Diabetes: Strategies for preventing the type 2 variant

A Leicester man with type 2 diabetes is urging people to do all they can to prevent being diagnosed with the condition which could potentially have “ruined his life”. Patrick Quinn was diagnosed with the condition that is usually associated with poor lifestyle in 2014. Speaking during Diabetes Prevention Week that is currently take place across England and Wales, the 53-year-old said at the time of his diagnosis he was overweight and felt tired all the time.

The payroll administrator said: “I was immediately prescribed metformin and then it hit me that this was a life-long condition. I knew that if I didn’t take urgent action this condition could have ruined my life.” Patrick started to watch what he ate, but he completely turned his life around after being asked to take part in a lifestyle research programme called DIASTOLIC.

The aim of the DIASTOLIC study is to compare the effects of a low energy diet with an exercise programme and standard care on the hearts of adults with type 2 diabetes. The research is funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), the research arm of the NHS, through part of a research fellowship for Professor Gerry McCann, consultant cardiologist at Leicester’s Hospitals. It is conducted by a joint team from the NIHR Leicester Biomedical Research Centre and Leicester Diabetes Centre. Patrick said: “I was randomly selected to take part in the exercise group, which I had dreaded as I was not active at the time I signed up. I was asked to attend a one-hour gym session three times a week for three months.

“I really thought it was going to be difficult but it was easy. They started me off with walking on a treadmill and very, very slowly they built up my stamina and before I knew it I could run for half an hour without stopping. I really surprised myself and started seeing changes to my health and my body.” After realising he was enjoying running, towards the end of the trial Patrick signed up to take part in a two-mile fun run raising money for the Brain and Spine Foundation.

Patrick added: “Before I started the programme I would never have dreamed that I could even walk two miles, never mind run that distance. I feel fitter, happier and believe I have a better hold over my type 2 diabetes. I just wish I had made these slight lifestyle changes before I was diagnosed.”

Professor Melanie Davies CBE, who is Director of the Leicester Diabetes Centre and also Professor of Diabetes Medicine at the University of Leicester, said: “The cost of treating diabetes could hit £17 billion by 2035, crippling the NHS, which is why it’s crucial we find out the best way to treat type 2 diabetes and the complications associated with the condition.

“However, we do know it is possible to prevent a type 2 diabetes diagnosis if people are willing to make small lifestyle changes. This means losing weight, improving their diet and participating in regular exercise. Overhauling your lifestyle can be challenging, but living with type 2 diabetes is a serious condition and we urge people to do all they can to prevent developing it before it’s too late.”

Professor McCann also explained why the study was so important. He said: “Heart disease is the most common cause of death in patients with diabetes and they are at least three times more likely to develop heart failure. We need to find treatments that can effectively reverse heart damage in patients with diabetes to reduce their risk of complications and death.”

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Source Material: Details of this programme was provided to us by the University of Leicester. It is reproduced here under CCL permissions. Published 17th April, 2018.

About the Leicester Diabetes Centre: The Leicester Diabetes Centre is an international centre of excellence in diabetes research, education and innovation and is led by Professor Melanie Davies and Professor Kamlesh Khunti.

Dry Eye Disorder: Omega-3 fish oil no better than placebo

National Institutes of Health funded study finds omega-3 oils fail to yield beneficial results in the clinic.

Omega-3 fatty acid supplements taken orally proved no better than placebo at relieving symptoms or signs of dry eye, according to the findings of a well-controlled trial funded by the National Eye Institute (NEI), part of the National Institutes of Health. Dry eye disease occurs when the film that coats the eye no longer maintains a healthy ocular surface, which can lead to discomfort and visual impairment. The condition affects an estimated 14 percent of adults in the United States. The paper was published online April 13 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Annual sales of fish- and animal-derived supplements amount to more than a $1-billion market in the United States, according to the Nutrition Business Journal. Many formulations are sold over-the-counter, while others require a prescription or are available for purchase from a health care provider.

“The trial provides the most reliable and generalisable evidence thus far on omega-3 supplementation for dry eye disease,” said Maryann Redford, D.D.S., M.P.H., program officer for clinical research at NEI. Despite insufficient evidence establishing the effectiveness of omega-3s, clinicians and their patients have been inclined to try the supplements for a variety of conditions with inflammatory components, including dry eye. “This well-controlled investigation conducted by the independently-led Dry Eye Assessment and Management (DREAM) Research Group shows that omega-3 supplements are no better than placebo for typical patients who suffer from dry eye.”

The 27-center trial enrolled 535 participants with at least a six-month history of moderate to severe dry eye. Among them, 349 people were randomly assigned to receive 3 grams daily of fish-derived omega-3 fatty acids in five capsules. Each daily dose contained 2000 mg eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and 1000 mg docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). This dose of omega-3 is the highest ever tested for treating dry eye disease. The 186 people randomly assigned to the placebo group received 5 grams daily of olive oil (about 1 teaspoon) in identical capsules. Study participants and the researchers did not know their group assignment.

Blood tests at 12 months confirmed that 85 percent of people in the omega-3 group were still compliant with the therapy. In the omega-3 group, mean EPA levels quadrupled versus no change in the placebo group. Mean levels of oleic acid, the constituent of olive oil, remained stable in both treatment groups. Importantly, unlike in most industry-sponsored trials, all participants were free to continue taking their previous medications for dry eye, such as artificial tears and prescription anti-inflammatory eye drops.

“Omega-3s are generally used as an add-on therapy. The study results are in the context of this real-world experience of treating symptomatic dry eye patients who request additional treatment,” said study chair for the trial, Penny A. Asbell, M.D., of the Department of Ophthalmology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City.

Patient-reported symptoms were measured as change from baseline in the Ocular Surface Disease Index, a 100-point scale for assessing dry eye symptoms, with higher values representing greater severity. After 12 months, mean symptoms scores for people in both groups had improved substantially, but there was no significant difference in the degree of symptom improvement between the groups. Symptom scores improved by a mean of 13.9 points in the omega-3 group and 12.5 points in the placebo group. A reduction of at least 10 points on the index is considered significant enough for a person to notice improvement. Overall, 61 percent of people in the omega-3 group and 54 percent of those in the control group achieved at least a 10-point improvement in their symptom score, but the difference between the groups was not statistically significant.

Likewise, there were no significant differences between the groups in terms of improvement in signs of dry eye. Signs of dry eye were evaluated by the clinician using standardized tests that measure the amount and quality of tears and the integrity of the cornea and the conjunctiva, the surface tissue that covers the front of the eye.

“The findings also emphasize the difficulty in judging whether a treatment really helps a particular dry eye patient,” said the leader of the coordinating center for the study, Maureen G. Maguire, Ph.D., of the Department of Ophthalmology at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia. “More than half the people taking placebo reported substantial symptom improvement during the year-long study.”

“The results of the DREAM study do not support use of omega-3 supplements for patients with moderate to severe dry eye disease,“ Dr. Asbell concluded.

 

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Source Material: The details of this research was provided to us by the United States’ National Institutes of Health (NIH) news update service. It was released on 13th April, 2018. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit www.nih.gov. The study was funded by NEI grants U10EY022879 and U10EY022881. The reference for the published article is as follows: “The Dry Eye Assessment and Management Study Research Group. 2018. Omega-3 fatty acid supplementation for treatment of dry eye disease.” N Engl J Med. Published online April 13.

Exercise may outsmart genetics when it comes to heart disease

Exercise, especially cardio fitness, could outweigh genetics when it comes to heart disease, according to new research.

The study, published on 9th April, 2018 in the journal ‘Circulation’, showed strength and cardio-respiratory fitness lowered the risk for heart disease across the board – whether people were categorized with low, intermediate or high genetic risk.

“Genes don’t have to determine destiny,” said Dr. Erik Ingelsson, lead study author and professor of medicine at Stanford University. “You can impact your risk by being more fit.”

The study examined 482,702 people in England, Scotland and Wales who participated in the UK Biobank, an international research project that recruited participants between ages 40 and 69 years old from 2006 to 2010. Researchers followed those who didn’t have any signs of heart disease for about a decade. They tracked activity and exercise through questionnaires, grip strength measurements and other tests.

“It’s was a very consistent pattern for all of these different measures,” according to Ingelsson, who said he believes it is the largest such study. “All were associated with lower risk of disease in the future.”

Researchers specifically investigated the genetic profiles for those at highest risk for coronary heart disease and a heart rhythm disorder called atrial fibrillation, or AFib. Those at the highest risk who also had the highest levels of cardiorespiratory fitness – conducted through oxygen and effort measurements on a stationary bicycle – cut their coronary heart disease risk by 49 percent and their AFib risk by 60 percent.

The research is important – and timely, said Dr. Russell Pate, a professor in the University of South Carolina’s Department of Exercise Science in the Arnold School of Public Health.

“They’ve demonstrated that physical activity and fitness were associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease outcomes across a continuum of persons,” Pate said. “For the public, that’s an important message. You can’t eliminate genetic risk, but you can absolutely attenuate the effects.”

Pate just finished a term on a committee that writes the federal Physical Activity Guidelines. The group’s advisory report was released last month and will be the foundation for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ policy recommendations on how physical activity can promote health and reduce the risk of disease. The advisory group’s recommendations have a chapter emphasizing the importance of exercise with people who have chronic conditions.

The latest research is “added ammunition in making the case that promotion of physical activity deserves a prominent place in public health,” Pate said.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the world, though there are proven ways to lower risk. People often hear about risk factors such as smoking, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and excess weight. Now, the expanding field of genetics can provide more information, Pate said.

“We’re in a new era in terms of people being able to know their risk status,” he said. “We can now provide information at a new and higher level.”

Ingelsson and the study authors suggested it could lead to individualized strength-training and aerobic programs to help people counteract their genetic risk for heart disease.

But one important question to answer, and a potential future area of study, Ingelsson said, is whether that knowledge truly is power. If we know that lifestyle choices like exercise could offset our genetic risk for disease, how likely are we to start that healthier lifestyle?

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Source Material:

The material for this article was provided to us by the American Heart Association on 9th April 2018 and is reproduced here under CCL copyright permissions. To visit the American Heart Association website, please see here

Audio-Visual Entrainment: An evidence-based, medication-free solution for a range brain health & wellness issues

Mind Alive Inc is the world’s leading developer of Audio-Visual Entrainment devices, which use flashes of light and tones in the ears to produce desirable brainwave states.

These promote relaxation, mental clarity and increased academic, corporate & sporting performance. Seniors benefit from improved memory, cognition and balance which results in fewer falls.

Mind Alive devices are available in the UK and Europe from Peak Health Online.

Take a look at the video clip below, and if you’d then like to know more, pop over to the Mind Alive pages on our website and explore further. Simply click here

 

Audio-Visual Entrainment: An evidence-based, medication-free solution for a range brain health & wellness issues

Mind Alive Inc is the world’s leading developer of Audio-Visual Entrainment devices, which use flashes of light and tones in the ears to produce desirable brainwave states. These promote relaxation, mental clarity and increased academic, corporate & sporting performance. Seniors benefit from improved memory, cognition and balance which results in fewer falls. Now available in the UK and Europe from Peak Health Online. For more information, visit the Mind Alive pages on our website: http://bit.ly/2DOmfWk (and whilst you’re there, don’t forget to check out the various articles in our online Health Information library too… it’s free to access) #IntegrativeMedicine #MindAlive #AudiovisualEntrainment #relaxation #stress #stressrelief #anxiety #depression #insomnia #tbi #ADHD #ptsd #lifestylemedicine #biohacking #biohacker #brainhealth #brainhacking #brainhack

Posted by Peak Health Online on Saturday, 31 March 2018

 


 

The Thumper ‘Sport’ Massager

The professioal-grade, hand-held percussion massager, designed for home-use

 

The Thumper 'Sport' percussive massager: patented technology, precision-built in Canada & now available in the UK & Europe.

The Thumper 'Sport' percussive massager: The effects of percussive, deep tissue massage go far beyond the relief of muscular tension and include immunological, psychological & emotional benefits. The 'Sport' is a professional-grade massager designed for home use. Precision-built in Canada, its patented technology make this, and all Thumper massagers, second to none; and they're now available in the UK, from: PeakHealthOnline.com

Posted by Peak Health Online on Friday, 6 April 2018

 

The effects of percussive, deep tissue massage go far beyond the relief of muscular tension and include immunological, psychological & emotional benefits.

The ‘Sport’ is a professional-grade massager designed for home use. Precision-built in Canada, its patented technology make this, and all other Thumper massagers, second to none; and they’re now available in the UK and Europe from: Peak Health Online