Daily Digest

Everyday, we sort through more than 200 newly released journal articles and choose one to highlight for you.

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Lifestyle March 12, 2017

Does yoga really help diabetes?

Yoga is increasingly popular in all age groups, and with this popularity have come a number of health and wellness claims. I feel that anything that moves your body, takes you away from the stresses o...

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Food-Weight March 9, 2017

There is no Paleo-diet, really

I had a hard time understanding Paleo-diets when they first became popular. Wasn't the Paleolithic period really long, and wasn't there a large variation in hominid habitats? I recommend ...

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Food-Weight March 4, 2017

Sleeve gastrectomy taking over

Weight-loss surgeries are trending up in the United States, but also in the rest of the world. Another trend, reported today in Surgery for Obesity and Related Diseases is the increasing us...

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Meds February 24, 2017

Discontinuing insulin

Insulin remains a common treatment for people with type 2 diabetes, as everyone with type 2 diabetes slowly loses their insulin producing beta cells over time. Despite insulin's utility and common us...

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Genes-physiology February 22, 2017

Making new beta cells

At its most basic level, diabetes results from the lack of insulin producing beta cells. Beta cell loss of over 90% occurs before the onset of type 1 diabetes, and type 2 diabetes only becomes difficu...

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Uncategorized February 21, 2017

Not too much, not too little

Moderate alcohol ingestion has a clear association with improved cardiac outcomes in epidemiologic studies, and this study released today in the Journal of the American Heart Association con...

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Food-Weight February 20, 2017

Occasional days of eating less

I was attracted to this article, released today in Science Translational Medicine, by the title, which starts "Fasting-mimicking diet...". The authors point out the advantages, in animal st...

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Healthcare February 19, 2017

Better numbers, lower costs

The clinical trial data is clear; lower blood pressure, LDL cholesterol, and A1C numbers reduce future diabetes-related complications such as cardiovascular disease (CVD), retinopathy and neuropathy. ...

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Genes-physiology February 18, 2017

Measurement at the edge

The ability to measure something accurately, reproducibly, and by a number of different laboratories is one of the most important steps to new knowledge. The story of irisin is an excellent example to...

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Food-Weight February 16, 2017

Bariatric surgery moves forward

The use of bariatric surgery continues to rise, and its use in people with diabetes has expanded to the point where it is now called metabolic surgery, since it does not always involve people who are ...

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Healthcare February 15, 2017

Fatty → Fibrotic → Cirrhotic

NAFLD (Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease) is increasing prevalent, and usually associated with insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome. While NAFLD itself is of interest, it is those individuals wit...

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Health Policy February 13, 2017

The curious pricing of insulin

Human insulin remains one of the few medications, along with thyroid hormone, where we can use the exact same molecule that is naturally produced in our bodies. Costs for human insulin should be, and...

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Lifestyle February 11, 2017

Measuring health, tweet by tweet

This report, just released on PLoS One, is one of the most effective uses of social media, Twitter in this instance, to analyze health characteristics that I have seen. They produce a 'Lexicocalorime...

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Meds February 10, 2017

Low B12 missed in metformin users

At present there are no guidelines recommending routine testing of vitamin B12 in metformin users, despite the very consistent data that B12 deficiency accompanies longer-term use of metformin. This s...

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Lifestyle February 7, 2017

Sweet sleep: how do I measure thee?

Sleep is an important component of health, with numerous studies linking both sleep duration and sleep quality to measures of well-being, and also to metabolic measures such as insulin resistance and ...

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Health Policy February 5, 2017

Life at the bottom of the ladder

The Macarthur ladder is a common approach to assessing subjective socioeconomic status (SES), and many studies have confirmed that living at the bottom of the ladder is associated with poorer health, ...

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Food-Weight February 3, 2017

Not bitter melon but bitter taste

  Bitter melon, or Momordica charantia, is a bitter tasting Asian fruit that is often touted for its benefit in diabetes. However, like most herb and food-based treatments, clinical studies h...

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Food-Weight February 2, 2017

Getting our timing right

Our modern day life often seems controlled by the clock, but it is clear that we are also controlling, or changing our own clocks; our circadian clocks, that is. Circadian clocks have developed across...

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Environment February 1, 2017

Be careful where you breathe

The impact of small (less then 2.5 µg) particulate matter, termed PM2.5 found in smog is increasingly being recognized as a significant factor in chronic diseases, and not just asthma and COPD. The e...

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Food-Weight January 31, 2017

When we eat, not just what we eat?

Food is always a hot topic, and not just in the popular press. Academic articles in which diet was a major component have increased in number every year from 2001 (1,740) through 2015 (6,406). Despite...

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Technology-Internet January 30, 2017

There are changes ahead

One of my favorite quotes is by Bill Gates: "We always overestimate the change that will occur in the next two years and underestimate the change that will occur in the next ten. Don't let yourself be...

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Health Policy January 29, 2017

Selling cessation

Smoking prevalence has decreased in the United States and in England, but still runs at around 15% in the U.S. and a little higher in England. There are a number of smoking programs available which co...

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Outcomes January 28, 2017

Seeing improvement

Loss of sight is one of the biggest concerns for everyone with diabetes, with lower income groups having bigger fears than others. These feelings exist despite solid data that the risk of vision loss ...

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Health Policy January 27, 2017

Diabetes guidelines lag

Today's JAMA commentary points out that current diabetes treatment recommendations should be guided by more than just A1C, as recent studies on glucose lowering medications have shown that some now h...

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Environment January 26, 2017

Too fine to escape

We often talk about changes in food intake and physical activity as the main environmental factors behind the increasing incidence of diabetes in developing countries. However, pollution is an underap...

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Global Health January 24, 2017

Diabetes troubles in China

Diabetes is increasing faster in developing countries than it is in the U.S. and Western Europe, and this well-documented report released today details the huge impact that this is having on morbidity...

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Healthcare January 23, 2017

Picking a blood pressure target

Blood pressure (BP) control in people with diabetes is more important and has more impact than glycemic control. About 80% of people with type 2 diabetes have hypertension, and over 50% have a BP abo...

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Health Policy January 8, 2017

Paying for steps

Financial incentives for health behavior changes is a popular approach, and in 2014 the Affordable Care Act began to allow up to 50% of medical insurance premiums to be rewarded for smoking cessation....

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Meds December 19, 2016

Metformin – Hard to Swallow?

Metformin is not only the most useful medication for people with type 2 diabetes, but also one of the most useful and cost-effective medications in all of healthcare. Really the only problem with metf...

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Meds June 29, 2016

We don’t seem to like insulin.

Many studies have documented the delay in starting insulin, while this isn’t the major point 0f  this study, it does provide a nice demonstration . The authors identified 15 studies in which basal ...

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Meds June 29, 2016

Too much of a good thing?

Blockade of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAAS) has been the cornerstone medication approach (along with controlling blood pressure) to prevent progression of renal disease. However, studi...

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Psychosocial June 7, 2016

Believing in yourself

Self-efficacy is commonly described as the confidence that you have in performing goal-directed behaviors, and many studies link it to the behaviors needed to achieve good control of your diabetes. A ...

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Lifestyle June 6, 2016

Mindful walking

Walking is a common and generally accepted form of physical activity that has shown benefits for reducing cardiovascular risk and improving diabetes control. There is less data available for the healt...

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Off the beaten path June 3, 2016

Do plants get diabetes?

They can, but not as much as people, the authors say, because they are more efficient at removing free radicals. However, as CO2 in the atmosphere increases, so may diabetes. Mostly an idea...

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Lifestyle June 3, 2016

What’s in an app?

Apps are an attractive item in healthcare these days, especially in chronic disease. They are inexpensive, amazingly scalable, available 24/7, and can also be visually appealing. However, many people ...

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Lifestyle April 17, 2016

The benefits of sleep

When we talk about modifiable risk factors for developing or controlling type 2 diabetes, we usually focus on food and fitness, and their effect on weight. Smoking is also an important modifiable risk...

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Healthcare April 16, 2016

Don’t walk if you can dance

Dancing can not only improve your mood and social health, but also can also make you live longer! Any type of physical activity has a big impact on diabetes, and also on improving your heart health. W...

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Lifestyle January 15, 2016

Weighing in on weight

I think that part of the confusion behind discussions of weight and health is semantic. If someone is 5 feet 9 inches tall and weighs over 250 pounds they are overweight and unhealthy, right? Wrong; t...

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Lifestyle January 6, 2016

The impact of our social environment

Social integration, support and strain have strong associations with our physical health and longevity, as nicely shown in this fascinating study which merged data from 4 longitudinal U.S. population ...

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Healthcare January 5, 2016

Welcome to the United States

One of the best examples of the major impact of environment on diabetes incidence is the increase in diabetes seen when immigrants enter the United States. This is especially true for non-Caucasian et...

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Healthcare January 5, 2016

The allure of group visits

Group medical visits have been around for a long time, have a number of attractive features, yet the implementation is quite low. Although there are various flavors, the most common are a group of peo...

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Healthcare December 21, 2015

Vegetarians live longer, right?

The thought that vegetarian diets are more healthy is common, but most well-done clinical studies have failed to show a benefit. This report is one of the largest, and shows no decrease in mortality i...

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Healthcare December 10, 2015

Brown fat and the microbiome

Wow! Two of the trendiest topics in metabolism, brown fat and the microbiome, meet up in this fascinating article. This report studies 2 groups of mice with no microbiome, that is, no bacteria in thei...

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Lifestyle December 9, 2015

Fitness trumps fatness

In one of his earliest diabetes manuals, Elliott Joslin (who founded the Joslin Diabetes Center in 1898) said that “It is better to discuss how far you have walked than how little you have eaten”....

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Food-Weight December 8, 2015

Diabetes risk can start in childhood

The Bogalusa Heart Study has followed an ethnically diverse of children in northern Louisiana for over 40 years, and this report tells us that the presence of insulin resistance, not just being overwe...

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Healthcare December 7, 2015

When does it all start?

Longitudinal childhood studies tell us that children’s obesity, fitness and insulin resistance are good predictors of their adult status, and good predictors of adulthood obesity and type 2 diabetes...

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Food-Weight December 7, 2015

Autonomic neuropathy of the gut

A trio of articles in Diabetologia review the troubling current status of neuropathy affecting the gastrointestinal system, one of the most debilitating and frustrating complications of diabetes. The ...

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Food-Weight November 21, 2015

Easing resistant blood pressure

Hypertension, present in 80% of people with type 2 diabetes, is a rising problem worldwide. Although there at least eleven different classes of blood pressure lowering medications, around 25% of peopl...

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