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Posts Tagged ‘diabetes’

Brown Fat May Protect Against Diabetes

August 28, 2014

Not all fats are equal.

Adults who retain a high amount of brown fat are able to control blood sugar and burn off fat stores more effectively. Brown fat is also linked to weight control and can be important for managing diabetes

Everyone is born with a large amount of brown fat, and is useful in newborns since as it works it produces heat to regulate body temperature. As we age and regulate our body temperature on our own, brown fat is gradually lost.

In a recent study, researchers measured the amount of brown fat, and how well they metabolized glucose and their sensitivity to insulin. Men who had higher amounts of brown fat increased their metabolic rate by 15%, burning more calories and breaking down more blood sugar.


Preventing Diabetes

While there is no known way to control levels of brown fat, there are other steps you can take to prevent diabetes.


Start by adding Physical Activity to your Daily Routine
There are a ton of benefits to regular physical activity. Exercise can help you lose weight, lower your blood sugar and boost your sensitivity to insulin, which helps keep your blood sugar within a normal range. Both aerobic exercise and resistance training can help control diabetes, but the best workout plan should include both.


Make sure your Diet includes Plenty of Fiber
Fiber can help you reduce your diabetes risk by working to improve your blood sugar control, promote weight loss by helping you feel full, and lowers your risk for heart disease. Foods that are high in fiber include fruits, veggies, beans, whole grains, nuts and seeds.


Opt in for Whole Grains
Whole grains can reduce your risk of diabetes and help you to maintain blood sugar levels.

Preventive Screenings
In addition to these tips, make sure you monitor other risk factors for diabetes including high cholesterol and blood pressure. For more information about type 2 diabetes risk factors and warning signs, or to schedule a preventive health screening, visit our diabetes screening page today.

Eat Breakfast like a Champion to Manage Diabetes

June 26, 2014

When your mother told you that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, she was absolutely right.

New research shows that eating just 2, but large, meals a day at breakfast and lunch could potentially be the best way for people with type 2 diabetes to control their weight and blood sugar. The study proved that eating fewer meals per day could improve fasting glucose levels, lower liver fat content, better insulin sensitivity and help manage weight loss.

Czech researchers assigned 54 diabetics to a 12 week diet consisting of either two or six meals per day – but the same number of overall calories. The group that ate two larger meals per day reduced their weight and waist circumference more than those who ate six smaller meals throughout the day.

These findings prove that eating two to three meals per day will work for people with diabetes. Breakfast should be the largest meal, lunch should be heavy and dinner should be light.


Diabetes Prevention


While meal plans can be used to help manage diabetes, the goal is always prevention. With diabetes affecting more than 26 million Americans and quickly growing, it’s more important than ever to know your personal risk factors:

  • Family History
  • Race (African Americans, Hispanics, Pacific Islanders, American Indians, Alaska Natives and Asian Americans are at an increased risk)
  • Being Overweight
  • Physical Inactivity
  • Low HDL cholesterol
  • High blood pressure
  • Abnormal fasting glucose screening results

If you have any of these risk factors, or are above the age of 45, it is recommended that you have a blood glucose screening once every three years.

If you are at risk for diabetes, you may also be at risk for other diseases. Download our free health screening guide to learn more about early disease detection and the power of prevention.

Agave Sweetener May Help With Diabetes and Weight Loss

April 10, 2014

Is a sweetener that actually lowers blood sugar levels too good to be true? The American Chemical Society presented research showing that agavins, a sweetener derived from the agave plant that tequila is made from, doesn’t cause blood sugar levels to rise, which is good news for diabetics.

Agavins actually spike natural insulin production, lower blood sugar and in the study helped obese mice lose weight. This type of sweetener cannot be metabolized and absorbed by the body, which is why they do not elevate blood glucose levels. They also boost a peptide known as GLP-1 which causes the body to produce insulin, thus helping the body to regulate and control blood sugar levels. Agavins are also a type of fiber, which helps people to feel fuller and reduce appetite.

Agavins can be used as a light sweetener since they are classified as a sugar, highly soluble, are low on the glycemic index and have a neutral flavor.


Agavins vs. Other Sugars

Agavins are fructans, a long-chain type of fructose that they body cannot use. Agavins are not similar to agave nectar or syrup which are natural sweeteners used as sugar substitutes. Agave nectar or syrup can be broken into fructose to raise blood sugar and add calories. Agavins do not since they are not metabolized by the body.

Fructans also boost levels of helpful probiotics like lactobacillus and bifidus. Lactobacillus is a bacteria live in the digestive, urinary, and genital systems that help with regulation. Bifidus helps ease digestive problems and helps to reduce the risk of heart disease.

While certain aspects of agavins sound promising as a sweetener that would be helpful for diabetics, since it helps the body produce insulin and lowers overall blood sugar levels, more research is needed. The current study focused on mice, so tests on humans needs to confirm these findings before agavins become a widely accepted sweetener.


Diabetes Screenings

About 26 million Americans are living with diabetes, and more are diagnosed every year. Type 2 diabetes is one of the fastest growing diseases, and screenings that detect risk is extremely important. We offer type 2 diabetes screenings  that involve a simple blood test to measure blood glucose levels. To learn more about the screening, disease risk factors and symptoms check out our type 2 diabetes page.


Study: Certain Exercises Linked to Lower Women’s Diabetes Risk

February 20, 2014

As if we need another reason to get moving at home or at the gym, a new study shows a correlation between resistance and muscle-strengthening exercises with a lower risk for developing Type 2 diabetes for women.

The study published in the journal PLOS Medicine  followed 99,316 women with ages varying from 36 to 81. At the end of the eight year period for the study, 3,491 women developed Type 2 diabetes. However, women who participated the most in resistance training and lower intensity muscle conditioning had the lowest overall risk of developing diabetes.

Researchers explain that this is caused by an increase in lean body mass from these types of exercises that are associated with lowered diabetes risk, without changing body weight. So, the next time you visit the gym try to incorporate more resistance exercise, yoga, stretching, and toning activities to lower your risk of diabetes.


Type 2 Diabetes Prevention

Diabetes affects approximately 25.8 million people in the United States, with estimates that 79 million are pre-diabetic, making it one the fastest growing disease in the country. And while it may not be completely possible to prevent type 2 diabetes, controlling risk factors reduces your chances for developing the disease. Here are some helpful tips for lowering your risk:

  • Stop smoking
  • Lose weight (if you are overweight or obese)
  • Limit your intake of sugary foods
  • Eat whole grains in place of processed carbs
  • Decrease your intake of red meat
  • Avoid saturated and trans fats
  • Exercise at least 30 minutes per day

These activities will help to increase the effectiveness of insulin in your body. While genetic factors can affect the likelihood of being diagnosed with diabetes, lifestyle and behavioral factors are what largely attribute to the disease.

We offer screening services to check for type 2 diabetes, and screenings are recommended for anyone who has risk factors, is age 45 and over, or an adult with high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels and should be taken every three years. If you suspect that you have an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes, take advantage of the power of prevention and schedule a health screening today.

Type 2 Diabetes May Increase Liver Cancer Risk, Study Finds

January 29, 2014

When we think of a global epidemic, we often think of diseases like influenza or smallpox. Did you know, however, that type 2 diabetes is an emerging global epidemic that affects more than 347 million people worldwide? By the year 2030, diabetes is expected to become the seventh leading cause of death in the world.

A new study has found that those suffering from type 2 diabetes have an increased risk of developing liver cancer. The study was based on a large amount of data and brings added importance to diabetes prevention and methods of early detection.

According to, the study was conducted by researchers around the world and looked at individuals from different backgrounds, including white adults, Latino, Japanese-American, Native Hawaiian, and African American. The individuals were followed for a period of 16 years. Over the course of the 16-year period, 500 of the roughly 170,000 individuals analyzed developed liver cancer.


Critical linkage between type 2 diabetes and liver cancer

Researchers analyzed the data and found that having type 2 diabetes did increase the risk of developing liver cancer. Among the African American and Japanese American population, roughly 13 percent of liver cancer cases were attributed to their type 2 diabetes. This number was 6 percent among whites, and 26 percent for the Latino population. These results allowed researchers to confirm that in general, if someone is a type 2 diabetic, they were more likely to develop liver cancer.

Even with these findings, researchers noted that risk of liver cancer remained low even in type 2 diabetes patients. While the exact reason for the increased risk of liver cancer is unknown, one of the possibilities could be the medication people use to control their blood sugar levels. Overall, the researchers stated there was no direct cause-and-effect relationship found between the two diseases.

“Some of the drugs already have [the U.S. Food and Drug Administration-ordered] black box warnings for bladder cancer,” said Dr. James D’Olimpio, an oncologist at Monter Cancer Center in New York, in the HealthDay article. “It’s not a stretch to think there might be other relationships between diabetes drugs and pancreatic or liver cancer. Diabetes is already associated with a high risk of developing pancreatic cancer.”


Miscellaneous study notes

Some of the other notes from the study mentioned how alcohol consumption had no impact on the relationship between diabetes and liver cancer. The same can be said for whether people smoked cigarettes. Other risk factors, including age, weight, and so on, were taken into effect within the data analysis.

Diabetes is often detected through a blood glucose screening, diabetes screening or other blood test such as those conducted by Life Line Screening. These screenings help to better gauge risk factors and promote early detection and improved treatment of the disease. Catching diabetes early can limit the dangerous health consequences that untreated diabetes can induce.


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