Welcome to the 36th edition of Viewpoints, our monthly e-newsletter. We hope you find our new design more accessible and easy to use. Click on In This Issue headlines to read individual articles.
|INTELLIGENCE REPORT: LOW-CARB DIETS "BOOST WEIGHT LOSS AND HEART HEALTH"|
Women who aggressively restrict carbohydrates in their diet for six months can lose nearly twice as much weight as women on higher carb diets over a similar period, according to a new survey.
After a year, the low-carb dieters also saw greater improvements in blood pressure and cholesterol levels – key factors in the cluster of increased risks for heart disease called Metabolic Syndrome (Syndrome X).
Researchers from Stanford University studied three diets with differing carb recommendations that have been popularized in books, plus a fourth diet based on Government-backed dietary guidelines. The aim was to explore the difference between popular diets and specifically gather data on the pros and cons of low-carbohydrate intake.
The survey, reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association, was the largest head-to-head study of competing diets to date. The weight of women on diets with differing carbohydrate intake was studied by researchers, who concluded that low-carb diets were safe and effective for losing weight and improving cardiovascuilar health – at least in the short term.
Unfortunately, even those on the most effective low-carb diet only lost 10 lbs after a year. And even the best weight-loss performers then found themselves slowly but surely putting the weight back on. Reseachers also cautioned that the long-term safety of low-carb, high-protein diets was still in question and that such diets were not a pancea on their own for obesity.
However, combining a balanced and nutritious diet with regular exercise is a proven way to lose weight and keep it off by helping to reverse Insulin Resistance – an imbalance of blood sugar and insulin, which often underlies excess weight and obesity.
As well as causing Metabolic Syndrome, obesity may, if left unchecked, lead to Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), a leading cause of infertility and menstrual irregularity, as well as acne and other skin conditions, excess facial hair and female hair loss. Overweight women do not have a monopoly on PCOS, however. Up to 50% of PCOS sufferers may be females who are of normal weight or even lean.
Insulin Resistance-linked weight problems are also associated with Type 2 Diabetes. Before the onset of this latter condition, however, most people develop reversible Pre-Diabetes, a condition in which blood sugar levels are elevated beyond normal but not high enough for a diagnosis of Type 2 Diabetes. If neglected, Pre-Diabetes may lead to the Type 2 variety, which can only be managed for the rest of a person's life. Many Diabetics require daily injections of insulin.
Type 2 Diabetes severely increases the risk of blindness, amputation and kidney disease, as well as a heart attack or stroke. Some 90% of people with Type 2 also suffer from excess weight or obesity.
|NEW RESEARCH: MOST PRE- AND TYPE 2 DIABETICS RISK WORSENING THEIR CONDITION BY LACK OF EXERCISE|
More than 60% of people with Type 2 Diabetes apparently ignore their doctors' advice to keep active.
The same percentage of people with Pre-Diabetes, the reversible precursor to irreversible Type 2, also don't get enough exercise. As a result, both groups risk making their condition much worse.
Some 75% of Pre- and Type 2 Diabetics said their doctors had advised them to exercise. But the patients who received the strongest warnings to become more active were the least likely to listen, according to the study in the February 2007 edition of the American Diabetes Association's journal, Diabetes Care. (1)
"People should exercise more, that story is already out. What we're saying is, 'Here's a high-risk population that can benefit from exercise, and they're even less likely to exercise," said lead researcher Dr. Elaine Morrato of the University of Colorado in Denver, whose team studied 22,000 patients.
Dr Morrato added candidly that she was disappointed by the lack of exercise among most Diabetics.
"It is difficult to be optimistic about addressing the twin epidemics of obesity and Diabetes without success in increasing physical activity in the population," her survey concludes. "The results of this study provide very pessimistic data."
Without sufficient exercise, Type 2 Diabetics face complications ranging from high blood pressure, which can lead to heart and kidney disease, and nerve damage, which may result in blindness and amputation.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate more than 20 million Americans have Diabetes. About 90% of them have irreversible Type 2, which is strongly inked with excess weight and obesity. But before most people develop the Type 2 variety, they suffer from reversible Pre-Diabetes, a condition in which blood glucose levels are elevated but not high enough for a diagnosis of Type 2 Diabetes.
A blood glucose and insulin imbalance called Insulin Resistance is often an underlying cause of both obesity and Pre-Diabetes. By reversing Insulin Resistance, weight loss can be achieved and Pre-Diabetes prevented from developing into the Type 2 variety. Weight loss in Type 2 Diabetics from a balanced, nutritious diet and regular exercise is also greatly beneficial - it makes them more insulin sensitive and thus more responsive to insulin, which improves a Diabetic's health.
The American Diabetes Association recommends people get at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise, such as brisk walking, five times a week. But the Association says for those who can't rack up that much, there are benefits from even five minutes a day, along with everyday activities such as gardening or walking to work.
(1) Elaine H. Morrato, James O. Hill, Holly R. Wyatt, Vahram Ghushchyan, and Patrick W. Sullivan, "Physical Activity in U.S. Adults With Diabetes and At Risk for Developing Diabetes, 2003".
Diabetes Care 2007 30: 203-209
|CONSULT DR. MARY: DOES SMOKING AFFECT INSULIN RESISTANCE?|
Yes, it does. We have all heard of the negative health impact that cigarette smoking has on health, including the increased chance of lung cancer and stroke and much more.
However, did you know that smoking can also raise the likelihood of developing Insulin Resistance, a reversible imbalance of blood glucose and insulin? Left unchecked, Insulin Resistance is often an underlying cause of the cluster of elevated risk factors for heart disease called Metabolic Syndrome (Syndrome X).
A new study looked at the effects of short-term cigarette smoking on Insulin Resistance and lipid profile in healthy adults. The study examined 44 males and compared fasting glucose, insulin, and lipid profile in 22 smokers and 22 non-smokers. The results showed the smoking group to have significantly elevated levels of these factors versus the non-smoking group, indicating that smokers are more prone to developing hyperinsulinemia, hyperglycemia and Metabolic Syndrome. (1)
If you suffer from Insulin Resistance and smoke cigarettes, you should think twice about changing your habits. Although it's a hard habit to shake, you will be astonished by how much better you feel if you quit smoking. Along with a balanced, nutritious diet and regular exercise, giving up smoking will help you to reverse Insulin Resistance.
(1) Gupta V, Tiwari S, Agarwal CG, Shukla P, Chandra H, Sharma P., "Effect of short-term cigarette smoking on insulin resistance and lipid profile in asymptomatic adults".
Indian J Physiol Pharmacol. 2006 Jul-Sep;50(3):285-90.
Click here to Join our PCOS Community
Let us be an integral part of your PCOS support team.
Take advantage of our ongoing outreach program by submitting a question about your health to our Medical & Advisory team.Contact Us.
Post a comment or query on our new PCOS Support blog - the place to go for online information and inspiration.
|INSULITE LIFESTYLE TIPS: MARTIAL ARTS CAN IMPROVE MIND AND BODY IN BOTH SEXES OF ALL AGES|
Martial arts have long since ceased to be the exclusive male preserve of Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan wannabes. Around 5 million Americans practice a form of martial arts each year and a third of them are women.
In fact, there at least 1,000 women-only martial arts centers in the U.S.
New research has increasingly revealed the intricate connections between mind and body. As well as offering obvious self-defense skills, many traditional Asian disciplines based on ancient combat techniques have been found to impart a multitude of health benefits. These can range from weight loss, better breathing control and greater flexibility to improved concentration, self-confidence and inner calm.
Reasonably fit people wanting a real aerobic workout and a relatively quick path to self-defense mastery should consider Japanese karate, Thai kickboxing, Brazilian capoeira or Chinese kung fu. If you are interested in the spiritual dimensions of martial arts, try the slower, gentler styles of shing-yi, bagua and aikido, which particularly suit older people.
Or go for tai chi, which boasts flowing movements, rich philosophy and proven health bonuses such as a reduction in osteoarthritis, lowered blood pressure and cholesterol levels and improved joint suppleness. Nearly every exponent of tai chi also says it helps back pain and relaxation.
Before joining a martial arts school, check with your doctor if you have any doubts about the suitablity of your health. Ask to try a class before signing up and make sure you like the teacher. Don't worry about being out of shape at the start - most beginners are that way.
A note to parents: think about bringing a youngster. Good schools welcome kids as young as five for training and it's a great way for them to improve their health and avoid the current epidemic of child obesity.
A MONTHLY MESSAGE FROM INSULITE LABORATORIES
We at Insulite Laboratories understand how easy it is to become immune to the health warnings pumped out by the medical community via the media each day.
But the frequency of the messages doesn't diminish the need to take action now before certain weight-related diseases take a firm grip and threaten to ruin your health.
A classic example is the still-largely misunderstood threat posed by Pre-Diabetes, which is often caused by a reversible imbalance of blood glucose and insulin called Insulin Resistance. This latter condition can underlie excess weight and obesity.
Pre-Diabetes is a condition in which blood sugar levels are elevated beyond normal but not high enough for a diagnosis of Type 2 Diabetes. Fortunately, changes in lifestyle, such as switching to a balanced, nutritious diet and adopting regular exercise to lose weight can prevent Pre-Diabetes developing into the irreversible Type 2 variety.
The latter condition should be avoided if at all possible because, once it takes hold, it can only be managed for the rest of a person's life.
Many Diabetics require daily injections of insulin to control Type 2 Diabetes, which severely increases the risk of blindness, amputation and kidney disease, as well as a heart attack or stroke. Some 90% of people with Type 2 also suffer from excess weight or obesity.
Have You Been Diagnosed with PCOS?|
If You Have, We're Here to Help You Restore Your Health
Insulite Laboratories is committed to giving you a better understanding of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) and a common underlying cause of the condition, namely Insulin Resistance-linked excess weight or obesity.
So we are very pleased to offer the Insulite PCOS System, which has been scientifically-formulated to help reverse Insulin Resistance, an imbalance of blood glucose and insulin.
PCOS is a major cause of female infertility, as well as irregular periods and excessive bleeding, obesity, skin conditions like acne and brown patches, excess body hair, female baldness and reduced sex drive.
The Insulite PCOS System includes a scientifically-designed combination of nutrients which are primarily designed to increase the number of insulin receptors on the surface of each cell.
As a result, cells can absorb blood glucose through the receptor sites more efficiently for conversion to energy, thereby reducing levels of circulating glucose. A decrease in elevated blood glucose lowers the secretion of insulin, which are both major underlying causes of excess weight gain and obesity.
When insulin and glucose are in balance, weight loss is facilitated and a related disease like PCOS can be reversed.
Please go to www.pcos.insulitelabs.com
for more details.