Beware: Working for more than 55 hours a week can trigger diabetes

People who work over 55 hours every week in blue collar jobs are at a 30 percent increased risk of developing type II diabetes, according to research published in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology.

Working for more than 55 hours a week can trigger diabetes

Type II diabetes is the most common form of diabetes, and affects 90 to 95 percent of the 26 million Americans with the disease. Mika Kivimäki, Professor of Epidemiology at University College London, UK, and colleagues analyzed data from four published and 19 unpublished studies involving 222,120 adults from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Japan. For an average of 7.6 years, these individuals were followed.

The researchers found that those who worked more than 55 hours per week at low socioeconomic or manual jobs were about 30 percent more likely to develop type II diabetes, compared to those who worked no more than 40 hours per week.

Although additional research is needed to further identify the link between long working hours and the onset of type II diabetes, other possible explanations need to be explored, including disruptive schedules that interfere with sleep, relaxing, and exercising.

“The pooling of all available studies on this topic allowed us to investigate the association between working hours and diabetes risk with greater precision than has been previously possible. Although working long hours is unlikely to increase diabetes risk in everyone, health professionals should be aware that it is associated with a significantly increased risk in people doing low socioeconomic status jobs,” said Kivimäki in a statement.

Source: daily digest

Myth or fact: Is Hibiscus the new drug to cure diabetes naturally?

Diabetes has become a common disease these days just like any other whacky flu, cough and cold. Life is certainly not easy for a diabetic as one has to maintain a healthy lifestyle throughout, since there is no cure for the disease.

Is Hibiscus the new drug to cure diabetes naturally

Offering a new hope to diabetics, researchers at Assam’s Tezpur University and West Bengal’s Visva-Bharati University have derived that natural extracts from a particular species of the hibiscus plant can help in curing diabetes.

Researchers collected samples of hibiscus leaves from North-East region and conducted tests on diabetic rats. The results showed that a phytochemical (plant-derived compound) from the leaves of Sthalpadma or land-lotus (scientifically known as Hibiscus mutabilis and commonly called Confederate rose) restore insulin levels better.

Samir Bhattacharya, emeritus professor, School of Life Sciences (Zoology Department) at Visva-Bharati in Shantiniketan was quoted saying to a news agency: “We found that ferulic acid (FRL), belonging to the polyphenols, extracted from leaves of the plant, has the potential to be a better therapeutic agent for diabetes”.

According to the World Health Organisation, there are about 346 million people worldwide with diabetes, with more than 80% of deaths occurring in developing countries. India has nearly 63 million diabetic patients, with the situation becoming grimmer mainly because of the sedentary lifestyle prevailing across key metros and big cities aggravating the situation. According to a study conducted by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), the number of Indians suffering from this malicious disease is expected to cross the 100 million mark by 2030.

Source: India vision

One third adults in Britain have prediabetes


Prevalence of prediabetes in England rose rapidly from 2003 to 2011, with one in three adults on the cusp of developing type-2 diabetes, latest figures published in the British Medical Journal have revealed.

Prediabetes is a high risk state for developing diabetes and associated complications.

In their new report, the authors from the University of Florida used data collected by the Health Survey for England in the years 2003, 2006, 2009 and 2011. Participants aged 16 and older, who provided a blood sample, Xinhua reported.

Individuals were classified as having prediabetes if glycated haemoglobin was between 5.7 percent and 6.4 percent, and were not previously diagnosed with diabetes.

The result showed that the prevalence rate of prediabetes increased from 11.6 percent to 35.3 percent from 2003 to 2011. Overweight adults aged 40 and above had even higher risk, with 50.6 percent of them had prediabetes in 2011.

The authors said there has been a marked increase in the proportion of adults in England with prediabetes. In the absence of concerted and effective efforts to reduce risk, the number of people with diabetes is likely to increase steeply in coming years.

Source: zee news

Control sugar: Limit fruit juice intake to once a day


The appalling diets of the nation’s teenagers have been exposed by a report which shows that many are already putting themselves at risk of diabetes, obesity and heart disease. And last night health experts warned that fruit juice – seen by many as a healthy option – should be drunk no more than once a day because of its high sugar content.

Girls and boys aged 11 to 19 typically eat 42 per cent too much sugar and 14 per cent too much saturated fat.

Only 10 per cent of teenage boys and 7 per cent of teenage girls manage to get their five portions of fruit and veg a day.
Adults do not fare a great deal better. Only a third get their five-a-day and the diet of the average adult exceeds recommended sugar limits by 10 per cent.

The report, the Government’s National Diet and Nutrition Survey, also shows that children aged ten and under typically exceed the recommended daily limit of sugar by 34 per cent.
Their main sources of sugar are fruit juice, soft drinks, cereal bars, biscuits and cakes.

It reveals that adults are eating half the recommended weekly amount of oily fish – which protects against heart disease, cancer and dementia – while teenagers and children only manage a fifth of this amount.

The survey, which involved 4,000 adults and children between 2008 and 2012, says 48 per cent of men and women have above-normal levels of cholesterol, putting them at higher risk of heart disease and strokes.
Simon Gillespie, chief executive of the British Heart Foundation, said: ‘This study paints a clear picture that too many people, especially children, are not eating healthily enough.

‘This puts them at greater risk of coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes and obesity now or in the future. There is no magic bullet to solve this problem. Parents, schools, restaurants, retailers and the food industry all have a role to play.

‘But the Government can fire the first shot by implementing a 9pm watershed ban on junk food marketing to stop children being bombarded with advertising about products high in fats, salts and sugars. We also need stringent regulation to protect children from online marketing tactics.’

There is also concern that policies such as the NHS’s Change4Life programme are having little effect because only healthy adults and children pay any attention.

The initiative, which has cost taxpayers £65million since its launch in January 2009, consists of television adverts, a website, a helpline and locally-run sports clubs all aimed at curbing the obesity epidemic.
The scheme also produces posters for schools, community clubs, GP surgeries and hospitals urging the public to eat their five- a-day, take regular exercise and cut portion sizes.

Dr Ian Campbell, of the National Obesity Forum, said: ‘In spite of a raft of measures designed to encourage us to eat a healthier diet we are, as a nation, failing miserably.

‘If we really care about the health of our children we need to take far more decisive action. ‘We need to regulate the food industry to make healthy choices easier, more attractive and cheaper.’

Dr Alison Tedstone, the chief nutritionist at Public Health England, the Government agency that released the report, said fruit juice was a good option as one of the recommended five fruit portions a day.
But she warned: ‘It should only be drunk once a day and with a meal because it can be high in sugar.’

In March, Dame Sally Davies, the Chief Medical Officer, said the Government may have to introduce a sugar tax to help make the nation’s diet more healthy.

Later that month the World Health Organisation urged the public to cut their sugar intake by half to six teaspoons a day.
Yesterday Labour MP Keith Vaz called for food labels to include the numbers of teaspoons of sugar in all products.

Source: daily mail

Too much animal protein tied to higher diabetes risk

People who eat the most protein, especially from animal sources, are more likely to be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, according to a study of European adults.

The new study did not randomly assign participants to eat different amounts of protein, which would have yielded the strongest evidence. Instead, it compared the diets of people who went on to develop diabetes and those who did not get the disease.

But the findings do align with other studies. “Several previous studies have found that higher intake of total protein, especially animal protein, are associated with long-term risk of developing diabetes,” said Dr. Frank Hu, from the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston. Hu, who was not involved in the new study, researches prevention of diabetes through diet and lifestyle.

“Substantial amounts of animal protein come from red meat and processed meat, which have been consistently associated with increased risk of diabetes,” he told Reuters Health in an email.

For the new report, researchers examined data from a large previous study of adults in eight European countries spanning 12 years. The study collected data on participants’ diet, physical activity, height, weight and waist circumference, then followed them to see who developed diabetes.

A team of researchers led by Monique van Nielen of Wageningen University in the Netherlands selected 11,000 people who developed type 2 diabetes from the data and 15,000 people without diabetes for comparison.

Overall, the adults in the study commonly ate about 90 grams of protein per day. Those who ate more tended to have a higher weight-to-height ratio and to eat more fiber and cholesterol than people who ate less protein.

After accounting for other diabetes risk factors, every additional 10 grams of protein people consumed each day was tied to a six percent higher chance that they would develop diabetes.

Dividing participants into five groups based on how much protein they ate, the researchers found those who ate the most, or around 111 grams per day, were 17 percent more likely to develop diabetes than those who ate the least, or around 72 grams per day.

Specifically, those who ate the most animal protein, or 78 grams per day, were 22 percent more likely to be diagnosed with diabetes than those who ate the least, around 36 grams per day, according to results published in Diabetes Care.

That’s only a modest increase on an individual level, Hu said.

People who ate the most protein got about 15 percent of their calories from red meat, processed meat, poultry, fish and dairy, which appears to be too much, Hu said.  “More importantly, higher intake of animal protein often comes along with other undesirable nutrients such as saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium,” he said.

The association between animal protein and diabetes risk appeared to be strongest among obese women. Plant protein, on the other hand, was not linked to diabetes.

“In other studies, plant protein sources such as nuts, legumes and whole grains have been associated with lower risk of diabetes,” Hu said. “Therefore, replacing red meat and processed meat with plant sources of protein is important for diabetes prevention.”

Generally people associate high-fat and high-carbohydrate diets with diabetes risk, but this study underscores that protein is an important nutrient to consider as well, Paolo Magni said. Magni, from the Institute of Endocrinology at the University of Milan in Italy, was not involved in the new study.

“As a general rule, I would suggest to eat normal portions of red meat not more than two times per week, poultry and fish three to four times per week, skimmed milk or yogurt maybe not every day,” Magni told

Cheese, preserved meats and cold cuts should be minimized, he said. “Pay attention to both quantity and food sources of protein,” Hu said. It’s probably a good idea for people with a family history of diabetes to replace at least some red meat with nuts, legumes or whole grains, he said.

Source: reuters

Diabetes in Middle Age May Cause Memory Problems

People who develop type 2 diabetes or high blood pressure in middle age appear more likely to suffer brain damage that can contribute to dementia as they grow older, a new study finds.

Diabetes might actually shrink the brain over a long period of time, reducing the size of crucial areas like the hippocampus, which plays an important role in short- and long-term memory, according to the study.

Additionally, diabetes and high blood pressure both seem to increase a person’s risk of micro-strokes and other damage to the blood vessels that feed the brain, the study authors said.

“People who had diabetes earlier in life had much worse brain [structure] than those who had it later in life,” said lead author Dr. Rosebud Roberts, a Mayo Clinic researcher. “These scans are showing us that cognitive impairment happens over a long period of time. The earlier you develop type 2 diabetes, the more likely you are to have damage.”

Diabetes has long been linked to problems with thinking and memory later in life, but this study is the first to provide solid evidence explaining why that occurs, said Keith Fargo, director of scientific programs and outreach for the Alzheimer’s Association.

“We are very excited about this study,” Fargo said. “It has been known for quite some time that there is some kind of link between diabetes and cognitive ability later in life. What has not been known yet is why this link exists and how it develops over time.”

The study involved more than 1,400 people with an average age of 80, according to the report published online March 19 in the journal Neurology. The study participants had at most slight memory and thinking problems called mild cognitive impairment. The researchers assessed the participants’ thinking and memory skills, noting any signs of mild impairment.

The study participants then underwent MRI brain scans to look for signs of brain damage that can be an early indication of dementia.

Finally, the researchers reviewed the participants’ medical records to see whether they had been diagnosed with diabetes or high blood pressure in middle age, which, for the purposes of this study, ran from 40 to 64.

The study authors found that people who developed diabetes in middle age had brains that were on average 2.9 percent smaller than people who didn’t have diabetes. And their hippocampi were even smaller — an average of 4 percent smaller than those of non-diabetics.

“When your hippocampus begins to shrink, you begin to lose your long-term memory and your ability to remember recent events,” said Roberts, who also is a member of the American Academy of Neurology.

Source: web md

Research links father’s gene to baby’s birth weight

Research suggests that expression of the father’s genes enhances a baby’s growth.

A father’s genetic code influences the weight of a baby at birth, according to a new study. The study led by the UCL Institute of Child Health (ICH) suggests that genes inherited from the mother and father regulate a baby’s growth at different times during the pregnancy, to ensure a successful birth as well as the mother’s survival.

Low birth weight is a well-known risk factor for Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular problems in later life. One group of growth genes of particular interest are the imprinted genes inherited from one’s parents. If the paternal one is expressed, the maternal one is imprinted (silenced) and vice versa.

The ‘parental conflict hypothesis’ suggests that expression of the father’s genes enhances a baby’s growth, improving the success of the paternal genome to be passed on. In contrast, the mother’s genome limits foetal growth, distributing equal resources to each of her offspring, whilst ensuring her own survival post-birth allowing her to reproduce again.

The study, published in the journal PLOS ONE, looked at the relationship between birth weight and the paternally expressed Insulin-like growth factor 2 (IGF2) early in gestation, where IGF2 is a key hormone regulating growth in the womb. Professor Gudrun Moore, lead author at the UCL Institute of Child Health, says most of us think of both the mother’s and father’s genes as having an equal influence on birth weight, but this does not appear to be the case.

“Our study suggests that the two parental genomes may be acting at different times during the pregnancy in order to control the baby’s size. Whilst greater foetal growth appears to be promoted by the father’s genes early on, it must still require careful regulation by the mother to ensure a successful birth,” he said. He added that understanding the genetic basis of foetal growth is of critical importance in the prevention and monitoring of small and low weight babies.

Source: The Indian Express


Diabetes and Pregnancy are a Dangerous Mix

Recently, the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force published recommendations in the Annals of Internal Medicine — a widely-respected, peer-reviewed journal — that strongly advise all pregnant women be screened for gestational diabetes, a test which many physicians (including those at the North Shore-LIJ Health System) routinely perform.

Testing guidelines in the article are highly specific and stringent, and if followed, may help reduce the risks associated with undiagnosed and untreated gestational diabetes. Gestational diabetes happens during pregnancy due to the changes that are happening in a woman’s body, and it affects 10 percent to 18 percent of all pregnant women. The changes can cause the blood glucose (sugar) level to go too high. The associated risks include preeclampsia (a pregnancy-related condition associated with high blood pressure and other symptoms), macrosomia (large, for gestational age, babies) and birth-related injuries.

The ongoing obesity epidemic has led to an increased number of women having undiagnosed type 2 diabetes at the time of their child’s conception, as well as an increased number of women who are developing gestational diabetes.

Diabetes during pregnancy carries risk for both mother and baby. In order to avoid complications, screening and appropriate treatment are imperative. Women with such risk factors as being overweight, family history of diabetes, coming from a high-risk ethnic back ground (African American, Latino, Native American or Asian), physicalinactivity, delivering a baby that weighed more than 9 lbs., high blood pressure or polycystic ovarian disease should be screened at their first prenatal visit for type 2 diabetes.

In the first trimester it is recommended physicians screen mothers for diabetes using either a fasting glucose, 2 hour 75 gram glucose tolerance test (where a woman drinks 75 grams of sugar and then has her blood drawn 2 hours later), or an HbA1c test (athree-month average of blood glucose levels). If the mother screens negative, she should be screened again later in the pregnancy for gestational diabetes. Many of the complications caused by diabetes can be avoided if a woman achieves and maintains good glucose control during her pregnancy. Early identification and treatment is key to preventing these complications.

Source: escience news

Healthy lifestyle to improve oral health in diabetics

Diabetics, who are at a higher risk of suffering from oral health problems, can avoid these by adopting a healthy lifestyle.

Researchers at the University of Copenhagen have helped a large group of diabetics to markedly improve their oral health through health coaching.

“Diabetics are at a higher risk of suffering oral health issues like periodontitis and caries and other problems like dry mouth, fungal infections and poor wound healing,” said Ayse Basak Cinar, assistant professor at department of odontology at the university.

In all, 186 patients with type 2 diabetes participated in the study done in Turkey – the first in the world – to demonstrate the role of health coaching in improving dental health.

The patients with diabetes were divided into two groups.

One group was given traditional health information, for example a brochure on good dental hygiene.

The other group was offered motivational health coaching in the form of 3-6 sessions over a six-month period, focusing on diet, stress management and dental care, said the research published in the journal Clinical Oral Investigations.

“In patients who were given personal health coaching, biological markers for periodontitis – also known as loose teeth disease – were reduced by as much as 50 percent over a six-month period,” the research noted.

“The patients in the trial group saw a significant decline in long-range blood sugar levels, whereas figures for the control group were unchanged,” said.

“Health coaching is a resource-intensive intervention. However, dishing out brochures to patients with diabetes and thinking that this would help is also a costly approach for the society,” he added.

Source; Business standard

UK govt health adviser warns against drinking orange juice

Contrary to the popular beliefs about the health benefits of fruit juices, the UK government’s leading adviser on obesity has said people should stop taking orange juice due to high sugar content in it.

Professor Susan Jebb, head of diet and obesity research at the Medical Research Council’s Human Nutrition Research unit in Cambridge, UK, says orange juice has as much sugar as Coca-Cola and warned that fruit juice should not be counted as part of a healthy five-a-day diet.

“Fruit juice isn’t the same as intact fruit and it has got as much sugar as many classical sugar drinks. It is also absorbed very fast so by the time it gets to your stomach your body doesn’t know whether it’s Coca-Cola or orange juice, frankly,” she told The Sunday Times.

The development comes after the health experts urged the food industry to cut 30 per cent from processed in the UK while warning that sugar has become as dangerous as alcohol or tobacco.

They also claim that reduction in sugar could shave 100 calories from each person’s daily intake and reverse the UK’s growing obesity epidemic.

While many branded fruit juice contain as little as 10 percent fruit juice with lots of added sugar, several research has linked intake of sugary sodas, fruit juices with an elevated risk of obesity, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes.

Professor Susan Jebb, who said she had herself stopped drinking orange juice also asked people to dilute it with water and drink if they cannot quit juice.

“I have to say it is a relatively easy thing to give up. Swap it and have a piece of real fruit. If you are going to drink it, you should dilute it”, she added.

Source: Zee news