The Diabetes Economy

When your doctor writes you a prescription is it really for your health, or the financial health of a pharmaceutical company? You’d think that your doctor would do what is best for you, but in many cases they guidance they get from the FDA and the medical community is biased and based on the wishes of the pharmaceutical industry.

Take for example diabetes drugs. in 1997 a group of experts met with the american Diabetes Association and modified the definition of what type 2 diabetes is. With that one recommendation all of a sudden 1.9 million Americans suddenly had type 2 diabetes.

The same thing happened in 2003 where they change the definition of pre-diabetes and all of a sudden 25 million people had pre-diabetes. In the years that followed they found drugs that could treat pre-diabetes if exercise didn’t work. Sadly for many people they’d much rather take a pill than exercise. So with those changes in how a “Disease” is defined boosted diabetes drug sales to over $23 billion last year.

Now why would you want to lower your blood sugar? Wouldn’t it be to reduce heart disease, stoke, loss of limbs, or blindness due to diabetes?  Well of the 30 new diabetes drugs intruded in the past decade none was tested to see if it lowered the risk of any of the side effects of diabetes, they only lowered the blood sugar level. Worse yet some of the side effects can be dangerous. In one investigation they found 3,300 cases where these patients died from the side effects of the drugs and another 20,000 were hospitalized.

Yes, diabetes is a serious disease and increasing at epidemic rates. Rather than focusing on reversing the disease there is a who economy around diabetes drugs which is fueled by organizations and doctors with financial ties to drug companies. this was found by MedPage Today and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel investigations.

How much corruption is there? Below are some numbers:

  • The organizations that lowered the diabetes and pre-diabetes thresholds each received millions from drug companies.
  • In one instance 13 of 19 members of a committee were paid more that $2,000,000 each in consulting and speaking fees by the companies that make the drugs. This is a way drug companies frequently funnel money to doctors and other organizations  – They pay them to speak and industry meetings and to lend their expert consulting advice to the drug companies.

This isn’t just a problem for diabetes drugs, but for many drugs. Take statin drugs for cholesterol control. Every couple of years the the healthy cholesterol target level is lowered, and in the stroke of a pen (or keyboard) millions more people are put on statin drugs like Lipitor, Crestor, Zocor and many others, and with that billions of dollars flow to the pharmaceutical companies.

They say there is no cure for type 2 diabetes, yet for many people those who begin exercise, lose weight, and greatly reduce their junk food consumption, they can get off of diabetes drugs and insulin injections.

A low glycemic diet is the secret. That is a diet which greatly reduces the foods that spike your blood sugar such as sugar, white flour, white rice, potatoes, etc.  Replace those with 100% whole wheat and grain, wild rice (key is it cooks for 30+ minutes). Also lots of vegetables, good fats, lean meats, and fruits.  Change the diet, lose weight, and exercise and you’ll feel better, look better, and avoid the problems of diabetes plus the other


Source: MedPage Today. Dec 12 2014 The Slippery Slope: A Bittersweet Diabetes Economy 

Drinking Green Tea improves glucose control and insulin sensitivity

A new meta-analysis indicates that green tea intakes may have a favorable effect on glucose control and insulin sensitivity, especially in individuals at risk for metabolic syndrome.

Although there are a few published reports regarding the effect of green tea on insulin sensitivity and glucose control in humans, the results have been inconsistent.

In a new study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers aimed to more accurately quantify the effect of green tea on glucose control and insulin sensitivity.

Researchers completed a thorough literature search to find all randomized controlled trials that included information on the effects of green tea and green tea extracts on insulin sensitivity and glucose control in humans.

There were 17 trials, including a total of 1,133 subjects that met the criteria and were included in this meta-analysis. The studies were mostly of a short duration, and 7 of the studies were considered of high quality.

Overall, green tea consumption significantly reduced fasting glucose and hemoglobin A1c (a long-term measure of blood glucose control). These results were more significant in studies including subjects at risk for metabolic syndrome, and in subject with higher catechin (a compound in green tea) intakes. When only the high quality studies were included, green tea significantly reduced fasting insulin concentrations.

The results of this meta-analysis suggest that green tea intake may lower fasting glucose, insulin and HbA1c concentrations, especially in people at risk for metabolic syndrome. Researchers noted that long-term randomly controlled trials of higher quality should be conducted to further confirm these findings.

In plain English, if a person is pre-diabetic, or diabetic, then drinking green tea daily can help improve the condition. I take a supplement twice a day which includes green tea extract which may have the same effect, but that has to be studied.

Kai Liu et al. Effect of green tea on glucose control and insulin sensitivity: a meta-analysis of 17 randomized controlled trial. First published June 26, 2013, doi: 10.3945/ajcn.112.052746 Am J Clin Nutr August 2013 ajcn.052746.

You thought melatonin was to help you sleep, but it has many anti aging factors

Melatonin has long been though of as a hormone you can take just to help you get a better nights sleep. It is one of the regulators of your circadian rhythm, but beyond making you sleepy when the sun goes down, it does much more.

Melatonin production declines as we age. Researchers  believe that this may contribute to the aging process and the general decline in health.  So popping a melatonin before you go to sleep may help you sleep better and turn back the clock. 
Below are seven key benefits of melatonin:
  1. Antioxidant Defense – Melatonin is a powerful antioxidant. It is 200% more powerful than vitamin E and is superior to vitamin C.  In post menopausal women melatonin has been found to inhibit lipid per oxidation which in turn helps prevent heart disease.
  2. Fights Heart Disease – There is research showing that melatonin can protect the heart muscle from oxidative damage and decreasing the levels of LDL cholesterol and total cholesterol. It also helps with blood sugar management. Tame these and you’ve greatly reduced your risk of heart disease.
  3. Cancer Prevention – Melatonin has been shown to exhibit anti-carcinogenic properties and can also induce cancer cell death – apoptosis. For those undergoing conventional cancer therapy it has been shown to slow the cancer progression and lessen the side effects of the chemotherapy.
  4. Diabetes – Diabetes like cancer and heart disease all have one thing in common – Free radicals. These free radicals can cause damage to the cells, damage to your DNA, oxidation of lipids, and many other cellular defects. The high blood levels in diabetics causes a hire rise in oxidative stress and the release of free radicals. Melatonin comes to the rescue by quenching many of these damaging free radicals. Melatonin has also been shown to protect the pancreatic beta cells, kidney’s, eyes, and heart from the damages caused by the side effects of diabetes.
  5. Alzheimers – Another unique property of melatonin is that it can cross the blood-brain barrier. It not only crosses the blood brain barrier, but has also been shown to protect it. Melatonin has been shown to delay the onset of Alzheimer’s disease and protecting delicate internal cellular structures. Melatonin also exhibits profound neruoprotective effects against the beta amyloid plaque, one of the suspected causes of Alzheimer’s.
  6. Combat Obesity – Obesity has been found to be correlated with stress, emotional eating, and sleep deprivation, and hormonal changes later in life. Melatonin’s basic function of aiding in sleep can reduce stress, cortisol, and emotional eating – We all know how much better we feel after a good nights sleep.
  7. Osteoporosis – Research has also found that melatonin has beneficial effects on bone repair and rebuilding. In a recent double-blind placebo controlled study with peri-meanopausal women found that melatonin improved sleep and increased the bio markers of indicating bone formation and decreased the levels of makers indicating bone depleting.  Osteoporosis occurs when the rate of bone depletion exceeds the rate of bone formation.
So with all these benefits is there any reason you shouldn’t be taking extra melatonin?  Melatonin has been shown to be safe with no side effects when taken in consistent dosages of less than 10 mg/day.
We all make melatonin naturally, but as we age we produce less and less. Also our life does all it can to combat melatonin production.
Melatonin is produced primarily in the pineal gland in the brain and in the retinas of the eyes. remember when you were out camping. The sun goes down and the sky and gets more red. It is that shift from the bluish bright day light to the reddish dusk light that starts the melatonin production. When it is finally dark melatonin production is at its height and you fall asleep.  Then when the sun comes up in the morning your eyes see the light and the light, especially more more blueish morning light quickly shuts down melatonin production and flushes the melatonin in your system out. 
So knowing now melatonin production works, now look at our typical life. When the light goes down we flip on the lights. When we finally go to bed, we are looking at our phones, iPads, and watching TV. All are bright bluish light. Then when the light is finally off you have an assortment of little lights on your chargers, phones, alarm clocks, etc. You also have street lights shining through the window. So without total darkness, you don’t sleep well because you are sabotaging your melatonin production.
So leave the TV in the bedroom off, cover all the little blinking lights, and close the blinds. That will help, but pop a very inexpensive melatonin tablet under your tongue and hour before you go to sleep and enjoy better sleep and better health.
One word of caution, not all melatonin is created equal. Most of what you’ll find on the store shelves comes from the pineal glands and eyes of cattle. It is very difficult to purify and live viruses from the cows brain, like mad cow disease, can survive intact in the tablets. This is why many countries have outlawed melatonin sales.  The product I use and recommend is pure 100% bio-identical melatonin, but synthesized in a lab so that there is no risk of viral contamination. So chose your melatonin wisely.

Vitamin D for Diabetes Prevention

Go on, head outside for a sunny spring walk: The vitamin D we get from everyday sunlight—as well as from fish, fortified milk, and supplements—may curb diabetes risk, suggests new research.
In the 17-year Finnish study, people with the highest blood levels of vitamin D reduced their chances of developing type 2 diabetes by 40 percent. Of the more than 4,000 people in the study, the 187 diagnosed with type 2 registered the lowest vitamin D levels, regardless of age, sex, or time of year.
The vitamin D effect remained even when the researchers controlled for education, smoking, body weight, blood pressure treatment, and exercise, though it weakened slightly.
Also interesting was a discovery that people who exercised the most also showed the highest vitamin D levels, says lead researcher Paul Knekt, PhD, of the National Public Health Institute in Helsinki.
Why might vitamin D be higher in exercisers? Is it due to more time jogging in the sun? A healthier, fish-rich diet in this health-conscious group? More vitamin D supplementation? Or might exercise itself affect the body’s vitamin D processing?
That’s all fodder for future research, says Knekt, as is the question of whether vitamin D can reverse type 2’s progression. “Similar studies should be replicated before we can make firm conclusions about the role of vitamin D in diabetes prevention,” Knekt says.
The findings were published in the October 2007 issue of Diabetes Care.

Just remember that as the sun is going lower in the sky it is more difficult to produce Vitamin D from the sun, so you’ll need to supplement over the winter. In the northern half of the US it is almost impossible to produce enough vitamin D from the sun as the sun’s rays aren’t strong enough.

Diabetes becomes a scourge of the young

A friend recently told me that he took care of himself and is in good shape, but figured in the years down the road when he is in his 70s that he may get the usual old age diabetes. OK, for someone in their 70s that isn’t unusual, but still avoidable.

What is sad is the high school and college age kids who are a hundred plus pounds over weight, and sadly so many think there is nothing wrong with it, but unless they do something now, they face blindness, amputations, dialysis, heart disease, stork, and more. Diabetes wont kill them in their 30s, but it will make their 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, and maybe their 70s miserable as their bodies slowly self-destruct. If you have a young loved one who is over weight, please have them read this article.

I’m in my mid 50s and active skiing, running, and enjoying life. Unfortunately when many of these kids who are 250 or 300 pounds now hit my age, they will be missing a foot or leg, facing blindness, and wishing they were dead – but will live for many more years…..

Below is an article from USA today:

Some people say aiming to look sleek in your swimsuit or wedding duds is the biggest motivator for losing weight. But Mike Durbin’s incentive for dropping pounds beats all.

Three years ago, at age 24, Durbin’s doctor told him he had type 2 diabetes and congestive heart failure. More than 300 pounds at the time, Durbin knew that if he didn’t take action, he faced the possibility of an early death.

“I was probably pushing about 340 when I was first diagnosed. As far as the physical changes go, within about three months or so of being diagnosed I dropped about 40 pounds,” says Durbin, of Fort Wayne, Ind., who takes a dozen medications now. Always a meat-and-potatoes kind of guy, he says he had to learn to eat in moderation and now opts for sugar-free foods more often.

The experience has changed how he looks at his personal life, too. Durbin and his girlfriend of nine years postponed the idea of marriage, and he is not sure about starting a family.

“I don’t like the thought that I could have a kid and he could end up with diabetes down the road. And one of the troubling thoughts I have is if something were to happen to me, (his wife) would be left alone as a mother. You really have to stop and think about these things,” Durbin says.

Experts are becoming increasingly concerned about the growing number of people in their 20s and 30s coping with type 2 diabetes, which used to be rarely seen in those under 40.

As diabetes becomes more prevalent in young people, the long-term complications of the condition cardiovascular problems like high blood pressure and high cholesterol, nerve damage, blindness and kidney failure are more likely to occur at younger ages, too, says David Kendall, chief scientific and medical officer for the American Diabetes Association (ADA).

“Children and young adults, and young middle-aged people, are the groups in which the rates are apparently growing the fastest,” Kendall says.

Leading diabetes experts will gather Friday in San Diego for the group’s 71st Scientific Sessions to present new research and discuss the explosion of diabetes, which afflicts an estimated 25.8 million adults and children in the USA.

The obesity epidemic the fallout of people eating more junk food and getting less exercise is an obvious factor in the rise in diabetes cases among the young, says Martin Abrahamson, chief medical officer at Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston.

But there may be more to it, Kendall says. “We used to just say it was the obesity issue, but I think there’s a complexity to it. We can say now that there are also more higher-risk people” living in that higher-risk environment.

He says research suggests there are single genes and clusters of genes that probably make some people more likely to develop diabetes when they gain weight, while others can add pounds and not develop diabetes. Scientists are trying to unravel who’s most vulnerable.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 3.7% of 20- to 44-year-olds have diabetes. Many of those cases are type 2, when either the cells in the body don’t respond to insulin (which helps convert food into energy) or when the pancreas has trouble making enough insulin. In 2010, about 465,000 in that age group were newly diagnosed.

Complications of the disease are more likely to occur in middle age if not sooner, especially in young adults who don’t take care of themselves or have access to medical care, says Ann Albright, director of the CDC’s Division of Diabetes Translation.

“The longer you live with the disease, the more likely you are to develop the complications. If you develop diabetes at a young age, the chances are greater of complications at a younger age,” Albright says.

Diabetes will shorten the lives of men diagnosed at age 30 by an average of 14.5 years; if diagnosed at age 20, by 17 years, the CDC says.

For women diagnosed at 30, diabetes shortens life by an average of 16.5 years; if diagnosed at 20, by 18 years.

‘A troubling trend’

“Today diabetes is the commonest cause of blindness in the Western world. It’s the commonest cause of end-stage kidney disease, and non-traumatic lower limb amputations. People who have type 2 diabetes have a two- to threefold greater risk for developing cardiovascular disease and stroke,” Abrahamson says.

Eric Choi, chief of vascular surgery and director of the Limb Salvage Center at Temple University School of Medicine in Philadelphia, fears that if young diabetics don’t get the care they need, by middle age they’ll be marginalized unable to get jobs or participate fully in life like their peers.

“We’re seeing more and more younger diabetic patients who require limb salvage work,” Choi says. He says his medical team performed 40 or 50 amputations this past year. “Easily 10 were in patients 45 and under. That’s a troubling trend.”

Choi is particularly concerned for young minority adults who have higher rates of type 2 than whites, according to CDC data, and may be more likely to accept diabetes and its complications because that’s what parents and older relatives might have done in the past.

Choi heads a team at Temple working on diabetes-prevention campaigns in the community. He and his team also are using medical techniques, including angiogenesis growing new blood vessels in at-risk diabetes patients when they spot vulnerable wounds to help stop further limb damage.

When a young diabetes patient comes through the emergency department doors, he is placed on a diabetes care fast track, which offers nutrition coaching, a vision checkup, and a cardiovascular workup, among other care, all in one shot because, Choi says, if a patient walks out the door between appointments, he is less likely to return.

Albright says young adults with diabetes haven’t been extensively studied. She is part of an ADA team looking at this 18- to 30-year-old “transition” group.

A lot of changes occur in those years that can affect health, she says, especially in someone with a chronic illness: They move out of family homes and away from parents who help monitor health, they enter college and workplaces where food choices are sometimes poorer and where people may not be supportive, they change insurance plans or go without health coverage, and some marry and have children.

Albright says the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which became law in March 2010, has expanded coverage for some in this vulnerable age group. According to the ADA, previously, insurance companies could deny coverage to people with diabetes or charge more for insurance. Under the new law, however, young adults with diabetes can now stay on their parents’ plans until age 26. By 2014, young patients with diabetes will be able to buy coverage from any insurer and will be protected from being denied because of their diabetes.

There’s “no question” the more effectively you manage diabetes, the more likely you’ll live a longer, healthier life, Albright says. That means taking medications, seeing your doctor regularly, monitoring blood sugar often, eating healthfully and exercising, she says.

Getting support

Alexa Hammes, 30, of Hudson, Mass., says that’s what she’s trying to do since being diagnosed in January. “I was desperately sick. I would commute an hour or more a day both ways, and I couldn’t go a half-hour without taking a nap. I couldn’t get enough water to drink.”

She joined a diabetes management and weight-loss program at Joslin Diabetes Center. Now, instead of having just coffee for breakfast, she drinks a protein shake formulated for people with diabetes. She works out at the gym almost every day and rides her horse for exercise; she also uses the healthy menus the program suggests.

“The menu options are absolutely delicious. One favorite is the turkey-and-bean wrap, another is the salsa chicken over whole-wheat pasta,” says Hammes, who has dropped two clothing sizes.

Durbin, who works as an information technology professional, says he turns to his blog and Twitter to help cope with diabetes and his heart problems at a time in life when most people his age aren’t thinking at all about life-threatening illnesses.

“There’s definitely a huge mental health component to living with diabetes and congestive heart failure. It’s a whole lot to deal with at one time,” he says. “Most of the inspiration and encouragement I get comes from the online diabetes community.”

Says Albright: “You can’t achieve perfect control. But the better you take care of yourself, the better shot you’re giving yourself at a life without those serious diabetes complications.”

(c) Copyright 2011 USA TODAY, a division of Gannett Co. Inc.

Copyright USA TODAY 2011

Low vitamin D levels linked to prediabetes and prehypertension

Prediabetes and prehypertension have been associated with low vitamin D levels. In a recent issue of the journal Diabetes Care, scientists report a correlation between reduced vitamin D levels and prediabetes and prehypertension in adults. Both prediabetes and prehypertension are estimated to exist in at least one-fourth of disease-free adults. 

Researchers analyzed data from 898 men and 813 women who participated in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), 2001-2006. Blood pressure measurements were obtained during examinations conducted upon enrollment, and blood samples were evaluated for glucose, serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D and other factors. 

Prediabetes was defined as having a fasting serum glucose of between 100 and 125 milligrams per deciliter, and prehypertension was defined as systolic blood pressure of 120 to 139 mmHg and/or diastolic blood pressure between 80 and 89 mmHg. Prediabetes was 33 percent higher among those with vitamin D levels of 76.3 nmol/l (30.5 ng/ml) or less compared to those with higher levels. Prehypertension was evident in 61 percent of those with the lower vitamin D levels. Participants with undiagnosed diabetes and untreated hypertension had even lower vitamin D levels on average. Serum vitamin D levels tended to decline with increasing age and body mass.

When the risk of having both conditions was considered, those with low vitamin D levels had 2.4 times the risk of that experienced by subjects with higher vitamin D levels.  

It is reasonable that among those with prediabetes or prehypertension, vitamin D supplementation resulting in increased serum vitamin D levels may help reverse subtle changes in fasting serum glucose and resting blood pressure that may lead to more advanced disease states. 

Alok K. Gupta, MD, Meghan M. Brashear, MPH and William D. Johnson, PHD. Prediabetes and Prehypertension in Healthy Adults Are Associated With Low Vitamin D Levels. Diabetes Care March 2011 vol. 34 no. 3 658-660.

Omega-3 fatty acids protect against the development of obesity-related disease

An article published online on March 23, 2011 in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition reveals a protective effect for high omega-3 fatty acid intake against the development of diseases related to obesity, including cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

For the current study, Zeina Makhoul, PhD and her colleagues at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, in collaboration with the Center for Alaska Native Health Research at the University of Alaska-Fairbanks, evaluated data from 330 Yup’ik Eskimos. Omega-3 fatty acid intake among the Yup’iks averages twenty times higher than most Americans.

Triglycerides, glucose, insulin, leptin and C-reactive protein (CRP, a marker of inflammation) were measured in the participants’ blood samples, and dietary questionnaire responses were analyzed for the intake of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) from such sources as salmon, sardines and other fatty fish. Among subjects with lower blood levels of EPA and DHA, having a high body mass index was correlated with high triglycerides and C-reactive protein, both of which are associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and possibly diabetes. “These results mimic those found in populations living in the Lower 48 who have similarly low blood levels of EPA and DHA,” senior author Alan Kristal, DrPH reported. “However, the new finding was that obesity did not increase these risk factors among study participants with high blood levels of omega-3 fats.”

“Because Yup’ik Eskimos have a traditional diet that includes large amounts of fatty fish and have a prevalence of overweight or obesity that is similar to that of the general U.S. population, this offered a unique opportunity to study whether omega-3 fats change the association between obesity and chronic disease risk,” stated Dr Makhoul, who is a postdoctoral researcher in the Cancer Prevention Program of the Public Health Sciences Division at the Fred Hutchinson Center. “Interestingly, we found that obese persons with high blood levels of omega-3 fats had triglyceride and CRP concentrations that did not differ from those of normal-weight persons. It appeared that high intakes of omega-3-rich seafood protected Yup’ik Eskimos from some of the harmful effects of obesity.”

Although the prevalence of being overweight among the study population is similar to that of most Americans, their rate of diabetes is only half as high. “While genetic, lifestyle and dietary factors may account for this difference, it is reasonable to ask, based on our findings, whether the lower prevalence of diabetes in this population might be attributed, at least in part, to their high consumption of omega-3-rich fish,” Dr Makhoul speculated.

The researchers recommend that a clinical trial be conducted to help confirm whether increased omega-3 fatty acids reduce obesity’s effect on triglycerides and inflammation. “If the results of such a trial were positive, it would strongly suggest that omega-3 fats could help prevent obesity-related diseases such as heart disease and diabetes,” Dr Makhoul concluded.

If you eat salmon make sure it is wild caught salmon. This is natural salmon which has lived in the ocean and eaten the normal salmon’s diet which contributes to the high omega-3 fats.  Unfortunately what you’ll usually find in the grocery store and at most restaurants is farm raised salmon. These fish have been raised in shallow ponds and fed corn, soy, and occasionally slaughter house leftovers.  This diet results in much lower levels of omega-3 fats and far too high levels of the inflammatory omega-6 fats.  If you look at the label it will say Atlantic Salmon or farm raised. You may also notice that the ingredients are: Salmon & pink food coloring! Yes, farm raised salmon is white, they then dye it the pink/orange salmon color.

The easiest way to increase your omeag-3 intake is through supplements.  Caution is needed here too. Many manufactures will used the oil from large, older, warm water fish.  These will accumulate much more mercury and PCB than smaller, younger, cold water fish.  Also make sure they are manufactured to pharmaceutical GMP standards. My Omega-3 supplement uses exclusively small young fish and then the oil goes through a double molecular distillation process to insure its purity and it is free from any contaminants.

Levels of Vitamin D needed to prevent cancer much higher than RDA levels

Our government says that the RDA of vitamin D is 400 IU/day for adults. That is great, at that level you probably won’t get rickets. You’re probably not concerned about preventing rickets. You’re probably interested in preventing cancer or type-1 diabetes though.

Recent research at UC San diego and published in the International journal of Cancer Research and Treatment though is showing that higher levels of Vitamin D, 4,000 to 8,000 IU/Day are necessary to prevent or markedly reduce by half the risk of breast cancer, colon cancer, multiple sclerosis, and type 1 diabetes. Even in the general population including those who take vitamin D supplements 90% of the population is still vitamin D deficient, even based on minimal RDA levels.

Here is the link to the UC San Diego press release:

Here is the link to the published paper

You can’t get the amounts you need daily from your multi. Even the most popular multi only has a meager 500 IU/Day. The #1 rated multi in North America has a respectable 1,800 IU/day, but still far short of what you need to take daily. In the winter you can’t get enough vitamin D from the sun unless you are laying on the beach in Florida daily.  

Why would the government and FDA suggest an RDA of only 400 IU/day? The RDA values are based on the minimum levels you need to avoid diseases of deficiency like rickets, beri beri, scurvy, etc.  It is also economics. The pharmaceutical giants have tremendous influence on the FDA. If everyone started taking 8,000 of inexpensive Vitamin D tomorrow, within a few years the pharmaceutical companies would be losing billions of dollars by people not needing their very expensive drugs. For 70 cents  a day you could be taking 6,000 IU of a pharmaceutical grade Vitamin D and greatly reduce your risk of many cancers. Contrast that with the profits from a cancer drug which costs $8,000 per month!!!

For additional vitamin D select a high quality pharmaceutical grade supplement from a reputable manufacture. Often what you buy in the local store or internet store is manufactured by an unknown chemical company and just distributed by the firm you deal with. You have no idea of the quality control processes they have in place or the purity of the product. I’ve personally walked through some plants which anyone would find disgusting – like dogs walking around open containers of raw ingredients sitting on the floor. People smoking within a few yards, doors wide open to let what ever is outside, inside, and more. Contrast that to a company like Usana Health Sciences,  who has been certified as a pharmaceutical grade manufacture and follows quality and cleanliness procedures required by prescription drug manufactures. Their manufacturing area is cleaner than an operating room.

Vitamin D Deficiency Linked to Diabetes, Metabolic Syndrome in Studies

SATURDAY, June 19 (HealthDay News) — A pair of new studies has uncovered evidence that low levels of vitamin D could lead to poor blood sugar control among diabetics and increase the risk of developing metabolic syndrome among seniors.
Both findings are slated to be presented Saturday at the Endocrine Society’s annual meeting in San Diego.
In one study, researchers at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore reviewed the medical charts of 124 type 2 diabetes patients who sought specialty care at an endocrine outpatient facility between 2003 and 2008.

More than 90 percent of the patients, who ranged in age from 36 to 89, had either vitamin D deficiency or insufficiency, the authors found, despite the fact that they all had had routine primary care visits before their specialty visit.

Just about 6 percent of the patients were taking a vitamin D supplement at the time of their visit, the research team noted, and those who had lower vitamin D levels were also more likely to have higher average blood sugar levels.

“This finding supports an active role of vitamin D in the development of type 2 diabetes,” study co-author Dr. Esther Krug, an assistant professor of medicine, said in a news release from the Endocrine Society.

“Since primary care providers diagnose and treat most patients with type 2 diabetes, screening and vitamin D supplementation as part of routine primary care may improve health outcomes of this highly prevalent condition,” Krug added.

A second study involving nearly 1,300 white Dutch men and women over the age of 65 found almost half were vitamin D-deficient, while 37 percent had metabolic syndrome.

Metabolic syndrome is a grouping of health risk factors, including high blood pressure, abdominal obesity, abnormal cholesterol levels and high blood sugar.

“Because the metabolic syndrome increases the risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease, an adequate vitamin D level in the body might be important in the prevention of these diseases,” study co-author Dr. Marelise Eekhoff, of VU University Medical Center in Amsterdam, said in the same news release.

Regardless of gender, those with insufficient amounts of vitamin D in their blood were more likely to have the syndrome than those with sufficient amounts of vitamin D, Eekhoff and her colleagues found.

“It is important,” added Eekhoff, “to investigate the exact role of vitamin D in diabetes to find new and maybe easy ways to prevent it and cardiovascular disease.”

Very high omega-3 intakes linked to big health benefits

Intakes of omega-3 exceeding levels consumed by the general US population may significantly reduce the risk of chronic disease, suggests a new study with Yup’ik Eskimos.

High levels of the omega-3 fatty acids EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA(docosahexaenoic acid) were associated with lower levels of triglycerides, as well as higher levels of HDL cholesterol, according to data from 357 Yup’ik Eskimos published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Raised levels of the fatty acids were also associated with decreased levels of markers of inflammation, such as C-reactive protein (CRP), which is produced in the liver and is a known marker for inflammation. Increased levels of CRP are a good predictor for the onset of both type-2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.CVD causes almost 50 per cent of deaths in Europe, and is reported to cost the EU economy an estimated €169 billion ($202 billion) per year.

The study of omega-3 intakes in inuits is nothing new. The first reports of the heart health benefits of the marine fatty acids were reported in the early 1970s by Jørn Dyerberg and his co-workers in The Lancet and The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. The young Danes sought to understand how the Greenland Eskimos, or Inuit as they prefer to be called, could eat a high fat diet and still have one of the lowest death rates from cardiovascular disease on the planet.

Despite the precedent of study in these populations, the new research, led by Zeina Makhoul from Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, claims that: “Few studies have examined the associations of with biomarkers of chronic disease risk in populations with high intakes”.

In an attempt to fill this knowledge gap, they analysed blood levels of EPA and DHA in red blood cells of in a cross-section of 357 Yup’ik Eskimos.

Data showed EPA and DHA represented an average 2.8 and 6.8 percent, respectively, of the total fatty acid content of red blood cells.

In addition to the links between EPA and DHA levels and triglycerides and HDL, increased levels of DHA were positively with levels of LDL and total cholesterol, said the researchers.

While a link between EPA/DHA and CRP were reported, Makhoul and her co-workers noted that the link was stronger when EPA concentrations excessed 3 percent of fatty acids in the cells, and when DHA levels exceeded 7 percent.

“Increasing EPA and DHA intakes to amounts well above those consumed by the general US population may have strong beneficial effects on chronic disease risk,” they concluded.

Source: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Published online ahead of print, doi: 10.3945/ajcn.2009.28820
“Associations of very high intakes of eicosapentaenoic and docosahexaenoic acids with biomarkers of chronic disease risk among Yup’ik Eskimos”
Authros: Z. Makhoul, A.R. Kristal, R. Gulati, B. Luick, A. Bersamin, B. Boyer, G.V. Mohatt

Aerobic exercise no big stretch for older adults but helps elasticity of arteries

EDMONTON, Oct. 25, 2009 (Canada NewsWire via COMTEX) —

Just three months of physical activity reaps heart health benefits for older adults with type 2 diabetes by improving the elasticity in their arteries – reducing risk of heart disease and stroke, Dr. Kenneth Madden told the 2009 Canadian Cardiovascular Congress, co-hosted by the Heart and Stroke Foundation and the Canadian Cardiovascular Society.

Dr. Madden studied adults between the ages of 65 to 83 with controlled Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and high blood cholesterol to see how increased activity might affect stiffness of the arteries.

“The theory is that aerobic activity makes your arteries less stiff and makes artery walls more elastic,” says Dr. Madden, a geriatric specialist at the University of British Columbia.

An improvement was seen in the elasticity of the arteries of the group that performed the activity compared to those who didn’t exercise. “There was an impressive drop in arterial stiffness after just three months of exercise. In that time we saw a 15 to 20 per cent reduction.”

The subjects were divided into two groups to either receive three months of vigorous physical activity (one hour, three times per week) or to get no aerobic exercise at all. Subjects were classified as sedentary at the beginning of the study but gradually increased their fitness levels until they were working at 70 per cent of their maximum heart rate, using treadmills and cycling machines. They were supervised by a certified exercise trainer.

Dr. Beth Abramson, spokesperson for the Heart and Stroke Foundation, stresses the importance of lifestyle factors on heart health, especially with our aging population. “Almost everyone can benefit from active living,” she says. “The Foundation recommends that, like adults of any age, older adults – with the consent of their physicians – need 30 to 60 minutes of moderate activity most days of the week.”

Dr. Madden says that the exercise requirements may be viewed as controversial because of the age of the participants but the exercise level was safe and well tolerated. “There seems to be a knee-jerk reluctance to getting these older adults to exercise yet we used a vigorous level of activity and didn’t have any trouble keeping participants in our study. They enjoyed the activity,” Dr. Madden says. “People always underestimate what older adults can do.”

Dr. Madden notes that realistically, seniors need someone to help them get started. “We need to learn how to do it effectively and how to do it safely,” he says. “It could mean visiting your family doctor to find out about provincially funded programs, or joining programs for seniors that are offered at many local community centres.”

Dr. Abramson recommends that seniors choose activities they enjoy, such as walking, gardening, golfing, dancing, or joining a yoga or tai chi class. If weather is a barrier, she suggests climbing stairs at home, joining a mall-walking group, or strolling the halls of their apartment building or retirement residence.

In his next project, Dr. Madden wants to find out if there is a less expensive but equally effective way to reduce the stiffness of arteries in older adults. “Our first step was to prove that it was at all possible for older adults to have reduced narrowing in their arteries due to exercise,” he says. “Now we want to find out just how rigorous the levels of activity need to be to demonstrate the same results. The next step is to try studying a home-based walking program using pedometers. This is something easy for doctors to prescribe and cheap and easy for participants.”

The HeartWalk Workout, a special activity program developed by the Heart and Stroke Foundation to help people with cardiovascular problems get regular, healthy physical activity is available online at It helps people slowly build up exercise tolerance until they can walk at least 30 minutes, five times a week.

Statements and conclusions of study authors are solely those of the study authors and do not necessarily reflect Foundation or CCS policy or position. The Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada and the Canadian Cardiovascular Society make no representation or warranty as to their accuracy or reliability.

The Heart and Stroke Foundation (, a volunteer-based health charity, leads in eliminating heart disease and stroke and reducing their impact through the advancement of research and its application, the promotion of healthy living, and advocacy.


Diabetes is Increasing Dramatically in Asia

by Dr. Ray Strand

In a review article reported in the May 27, 2009 edition of JAMA the incidence of type 2 diabetes throughout Asia is increasing dramatically. In a disease that was once felt to be a disease of the West, over 110 million individuals in Asia were living with type 2 diabetes. This number is projected to grow to over 380 million in just 15 short years. The most concerning thing that the frequency of diabetes is being found in the young and middle aged.

When I was speaking to a group of doctors in Malaysia approximately 2 years ago, they told me that the incidence of type 2 diabetes was nearly 10% already in their adult population. They shared with me that they were not even able to get enough dialysis units to meet the demand for dialysis in this group of patients. It was obvious to me that one of the main problems was their consumption of more and more refined grains, especially Jasmine rice which has a glycemic incidence of 115.

Eating high glycemic foods can lead to metabolic syndrome and to diabetes. Foods with a glycemic index of less than 55 are considered low glycemic and aid in maintaining stable blood sugar levels. An index of 100 is eating straight glucose (sugar) so the refined Jasmine rice was being absorbed and turned into sugar in the blood quicker than if you ate spoonfuls of sugar. In the west we eat so many refined foods what we are on a constant blood sugar roller coaster. Foods like potatoes, french fries, white rice, pasta, most bread & cereals, soda, fruit juices, etc. are all high glycemic foods. Instead eat 100% whole grain bread, cereals, and pasta. Whole fruits and vegetables, whole grain rice, etc.

Even modest fitness may extend lifespan

People who stay even moderately fit as they age may live longer than those who are out-of-shape, a new study suggests.

The study, of nearly 4,400 healthy U.S. adults, found that the roughly 20 percent with the lowest physical fitness levels were twice as likely to die over the next nine years as the 20 percent with the next-lowest fitness levels.

That was with factors like obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes taken into account — underscoring the importance of physical fitness itself, researchers report in the journal Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise.

“Our findings suggest that sedentary lifestyle, rather than differences in cardiovascular risk factors or age, may explain (the) two-fold higher mortality rates in the least-fit versus slightly more fit healthy individuals,” lead researcher Dr. Sandra Mandic, of the University of Otago in Dunedin, New Zealand, noted in an email to Reuters Health.

She pointed out that nearly two-thirds of the least-fit study participants were not getting the minimum recommended amount of exercise — at least 30 minutes of moderate activity, like brisk walking, on five or more days a week.

“These results emphasize the importance of improving and maintaining high fitness levels by engaging in regular physical activity,” Mandic said, “particularly in poorly fit individuals.”

The study included 4,384 middle-aged and older adults whose fitness levels were assessed during exercise treadmill tests sometime between 1986 and 2006; they were then followed for an average of about nine years.

When Mandic’s team separated the participants into five groups based on fitness levels, they found that one-quarter of the least-fit men and women had died during the study period, versus 13 percent of those who were slightly more in shape.

Among adults in the most-fit group, only 6 percent died during the follow-up period.

Overall, the five groups showed little difference in their reported exercise habits over their adult lives. Where they did differ was their activity levels in recent years.

“Since it is recent physical activity that offers protection,” Mandic said, “it is important to maintain regular physical activity throughout life.”

And since fitness is linked to longevity regardless of weight and health conditions like high blood pressure and high cholesterol, exercise is important for all, according to Mandic.

That, she said, includes people who are thin and in generally good health.

SOURCE: Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, August 2009.

Avoid Diabetes with This Vitamin

Skip the iceberg lettuce and go for the dark leafy greens on your next trip to the salad bar.

Turns out the vitamin K in greens like kale and spinach may reduce your chances of developing insulin resistance — a major risk factor for diabetes.

Keep Insulin on the Job
In a study, people who took vitamin K supplements for 36 months had lower blood levels of insulin and experienced improved insulin resistance compared with an unsupplemented control group. Contrary to other studies, only the men benefitted from K — possibly because more of the women were overweight or obese. These conditions contribute significantly to insulin resistance and diminish the body’s response to vitamin K.

All About Inflammation
How does vitamin K boost insulin function? The researchers aren’t quite sure, but they suspect it helps quench inflammation, for one. And although more research is needed to confirm the study’s findings, you can’t go wrong eating dark leafy greens and other vitamin K-packed foods, since they boost your health in numerous other ways (like these). But if you are on a blood thinner, such as warfarin, talk to your doctor before increasing your vitamin K intake.

Try these yummy K-packed recipes from EatingWell:

Here’s another way to guard against insulin resistance — and lose weight in the process!

Daily Choices – Lifetime Consequences

I’m writing this a my mother is in the hospital facing life threatening condition which can be directly linked back to simple daily dietary choices she has made over her lifetime.

Today she is has one or several veins in her small intestine which are bleeding, not bleeding a lot, but these seldom heal on their own. So let me go back 20, 30, or 40 years to see what led her to this point.

My mom loved to eat and always battled a weight problem since I was a young child. Of course in the 60’s and 70’s we didn’t know what we know today, but we ate good – white bread, pancakes, Captain Crunch (with an extra spoon of sugar) potatoes, etc. We had lots of good high glycemic foods. My brother and and I have kept our weight in line, but mom was always overweight. Today we call this Metabolic Syndrome.

So fast forward to the 90’s. She developed type 2 diabetes. Though she’s never been insulin dependant she watched what she ate, but unfortunately still had a sweet tooth and at the wrong foods which spiked her blood sugar daily – her favorite breakfast was a bowl of instant oatmeal which spiked her blood sugar first thing in the morning and then started the day long sugar/insulin roller coaster. So even though her pancreas continued to produce some insulin (so she never needed more than oral medication)

We all know diabetes is a bad disease, but it isn’t a disease, it is directly caused by dietary choices. Each time the blood sugar spikes it causes inflammation and damage throughout your body – you don’t feel bad, but you are being burned up internally.

So for Mom one of the complications of the the continual spiking of her blood sugar was repeated damage to her kidneys which eventually in the late 90’s led to renal failure (kidney disease) and eventually spending 4 hours every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday hooked up to a kidney dialysis machine.

They have made great strides in dialysis. it used to be that once you started dialysis your life expectancy was just a few years, but now people can live much longer, but it isn’t a good life. The dialysis machine is a poor substitute for our kidney’s and there are many minerals (potassium and phosphorus for example) which the machine can’t remove, so your diet is extremely limited as to what you can eat. One of the medications which must be taken costs $800 per month!!!

Now fast forward to 2003 when she began to develop ischemic colitis, this is where the bowl becomes inflamed and bleeds. 82% of dialysis patients will develop this or other vascular problems. Sometimes it could be ruptured blood vesicles in the eyes, under the skin, or other organs. So over the next few years she had multiple trips to the hospital and eventually most of her colon removed to control the bleeding. All was good then for the last couple of years, but now blood vesicles are rupturing in her small intestine and she is bleeding at a rate that she requires one to two units of blood every other day or so.

So back to today. She is almost 90, mentally she is sharp as a tack, and enjoys life. but surgery isn’t an option because of her weak heart (another side effect of poor dietary choices and diabetes) so if they can cauterize the bleeding spot with an endoscope (it can reach the first few feed of the small intestine) then she’ll be good for a while, if not, then she can’t live on continuous blood transfusions because of the dangerous iron build up. so the only option will be to make her comfortable (i.e. loaded full of pain meds and made nearly unconscious) and stop the blood transfusions and she will bleed to death in a few days. Not the way leave this life.

So for mom it is too late to make changes, but what can you do? Look at every bite of food which you put in your mouth. Comfort food is not comforting as this is the uncomfortable end it causes. It is simple choices, eat the 5-9 servings of vegetables a day. A simple rule of thumb is don’t eat anything white – white bread, white rice, potatoes, etc. As one expert said “If it doesn’t look the way it did when it came out of the ground or it didn’t have a mother – Don’t eat it!” so Cheetos don’t grow on trees and I’ve never seen a Cheetos being born.

For an excellent presentation Click here and click on the “Listen Now” link for a recorded webcast which explains what you can do to make sure you don’t end up on this path as well.