The PreD Blog

The Lowdown on Probiotics

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Probiotics Could Help Treat High Blood Pressure, Says Study

Yogurt and berries

You’ve heard of probiotics, right?

They are organisms, such as bacteria or yeast, that are considered “friendly” and can improve health. Eating probiotics in supplement form or in foods can help prevent digestive problems by improving intestinal function, and are also being studied for benefits in colon cancer, skin infections and irritable bowel syndrome.

The PreDiabetes Centers Nutrition Plan includes probiotic foods such as yogurt, kefir, dark chocolate, and tempeh. Probiotic supplementation may be recommended by the prediabetes physician if a client is lactose intolerant. Of course, probiotics aren’t suitable for everyone, including young children, the elderly and people who have weak immune systems, say experts.

Here’s the latest news on probiotics: A new study published in the journal Hypertension found that regularly taking probiotics can help lower high blood pressure.

In the study of more than 500 adults, people who consumed probiotics for more than two months had an average reduction in systolic blood pressure of about 3.6 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) and an average reduction in diastolic blood pressure of about 2.4 mm Hg, compared to people who did not take probiotics.

Learn more about high blood pressure and treatment options

Could a Protein Injection Reverse Type 2 Diabetes?

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Temporary Reversal of Diabetes Symptoms in Mice

MiceA single shot of protein that could reverse diabetes and bring blood sugar to healthy, normal levels…

Sounds too good to be true, right?

It kind of is… at least for now.

According to a study published in Nature, researchers injected a bunch of mice who had diet-induced diabetes with the protein FGF1 and found that it sent their blood sugar levels to a healthy range for more than two days. It also reversed their insulin sensitivity.

The Salk Institute scientists noted that the injection did not cause any of the side effects associated with diabetes medications.

Could this protein injection help in the future treatment of diabetes in people?

Much more research is needed on this protein and its suitability in human trials, according to the study authors.

Alzheimer’s Rate, Considered Type 3 Diabetes by Some, Is Falling!

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The Link Between Diabetes and Dementia

Cognitive Brain MemoryDementia is a serious, devastating condition that affects thinking and social abilities and can prevent regular daily functioning. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia, affecting an estimated 5.2 million people in the U.S.

Memory loss is the most common symptom of dementia (although memory loss can occur when a person doesn’t have dementia).

Here’s a piece of good news on that front: Several studies in the U.S., Germany and other developed countries show that cases of dementia are declining.

One U.S. study found that the dementia diagnoses today are 44% lower than in the late 1970s, and the sharpest decline was seen among people in their 60s. Another study from the U.S. and countries in Europe found the same result, while a third study in Germany showed that older adults were about one-quarter more likely to be diagnosed with dementia in 2004 than in 2007. The studies are being presented at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark.

So what’s the connection between dementia/Alzheimer’s disease and diabetes?

People with type 2 diabetes have twice the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. According to researchers at Brown University, the brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease are insensitive to insulin. More specifically, the hippocampus, the part of the brain involved with learning and memory, was essentially diabetic. Thus, people with Alzheimer’s disease that’s a result from resistance to insulin in the brain.

They claim that the memory problems that occur in type 2 diabetes may actually be early-stage Alzheimer’s.

It’s important to treat both Alzheimer’s disease and type 2 diabetes. Take our Risk Survey today and find out if you’re at risk of developing diabetes.

Understanding Hypoglycemia

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Low Blood Sugar Can Occur in People with Diabetes and Possibly Prediabetes

Blood Glucose MonitorDiabetics and even prediabetics can suffer from hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar. People who don’t have diabetes (such as those with rare conditions) may also have hypoglycemia.

Sugar in the blood is important—it’s the body’s main energy source. But when levels get too low, it can cause severe symptoms that need to be treated right away.

When a person has hypoglycemia, it’s important to get blood sugar levels back into a normal range as quickly as possible. Hypoglycemia occurs when blood sugar falls lower than 70 mg/dL. (Normal levels are between 70-100 mg/DL, or 70-130 mg/dL for people with diabetes.)

People with prediabetes who have insulin resistance may have low blood sugar occasionally if their high circulating insulin levels are accompanied by extended periods of fasting.

The symptoms of hypoglycemia are:

  • Shakiness or weakness
  • Nervousness or anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Confusion
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Hunger
  • Nausea
  • Blurred vision
  • Tingling or numbness in the lips or tongue
  • Headaches
  • Seizures
  • Unconsciousness

The only way to know whether you are experiencing hypoglycemia is to check blood glucose. If you do have hypoglycemia, the American Diabetes Association recommends consuming 15-20 grams of glucose or simple carbohydrates (such as candy, fruit juice, cake, packaged cereal). Medication may be needed for people with recurrent hypoglycemia.

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