Archived Bulletin Board
Tests and Drugs
Weight Loss Experiment
Nutrients and Toxics
Table of Contents ||
There seem to be certain connections linking diabetes with
thyroid disease. I'm pretty certain that most cases of diabetes are the result
of nutrient deficiencies. If you look on this page there is a study (Title:
High-dose biotin, an inducer of glucokinase expression, may synergize with
chromium picolinate to enable a definitive nutritional therapy for type II
diabetes) showing that biotin and chromium picolinate work very well together to
control diabetes. What is interesting about this is that we've seen that biotin
is very important for copper metabolism and is often deficient in hyperT.
Further down on this page there is a study showing that copper levels are high
in diabetics. Generally when copper levels are high it means that copper is not
being used properly because of other deficiencies. Copper is essential for the
production of insulin, so it's possible that the lack of other nutrients which
work with copper are preventing copper from being used to produce insulin, and
therefore an insulin deficiency (diabetes) results. Possibly this is where
biotin and chromium fit in.
Another interesting possible connection between diabetes
and hyperT is that experimenters have found that diabetes can be controlled by
administering tungsten. A quote from one study: "Results of uncontrolled
trials on volunteers accumulated in Japan also suggest that tungstate
effectively regulates diabetes mellitus without detectable side effects."
There are other bits of information about tungsten and a possible connection
between tungsten and copper which leads me to suspect that a tungsten deficiency
is involved in hyperT also. Tungsten seems to be extremely difficult to get from
foods and is unavailable as a supplement. The only sources I've found are the
trace mineral supplements that list tungsten (over 1 mg per liter), and water
from the eastern Sierra Nevada mountains (like Crystal Geyser--a brand found
here in California).
Another hint that tungsten is involved in diabetes is that
tungsten seems to play a role in the retina, perhaps for the detection of light
(tungsten makes a good filament for light bulbs) and diabetics can get
Besides possible deficiencies of biotin, chromium, and
tungsten, it's possible that diabetes could also result from a copper
deficiency, since copper is necessary for insulin production. It may be that
many diabetics have high copper, but some have low.
Med Hypotheses 1999 May;52(5):401-6
High-dose biotin, an inducer of glucokinase expression, may
synergize with chromium picolinate to enable a definitive nutritional therapy
for type II diabetes.
NutriGuard Research, Encinitas, CA 92024, USA.
Glucokinase (GK), expressed in hepatocyte and pancreatic beta cells, has a
central regulatory role in glucose metabolism. Efficient GK activity is required
for normal glucose-stimulated insulin secretion, postprandial hepatic glucose
uptake, and the appropriate suppression of hepatic glucose output and
gluconeogenesis by elevated plasma glucose. Hepatic GK activity is subnormal in
diabetes, and GK may also be decreased in the beta cells of type II diabetics.
In supraphysiological concentrations, biotin promotes the transcription and
translation of the GK gene in hepatocytes; this effect appears to be mediated by
activation of soluble guanylate cyclase. More recent evidence indicates that
biotin likewise increases GK activity in islet cells. On the other hand,
high-dose biotin suppresses hepatocyte transcription of phosphoenolpyruvate
carboxykinase, the rate-limiting enzyme for gluconeogenesis. Administration of
high-dose biotin has improved glycemic control in several diabetic animals
models, and a recent Japanese clinical study concludes that biotin (3 mg t.i.d.
orally) can substantially lower fasting glucose in type II diabetics, without
side-effects. The recently demonstrated utility of chromium picolinate in type
II diabetes appears to reflect improved peripheral insulin sensitivity--a
parameter which is unlikely to be directly influenced by biotin. Thus, the joint
administration of supranutritional doses of biotin and chromium picolinate is
likely to combat insulin resistance, improve beta-cell function, enhance
postprandial glucose uptake by both liver and skeletal muscle, and inhibit
excessive hepatic glucose production. Conceivably, this safe, convenient,
nutritional regimen will constitute a definitive therapy for many type II
diabetics, and may likewise be useful in the prevention and management of
gestational diabetes. Biotin should also aid glycemic control in type I
Thyroid disease and diabetes
A DGReview of :"Practical
Pointers: Thyroid Disease and Diabetes"
By Mark Greener
Thyroid disease is widespread and prevalence increases with advancing
age. However, as assessing thyroid function is reliable and
inexpensive, certain high-risk groups - such as neonates, the elderly
and diabetics - should undergo regular screening, a recent review
Thryoid dysfunctions complicate diabetes management and the diagnosis
of diabetes complications, the paper adds. For example, 6.6 per cent
of the general population suffers from thyroid dysfunction, compared
to between 10.8 and 13.4 per cent of people with diabetes. It is easy
to understand the high prevalence of thyroid disease in women with
type 1 diabetes - they are at greater risk because of their diabetes
and because thyroid disease is more prevalent in women. In addition,
postpartum thyroiditis is three times more common among women with
diabetes than the non-diabetic population.
Clinically, thyroid dysfunction may undermine diabetes control. For
example, hyperthyroidism may worsen glycaemic control and increase
insulin requirements. Indeed, thyrotoxicosis may unmask subclinial
diabetes. The author points to three issues which arise from this:
· Hyperglycaemia may improve during thyrotoxicosis treatment.
· Unexplained worsening hyperglycaemia may be due to hyperthyroidism.
· Hyperthyroidism may lead to poor glycaemic control.
While hypothyroidism markedly alters carbohydrate metabolism, such
changes are rarely clinically significant. However, as less insulin is
degraded, the exogenous insulin requirement may be lower. Moreover,
hypothyroidism often produces dyslipidaemias, including elevated
triglyceride and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol
concentrations. Therefore, hypothyroidism can exacerbate coexisting
dyslipidaemias in type 2 diabetes. Thyroxine reverses these lipid
Postpartum transient thyroid dysfunction is common. As glucose control
may fluctuate, the author stresses the importance of monitoring
thyroid function - approximately 30 per cent of women do not recover
and require thyroxine replacement.
The author notes that diagnosing thyroid dysfunction can be difficult.
For example, poor glycaemic control produces symptoms similar to
hyperthyroidism, such as weight loss despite increased appetite as
well as fatigue. Clinicians need to be careful not to confuse severe
diabetic nephropathy and hypothyroidism: both produce oedema, fatigue,
pallor and weight gains. Finally, poorly controlled diabetes may alter
Against this background, the serum TSH immunoassay offers the most
reliable and sensitive screening test for thyroid dysfunction.
However, screening for anti-thyroid peroxidase (TPO) antibodies in
people with type 1 diabetes may predict autoimmune thyroid disorders.
Management is generally similar to that in the non-diabetic
population. However, the author warns that L-thyroxine therapy may
exacerbate angina by increasing myocardial contractility and heart
rate. She adds that clinicians should consider treating subclinical
hypothyroidism if patients either have elevated serum LDL cholesterol
exacerbated by hypothyroidism or detectable serum anti-TPO antibodies.
The author concludes that thyroid dysfunction is common among diabetic
patients and can produce metabolic disturbances. Therefore, regularly
screening diabetic patients allows early treatment. Type 1 patients
expressing anti-TPO antibodies should be screened annually. In anti-TPO
negative patients, a TSH assay every two to three years suffices.
Among patients suffering from type 2 diabetes, clinicians should
consider a TSH at diagnosis and then at least every five years.
The role of trace elements in juvenile diabetes
Tuvemo T, Gebre-Medhin M.
There is accumulating evidence that the metabolism of several
trace elements is altered in insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus
and that these nutrients might have specific roles in the
pathogenesis and progress of this disease. Magnesium deficiency is
the most evident disturbance of metal metabolism in diabetes
mellitus. Hypomagnesemia might increase the risk of ischemic heart
disease and severe retinopathy. Increased urinary loss of zinc is
a commonly encountered feature of diabetes. High-dose oral zinc
might enhance wound healing, although data regarding diabetes are
lacking. Chromium increases tissue sensitivity to insulin and
tends to raise high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol and the
HDL:low-density lipoprotein ratio. Selenium is involved in
processes which protect the cell against oxidative damage by
peroxides produced from lipid metabolism. There is one report of
elevated serum selenium in diabetic children although the clinical
significance of this finding is still unclear. An insulin-like
effect has recently been attributed to vanadium in experimental
animals, a finding of potential interest to man. Current knowledge
does not implicate iron, iodine, manganese, cobalt, nickel,
silicone, fluoride, molybdenum or tin in the pathophysiology of
diabetes. Appropriate trace element supplementation might prove
beneficial in ameliorating some physiological deficiencies
associated with diabetes and prevent or retard secondary
complications. However, properly designed and well-documented
trials, especially on magnesium supplementation, need to be
performed before rationales for such supplementation are
developed. The potential roles of vanadium, chromium and selenium
in diabetes constitute challenging areas for further experimental
and clinical research.
|Diabetes Res Clin Pract 1990 Aug-Sep;10(1):59-63
Early increase in histamine concentration in the islets
of Langerhans isolated from rats made diabetic with streptozotocin.
Azevedo MS, Silva IJ, Raposo JF, Neto IF, Falcao JG, Manso CF
Instituto de Quimica Fisiologica, Faculdade de Medicina, Lisboa, Portugal.
Sprague-Dawley rats were separated in 4 groups. G1 received streptozotocin
(ST). G2 received nicotinamide (NC) followed by ST. G3 was a NC control and
G4 was a citrate control. The rats were sacrificed after 28 h and the islets
isolated. Histamine and histaminase were determined. In the islets there was
an increase in histamine content in G1 and a smaller increase in G2. The
first two groups differ significantly and also in relation to the control
groups. A decrease in islet histaminase does not seem responsible for the
increased histamine, since group 2 (NC + ST) which had no diabetes, had a
lower activity than group 1 (ST). It is suggested that histamine liberation
by ST may be related to the diabetogenic effect of this drug.
PMID: 1701117, UI: 91065188
REGULAR PHYSICAL ACTIVITY HALVES DIABETES RISK IN POSTMENOPAUSAL WOMEN
Postmenopausal women who engage in any physical activity on a regular basis
are approximately half as likely to develop type 2 diabetes as those who
rarely or never exercise, according to study results published in the
January issue of the American Journal of Public Health.
WESTPORT, Mar 30 (Reuters Health) - Despite concerns that thiazide diuretics
beta-blockers may promote the development of type 2 diabetes mellitus, the
results of a new study indicate that only beta-blockers are associated with
The findings appear in the March 30th issue of the New England Journal of
Medicine. One of the study's authors told Reuters Health, "We want to
yellow alert about beta-blockers," but the risk of diabetes should
be weighed against the proven cardiovascular benefits of beta-blockers.
Dr. Frederick L. Brancati, of Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore,
said that the findings should alleviate concerns about most antihypertensive
medications, including diuretics. He and his and colleagues with the
Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study, analyzed data on 12,550
subjects age 45 to 64 years. Examination at baseline included blood-pressure
measurement and assessment of medications.
At 3 and 6 years, participants were screened for diabetes based on fasting
Overall, patients with hypertension were 2.5 times more likely than
nonhypertensives to develop type 2 diabetes mellitus, the researchers report.
After adjustment for potential confounders, patients taking a thiazide
angiotensin-converting-enzyme (ACE) inhibitor or calcium-channel antagonist
not have a greater risk of developing diabetes than those not taking any
antihypertensive medications. But the relative hazard for diabetes mellitus
patients taking a beta-blocker.
Based on the results, "concern about increasing the risk of diabetes
discourage physicians from prescribing thiazide diuretics for the treatment
hypertension in adults," the authors write. They also note while
do appear to raise the risk of diabetes, "but this adverse effect must
weighed against the proven benefits of beta-blockers in reducing the risk of
In an editorial accompanying the study, Dr. James R. Sowers, of the State
University of New York Health Science Center at Brooklyn, and Dr. George L.
Bakris, of Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke's Medical Center in Chicago, Illinois,
call for prospective studies to determine whether using ACE inhibitors along
with beta-blockers might counteract the increased risk of diabetes.
"Until such studies are conducted, beta-blockers will continue to have
important therapeutic role in patients with hypertension who have known
artery disease and in hypertensive patients who have diabetes, a population
which the prevalence of underlying coronary disease is high," they
N Engl J Med 2000;342:905-912,969-970.
Alterations of antioxidant tissue defense enzymes and related metabolic
parameters in streptozotocin-diabetic rats--effects of iodine treatment.
Winkler R; Moser M
Department of Physiology, Paracelsus Institute, Bad Hall.
Wien Klin Wochenschr, 104(14):409-13 1992
This study reports on the effect of streptozotocin (STZ) induced diabetes on
water soluble-SH and -SS, as well as on hepatic glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px),
catalase and superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity and on
malondialdehyde (MDA) content. In addition, we determined serum concentrations
of glucose, cholesterol, triglycerides and thyroxine, and thyroid weight. To
elucidate the possible impact of exogenous iodine on impaired free radical
tissue defense mechanisms STZ-diabetic rats were exposed to iodine brine
providing for a daily iodide uptake of about 300 micrograms/kg body weight. STZ-exposure
caused a decline in thyroid weight (p less than 0.01) and in total serum
thyroxine (p less than 0.001), as well as a fall in hepatic catalase (CAT)
activity (p less than 0.01) versus control group. Impairment of catalase
activity was related to serum glucose level (r = -0.569, p less than 0.01),
while hepatic MDA was positively related to serum glucose (r = + 0.5, p less
than 0.01). No protective effects of iodine brine were seen with regard to
impairment by STZ of antioxidant enzyme status. We conclude that impairment by
STZ of antioxidant enzymes may contribute to STZ-dependent experimental
WESTPORT, Mar 22 (Reuters Health) - Regardless of dietary patterns,
African-American children have an increased risk of type 2 diabetes compared
with white children, according to a report in the March issue of the American
Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
Dr. Michael I. Goran and colleagues at the University of Southern California
in Los Angeles, California, evaluated the diets of 54 white children and 41
African-American children based on three 24-hour recalls. They also measured
total cholesterol, triacylglycerol, insulin sensitivity and acute insulin
Cholesterol levels were not significantly different between the groups, the
researchers report, and triacylglycerol levels were significantly lower among
African Americans. However, acute insulin response was increased among African
Americans, and insulin sensitivity was lower.
"Intake of fruit and vegetables was significantly higher, and dairy
intake lower, in African Americans than in white children after adjustment for
social class and total energy intake," Dr. Goran's team found.
"However, neither macronutrient nor food group intake accounted for the
ethnic differences in triacylglycerol and acute insulin response."
The investigators did find several associations between diet and insulin.
According to the report, "carbohydrates and fruit intakes were positively
associated with insulin sensitivity...and vegetable intake was negatively
associated with acute insulin response."
In an editorial in the same journal, Dr. Sidika E. Kasim-Karakas, from the
University of California at Davis writes, "Although [these researchers
suggest] that dietary factors are not responsible for the insulin resistance in
African Americans, it also shows that a high vegetable intake may have a
favorable effect on insulin sensitivity. Further understanding of the mechanisms
of the ethnic differences in insulin resistance will be important to reducing
the morbidity and mortality related to diabetes mellitus and coronary artery
Am J Clin Nutr 2000;71:725-732.
VEGAN DIET HELPS CONTROL DIABETES
WESTPORT, Sep 13 (Reuters Health) - A low-fat, vegetarian diet can help
improve glycemic control in patients with type diabetes, and reduce the need for
oral hypoglycemic medication even in the absence of exercise or controlled
In addition, patients who adhere to the vegan diet lose more weight than
those consuming a conventional low-fat diet for 12 weeks, Dr. Andrew S.
Nicholson, of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine in Washington,
DC, and colleagues report in the August issue of Preventive Medicine.
The investigators randomized 12 patients with noninsulin-dependent diabetes
mellitus to one of the two diets for 12 weeks.
During the study, fasting serum glucose dropped an average of 28% in patients
on the low-fat vegan diet and 12% in those randomized to the conventional
low-fat diet. Mean weight loss was 7.2 kg in the vegan group and 3.8 kg in the
conventional group, according to the report.
One of six patients in the vegan group completely discontinued oral
hypoglycemic medication during the study while three patients were able to
reduce their dosage of these agents. By comparison, "[n]o patients in the
control group reduced medication use," the investigators point out.
High-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol levels declined in both groups
during the study, more so in vegan patients, but this change did not appear
"...to be associated with elevated atherosclerotic risk in the context of a
low total serum cholesterol concentration."
Although the findings appear promising, the study was small and the authors
warn that the results require confirmation through further research.
Prev Med 1999;29:87-91.
Preliminary observation on the metabolism in spontaneous hereditary diabetic
Chinese hamster (Shanyi colony).
Hu M; Wu Y; Wu H
Institute of Metabolism and Endocrinology, Second Affiliated Hospital, Hunan
Medical University, Hunan Province, China.
Chin Med J (Engl), 110(9):711-4 1997 Sep
OBJECTIVE: To observe the changes of tissue lithium content
and its relationship with glucose metabolism in spontaneous hereditary
diabetic Chinese hamsters (SHDCH). METHODS: Twenty diabetic and ten normal
Chinese hamsters were paired and separated randomly into four groups: controls
(C), diabetics (D), controls treated with lithium carbonate (CT)
and diabetics treated with lithium carbonate (DT). The lithium
carbonate treatment was administrated with drinking water containing lithium
carbonate (0.2 mg/ml). Blood glucose levels were determined at 0, 1, 3, 5, 6th
month, and insulin levels at 1, 3, 6th month. The lithium
contents in liver, kidney and muscles were determined at the end of 6th month,
using wet digestion assay and ICP-AES. Concentrations of fructosamine, lactic
acid, GPT, BUN were also evaluated. RESULTS: The data showed that in Group D
the lithium levels in hepatic tissue were lower than in Group C
(P < 0.05), and lithium contents in kidney and muscle also
decreased. In Group DT, the lithium contents in tissues were
higher than in Group D (P < 0.05) and similar to Group C. Blood glucose
levels and fructosamine concentrations decreased while insulin and lactic acid
levels did not alter significantly. GPT and BUN levels did not change in both
Group CT and Group DT. CONCLUSIONS: There is lithium deficiency
in hepatic, renal and muscular tissues from diabetic Chinese hamsters.
Low-dose and six-month-treatments of lithium carbonate can
improve tissue lithium deficiency and glucose metabolism, and do
not damage liver and kidney functions.
Growth Hormone Therapy May Accelerate Onset of Type 2 Diabetes in Predisposed
WESTPORT, Feb 18 (Reuters Health) - Children with glucose disorders who are
treated with growth hormone (GH) develop type 2 diabetes at a rate six times
that of children not treated with GH, researchers report in the February 19th
issue of The Lancet.
Using the Pharmacia and Upjohn International Growth Study database, Dr. Wayne
S. Cutfield, of the University of Auckland in New Zealand, and a multinational
team determined that 43 of 23,333 children treated with growth hormone had
confirmed glucose disorders, including 11 children with type 1 diabetes and 18
with type 2. Most children who developed diabetes were in puberty and had
received GH for several years.
Among the children with type 1 diabetes, the incidence of disease and age at
diagnosis did not differ from expected values, Dr. Cutfield's group reports. But
among type 2 diabetics, disease incidence "was 34.4 cases per 100,000 years
of GH treatment, which was sixfold higher than the incidence in children not
treated with GH."
Discontinuation of GH therapy did not resolve type 2 diabetes. This
"excludes a transient drug-induced effect such as that seen with high-dose
glucocorticoid treatment," the authors note.
Dr. Cutfield and colleagues conclude that "GH therapy may...have
hastened the onset of type 2 diabetes that would have occurred in adult life
without GH therapy."
The authors recommend "that each child's glucose status be determined
before starting GH therapy by measurement of hemoglobin A1c and fasting plasma
glucose and insulin concentration." In addition, they say, "follow-up
of patients is important for children with disorders at high risk of type 2
diabetes mellitus, such as obesity, Turner's syndrome, intrauterine growth
retardation, Prader-Willi syndrome, and GH deficiency secondary to other
In an editorial, Dr. William Jeffcoate of City Hospital in Nottingham, UK,
says that the findings add weight to the case that widespread use of GH is not
"In view of the possibility of a link between serum insulin-like growth
factor-1 and carcinoma of the breast, prostate, and colon, the possibility of an
adverse effect of GH on lipoprotein(a)1, the relation between fasting serum GH
(within the normal range) and mortality in the Paris prospective study, and,
now, the chance that some patients treated with GH might develop diabetes, the
sceptical minority have a case," Dr. Jeffcoate says.
Vanadate, molybdate and tungstate for orthomolecular medicine.
Department of Chemistry, University of Massachusetts, Amherst 01002.
Med Hypotheses, 43(3):177-82 1994 Sep
Recent studies indicate that oxyanions, such as vanadate (V) or vanadyl
(IV), cause insulin-like effects on rats by stimulating the insulin receptor
tyrosine kinase. Tungstate (VI) and molybdate (VI) show the same
effects on rat adipocytes and hepatocytes. Results of uncontrolled trials on
volunteers accumulated in Japan also suggest that tungstate
effectively regulates diabetes mellitus without detectable side effects. Since
these oxyanions naturally exist in organisms, oxyanion therapy, the oral
administration of vanadate, vanadyl, molybdate, or tungstate,
can be considered to be orthomolecular medicine. Therefore, these oxyanions
may provide a viable alternative to chemotherapy. Many diseases in addition to
diabetes mellitus might also be treated since the implication of these results
is that tyrosine kinases are involved in a variety of diseases.
Insulin-like actions of tungstate in diabetic rats. Normalization of hepatic
Barber`a A; RodrŽiguez-Gil JE; Guinovart JJ
Department of Biochemistry and Physiology, School of Chemistry, University
of Barcelona, Spain.
J Biol Chem, 269(31):20047-53 1994 Aug 5
Oral administration of tungstate for 15 days normalized glycemia in
streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats. Simultaneously, the alterations in
hepatic glucose metabolism due to diabetes were almost completely counteracted
by this treatment. Thus, 6-phosphofructo-2-kinase, L-pyruvate kinase, and
glycogen phosphorylase alpha activities reached levels similar to those
observed in healthy animals. Hepatic levels of fructose 2,6-bisphosphate and
glycogen also recovered. However, the recovery of glucokinase activity and
hepatic levels of glucose 6-phosphate was only partial. The total activity of
glycogen synthase increased, although the activation state was not recovered.
Moreover, mRNA levels of hepatic glucokinase, glycogen phosphorylase, and
phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase were also normalized. Tungstate
administration in healthy animals also affected all these parameters, although
to a much lesser extent. All these effects were similar to those previously
reported for vanadate, suggesting a common mechanism of action in vivo.
The following study indicates that while zinc and
magnesium levels in diabetics are normal, copper levels are high. This
may mean that iron levels are low, and this would be great additional
information to determine what is deficient that is making copper levels
|Postgrad Med J 1998 Nov;74(877):665-8
Copper, zinc, and magnesium levels in non-insulin
dependent diabetes mellitus.
Zargar AH, Shah NA, Masoodi SR, Laway BA, Dar FA, Khan AR, Sofi
FA, Wani AI
Department of Endocrinology, Institute of Medical Sciences, Soura,
Srinagar, Kashmir, India.
A relationship has been reported between trace elements and diabetes
mellitus. This study evaluated the role of such a relationship in 83
patients with non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus (40 men and 43
women), with a mean duration of diabetes of 3.9 +/- 3.6 years.
Patients with nephropathy were excluded. Thirty healthy non-diabetic
subjects were studied for comparative analysis. Subjects were
subdivided into obese and non-obese. Diabetic subjects were also
subdivided into controlled and uncontrolled groups; control was
based on fasting blood glucose and serum fructosamine levels. Plasma
copper, zinc and magnesium levels were analysed using a GBC 902
double beam atomic absorption spectrophotometer. Plasma zinc and
magnesium levels were comparable between diabetic and non-diabetic
subjects, while copper levels were significantly elevated (p <
0.01) in diabetic patients. Age, sex, duration and control of
diabetes did not influence copper, zinc, or magnesium
concentrations. We conclude that zinc and magnesium levels are not
altered in diabetes mellitus, but the increased copper levels found
in diabetics in our study may merit further investigation of the
relationship between copper and non-insulin dependent diabetes
PMID: 10197198, UI: 99212947
Cow's Milk May Increase Child's Risk Of Type 1 Diabetes
|June 14, 2000
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Consuming large quantities of cow's milk
during childhood may increase the risk of developing type 1 diabetes in
children who are already genetically susceptible to the disorder,
results of a study suggest.
The team of Finnish researchers found that children who had a sibling
with diabetes were more than five times as likely to develop the
autoimmune disorder if they drank more than half a liter (about three
glasses) of cow's milk a day, compared with children who drank less
The study findings, published in the June issue of Diabetes, add to
an ongoing debate over the role of cow's milk in the onset of type 1
``Our study is the first prospective study to suggest that cow's milk
consumption during childhood is related to development of clinical
diabetes in siblings of children with diabetes,'' lead author Dr. Suvi
M. Virtanen with the University of Tampere, Finland, told Reuters
However, more studies are needed to assess the possible interaction
between genetic disease susceptibility and dietary exposures in the
development of the disease, Virtanen added.
While it is not clear which component of cow's milk may increase risk
of diabetes, researchers suspect that one of several proteins may be to
blame, Virtanen explained. Similarly, it is not known how cow's milk
increases the risk of type 1 diabetes, although Virtanen suspects that
it may ``program the immune system in a direction favoring an immune
attack against insulin producing cells.''
Type 1 diabetes is usually diagnosed in children or in adults younger
than 30. The disorder is caused by an abnormal immune reaction that
destroys the cells of the pancreas that produce insulin, the hormone
that regulates blood sugar. People with type 1 diabetes usually take
life-long insulin injections to regulate their blood sugar.
The investigators looked at children who consumed cow's milk in the
first year of life and followed up when children were age 3 to 19. Some
children had a sibling with type 1 diabetes and were examined for a
genetic predisposition to the disorder.
Results show that children who developed diabetes were more likely to
have consumed at least three glasses of milk daily before entering the
study. The number of diabetics and nondiabetics who had breast-fed for
at least 2 months or had received some cow's milk before 2 months of age
did not differ, researchers found.
A greater number of children who developed diabetes were genetically
susceptible to the disease. Seventy-nine percent of these children
carried a particular genetic variation associated with diabetes while
only 30% of those who did not develop diabetes were found to have this
SOURCE: Diabetes 2000;49:912-917.
Niacin May Be Alternative to Statins for Diabetics With Peripheral
WESTPORT, Sep 13 (Reuters Health) - Patients with type 2 diabetes who
receive lipid-modifying doses of niacin show a significant increase in
high-density lipoprotein cholesterol and a significant decrease in
triglycerides and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels, according
to results from the Arterial Disease Multiple Intervention Trial.
Dr. Marshall B. Elam, of the University of Tennessee, Memphis, and a
multicenter team studied 468 patients with peripheral arterial disease,
of whom 125 were diabetic. The team randomized all patients to receive
either niacin, 3000 mg/day or the maximum tolerated dose, or placebo.
Sixty-four diabetic patients received niacin, as did 173 nondiabetics.
The trial ran for 60 weeks, which included a 12-week run-in period.
"Niacin use significantly increased HDL cholesterol by 29% and
29% and decreased triglycerides by 23% and 28% and LDL cholesterol by 8%
and 9%, respectively, in participants with and without diabetes,"
the research team reports in the September 13th issue of The
Journal of the American Medical Association.
In the subjects receiving placebo, Dr. Elam and colleagues detected
"increases of 0% and 2% in HDL cholesterol and increases of 7% and
0% in triglycerides, and increases of 1% and 1% in LDL
cholesterol." They also noted that glucose levels increased by 8.7
mg/dL in diabetics receiving niacin and by 6.3 mg/dL in the nondiabetics
receiving niacin. All changes were statistically significant.
Additionally, Dr. Elam's group saw "no significant differences
in niacin discontinuation, niacin dosage, or hypoglycemic therapy in
participants with diabetes assigned to niacin versus placebo."
"Despite current recommendations against use of niacin in
diabetes, the present study demonstrates that lipid-modifying doses of
immediate-release niacin can be used safely in patients with stable,
controlled, type 2 diabetes mellitus," Dr. Elam and associates
Moreover, they add, "niacin therapy may be considered as an
alternative to statin drugs or fibrates in patients with diabetes in
whom these agents are not tolerated, or in whom they fail to
sufficiently correct hypertriglyceridemia or low HDL cholesterol."
The following article about cinnamon combined
with the anecdotal stories of cinnamon cravings in persons with thyroid disease
makes me wonder if there is something more in cinnamon than mentioned here.
Perhaps cinnamon accumulates some nutrient that is important in correcting
Cinnamon May Help Control Blood Sugar
Cinnamon may significantly help people with type 2
diabetes improve their ability to regulate their blood sugar. As a matter of
fact, this study found that it increased glucose metabolism 20-fold.
In a test tube and in animal studies, the spice
appeared to increase glucose metabolism by about 20 times.
Clinical trials using a cinnamon extract on humans
are due to begin in 6 months.
Researchers maintain that this could be a good means
of lowering or controlling blood glucose levels at very little cost and
could prove helpful to millions of people.
Approximately 16 million Americans suffer from
diabetes with 95% of them having type 2 diabetes, where the body's cells
fail to recognize insulin.
As a result, the amount of sugar in the blood
remains high, leading to fatigue, blurred vision, and other problems. Over
the long term, excess blood glucose can increase the risk of heart disease,
kidney failure and blindness.
Diabetes is the seventh-leading cause of death in
the US, according to the American Diabetes Association. Yet, because of its
influence in raising the risk of other problems, particularly heart disease,
diabetes may be responsible for many more deaths than is attributed to it.
Dr. Richard A. Anderson, lead scientist at the
Beltsville, Maryland-based Human Nutrition Research Center, a branch of the US
Department of Agriculture (USDA), explained that his mostly unpublished research
shows that a compound in cinnamon called methylhydroxy chalcone polymer (MHCP)
makes fat cells more responsive to insulin by activating an enzyme that causes
insulin to bind to cells and inhibiting the enzyme that blocks this process.
While it is too soon to recommend the spice as a regular
treatment for type 2 diabetes, Dr. Anderson said patients could try adding 1/4 -
1 teaspoon of cinnamon to their food. "The worst that will happen is it
won't do any good and the best is that it will help dramatically," he
Preliminary Findings Announced
by the USDA August, 2000.
|The following study offers
evidence that cadmium may be a factor in diabetes. If this is true then
persons with diabetes may need to restrict intake of green leafy
vegetables and other high cadmium foods.
Cigarette Smoking May Increase Risk of Diabetes
WESTPORT, CT (Reuters Health) Nov 29 - The results of a prospective
study of more than 21,000 physicians indicate that smoking is associated
with a substantial increase in the incidence of type II diabetes
mellitus, researchers report in the November issue of the American
Journal of Medicine.
"Smoking increases blood glucose levels after an oral glucose
challenge and may impair insulin sensitivity," Dr. JoAnn E. Manson,
of Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, and colleagues point out, which
is one of the reasons why there may be a causal association between
smoking and diabetes.
To investigate, the researchers examined the relationship between
smoking and type II diabetes in a prospective cohort study of 21,068 US
male physicians between the ages of 40 and 84 years. At the time of
enrollment in 1982, none of the subjects had a diagnosis of diabetes
mellitus, cardiovascular disease or cancer.
After an average of 12 years follow-up, 770 cases of type II diabetes
mellitus were identified. Compared with those who had never smoked,
smokers of 20 or more cigarettes daily had a 2.1 relative risk of
diabetes. For fewer than 20 cigarettes daily, the corresponding figure
was 1.4. For past smokers, the relative risk was 1.2.
After adjusting for factors such as body mass index and physical
activity, the relative risks were 1.7 for smokers of 20 or more
cigarettes daily, 1.5 for smokers of fewer than 20 cigarettes daily, and
1.1 for past smokers, compared with those who had never smoked. Total
pack-years of smoking were also associated with increased risk.
The researchers conclude that "smoking is an independent and
modifiable determinant of type II diabetes mellitus." Populations
at high risk of the condition, they add, "should be considered for
special targeted smoking interventions."
Am J Med 2000;109:538-542.
Tungstate Improves Glucose Homeostasis in Diabetic Rats
|Sci Total Environ 2000 Apr 17;249(1-3):123-31
A syndrome of molybdenosis, copper deficiency, and type 2
diabetes in the moose population of south-west Sweden.
Frank A, Sell DR, Danielsson R, Fogarty JF, Monnier VM
Department of Clinical Chemistry, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Swedish
University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala. firstname.lastname@example.org
Since the mid-1980s, a 'mysterious' disease has been afflicting the moose (Alces
alces L.) population of south-western Sweden. Molybdenosis combined with
secondary copper deficiency syndrome has been suggested as the cause of the
clinical signs and of necropsy findings, supported by trace element
analysis. Copper deficiency has long been associated with disturbed
carbohydrate metabolism and also with oxidative stress. When testing the
oxidative stress hypothesis, we found increased concentrations of the
glycoxidation products pentosidine and carboxymethyl-lysine (CML), both in
plasma proteins and in renal tissue, when compared with control values. The
concentration of glycated lysine (furosine), a marker of hyperglycaemia, was
also increased. These data, together with elevated insulin levels in
affected moose, strongly suggest that they are suffering from an
environmentally-induced, non-insulin-dependent type 2 diabetes.
WESTPORT, CT (Reuters Health) Feb 13 - Administration of sodium tungstate
markedly reduces glycemia in a rat model of type 2 diabetes, Spanish researchers
report in the January issue of Diabetes.
Dr. Joan J. Guinovart from Universitat de Barcelona and colleagues have
previously shown that tungstate lowers blood glucose levels in rats made insulin
deficient to simulate type 1 diabetes. In the current study, the researchers
administered tungstate orally to 7.5-week-old Zucker diabetic fatty rats, which
are "considered the closest available rat model to human type 2 diabetes
associated with obesity."
The animals had begun to show hyperglycemia, and the treatment temporarily
reversed this for about 10 days. Glucose levels then rose again but stabilized
at about 200 mg/dL at day 24. In contrast, the glucose level of untreated rats
rose to a maximum value of 450 mg/dL.
Tungstate treatment caused serum triglyceride levels to fall by 42%, and
normalized hepatic concentrations of glucose-6-phosphate. The researchers also
found that the treatment led to 55% higher glycogen levels in the liver compared
with untreated diabetic or healthy rats. Treatment did not cause a significant
change in phosphotyrosine-modified proteins in cultured hepatocytes from
"These data suggest that tungstate administration to Zucker diabetic
fatty rats causes a considerable reduction of glycemia, mainly through a partial
restoration of hepatic glucose metabolism and a decrease in lipotoxicity,"
Dr. Guinovart and colleagues conclude.
Vitamin E Shows Promise In Treating Diabetes
|June 5, 2001
WASHINGTON (Hearst Newspapers) - Break out that jar of wheat germ in
the back of the refrigerator because it might help save your life if you
Scientists are assessing research that suggests high dosages of Vitamin
E - naturally found in wheat germ, vegetable oils, margarine, whole-grain
breads, nuts and peanut butter - may help stave off the ravages of
The complications from diabetes can be devastating, including heart
disease, eye and nerve damage, leading to amputations and kidney failure.
About 16 million Americans have the disease, which is caused by a
deficiency of insulin, a hormone secreted by the pancreas and that is
essential for converting sugar, starches and other foods into energy for
cells. Lacking insulin, sugars build up in the blood rather than entering
cells to fuel them. The result is that the body's cells literally can
starve to death, causing the complications.
At the same time, the unprocessed sugar damages the weakened cell
Some 798,000 new cases of diabetes are diagnosed annually in the United
States. It is a chronic disease that has no cure and is the seventh
leading cause of death in the United States, according to the Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.
Diabetes has two major subsets. In Type 1 diabetes, most often
occurring in children and young adults, the body does not produce insulin
and patients must take daily insulin injections to live. Type 1 accounts
for about 10 percent of all diabetes cases.
In Type 2 diabetes, the body either doesn't make enough insulin or
doesn't properly use it to convert foods. This is the most common form of
the disease, comprising about 90 percent of all cases. Weight loss and
exercise can control many of these cases.
African-Americans, Hispanic-Americans, American Indians and some Asian
Americans and Pacific Islanders are at particularly high risk for Type 2
diabetes. Scientists believe high doses of Vitamin E help diabetics on at
least two levels.
First, the vitamin acts as an antioxidant, a kind of chemical shield
that protects cells against free radicals - potentially damaging
byproducts of the body's metabolism. The U.S. National Institutes of
Health in Bethesda, Md., says that free radicals can cause cell damage
that may contribute to heart disease and certain cancers. And diabetics
have an abnormally large supply of free radicals triggered by the high
level of sugars, or glucose, in the blood.
Second, Vitamin E appears to arrest the effects of glucose. Dr. George
King, professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and research
director of the Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston, explained that high
glucose levels stimulate the development of an enzyme - known as PKC -
that is particularly dangerous to diabetics.
"For some reason that isn't clear yet, Vitamin E in high doses not
only is an antioxidant but it also inhibits the enzyme PKC. When that is
done, you reverse or stop or prevent many of the blood-vessel
complications we find in diabetes," said King, one the country's
leading Vitamin E researchers.
Damage to nerves, eyes, kidneys and heart appears to be slowed or
arrested in diabetics when they take large daily doses of the vitamin,
somewhere in the range of 1,000 international units or more. The typical
over-the-counter supplement is around 250 to 400 IUs.
Vitamin E "could have dramatic consequences if a larger clinical
trial showed that this can be helpful," King added.
Most of the studies showing a benefit have been conducted on small
numbers of diabetics, usually under 200 patients. King said large
pharmaceutical companies are reluctant to foot the bill for an expensive
study with thousands of participants because no single company has a
patent on the vitamin.
Likewise, the NIH tends to give vitamin studies low priority
"because it's not as sexy as other medical developments," King
Some of the strongest recent evidence for a benefit to diabetics comes
from researchers at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in
Dallas, where scientists found that Vitamin E reduced the risk of heart
failure in diabetics. Heart disease is one of the most serious side
effects of diabetes.
Researchers showed that Vitamin E curtailed the inflammation in blood
vessels of the heart. Left unchecked, the swelling of the vessels can lead
to heart disease. Researchers studied 75 patients who had Type 2 diabetes.
Test subjects received l,200 IUs of Vitamin E daily, and all of the
participants experienced a drop-off in inflammation. Dr. Sridevi Devaraj,
assistant professor of pathology and a lead researcher on the study, said
the results were very encouraging.
"The study showed that Vitamin E significantly decreases
micro-vascular complications" in diabetics, he said.
The American Diabetes Association says that some physicians prescribe
Vitamin E supplements with a potency of up to 800 IUs per day for
Anne Daly, a Springfield, Ill.-based dietitian and spokeswoman for the
ADA, says that the vitamin "is pretty low risk and a possible
benefit. But it's not a substitute for medicines people might be using
(such as insulin injections or other sugar-lowering drugs). It's an