Friday, January 13, 2012

Little Proof that Periodontal Treatment Improves Blood Sugar Levels


A number of American researchers went back through medical and dental journals to see if they could find and document how periodontal treatments helped or did not help people with diabetes. The analysis that they performed involved looking a a few different studies that involved over 450 patients. They found that patients that received periodontal treatments actually reduced their A1C scores by 0.38%.

A number of American researchers went back through medical and dental journals to see if they could find and document how periodontal treatments helped or did not help people with diabetes. The analysis that they performed involved looking a few different studies that involved over 450 patients. They found that patients that received periodontal treatments actually reduced their A1C scores by 0.38%.

While every little bit helps, it turns out that the small improvement was not enough to impress statisticians that this specific dental treatments really did much good for the improvement of diabetes.

Periodontal treatments seemed to have a little bit more affect on Type II diabetics, and the effect was enhanced when patients received antibiotics to treat their periodontal conditions.

Inflammation Linked to Diabetes Risk


We don't mean to sound all pessimistic or discriminatory when we bring up the topic of belly fat and diabetes. We want to address this in a way that will help you to have a little more power over your health.

Opinions about what causes or contributes to diabetes are shifting to include a vigorous suspicion of inflammation. The article we linked to above mentions that inflammation may contribute to cancer, as well as accelerate the aging process. However, we want to point out that inflammation is also a culprit in Parkinson's disease, schizophrenia, acne, vascular disease, and many other conditions. We suspect that inflammation will sometimes fall on the same list as LDL cholesterol and high blood pressure. Your doctor could be measuring your inflammation levels in the near future as an indicator of health.

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Small European study finds possible benefit for rheumatoid arthritis drug in diabetes
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Small European study finds possible benefit for rheumatoid arthritis drug in diabetes


A few years ago some researchers from Switzerland, Sweden, and Denmark had an idea. They suspected that by encouraging the body to use less of the interleukin-1 protein, people with diabetes would improve. Interleukin-1 is a protein that works to increase pain, swelling and fever. They recruited 70 patients with type 2 diabetes to test their theory.

Thirty-six patients got a placebo and 34 got a rheumatoid arthritis drug anakinra that blocks interleukin-1's action. At the end of the study, they found that the patients who took anakinra:
  • Had significantly lower blood glucose measures than the group that got the placebo
  • Increased their own insulin production
  • Had less inflammation in their bodies.

Their results were impressive enough for the New England Journal of Medicine to publish.
Now that this study is complete, the next move probably belongs to Amgen, the company that markets anakinra as Kineret. Based on one study with 70 participants, doctors will not start prescribing this right away to patients. The study only lasted 13 weeks, so we don't know if its gets better or worse beyond that point.

Amgen made this drug hoping to sell it to a portion of the millions of people living with rheumatoid arthritis. To their surprise, they found that it may actually be a viable treatment for the millions of people living with diabetes. Diabetes affects roughly seven times the number of people with arthritis.

Do not let small study about sperm DNA in diabetic men scare you


All right, it's all over the news today, so men all over the world are wondering if they should father children if they have diabetes. So, let's break this down and interpret it. Scientists have found that sperm from type 1 diabetic men have greater levels of DNA damage than sperm from men who do not have the disease. They warn that such DNA damage might affect a man's fertility.

Researchers from Belfast, Northern Ireland showed that the DNA in the nuclei of the sperm cells had greater levels of fragmentation in diabetic men (52%, versus 32% in non-diabetic men), and that there were more deletions of DNA that would affect the tiny, energy-generating structures in the cells called mitochondria (4 versus 3).

First of all, this is the first study to explore this issue. Second, it involved 27 men with diabetes - not a large number. Not large enough in My Diabetes Information's opinion to get all uptight about. Third, DNA fragments all of the time. It can be a big deal. However, the DNA from a sperm cell is often repaired during conception as it shares DNA from an egg cell. So, there are about 30,000 genes that they can sort through and figure out what this means to men with diabetes. It will be a while.

Dr. Ishola Agbaje, who undertook the research published online this week in the journal Human Reproduction, said, "As far as we know, this is the first report of the quality of DNA in the nucleus and mitochondria of sperm in diabetes. Our study identifies important evidence of increased DNA fragmentation of nuclear DNA and mitochondrial DNA deletions in sperm from diabetic men. These findings cause concern, as they may have implications for fertility."

The truth is that they could have implications for more than just fertility. This is such a new finding from such a small study that it is very early to speculate about what it might mean. What Dr. Agbaje should do is try to find a colleague who can replicate the study with a larger group of patients. The group definitely needs to be composed of at least 30 men with diabetes. It would be even more helpful to involve more than 60 men with diabetes.

Professor Sheena Lewis of Queen's Reproductive Medicine Research Group was one of the researchers involved in the study. Her comments provided a better interpretation of what this might all mean when she said, "Our study shows increased levels of sperm DNA damage in diabetic men. From a clinical perspective this is important, particularly given the overwhelming evidence that sperm DNA damage impairs male fertility and reproductive health. Other studies have already shown that, while the female egg has a limited ability to repair damaged sperm DNA, fragmentation beyond this threshold may result in increased rates of embryonic failure and pregnancy loss. In the context of spontaneous conception, sperm DNA quality has been found to be poorer in couples with a history of miscarriages."

However, Lewis said that it was not possible to say from this current study whether the DNA damage caused by diabetes would have the same effect on men's fertility and the health of future children as DNA damage caused by other factors such as smoking.

"This is just one, relatively small study that highlights a possible concern," she said. "Further studies need to be carried out in order to understand the precise nature of the diabetes-related damage, the causal mechanisms and the clinical significance. Given the global rise in the prevalence of diabetes, it is also vital to examine the reproductive outcomes of pregnancies fathered by diabetic men, and the prevalence of diabetes amongst men attending for infertility treatment."

Grain Fiber and Magnesium Intake Associated With Lower Risk for Diabetes


Higher dietary intake of fiber from grains, cereals, and magnesium, may each be associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes, according to a report and analysis in the May 14 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Projections indicate that the number of people diagnosed with diabetes worldwide may increase from 171 million in 2000 to 370 million by 2030, according to background information in the article. The associated illness, death, and health care costs emphasize the need for effective prevention, the authors write. Fiber may help reduce the risk of diabetes by increasing the amount of nutrients absorbed by the body and reducing blood sugar spikes after eating, among other mechanisms. Current American Diabetes Association guidelines include goals for total fiber intake, but research suggests that some types of fiber may be more beneficial than others. Findings regarding magnesium and diabetes risk remain unclear.

Dr. Matthias B. Schulze, and colleagues at the German Institute of Human Nutrition, conducted a study of 9,702 men and 15,365 women age 35 to 65 years. Participants completed a food questionnaire when they enrolled in the study between 1994 and 1998, then were followed up through 2005—an average of seven years—to see if they developed diabetes. In addition, the researchers performed a meta-analysis of previously published work related to intake of fiber or magnesium and risk of diabetes.
During the follow-up period, 844 individuals in the study developed type 2 diabetes. Those who consumed more fiber through cereal, bread, and other grain products (cereal fiber), were less likely to develop diabetes than those who ate less fiber. When the participants were split into five groups based on cereal fiber intake, those who ate the most (an average of 29 grams per day) had a 27 percent lower risk of developing diabetes than those in the group that ate the least (an average of 15.1 grams per day). Eating more fiber overall or from fruits and vegetables was not associated with diabetes risk, nor was magnesium intake.

In the meta-analysis, the researchers identified nine studies of fiber and eight studies of magnesium intake. Based on the results of all the studies, in which participants were classified into either four or five groups according to their intake of fiber or magnesium, those who consumed the most cereal fiber had a 33% percent lower risk of developing diabetes than those who took in the least, while those who consumed the most magnesium had a 23percent lower risk than those who consumed the least. There was no association between fruit or vegetable fiber and diabetes risk. More on fiber rich foods.

"The evidence from our study and previous studies, summarized by means of meta-analysis, strongly supports that higher cereal fiber and magnesium intake may decrease diabetes risk," the authors conclude. "Whole-grain foods are therefore important in diabetes prevention."