Mediterranean diet and diabetes
Miguel Martinez-Gonzalez and colleagues at the University of Navarra in Spain writing in the British Medical Journal report that sticking closely to a Mediterranean-style diet may protect against the development of type 2 diabetes. Study participants were 13,380 healthy university graduates (average age 38). Their dietary habits were validated with a food frequency questionnaire when they were recruited and they were followed up, on average, for nearly 4½ years during which time 103 of them were diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. The researchers found that those who stuck closely to a Mediterranean style diet had a much lower risk of diabetes – high adherence was associated with an 83% relative reduction in the risk of developing diabetes. The authors conclude by calling for larger studies to confirm their findings.
Eat whole fruit not juiced and plenty of green leafy vegetables
The health benefits of eating plenty of fruit and vegetables are already well known but a study published in Diabetes Care in July reports that you need to be a bit choosy if your goal is to reduce your diabetes risk. Researchers from the Harvard Medical School and associates looked at the diets of more than 71,000 healthy women (at the start of the study) aged 38–63 for 18 years to see if there was a link between developing type 2 diabetes and fruit and vegetable consumption. The women completed a food questionnaire every four years. What did they find?
- An increase of 3 servings a day of whole fruit was associated with an 18% reduced risk of type 2 diabetes.
- An increase of 1 serve of green leafy vegetables a day was associated with a 9% reduced risk of diabetes.
- One extra serving of fruit juice a day was associated with an 18% increase in diabetes risk.
The take home message to reduce your diabetes risk, according to the researchers, is eat whole fruit not juiced and plenty of green leafy vegetables. They suggest replacing refined grains and white potatoes with fruits and vegetables and sound a note of caution against counting 100% fruit juice as a serving of fruit.
Low GI diet reduces cancer risk
A number of studies have shown a higher risk of colorectal cancer in people with diabetes and more recently another study found that women with diabetes were more than three times more likely to develop endometrial cancer than women without diabetes. Writing in the June issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Italian researchers report the conclusions of their meta-analysis of 39 studies looking at GI, GL and cancer risk (breast, colorectal, endometrial and pancreatic). They found that:
- A high GL diet increased the risk of colorectal cancer by 26% and endometrial cancer by 36%.
- A high GI diet increased the risk of colorectal cancer by 18% and endometrial cancer by 22%.
Glycosmedia separates the wheat from the chaff
Feel like you are drowning in diabetes information (research findings, news stories, journal articles) overload? This new website and free subscription email service may be just what you need to separate the wheat from the large amount of chaff.
Glycosmedia – www.glycosmedia.com – is an independent diabetes news service delivering the latest news and information. It’s specifically set up to cater to the needs of professionals working in the field of diabetes, both in the clinic and in research. But it will also be of interest to allied professionals and people with diabetes wanting to stay up to date with the latest developments.
Its point of difference from other online health/science news services is that the Glycos editorial team ‘hand picks’ and reviews all material (no automated trawling) making it a very cost effective way in terms of your time of keeping up to date with the latest reports and viewpoints, filtering out the press release type material.
GI News Chinese edition launched
A special Chinese edition of GI News is now available. Posted monthly, ginewschi.blogspot.com is edited by Selena Chan and translated into Traditional Chinese by Jimmy Louie – both Accredited Practising Dietitians. Jimmy is also a PhD student in the Human Nutrition Unit at the University of Sydney.
Diabetes and UTIs
Just as diabetes can cause complications such as heart disease and stroke, it also increases the risk for UTIs. Often, a recurring bladder infection prompts a physician to check a patient’s blood glucose level and leads to a diagnosis of diabetes. Possible reasons for increased susceptibility to UTIs are the effects of high blood glucose levels on the immune system, bacterial growth, bladder dysfunction, and the increased incidence of Candida or yeast infections. Check out a new NIDDK booklet titled “What I Need to Know About Urinary Tract Infections“.