A recent article published in 'Diabetes Care' discussed about a study conducted by Dr.Vijay Jayagopal and his colleagues from the Hull Royal Infirmary in the UK, which tried to understand the benefits of dietary supplements on type 2 diabetes patients. The study was conducted on 35 post menopausal women with type 2 diabetes who either received a placebo or a dietary supplement with phytoestrogens. Phytoestrogens are naturally occurring compound of plants, such as soybeans, or plant products, such as whole grain cereals, that act like estrogen in the body. The participants were put on this regime for 12 weeks. At the end of the 12 week period it was found that participants who received the dietary supplement with phytoestrogens showed greater reductions in fasting insulin levels, insulin resistance, HbA1c levels, total cholesterol levels, LDL cholesterol, cholesterol/HDL ratio, and free thyroxin levels compared to those women who received the placebo. Though researchers concluded that short-term dietary supplementation reduces insulin resistance and improves glycemic control, while reducing their cardiovascular risk, they were unclear as to whether the soy protein or isoflavone component was primarily responsible for the beneficial effects or if both act synergistically.
HRT & Diabetes
Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, University of Buffalo recently published the results of a study indicating the relationship between Hormone Replacement Therapy & lipid and glucose metabolism in diabetic and non-diabetic post menopausal women. Data from the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, conducted from 1988 to 1994, was used. 2,790 post menopausal women aged 42-75 years underwent an oral glucose tolerance test, had blood drawn for lipid assessment, and responded to HRT questions. The results showed that post menopausal women with diabetes had increased dislipidemia compared to non-diabetic women. Diabetic women who were currently undergoing HRT showed significant difference in lipid and glucose control levels compared to the new HRT users. The following variables acted as the indicators: total cholesterol (225 vs. 241mg/dl), non-HDL (169 vs.188 mg/dl), APO (171 vs.147 mg/dl), fibrinogen (306 vs.342 mg/dl), glucose (112 vs. 154 mg/dl), insulin (16.81 vs. 22 uU/ml), and GHQ (6.03 vs.7.13 mg/dl). Researchers concluded that glycemic control and lipoprotein profiles were better in diabetic & non-diabetic post menopausal women who were current HRT users than in the new or previous HRT users.
Inflammation, Heart disease & Type 2 Diabetes
An annual research conference of ADA investigators presented interesting facts about the relationship of type 2 diabetes, which is strongly linked to heart disease, to inflammation also. The research is based on the fact that when you get an infection your body produces cells that help fight off disease. When this happens a variety of protein types and other substances collect in the blood stream. Inflammation can be measured by looking at these substances and these act as "markers" of inflammation. People with heart disease have found to have higher levels of these markers while a slight presence of these markers indicated development of heart disease in future. Researchers concluded that there is marked link between inflammation and diabetic control as drugs which reduce inflammation also improve diabetic control. An examination of the medication records of 11,000 type 2 diabetic patients who took medication to lower blood glucose levels showed that it took longer for patients' diabetes to get worse if they took statins. However the use of statins in those at a risk for inflammatory type 2 diabetes can be concluded only after further research.