Research into diabetes — its physiology, causes, and how best to beat it — is ongoing. Here a few updates on the latest research findings which should prove useful for controlling blood glucose levels and for avoiding the dreadful medical conditions type 2 diabetes can cause.
Here are some interesting snippets of research of interest to type 2 diabetics:
- Enhanced fitness improves kidney functions
- Some fruit and vegetables can help you control your weight
- A high protein breakfast improves weight management among adolescents
- Risk of fractures is higher in persons with type 2 diabetes
- No difference between low-carb and regular diets for diabetics
- Red wine is good for you
- Home cooling is best
 Enhanced fitness improves kidney function
As all of us type 2 diabetes know, diabetes can lead to a loss of kidney function and even result in the failure of this vital organ. Now there is evidence that exercise can help your kidneys to function properly.
According to Enhanced Fitness and Renal Function in Type 2 Diabetes, a study published recently in Diabetic Medicine: A Journal of the British Diabetic Association short-term exercise improves kidney function in those with more moderate kidney disease.
This conclusion was based on the effects a 12-week exercise programme had on 128 people with diabetes and mild kidney dysfunction. According to the researchers, enhanced fitness should be part of a programme to manage diabetic kidney disease.
The take-away message is simple: as a type 2 diabetic you should be following a fitness program, more so if you are beginning to experience problems with your kidneys.
You can read the article here:
 Some fruit and vegetables can help you control your weight
We all know that being overweight can trigger diabetes, and that to beat your diabetes you must lose weight and follow a plant-focused diet.
Recent research indicates that an increased consumption of fruit and non-starchy vegetables is associated with weight loss over time.
According to a study published in PLoS Medicine in September 2015, the association between changes in the intake of specific fruits and vegetables and change in weight in 133,468 men and women in the USA was followed for up to 24 years (1986 to 2010).
The study found that some particular fruits and vegetables may be more or less beneficial for maintaining or achieving a healthy weight because of differing nutrients they contain. In particular:
- increased intakes of fruits were associated with weight loss over 4-yearly periods;
- increased intakes of several vegetables, such as tofu (soy) and cauliflower, were also associated with weight loss; but
- increased intakes of starchy vegetables, including corn, peas, and potatoes, were associated with weight gain;
- vegetables with both higher fibre and lower glycemic load were more strongly associated with weight loss compared to lower-fibre, higher-glycemic-load vegetables.
The take-away message again is simple: as a type 2 diabetic you can control your weight by eating plenty of fruits that are low in sugar and plenty of non-starchy vegetables with high fibre and low glycemic loads.
 A high protein breakfast improves weight management among adolescents
A study published in the research journal Obesity in August 2015 found that a high-protein breakfast improved weight management among adolescents who would typically not eat breakfast.
Fifty-seven adolescents aged 19 (+/- 1 year) who usually did not eat breakfast were assigned to (a) continue to skip breakfast (SB), (b) eat a normal 13g-protein breakfast (NP) or (c) eat a high 35g-protein breakfast (HP).
Over the course of 12 weeks, the adolescents in the HP group showed lower increases in fat mass, reduced daily caloric intake, and decreased appetite compared with adolescents in the SB and NP groups.
The take-away message: make sure your kids eat a high-protein breakfast.
Read the full article here: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/oby.21185/abstract;jsessionid=7FA737DE19D29FB7ACEFBBF9332B61D5.f01t03
 Risk of fractures is higher in persons with type 2 diabetes
A recent study suggests that the risk of fractures is higher in individuals with type 2 diabetes and, in fact, bone density that is within the normal range does not imply a reduced risk of fractures for persons with diabetes.
Type 2 Diabetes and the Skeleton: New Insights into Sweet Bones was published in September 2015 in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology. Following a meta-review of previous studies, this study concluded that there is substantial evidence to show that skeletal fragility should be considered among the complications associated with type 2 diabetes, such as neuropathy, kidney disease, eye damage and an increased risk of heart disease and stroke.
The study found that individuals with type 2 diabetes have an increased risk of fracture risks, even if they have normal bone mineral density (BMD) and high BMI–factors which generally protect against fractures.
However, the mechanisms underlying skeletal fragility in diabetes are not completely understood. In persons with diabetes, the effects of obesity, high blood glucose, oxidative stress etc is likely to be leading to altered bone metabolism, structure, and strength.
The take-away message is that BMD measurements underestimate the risk of fractures in people with type 2 diabetes.
 No difference between low-carb and regular diets for diabetics
A meta-study published in Diabetic Medicine: A Journal of the British Diabetic Association in October 2015 has shown that there are no significant difference in the control of blood glucose levels between persons on regular diets and those on low-carbohydrate diets (LCDs).
A comprehensive search of databases using stringent inclusion criteria was undertaken and 12 high-quality studies of low-carbohydrate diets in type 2 diabetes were found.
The inclusion criteria for the studies required that the studies be controlled trials of at least 4 weeks, and that the subjects be people aged 18 years or more with Type 2 diabetes, who had a maximum carbohydrate intake of 45% of total energy intake per day.
The combination of the 12 studies found that there are no significant differences in metabolic markers, including control of blood glucose, between people on regular and low-carbohydrate diets.
The authors of the present study suggest that previous inconsistent findings from meta-analyses were due the variable quality of those studies.
The take-away message is that going on a low-carb diet will not help you control your blood glucose levels and that daily total energy intake remains the main way you can use diet to control your body weight.
Read the article: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/dme.12964/abstract
 Red wine is good for you
Moderate consumption of red wine is safe and helps to decrease cardio-metabolic risk among patients with well-controlled diabetes who are following the Mediterranean diet, according to a study published online n October in the Annals of Internal Medicine.
Cardio-metabolic risk refers to your chances of getting diabetes, heart disease or stroke.
The researchers randomly assigned 224 patients (who normally did not drink alcohol) 150 millilitres of mineral water, white wine, or red wine with dinner for two years. All the patients followed a Mediterranean diet without caloric restriction.
The patients were followed up at the end of the first year and at the end of the second year. Of the 224 who initially participated, 94 percent were still adhering to their assigned beverage at the end of year one and 87 percent at the end of the second year.
The researchers found that red wine significantly increased high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL) levels and decreased the total cholesterol/HDL ratio.
Both red and white wine had significant beneficial effects on glycemic control (fasting blood glucose and haemoglobin A1c). But this was only seen in those who metabolised ethanol slowly. Compared with water, red wine had a significantly beneficial effect on metabolic syndrome.
The takeaway message is that moderate amounts of either red or white wine can play an important role in the metabolism of glucose but that the more beneficial effects of red wine involve the non-alcoholic constituents of that beverage
 Home cooking is best
More home-cooked meals may reduce the risk of getting type 2 diabetes according to research presented at the annual meeting of the American Heart Association, which was held in Florida from the 7th to the 11th November 2015. Eating at home also entails fewer sugary beverages and lower weight.
Data on nearly 58,000 women who took part in the Nurses’ Health Study and on more than 41,000 men in the Health Professionals Follow-up Study was collected and analysed. At the start of these studies, none of the participants had diabetes, cardiovascular disease or cancer.
The researchers found that participants who ate about 11 to 14 homemade lunches or dinners a week had about a 13 percent lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes, compared with those who ate less than six homemade lunches or dinners a week. The researchers didn’t have enough information on breakfasts to include that meal in their analysis.
The scientists tried to analyze differences in the diet of these people and found that, among other differences, there was a slightly lower intake of sugar-sweetened beverages when people had more homemade meals. They also noted that people who ate at home more often were slightly leaner.