27 July 2004

Good News and Bad News For Type 2 Diabetics

The bad news first:
Researchers had found a link between caffeine at mealtime and increased glucose/insulin levels in people with type 2 diabetes. This means diabetics should eliminate or decrease caffeine intake in their diets. [August 2004 issue of Diabetes Care]
In type 2 diabetes, the cells in the muscles, liver, and fat do not use insulin properly, resulting in increased blood glucose levels. Over the years, high blood glucose levels damage nerves and blood vessels, which lead to complications such as heart disease, stroke, blindness, kidney disease, nerve problems, and amputation.

In the US, there are 17 million diabetics, 90% of which are type 2 diabetics. In the Philippines, diabetes is the 9th leading cause of death per Department of Health statistics.

James D. Lane, the lead author of the caffeine-type 2 diabetes link, noted a 21% increase in glucose and a 48% rise in insulin levels after caffeine intake. He said that caffeine somewhat impairs the metabolism of carbohydrates in diabetic patients and this makes their diabetes get worse.

Let's now tackle the good news:
A Finnish study has found that diabetic who does just a bit of exercise during a regular workday can reduce the risk of dying from a heart attack or any other cardiovascular condition. [Circulation, July 27 online issue]
In the study which involved 3,300 people with type 2 diabetes for 18 years, researchers found that type 2 diabetics whose jobs had them on their feet and lifting light objects were 9% less likely to die of cardiovascular disease than diabetics who spent the working day behind a desk.

The Finnish study showed that leisure activities by diabetics brought even greater cardiovascular benefits. Those who had moderate leisure activity, like more than 4 hours a week of walking, cycling or gardening, had a 17% lower risk of cardiovascular death compared to diabetics whose idea of exercise was pushing the TV remote at home.

It was also noted that there was an even greater 33% death risk reduction for diabetics who led an active leisure program, defined as more than 3 hours a week like running or jogging, and swimming.

So if you are a diabetic, limit those java cups and move around more. A simple leisure walk can do wonders for your body.

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