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Research Round Up

Here are some more items I've collected over the past few months that don't justify a separate post but are still of interest. Click on the link to see the study.

  1. Users of DPP-4 Inhibitors (i.e. Januvia and Onglyza) report far more infections than metformin users, especially respiratory infections which were twelve times more likely. This is not surprising, DPP-4 plays a significant role in the immune system and turning it off modifies how the immune system works.
  2. Alpha cells secrete glutamate that damages beta cells. There have been several intriguing studies recently that suggest that an imbalance between the alpha cells that secrete glucagon, the hormone that raises blood sugar, and the insulin-secreting beta cells may play a part in causing diabetes. Keep an eye on this topic for further developments.
  3. WHI finds NO relationship between blood Vitamin D levels and the later development of Type 2 diabetes in older women over a 7.3 year period. More cold water thrown on the latest fad cure-all. There may be reasons to normalize vitamin D levels, but I have been able to find zero evidence that preventing or improving diabetes is among them.
  4. Whole fat dairy consumption lowers insulin resistance, raises HDL and correlates with "a substantially lower incidence of diabetes." The researchers who discovered this, by analyzing data from the 3736 adults studied in the Cardiovascular Health Study, appear to have been so disturbed by the implications of their study that they gave it a title that will keep anyone from noticing what they found, which is that eating butter and cream will improve your cardiovascular health.
  5. Yet another study finds that A1c is a much better predictor of heart attack than a diabetes diagnosis or other "many other established risk factors" [i.e. cholesterol. "Every 1% increment [over 5.4%] independently predicts a 19% higher odds of MI [myocardial infarction, i.e. heart attack] after accounting for other MI risk factors including diabetes."

  6. Higher saturated fat intake slows the progression of coronary artery disease in post-menopausal women. Carbohydrate intake speeds it up. In addition, "polyunsaturated fat intake was positively associated with progression when replacing other fats (P = 0.04) but not when replacing carbohydrate or protein. Monounsaturated and total fat intakes were not associated with progression."

  7. Cortisone injections relieve pain of tendon problems in the short term but make them worse and more likely to recur long term. Tendon problems like frozen shoulder are a common diabetic complication. The evidence suggests that the best way to treat them is to leave them alone. They usually get better on their own in a few months. If they don't, my experience has been that acupuncture may help after the acute inflammation phase is over.
  8. If you don't wash your hands before testing your blood sugar wiping away the first drop of blood and using the second drop will be more accurate--but don't squeeze Shockingly, the journal "Diabetes Care" actually published a study this month that is useful to people with diabetes.
  9. Supplementation with Myo-Inositol may be very helpful in reducing insulin resistance and other characteristics of metabolic syndrome in post-menopausal women Don't go crazy with supplementation, based on this one study, since such studies are often paid for and skewed by companies selling the supplement, but keep alert to see if this finding is confirmed elsewhere.

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