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Monday, November 17th, 2008:
Treating Diabetes Naturally - Part 2
by Jacob Teitelbaum MD
Last issue we discussed an overview of how to treat diabetes naturally, and began discussing a few studies on treating diabetic nerve injury. I recommend that all diabetics, especially those with nerve problems, take Lipoic Acid 300 mg 2x day and Acetyl-L-Carnitine 2,000 mg a day to both prevent and treat these problems. In this newsletter, we will look closer at how men can treat both diabetes and depression, as well as high cholesterol and angina, by simply optimizing testosterone levels using bioidentical hormones. Women, on the other hand, can get diabetes from too high a testosterone level, which can also be treated. This week we will look at a few studies on testosterone and depression in diabetes, as well as a number of other helpful studies, including how to lose weight.
Male Adult Diabetics Have Low Testosterone Levels
This study showed that about a third of men between the ages of 18 and 35 who have type 2 diabetes have low testosterone (because the pituitary hormonal control center in the brain is not stimulating the testes).
The potential implications for men, in terms of their sexual and reproductive function during prime reproductive years, are "profound," note Dr. Paresh Dandona and colleagues from the State University of New York at Buffalo.
The researchers measured serum concentrations of total and free testosterone in 24 adult onset diabetic men (type 2 diabetics—average age 28 years) and 38 childhood onset diabetic men (type 1 diabetics—average age of 26 years).
Based on usual normal ranges of free testosterone, 33% of type 2 diabetics (8 of 24) were low (in the lowest 2% of the population — including 80 year old men), compared with 8% of type 1 diabetics (3 of 38). Using an age-based reference range, 14 of 24 type 2 diabetics (58%) had low testosterone.
As testosterone treatment using bioidentical testosterone with levels kept in ~ the 70% of the normal range (medically you're "fine" if not in the lowest 2%, which is absurd) are safe and healthy, this is the level I keep my MALE diabetics at. It helps markedly.
Diabetes Care 2008;31:2013-2017.
Antidepressant Medication Associated with 30% Higher Diabetes Risk
In a study published in the journal Diabetes Research & Clinical Practice, researcher Lauren Brown concluded that people with a history of depression had a 30% higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes than people without such a history. She also found that mixing tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs — such as Elavil) with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs — such as Prozac) resulted in twice the diabetes risk of taking only one kind of antidepressant. Brown said it was not clear whether the patients' diabetes risk was increased by the drugs, or if some other factor, such as the depression itself, might be to blame.
I would note that as diabetes is associated with low testosterone in men, and low testosterone also causes depression (and likely also worsens diabetes in men), it makes sense to treat even low normal testosterone levels. This can effectively help both the diabetes and depression by simply correcting the testosterone deficiency.
Vitamin K Decreases Insulin Resistance in Men
Vitamin K has been suggested to be a helpful nutrient for decreasing the risk of heart disease (see Calcium Increases Risk of Heart Attacks).
In this study, 500 µg/day of phylloquinone (vitamin K1) was given daily as part of an osteoporosis study. This was an ancillary study of a 36-month, randomized, double-blind, controlled trial evaluating the effect on bone loss of supplementation with 500 µg/day of phylloquinone (vitamin K1).
The study sample consisted of 355 nondiabetic men and women, aged 60 to 80 years (60% were women).
The main endpoint of this ancillary study was insulin resistance at 36 months, measured by homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR).
Secondary outcome measures were fasting plasma insulin and glucose concentrations.
In both men and women, there was evidence of decreased bone breakdown.
At the 36-month visit (but not at 6 months), HOMA-IR and plasma insulin was significantly lower for men in the supplement group vs. those in the control group (P =.01), after adjustment for baseline HOMA-IR, BMI, and weight change. There was not a significant decrease in women though, and it was suspected that this occurred because the vitamin K (being fat soluble) was being stored in fatty tissue more in women.
The study authors conclude: "Vitamin K supplementation for 36 months at doses attainable in the diet may reduce progression of insulin resistance in older men — but not in older women."
This suggests that vitamin K (which will be added to the Energy Revitalization System in our next reformulation) may decrease the risk of developing diabetes and heart disease, as well as osteoporosis.
Diabetes Care. November 2008;31:2092-2096.
Vitamin C or Fruits & Veggies Associated with Lower Risk of Diabetes
In a study using food frequency questionnaires from 21,831 healthy subjects between the ages of 40 and 75 years, increased plasma vitamin C levels were found to be inversely associated with risk of type 2 diabetes. Subjects were followed up with for 12 years, during which time 735 people developed diabetes. Those with a blood vitamin C level in the top 20% had a 62% lower risk of developing diabetes than those in the lowest 20%.
Those eating the most fruit and vegetables were found to have a 22% lower risk of developing diabetes. The authors conclude, "Our findings highlight a potentially important public health message on the benefits of a diet rich in fruit and vegetables for the prevention of diabetes."
Dietary factors play a key role in developing diabetes. These include avoiding excess sugar and increasing fiber, fruits and vegetables. Avoiding obesity and hormonal factors also play a significant role. Especially important is correcting the testosterone deficiency in men.
"Plasma Vitamin C Level, Fruit and Vegetable Consumption, and the Risk of New-Onset Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus: The European Prospective Investigation of Cancer — Norfolk Prospective Study," Harding AH, Wareham NJ, et al, Arch Intern Med, 2008; 168(14): 1493-1499.
Sugar and Sodas Can Cause Diabetes
In a study of 43,960 African-American women, the incidence of type 2 diabetes was found to be higher with higher intake of both sugar-sweetened soft drinks and fruit drinks. Drinking at least 2 soft drinks per day was associated with a 24% increased risk of type 2 diabetes, and consumption of at least 2 fruit drinks per day was associated with a 31% increase. Sadly, sugar loaded "fruit drinks" are often marketed as a healthier alternative to soft drinks. With regards to fruit drinks, the authors state, "The public should be made aware that these drinks are not a healthy alternative to soft drinks with regard to risk of type 2 diabetes."
Epidemiologic studies show that diabetes is almost unheard of in black populations in Africa — until a western diet high in sugar and low in fiber is introduced. Then diabetes rates skyrocket. Diabetes is appropriately called a disease caused by our modern diet!
"Sugar-Sweetened Beverages and Incidence of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus in African American Women," Palmer JR, Boggs DA, et al, Arch Intern Med, 2008; 168(14): 1487-1492.
Used with permission from Dr Jacob Teitelbaum's free newsletters-available at www.Vitality101.com
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