Vitamin D and Diabetes

Vitamin D and Diabetes

A July 2019 study by the Université Laval in Quebec found, “…improvements in glucose metabolism following vitamin D supplementation in those at high risk of diabetes, or with newly diagnosed diabetes …”

Dr Claudia Gagnon, "Type 2 diabetes and prediabetes are a growing public health concern and although our results are promising, further studies are required to confirm our findings, to identify whether some people may benefit more from this intervention, and to evaluate the safety of high-dose vitamin D supplementation in the long term. Until then I would suggest that current vitamin D supplementation recommendations be followed."

 

Breakfast

Breakfast

Avicenna, Canon of Medicine: “Meal-times,—Burton (vi. 111) mentions "breakfast" (Arab, futur) which is eaten immediately after the dawn-prayer, except in Ramazan. This is a substantial meal of bread and boiled beans, eggs, cheese, curded milk and the pastry called fatirah, followed by coffee."

Ritual Washing for Prayer: Using Cold Water

Ritual Washing for Prayer: Using Cold Water

Avicenna, Canon of Medicine: “This form of ablution is only beneficial if all the proper rules are observed, and if the age of the person, his physique and build,-; are suitable, and the season is appropriate (i.e. the summer). The contra-indications are: nausea, or a feeling of satiety associated with indigestion; vomiting; or diarrhoea; or want of sleep; or nasal catarrh. The person must not be at the age of boyhood, nor at old age. [Therefore he must be in the prime of life.] The moment chosen for the ablution should be one at which the body is light and the movements appropriate."

http://data.nur.nu/Kutub/English/Avicenna_Canon-of-Medicine_text.pdf

Eating Wheat

Eating Wheat

“Eating wheat, a grain designed by nature to be eaten in the fall [autumn] to help prepare for winter, was simply never meant to be eaten 3 times a day for 12 months of the year, every year, for a lifetime.”

“Eat Wheat” by John Douillard

Abdominal Pain

Abdominal Pain

“Abdominal pain is a common symptom with a wide differential diagnosis that includes peptic ulcer disease, gallstones and pancreatitis. Furthermore the pain main originate outside the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, including the cardiac, respiratory, musculoskeletal, urological and gynaecological systems.”

 “Gastrointestinal Medicine” by R. Shakespeare, J. Turner & J. Green

 

Resistance Training for Older Adults

Resistance Training for Older Adults

Professor Mark Peterson, of the University of Michigan Institute for Healthcare Policy & Innovation and Michigan Center on the Demography of Aging said, "Current research has demonstrated that resistance training is a powerful care model to combat loss of muscle strength and mass in the aging population…"

A July 2019 position statement by Quest Diagnostics said that "…resistance training can positively affect physical functioning, mobility, independence, chronic disease management, psychological wellbeing, quality of life and healthy life expectancy … in most cases, the vast benefits of resistance training largely outweigh the risks when training is properly implemented…"

Resistance training (or strength training) is, “Strength training is a type of physical exercise specializing in the use of resistance to induce muscular contraction which builds the strength, anaerobic endurance, and size of skeletal muscles … Recommended training for older adults is three times a week of light strength training exercises. Exercise machines are a commonly used equipment in a gym setting, including treadmills with exercises such as walking or light jogging. Home-based exercises should usually consist of body weight or elastic band exercises that maintain a low level of impact on the muscles. Weights can also be used by older adults if they maintain a lighter weight load with an average amount of repetitions (10–12 reps) with suitable supervision.”

 

 

The Taste of Bitter Foods Changes. And Why That’s Good

The Taste of Bitter Foods Changes. And Why That’s Good

A July 2019 study published by the University of Buffalo gives hope to all those parents trying to persuade children to “eat your greens!". The study said:

  1. “We've shown in previous work with rats that changing your diet changes what proteins are in your saliva. Now we're showing that the proteins in your saliva change how you taste."

  2. "If we can convince people to try broccoli, greens and bitter foods, they should know that with repeated exposure, they'll taste better once they regulate these proteins,"

  3. "Our data doesn't provide a number, such as 12 servings of broccoli, however, for people who avoid these foods because of their bitterness, but would like to include them in their diet, they should know their taste will eventually change."

  4. "An additive to [pediatric] medicine to make it less bitter would increase compliance,"

  5. "It's similar to liquid dietary supplements in the geriatric population, which often contain sugar to tame the bitterness. Achieving the same result without sweeteners has obvious benefits."

  6. "Instead of having the cognitive load of learning that a food is safe and having to maintain that memory, instead you know that eventually this bitter food will taste good … It's an elegant physiological shift allowing you to put these foods into your diet."

  7. "The variation around sweets is very small," she says. "Nearly everyone likes a cupcake, but the variation around liking broccoli is enormous.

  8. "This research helps explain why that variation with bitter food exists and how we can get more people to eat broccoli instead of cupcakes."

 

NHS Hydration Advice – A reminder

NHS Hydration Advice – A reminder

It might be useful, given this week’s weather, to remind ourselves of the NHS guidelines on hydration.  The Eatwell Guide says we should, “drink 6 to 8 glasses of fluid a day. Water, lower fat milk and sugar-free drinks, including tea and coffee, all count.”

 

Plant-based Diets and Type 2 Diabetes

Plant-based Diets and Type 2 Diabetes

A July 2019 study by Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health found that, “People with the highest adherence to overall predominantly plant-based diets had a 23% lower risk of type 2 diabetes compared to those with weaker adherence to the diets. They also found that the association was strengthened for those who ate healthful plant-based diets.”

 

Organic Apples and Gut Health

Organic Apples and Gut Health

A July 2019 study by Graz University of Technology, Austria found that,

  1. “The bacteria, fungi and viruses in our food transiently colonize our gut … Cooking kills most of these, so raw fruit and veg are particularly important sources of gut microbes."

  2. "Putting together the averages for each apple component, we estimate a typical 240g apple contains roughly 100 million bacteria…"

  3. "Freshly harvested, organically managed apples harbor a significantly more diverse, more even and distinct bacterial community, compared to conventional ones …”

  4. “This variety and balance would be expected to limit overgrowth of any one species, and previous studies have reported a negative correlation between human pathogen abundance and microbiome diversity of fresh produce."

  5. "Escherichia-Shigella - a group of bacteria that includes known pathogens - was found in most of the conventional apple samples, but none from organic apples. For beneficial Lactobacilli - of probiotic fame - the reverse was true."

  6. "Methylobacterium, known to enhance the biosynthesis of strawberry flavor compounds, was significantly more abundant in organic apples; here especially on peel and flesh samples, which in general had a more diverse microbiota than seeds, stem or calyx."

Avicenna Quoting Galen on Taking the Pulse

Avicenna Quoting Galen on Taking the Pulse

I use the Chinese Medicine System of pulse diagnosis.  There are three pulses on the right hand and three on the left hand.   

Pulse diagnosis is the “Gold Standard” of diagnostic tools.

Avicenna, the father of Western Medicine, acknowledged the expertise of the Chinese Medicine system of pulse taking.  And, quoted Galen as saying, "For many years I was doubtful about clearly discerning the movement of contraction by touch, and I shelved, the question until such time as I should learn enough to fill the gap in my knowledge. After that, the doors of the pulse were opened to me. Whoever should study these things as I did will perceive that which I perceived [as it were, a brilliant light shining suddenly out from behind total darkness. Whoever allows these words to be true and not fabulous will benefit very greatly; despair will not touch him or frighten him from the pursuit of his study, even though he makes no progress for many years."]

http://data.nur.nu/Kutub/English/Avicenna_Canon-of-Medicine_text.pdf

Avicenna on the Best Time for Exercise

Avicenna on the Best Time for Exercise

It is worth repeating that, “Yesterday's food should have passed both gastric and hepatic digestion, and also intravascular digestion, —the time for the next meal now approaching … it is better to choose a time for exercise when one is not hungry, and when one is hot and moist rather than cold and dry. But the best time is when the state is. between the two. Exercise in a man of hot and dry temperament may lead to illness, and he will benefit by avoiding it at such a time...”

http://data.nur.nu/Kutub/English/Avicenna_Canon-of-Medicine_text.pdf

Quality of Sleep and Weight Loss

Quality of Sleep and Weight Loss

Rovira i Virgili University research in July 2019 found that, “individuals with highly variable sleep patterns - that's to say, who did not sleep the same number of hours every night - at the beginning of the study lost less weight after a follow-up period of 12 months. What is more, a high sleep variability and sleeping little - less than six hours - a day was associated with a lower decrease in body mass index and waist circumference.”

Learning a new task? Better to learn three

Learning a new task? Better to learn three

A July 2019 study by the University of California found that, "… older adults can learn multiple new skills at the same time, and doing so may improve their cognitive functioning…" and, "The studies provide evidence that intense learning experiences akin to those faced by younger populations are possible in older populations, and may facilitate gains in cognitive abilities."

 

 

Optimizing Your Intermittent Fasting: the Evidence Base

Optimizing Your Intermittent Fasting: the Evidence Base

A 2018 study found that, “Early Time-Restricted Feeding ETRF improves insulin sensitivity, blood pressure, and oxidative stress.”

A 2018 systematic review concluded that, “Intermittent energy restriction may be an effective strategy for the treatment of overweight and obesity. Intermittent energy restriction was comparable to continuous energy restriction for short term weight loss in overweight and obese adults. Intermittent energy restriction was shown to be more effective than no treatment, however, this should be interpreted cautiously due to the small number of studies and future research is warranted to confirm the findings of this review.”

An Experiment

You may like to try an “early day” intermittent fasting by eating between 7am and 3 pm, or 10am and 6pm, and avoid eating in the evening before bed.

  

Studies and Reviews

1.     Sutton, E.F, Bey, R., Early, K., Cefalu, W.T, Ravussin, E. and Peterson C.M. (2018) Early Time-Restricted Feeding Improves Insulin Sensitivity, Blood Pressure, and Oxidative Stress Even without Weight Loss in Men with Prediabetes. Cell Metabolism, Volume 27, Issue 6, 5 June 2018, Pages 1159-1160

2.     Harris, L, Hamilton, S., Azevedo, L., Olajide, J.,De Brun, C.,Waller, G.,Whittaker, V.,Sharp, T.,Lean, M.,Hankey, K. and Ells, L. (2018) Intermittent fasting interventions for treatment of overweight and obesity in adults: a systematic review and meta-analysis. BI Database of Systematic Reviews and Implementation Reports: February 2018 - Volume 16 - Issue 2 - p 507–547. doi: 10.11124/JBISRIR-2016-003248

Eating Protein at every meal: the LoBAG diet

Eating Protein at every meal: the LoBAG diet

In a 2011 study, Gannon and Nuttall of the Minneapolis VA Medical Center studied the effect of a high-protein diet on ghrelin, growth hormone, and insulin-like growth factor-I and binding proteins 1 and 3 in subjects with type 2 diabetes mellitus.  

They, “…developed a diet that over 5 weeks dramatically lowers plasma glucose in people with type 2 diabetes mellitus. This diet consists of 30% carbohydrate, 30% protein, and 40% fat and is referred to as a Low Biologically Available Glucose (LoBAG) diet. The diet also resulted in an approximately 30% increase in fasting insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I).”

 

Mucus in the Colon: Diet Important

Mucus in the Colon: Diet Important

A July 2019 study by Baylor College of Medicine found that, “a high-quality diet is linked to more potentially beneficial bacteria; while a low-quality diet is associated with an increase in potentially harmful bacteria.”

Professor Li Jioa said, “… we focused on dietary patterns as defined by the Healthy Eating Index … and how they relate to the microbiome [the microorganisms in a particular environment] … In a previous study, we found that [the Health Eating Index] is associated with reduced risk of pancreatic cancer."

The study found that “…a good-quality diet … high in fruits, vegetables and whole grains, and low in added sugar, alcoholic beverages and solid fats is associated with higher abundance of beneficial bacteria such as those with anti-inflammatory properties.”

Cutting 300 calories to reduce heart health and diabetes risk

Cutting 300 calories to reduce heart health and diabetes risk

A July 2019 study by Duke Health and the National Institutes of Health suggests that cutting down daily food intake by just 300 calories can cut the risk of diabetes and heart disease.   

For context, two scrambled eggs is equivalent to 360 calories.

Lead author Dr William Kraus said the study showed that, "… even a modification that is not as severe … could reduce the burden of diabetes and cardiovascular disease …"  and, "People can do this fairly easily by simply watching their little indiscretions here and there, or maybe reducing the amount of them, like not snacking after dinner."

Chromatin Stress and Longevity

Chromatin Stress and Longevity

A July 2019 study by Baylor College of Medicine and the Houston Methodist Research Institute found that, “moderate chromatin stress [chromatin architectural defect] levels set off a stress response in yeast, the tiny laboratory worm C. elegans, the fruit fly and mouse embryonic stem cells, and in yeast and C. elegans the response promotes longevity.”

Professor Weiwei Dang said, "Chromatin stress refers to disruptions in the way DNA is packed within the nucleus of the cell …One of the factors that influences chromatin structure is proteins called histones. 

Ruofan Yu, first author, said, “Unexpectedly, we found that yeast with fewer copies of histone genes lived longer than the controls…We have identified a previously unrecognized and unexpected form of stress that triggers a response that benefits the organism,"

Professor Dang said, “Our findings suggest that the chromatin stress response may also be present in other organisms. If present in humans, it would offer new possibilities to intervene in the aging process."

 

Sugary Drinks and the Risk of Cancer

Sugary Drinks and the Risk of Cancer

A July 2019 NutriNet-Santé cohort study looked at sugary drinks (sugar sweetened beverages and 100% fruit juices), artificially sweetened (diet) beverages, and the risk of overall cancer, as well as breast, prostate, and bowel (colorectal) cancers. Well-known risk factors for cancer were factored in.  These included age, sex, educational level, family history of cancer, smoking status and physical activity levels. The study found that, “a 100ml daily increase in the consumption of sugary drinks was associated with an 18% increased risk of overall cancer and a 22% increased risk of breast cancer.” But “No association was found for prostate and colorectal cancers, but numbers of cases were more limited for these cancer locations.” The researchers noted that, “the consumption of artificially sweetened (diet) beverages was not associated with a risk of cancer, but the authors warn that caution is needed in interpreting this finding owing to a relatively low consumption level in this sample.”

The researchers concluded that the study supports, “the relevance of existing nutritional recommendations to limit sugary drink consumption, including 100% fruit juice, as well as policy actions, such as taxation and marketing restrictions targeting sugary drinks, which might potentially contribute to the reduction of cancer incidence."