Why are your body's levels of blood sugar, insulin, triglycerides and cholesterol key to understanding pre-diabetes and Type-2 diabetes?
Your body makes insulin so glucose - sugar in the blood - can be absorbed into your cells and turned into energy. Insulin also enables your body to absorb triglycerides - fat in the blood. Sometimes excess glucose and triglycerides can accumulate in the blood (i.e. insulin resistance and pre-diabetes) - most often due to lifestyle factors that you can control! The three most important lifestyle factors associated with high blood sugar and triglycerides are, being too sedentary (not exercising), poor nutrition choices (often due to stress in our lives) and an unhealthy weight and body composition (too high a percentage of fat). The other important risk factor is a family history of Type-2 diabetes - which is related to belonging to certain ethnic groups. A family history of Type-2 diabetes and certain ethnicities mean you are at higher risk of developing Type-2 diabetes in your lifetime than other Americans. If you are in this situation, exercise, better nutrition and healthy body weight and composition are critical.
Insulin resistance is the first indication of a potential future with health complications related to pre-diabetes and Type-2 diabetes. Insulin is a hormone which enables the cells in your body to absorb blood glucose. Insulin resistance occurs when higher than normal levels of glucose begin to accumulate in the blood. Insulin resistance is associated with elevated levels of triglycerides and lower levels of HDL ("good" cholesterol). Insulin resistance is an opportunity - if discovered - because it is reversible with changes to certain lifestyle factors. Insulin resistance often progresses to pre-diabetes. Today, more than 86 million persons are estimated to be prediabetic. Pre-diabetes is also reversible with only modest changes in lifestyle. Current research indicates pre-diabetes will generally progress to a diagnosis of Type-2 diabetes within 10 years if left un-managed. Once a diagnosis of Type-2 diabetes is made, the management of cholesterol (lipid targets) becomes essential - in addition to managing blood sugar. The fact is persons with Type-2 diabetes have risk of major coronary events similar to that of (non-diabetic) individuals with already established coronary heart disease. The bottom line - taking action today, can mean a more healthy future.
How is cholesterol related to Type 2 diabetes?
Like tryglycerides, cholesterol is a type of lipid - a fat. LDL ("bad" cholesterol) is found in many foods we all eat. HDL ("good" cholesterol) transports LDL to the liver where it is eliminated. Type-2 diabetes is associated with impairment of this important HDL/LDL transport function. High LDL is an important warning sign of cardio-vascular disease - which is, not surprisingly, one of the leading complications for people with diabetes.
Clinical research indicates that persons with insulin resistance, the earliest indication of potential diabetes concern, often progress to a pre-diabetes state and persons with pre-diabetes typically develop Type-2 diabetes within 10 years. Unfortunately, many persons with insulin resistance or pre-diabetes may not even be aware of their elevated blood sugar, impaired insulin response, elevated triglycerides and impaired LDL transport. For this reason, the American Diabetes Association recommends regular screening for diabetes beginning at age 45 - even in the absence of any of the four risk major factors.
The latest estimates (June 2014) from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) tell us that 2 in 5 Americans (40%) will develop Type-2 diabetes at some point. The good news is, if we take action to address the lifestyle factors associated with Type-2 diabetes, it is possible for our body's levels of blood sugar, triglycerides and cholesterol to return to a normal, healthy range.
To read the full CDC report please click on this link.
Clinical research provides evidence certain natural compounds have important relationships to blood sugar, triglycerides and cholesterol. In this regard, for your consideration below, is a compilation of studies, all published in peer-reviewed scientific and medical journals and sourced from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as well as major universities.
Tea is an infusion of the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant and is the most widely consumed beverage in the world, aside from water. Herbal teas are infusions of herbs or plants other than Camellia sinensis and will not be discussed in this article. Although tea contains a number of bioactive chemicals, including caffeine and fluoride, scientists are particularly interested in the potential health benefits of a class of compounds in tea known as flavonoids. In many cultures, tea is an important source of dietary flavonoids.
Deficiency of vitamin B₆ (PLP, pyridoxine, pyridoxal) and vitamin B₁ (thiamine) was prevalent in type 2 diabetes. Incipient nephropathy was associated with more pronounced alterations in vitamin B₆ metabolism and stronger indications of endothelial dysfunction and inflammation.
Type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM-T2) is commonly associated with increased triglycerides (TG), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) and low high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) levels. Fibrates like gemfibrozil are frequently used in diabetic patients to decrease TG and increase HDL-C levels. We compared the efficacy of Vitamin C, an antioxidant vitamin, with gemfibrozil on serum HDL-C in diabetic patients.
Stevioside from Stevia rebaudiana has been reported to exert antihyperglycemic effects in both rat and human subjects. There have been few studies on these effects in vitro. In this paper, radioactive glucose uptake assay was implemented in order to assess improvements in insulin sensitivity in 3T3-L1 cells by elevation of glucose uptake following treatment with stevioside.
Authors: Forte G, Bocca B, Peruzzu A, Tolu F, Asara Y, Farace C, Oggiano R, Madeddu R.
Author: Ting Lu; Posted by American Diabetes Association
Cinnamon supplements lowered blood glucose levels in people with type 2 diabetes in a small well-controlled study.
What is the problem and what is known about it so far?
For thousands of years, people have used cinnamon as a folk remedy for a variety of ailments, including type 2 diabetes. However, studies attempting to verify the efficacy of cinnamon as a diabetes treatment have conflicting results, some supporting cinnamon and others finding no benefit.
Authors: Liu K, Zhou R, Wang B, Chen K, Shi LY, Zhu JD, Mi MT.
The results of studies investigating the effect of green tea on glucose control and insulin sensitivity in humans are inconsistent.
We aimed to quantitatively evaluate the effect of green tea on glucose control and insulin sensitivity.
Authors: Wright OR, Netzel GA, Sakzewski AR
Authors: D Kibirige, R Mwebaze.
Authors: A Beresniak, G Duru, G Berger, D Bremond-Gignac.
The aim of this study was to investigate potential statistical relationships between black tea consumption and key health indicators in the world. The research question is: Does tea consumption is correlated with one or more epidemiological indicators?
Ecological study using a systematic data-mining approach in which the unit of the analysis is a population of one country.