data from 13,644 adults who participated in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey III,” then controlling for confounding factors, researchers found that for “each 10% increase in the skeletal muscle index…there was a corresponding 11% reduction in insulin resistance and a 12% decrease in pre-diabetes.”

“There was also a 12 percent reduction in pre-diabetes, a condition characterized by higher-than-normal blood sugar levels, said the researchers at the University of California-Los Angeles,” HealthDay Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (7/28, Preidt) reported.

WebMD Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (7/28, Mann) reported that “resistance exercise may also have a role in helping people with type 2 diabetes better use the insulin that they do produce,” explained study author Arun S. Karlamangla, PhD, MD.


Eating Fish May Help Men Reduce Risk For Type 2 Diabetes

MedWire Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (7/25, Albert) reported that, according to a study Share to FacebookShare to Twitter published online July 20 in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, “eating fish can help men reduce their risk for type 2 diabetes.” After analyzing data on 22,921 men and 29,759 women without a history of diabetes who ranged in age from 45 to 75 and who were followed for about five years, researchers “found that when compared with men in the lowest quartile for overall fish consumption, those in the highest quartile for consumption had a significant 27% reduced risk for developing type 2 diabetes.”

Notably, “fish consumption in women was not significantly related to a risk for type 2 diabetes,” Medscape Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (7/25, Barclay) reported.

Diet May Be Key First Line Therapy In New-Onset Type 2 Diabetes

HealthDay Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (6/25, Preidt) reported, “Dietary changes alone can yield the same benefits as changes in both diet and exercise in the first year after a person is diagnosed with type 2 diabetes,” according to research Share to FacebookShare to Twitter presented at the American Diabetes Association’s annual meeting and simultaneously published online June 25 in The Lancet. Investigators “found that patients who were encouraged to lose weight by modifying their diet with the help of a dietician had the same improvements in blood sugar (glycemic) control, weight loss, cholesterol and triglyceride levels as those who changed both their diet and physical activity levels (30 minutes of brisk walking five times a week).”

The study’s lead author “said the findings may also suggest a change in treatment algorithm in type 2 diabetes, with diet as the first line therapy, then a combination of diet and exercise, and finally diet plus activity and metformin if the two prior approaches fail,” MedPage Today Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (6/25, Fiore) reported. But, “in an accompanying comment Share to FacebookShare to Twitter, Frank Hu, MD, of Harvard School of Public Health, wrote that the results do not necessarily mean that an increase in physical activity is ineffective for diabetes management.” Hu wrote, “It is possible that modification of two complex behaviors at the same time is no more effective than a change in one.” Medscape Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (6/26, Canavan) also covered the story.

Curbing Calories Key Ingredient For Weight Loss In Type 2 Diabetes. HealthDay Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (6/26, Mozes) reported, “Curbing calories is the key ingredient for diabetics seeking to lose weight, and low-fat diets that are either high in protein or high in carbs are equally effective,” according to research presented yesterday at the American Diabetes Association’s annual meeting. After following about nearly 300 overweight, middle-aged or senior “men and women with type 2 diabetes who were on a new, two-year nutritional program” and randomizing them with to a low-fat/high-carbohydrate group or to a low-fat/high-protein group, researchers found that in the end, “both groups lost a similar amount of weight and reduced their waist size in similar measure.”


Eating Fish, Shellfish May Reduce Risk For Diabetes

MedWire Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (6/21, Ford) reported, “Analysis of data from over 100,000 individuals in China has shown that eating fish and shellfish significantly reduces the risk for developing diabetes,” according to a study Share to FacebookShare to Twitter published online June 15 in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. After evaluating “data collected from 51,963 men aged 40-74 years and 64,193 women aged 40-70 years,” all of whom were free of cardiovascular disease, cancer, or type 2 diabetes at study start and who were followed for about nine years, researchers found that “increased intake of fish, shellfish, and long-chain n-3 fatty acids was associated with a significantly decreased risk of developing type 2 diabetes in women. In men, only shellfish intake predicted a significantly decreased risk for diabetes.”

More TV Time May Be Linked To Increased Heart Disease, Diabetes Risk

Reuters Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (6/15, McCook) reports that, according to research Share to FacebookShare to Twitter published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, more time spent in front of the TV may be linked to an increased risk of heart disease and diabetes, as well as to an increased risk of premature death.

Bloomberg News Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (6/15, Ostrow) reports that investigators looked at data from “eight studies.” The researchers found that, “for every two hours of TV viewing, the risk of type 2 diabetes increased 20 percent, the risk of cardiovascular disease rose 15 percent and the risk of early death rose 13 percent.”

The Washington Post Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (6/14, Stein) “The Checkup” blog reported that “the increased risk is apparently due at least in part to the increased risk for obesity, the researchers said.”

CNN Share to FacebookShare to Twitter /Health.com (6/15, Gardner) reports, “Extrapolating their findings to the entire US population, the researchers estimate that for every two hours Americans spend watching TV each day, there are 176 new cases of diabetes, 38 additional deaths from heart disease, and 104 additional deaths due to any cause per 100,000 people per year.”

The Boston Globe Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (6/14, Kotz) “Daily Dose” blog reported, “Not surprisingly, those who watched more TV tended to have poorer lifestyle habits — eating more, exercising less, and smoking more — but all of the studies used statistical methods to attempt to account for these and other factors.”

WebMD Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (6/14, Boyles) reported that one of the study’s authors “believes TV watching is more risky than other sedentary behaviors like working at a computer all day because it is associated with poorer eating behaviors.”

Also covering the story were HeartWire Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (6/14, Hughes), HealthDay Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (6/14, Salamon), MedPage Today Share to FacebookShare to Twitter(6/14, Phend), the UK’s Telegraph Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (6/15), and BBC News Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (6/15, Roberts).


Researchers Seeking Ways To Prevent Type 1 Diabetes

On the front of its Personal Journal section, the Wall Street Journal Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (6/7, Wang, D1, Subscription Publication) reports that as more American children are diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, researchers are working harder than ever to find ways of preventing the disease. Now, new studies funded by the US government are suggesting that it may one day be possible to prevent type 1 diabetes. In one 10-year study, researchers with financial support from the National Institutes of Health found that oral insulin caused a delay of full-blown type 1 diabetes of approximately four years in certain patients. Currently, NIH is sponsoring a study to examine if taking oral insulin can delay or prevent type 1 diabetes in patients at high-risk for developing the disease. Meanwhile, in a study partially funded by NIH, researchers are evaluating teplizumab as a means of preventing type 1 diabetes. Research in animal models looks promising.

Islet Cell Transplants Allow Some With Type 1 Diabetes To Discontinue Insulin. The Orlando Sentinel Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (6/7, Jameson) reports that “fewer than 1,000 type 1 diabetics worldwide who have received a pancreatic islet cell transplant, an experimental cure for diabetes.” The procedure, “first performed successfully in 1990…involves harvesting the fragile insulin-producing islet cells from a deceased donor’s pancreas and transfusing them into the liver of the recipient.” The transplanted beta cells go on to make insulin. However, “‘islet cell transplantation is still experimental,’ said Dr. Thomas Eggerman, director of the clinical islet transplantation program for the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases at the National Institutes of Health.” Even though “islet cell transplantation is safer and less invasive, whole organ transplants are considered more durable, he said,” results scientists are working hard to change.


CDC: More Americans Than Ever Are Living With Type 2 Diabetes

In a column in the Huffington Post Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (5/24), Marki Flannery, president of Partners in Care, wrote, “More people than ever are living with type 2, or adult-onset, diabetes. According to recent figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, diabetes affects 25.8 million Americans, or 8.3 percent of the population (including both diagnosed and undiagnosed cases).” In 2010, “nearly two million Americans were newly diagnosed.” Flannery went on to detail strategies for caretakers of people with type 2 diabetes to help keep patients well and their condition under good control.

Physician Makes Case For Lifestyle Changes To Slow Coming Tide Of Type 2 Diabetes Cases. In a guest column in the Des Moines Register Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (5/24), Dr. Robert S. Bar, of the University of Iowa College of Medicine, wrote, “Unless Americans drastically change their dietary and exercise habits, diabetes may play a major role in nearly 90 percent of all patients seen by US physicians in the next five to 10 years.” Of special concern is “a larger, poorly defined group of people that arguably could double or triple the current number of people with diabetes,” that is, those who have been “described by physicians as having ‘borderline diabetes’ or ‘pre-diabetes.'” Bar made the case for lifestyle changes to slow the coming tide of type 2 diabetes patients, such as exercise, losing weight, cutting out junk foods, and being aware of family history.

Small Dietary Changes May Make Big Difference In Diabetes Risk. HealthDay Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (5/24, Dallas) reported that, according to a study published online May 18 in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, when it comes to diabetes, “small dietary changes can make a big difference in risk, even without weight loss and particularly among blacks.” Researchers arrived at this conclusion after putting “69 overweight people at risk for diabetes on diets for eight weeks with only small reductions to their fat or carbohydrate intake.” Notably, “at eight weeks, the group on the lower-fat diet had significantly higher insulin secretion and better glucose tolerance and tended to have higher insulin sensitivity,” the study’s lead author said. These changes were even more pronounced among the black study participants.


Does Pycnogenol® Improve Vision in Patients With Early Diabetic Retinopathy?

Does Pycnogenol® Improve Vision in Patients With Early Diabetic Retinopathy?

Gregory A. Nichols, PhD

Pycnogenol Improves Microcirculation, Retinal Edema, and Visual Acuity in Early Diabetic Retinopathy

Steigerwalt R, Belcaro G, Cesarone MR, et al
J Ocul Pharmacol Ther. 2009;25:537-540

Study Summary

This double-blind, placebo-controlled trial was designed to test the protective effects of Pycnogenol®, an extract of French maritime pine bark that stimulates endothelial nitric oxide to facilitate vasodilatation. Pycnogenol® was evaluated for its effects in early stages of retinopathy characterized by mild to moderate retinal edema in the absence of hemorrhage or hard exudates in the macula center. Inclusion criteria included diabetes diagnosed at least 4 years previously; good glycemic control (hemoglobin A1c < 7%); and a moderate degree of retinopathy characterized by macular edema, retinal swelling, and the presence of minor exudates and hemorrhage. Persons with proliferative retinopathy, previous laser treatment, or hypertension requiring medical treatment were excluded.

Eligible patients were randomly assigned to 150 mg Pycnogenol® (n = 24) in the morning after breakfast or placebo (n = 22) for 2 months. There were no significant differences between the treatment and control groups at baseline in terms of age, sex, glycemic control, or duration of diabetes. More important, there was no difference in baseline visual acuity, retinal blood flow, or retinal thickness. The following variables were investigated:

  • Visual acuity using the standard Snellen Chart;
  • Diabetic retinopathy by ophthalmoscopy following pupil dilation;
  • Retinal blood flow (quantitatively and noninvasively) by color duplex scanning;
  • Retinal thickness using resolution ultrasonography at 14 MHz; and
  • Ultrasonography evaluation twice by 2 experienced physicians.

Visual acuity in the group receiving Pycnogenol® significantly increased from a baseline average of 14/20 to 17/20 after 2 months. Because no significant change was found in the control group, the difference at the end of the study was statistically significant between the 2 groups.

Pycnogenol® significantly improved both systolic and diastolic retinal blood flow, expressed as flow velocity at the central retinal artery. Among the subset with moderate (as opposed to mild) retinal edema, retinal thickness decreased significantly in the Pycnogenol® group but not in the control group.


There is no shortage of herbal or plant extract supplements available for just about anything that ails a patient. Many manufacturers make unsubstantiated claims, and in the rare case that those claims are evaluated scientifically, they typically fail to hold up. Pycnogenol® claims beneficial effects in cardiovascular health, skin care, cognitive function, diabetes health, inflammation, sports nutrition, asthma and allergy relief, and menstrual disorders, among others.[1]

Some of the manufacturer’s supporting documentation is less than convincing, but studies in relatively obscure journals do seem to provide evidence that Pycnogenol® improves retinopathy[2] and reduces risk factors for cardiovascular disease[3]; blood glucose might also be improved.[4]

In the current study, the authors conducted a randomized trial that also demonstrated an ophthalmologic benefit. However, patients underwent a diet and exercise program, so the benefits of Pycnogenol® could not be isolated. In addition, the study was limited by the extremely selective sample: Participants had a mean age of about 52 years and had had a diabetes diagnosis for a mean of about 6.5 years, making them quite young at diagnosis. More important, patients with hypertension were excluded. It is actually somewhat surprising that they found 46 patients with diabetes for at least 4 years who were not hypertensive! Thus, it is not clear whether the results would apply to the more general diabetes patient.

The results suggest that further research into the potential benefits of Pycnogenol® is indeed warranted.

Consumption Of Dairy Products May Reduce Risk For Type 2 Diabetes

MedWire Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (5/12, Albert) reported that, according to a review Share to FacebookShare to Twitter published online in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, “consumption of dairy products, especially those with a low fat content, may reduce the risk for developing type 2 diabetes.” Researchers came to this conclusion after analyzing data derived from seven studies encompassing some 300,000 participants. The study authors theorized that “one possible reason for this could be the high vitamin D content found in dairy products, high levels of which have been shown to reduce the risk for type 2 diabetes in other studies.”

Hypertension, Obesity, Diabetes Associated With Autism

HealthDay Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (5/11, Goodwin) reported that, according to research presented at the International Meeting for Autism Research, “having the flu during pregnancy isn’t associated with a heightened risk of autism or developmental delay in children, although having a fever during pregnancy might be.” In addition, “giving birth by Cesarean section isn’t associated with autism in offspring, but having diabetes or high blood pressure or being obese while pregnant seems to be.”

In addition, “the mothers of children who were delayed developmentally were about 150% more likely to be obese before pregnancy, have diabetes, or have high blood pressure,” WebMD Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (5/11, Doheny) reported.


Having Blue Eyes, Fair Skin May Raise Risk For Type 1 Diabetes

MedWire Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (5/10, Albert) reported, “Having blue eyes, and to a
lesser extent fair skin, increases a person’s risk of having Type 1 diabetes,”
according to a study Share to FacebookShare to Twitter published online in the journal Diabetes/Metabolism:
Research and Reviews. After assessing “iris color and skin type (by melanin
quantification) in 281 consecutive patients with type 1 diabetes…and 298
controls,” the researchers noted that they “have evaluated a possible
association between different single nucleotide polymorphisms of the OCA2, MC1R,
and MATP genes and the eye color and the fair skin in type 1 diabetes subjects.”

Diabetic Retinopathy May Predict All-Cause Mortality, Cardiovascular Disease In Type 1 And Type 2 Diabetes

MedWire Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (5/6, Albert) reported that, according to a meta-analysis Share to FacebookShare to Twitter published April 27 in the journal Diabetes Care, “diabetic retinopathy (DR) is a predictor for all-cause mortality and cardiovascular disease (CVD) in patients with both type 1 and type 2 diabetes.” The meta-analysis, which encompassed 20 studies including 19,234 participants, found that, “compared with patients with type 2 diabetes and no DR, those with any degree of DR had a significant 2.34-fold increased risk for the combined endpoint of all-cause mortality and/or CVD (myocardial infarction, angina pectoris, coronary artery bypass graft, ischemic changes on electrocardiography, stroke, or lower leg amputation).”

Low Vitamin D Levels May Double Diabetes Risk

Reuters Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (4/27, Boerner) reported that low vitamin D levels may increase the risk of developing diabetes, according to a study Share to FacebookShare to Twitter in the journal Diabetes Care. For five years, the researchers followed more than 5,000 individuals and found that those with consistently lower-than-average vitamin D levels had a 57% percent increased likelihood of developing type 2 diabetes compared with people whose average vitamin D levels were within the recommended range. Adults need about 600 IU of vitamin D daily to maintain blood-circulating levels, according to Institute of Medicine recommendations.

Many Children With Type 1 Diabetes Also Have Other Immune Diseases

Reuters Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (4/22, Norton) reports that according to a study Share to FacebookShare to Twitter of 491 children with type 1 diabetes in the journal Diabetes Care, a third of the children have signs of other immune system disorders when they get diagnosed with diabetes. Dr. Jennifer M. Barker, the University of Colorado Denver, and colleagues found that one-quarter had autoantibodies related to thyroid disease and one in eight of those patients had the disease itself. Also, nearly one in eight had antibodies related to celiac disease, and a quarter of those patients had the disease.


Nicotine May Pose Harm To Diabetes Patients By Raising Blood Sugar Levels

HealthDay (3/25, Gordon) reported that “nicotine in cigarettes may be even more deadly for people who have diabetes,” according to findings presented at an American Chemical Society meeting in Anaheim, California. In lab experiments, researchers from California State Polytechnic University in Pomona found that even the smallest dose of nicotine “increased HbA1C levels by 8.8 percent. The highest dose — after two days of nicotine treatment — increased blood sugar levels by 34.5 percent.”
According to the Time (3/27, Park) “Healthland” blog, the study “also implies that if you are a smoker, and not diabetic…your chances of developing diabetes is higher.” Moreover, the results suggest that “nicotine replacement products such as patches and nicotine-containing electronic cigarettes, aren’t a safe option for diabetes patients either. Because they still contain nicotine, these products are just as likely to boost A1c levels as cigarettes are.”

Number Of Americans With Prediabetes Increasing

The Los Angeles Times (3/21, Worth) reports, “The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released figures in January showing that the number of American adults with prediabetes had jumped from 57 million in 2008 to 79 million in 2010.” At the same time, “the number with full-on diabetes grew from 23.6 million to 26 million, the vast majority of which are type 2 cases.” With changes in diet and exercise, people with prediabetes, which is marked by elevated blood sugar levels and insulin resistance, can avoid developing type 2 diabetes. But, “without such changes, most people with prediabetes will develop type 2 diabetes within 10 years, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.”
Elevated Levels Of Five Amino Acids Associated With Development Of Type 2 Diabetes. WebMD (3/20, Warner) reported, “Elevated levels of a group of five amino acids may predict the development of diabetes years before any noticeable symptoms occur,” according to a study published in the journal Nature Medicine. After following 2,422 adults for 12 years, “researchers found that blood tests that screened for these amino acids accurately predicted risk of type 2 diabetes in otherwise healthy adults as well as in those with traditional risk factors, such as obesity.” Notably, “elevated levels of five amino acids, isoleucine, leucine, valine, tyrosine, and phenylalanine, were associated with the development of type 2 diabetes.” The UK’s Daily Mail (3/21, Derbyshire) and the UK’s Independent (3/21, O’Connor) also cover the story.