New test may provide early detection of diabetes! – Issue 10

If there really were a fountain of youth—there’d probably be a year-long wait to take a dip! That’s because most folks are searching for ways to enjoy healthy living for as long as possible.

In today’s Thursday Edition of Health News Weekly™, I’ll share some exciting new research that can help you protect yourself from damaging diseases that can rob you of your enjoyment of life.

If you’re ready, let’s GO!!

New Test May Help Doctors
Identify Diabetes Risk!

Layne Lowery

Scientists may have pinpointed a new test for predicting diabetes risk—a discovery that could help doctors and patients arrest the disease sooner!

According to a Reuter’s report, researchers at the University of California at San Diego and the San Diego Veterans Affairs Healthcare System checked blood levels of people in their 70s for a protein known as fetuin-A.

They found that people with high levels of the protein—which makes your body less sensitive to insulin—were more likely than those with low levels to develop type 2 diabetes over a six-year time period.

Your liver cells make fetuin-A, the protein researchers think may be involved in glucose and calcium metabolism. Elevated blood glucose levels are a prominent sign of type 2 diabetes.

Testing blood levels for the fetuin-A protein could provide a method for early detection and treatment of diabetes.

This latest discovery comes on the heels of alarming new statistics of diabetes prevalence released in late June by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The latest CDC research shows diabetes afflicted one in four Americans over the age of 60 in 2007.

And a total of 24 million people in the United States now have diabetes. This figure represents an increase of 3 million Americans in just two years!

What’s more, another 57 million people are thought to have pre-diabetes symptoms—which puts them at greater risk of developing the disease.

Lead researcher Dr. Joachim Ix of the University of California at San Diego and the San Diego Veterans Affairs Healthcare System, told Reuters that “if you identify people at higher risk, they may be more motivated to do things like diet and exercise that are known to be important in preventing development of diabetes.”

Dr. Ix’s comments harmonize with advice provided in a new collaborative report from the American Heart Association, the American Diabetes Association and the American Cancer Society.

In the report entitled, “The Impact of Prevention on Reducing the Burden of Cardiovascular Disease”, Richard Kahn, Ph.D., chief scientific and medical officer of the American Diabetes Association and co-author of the report said, “Of the specific clinical prevention activities, the greatest benefits to the U.S. population in terms of reducing cardiovascular disease come from providing aspirin to high-risk individuals, controlling pre-diabetes, weight reduction in obese individuals, lowering blood pressure in people with diabetes, and lowering LDL cholesterol in people with existing coronary artery disease (CAD).”

The study is published online and in the July 29 issue of Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association and the August issue of Diabetes Care.

Fast Fact

If you’re looking to add more fruit juice to your diet, be sure to check the labels of all those bottled juices, sports drinks and vitamin-infused water beverages. Most are FULL of SUGAR and virtually no real fruit! Best would be juicing your own fruits and vegetables—then you’ll know exactly what you’re drinking!

Wine Compound May Improve Health—
But Not Longevity in Aging Mice

Tiffany Lowery

Scientists believe they’ve uncovered more evidence that a glass of wine may provide health benefits to older Americans.

New animal studies show the nutrient resveratrol—found in grapes and nuts—may slow age-related deterioration and functional decline in mice on a standard diet.

But contrary to previous study findings, the scientists did not find that the compound helped increase longevity when started at middle age.

Scientists from the National Institute on Aging (NIA), part of the National Institutes of Health, conducted the new study. The NIA scientists collaborated with the laboratories of Rafael de Cabo, Ph.D., of the Laboratory of Experimental Gerontology at the NIA; David A. Sinclair, Ph.D., of the Glenn Laboratories for Molecular Biology of Aging at Harvard Medical School; and an international group of researchers.

Their report, published in Cell Metabolism, confirms previous studies suggesting that in some mice, resveratrol may mimic the effects of dietary or calorie restriction.

According to an NIH statement, scientists have found these measures to be an effective and reproducible way to prevent age-related disease in mammals.

To study the impact of resveratrol on aging and health, the researchers compared three groups of rodents: 1) mice fed a standard diet, 2) mice fed a high-calorie diet, and 3) mice receiving an every-other-day feeding routine with or without high- or low-dose resveratrol.

The researchers found that resveratrol protected the mice from declining heart function caused by aging and obesity. Ten months of resveratrol treatment seemed to lower total cholesterol levels in 22-month-old non-obese mice.

In 30-month-old mice, resveratrol appeared to reduce cataract formation—a condition shown to increase with age in control-group mice. The researchers also found that aging mice had better balance and coordination!

The research team also studied the effect of resveratrol on longevity. They said the compound did not appear to have a significant effect on survival or to increase the lifespan of mice on a standard diet, compared to mice on the same diet without resveratrol.

The study authors emphasized that their animal research has no immediate or direct application to humans. They stressed that human health is influenced by a variety of factors beyond those factored into the animal studies.

“Research is attempting to understand the process of aging and to determine how interventions can influence this process. Dietary restriction has well-documented health benefits in mammals, and the study of possible mimetics of it, such as resveratrol, are of great interest,” said NIA Director Richard J. Hodes, M.D. “Resveratrol has produced significant effects in animal models, now including mice, where it mimics some, but not all, consequences of caloric restriction. Its effects in humans remain to be studied.”

Health E-Hints

“Open Sesame” May Help Open Your Sinuses!

Are your sinuses constantly clogged during allergy and hay fever season? You may benefit from an ancient Ayurvedic healing secret from India.

Try swabbing your nostrils with sesame oil each day. The oil helps eliminate dryness—which is often at the root of nasal congestion.

Cold-pressed sesame oil works best to lubricate and clear your overworked sinuses. And be sure to refrigerate your sesame oil to keep it fresh!