Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Using Biomarkers to Predict Type 2 Diabetes

Diabetes has been a dangerous chronic illness in the United States for some time. And the disease has garnered considerable attention in recent years. One reason that attention has been paid to prediabetes is because it is a frequent precursor to type 2 diabetes. Approximately 30 million Americans suffer from type 2 diabetes, while more than 96 million have prediabetes. However, biomarkers exist that can predict type 2 diabetes. Therefore, by using biomarkers, a healthcare provider can take action to help a patient delay or prevent the condition.

In a Japanese study, 27,392 non-diabetic subjects were evaluated from 2005 to 2016. The researchers discovered that, on average, a number of risk factors were more prevalent among people who developed type 2 diabetes than among those who did not. In particular, BMI, fasting glucose, and insulin resistance were elevated up to ten years prior to diagnosis.

Another study conducted in Sweden revealed that risk factors for type 2 diabetes are present long before the condition is diagnosed. Twenty years were spent observing 296,439 individuals who were not initially diabetic. During the twenty-year-period, around 10% of the study participants were diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Looking at the biomarkers, BMI, triglycerides, and fasting glucose, it was discovered that those with higher-than-normal levels of these biomarkers had a greater chance of developing type 2 diabetes 20 years later.

In a recent study of 12,823 people with a mean age of 43.54 years, a median follow-up length of 7.02 years (maximum of 13 years) revealed that 320 participants developed diabetes. In addition, waist circumference (WC) was the best simple anthropometric measure of obesity reflecting diabetes risk followed by waist-to-height ratio (WHtR).

Further, the researchers found that WHtR may be the most beneficial for predicting pre-diabetes, since WHtR's thresholds fluctuate less. WHtR thresholds ranged from 0.47 to 0.50. Subjects with greater WHtR readings had an increased chance of developing diabetes within 6 to 12 years.

Therefore, clinicians should be aware that diabetes can often be predicted.  It is also possible to delay or prevent type 2 diabetes. This knowledge can help physicians more effectively manage patients who are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes.


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Wednesday, March 15, 2023

Plant-Based Diets Can Slow the Decline of Cognitive Skills

No dietary plan can guarantee a healthy brain as we age. Nonetheless, following a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and dairy products can help maintain a healthy mind. Choosing healthy fats like olive or canola oil, over saturated fats, and protein from fish and plants is also a good idea. Research shows that plant-based diets that include nutritious vegetables may slow cognitive deterioration. Specifically, a recent study revealed that the Mediterranean diet and the MIND diet can prevent or reduce the decrease of cognitive abilities.

The traditional cuisine of Greece, Italy, and other countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea comprise the Mediterranean diet. The diet consists mostly of plant-based foods, including whole grains, vegetables, legumes, fruits, nuts, seeds, spices, and herbs. Most of the fat in the diet comes from olive oil. In moderation, dairy, poultry, and fish are permissible. Eating sweets and red meat should be infrequent. 

Because the MIND diet incorporates foods from the Mediterranean and DASH diets, let's discuss the DASH Diet. The DASH diet is an eating regimen meant to treat or prevent hypertension. The acronym for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension is DASH. The diet comprises potassium, calcium, and magnesium-rich foods. These minerals aid in blood pressure regulation. The diet prohibits high-sodium, high-saturated-fat, and added-sugar foods.

The Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay (MIND) eating pattern promotes a healthy brain health. The MIND diet combines elements of the Mediterranean and DASH diets. The MIND diet incorporates items from the Mediterranean and DASH diets that help boost cognitive function and protect the brain from age-related conditions like Alzheimer's disease. Kale, spinach, and collard greens and other green leafy vegetables are MIND dietary staples.

In a study, researchers combed the ScienceDirect, PubMed, and Web of Science electronic databases to identify brain-healthy diets. And the researcher discovered evidence indicating that plant-based diets can promote brain function. The researchers determined that the MIND diet enhanced memory, focus and cognition. And that the Mediterranean diet improved cognitive capacities. Healthcare providers should educate their patients on the cognitive benefits of plant-based diets based on the findings of this study.


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