GREEN TEA & DIABETES
inflammation is thought to play an important role in the development of
cardiovascular diseases and many cancers.
Chronic inflammation is also thought to be an important
component of diabetes. Polyphenols
derived from green tea are known
to have significant antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, and
research is underway to determine whether or not green tea supplements
favorably impact diseases that are associated, at least in part, with
inflammation. A new
study in the European Journal of Clinical
A total of 60 adult men and women with early diabetes volunteered for this prospective “crossover” study. Half of the volunteers took daily supplements of green tea powder for 2 months, while the other half of the volunteers received no supplements. During the second 2 months of the study, the two groups of study volunteers “crossed over,” and the observation group was then switched to daily green tea supplementation for 2 months, while the group that received green tea supplements during the first half of the study became the observation (or “control”) group. (Crossover studies, such as this one, provide the opportunity for researchers to compare two or more groups’ response to not only initiating therapeutic interventions, but also to assess the effects of stopping such interventions.)
In addition to monitoring blood sugar levels during the course of this clinical research study, the researchers also monitored a marker in the blood, hemoglobin A1C, that reflects the long term adequacy of diabetes control. This study also assessed the volunteers for potential changes in weight, body fat levels, blood pressure, fasting blood glucose levels, cholesterol levels (including HDL and LDL), and C-reactive protein levels (a blood marker of inflammation).
Although none of the other parameters changed significantly in the volunteers who were assigned to take green tea supplements, a significant decrease in hemoglobin A1C levels was observed in response to daily green tea supplementation.
Although this brief study cannot tell us what the long term health impact of green tea is on patients with early diabetes, it is nonetheless intriguing that daily green tea supplementation, when taken for only two months, was able to reduce hemoglobin A1C levels. The next logical step would be a prospective, randomized, double-blinded clinical study with a longer duration of follow-up.
BREASTFEEDING & ADULT CHOLESTEROL LEVELS
Many claims have been made regarding the putative lifelong benefits of breastfeeding. Now, a new review study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition assesses the cumulative clinical data regarding the long term effects of breastfeeding on adult cholesterol levels. In this paper, data from 17 previously published research studies, encompassing a total of 17,498 patients, was reviewed and analyzed. Altogether, 12,890 study volunteers reported being breastfed as babies, while 4,608 were primarily fed with baby formula during infancy. All of these adult volunteers had blood cholesterol levels measured as part of these 17 clinical studies. When analyzing differences in blood cholesterol levels among the 17 previously published clinical studies, the authors of this new review study adjusted their analysis to correct for differences in age, socioeconomic status, body weight and smoking status among the study volunteers.
On average, blood cholesterol levels were significantly lower among the volunteers who reported being breastfed as infants, when compared to the volunteers who were formula-fed. Among the 7 previous studies that analyzed adult cholesterol levels in volunteers who reported being either exclusively breastfed or exclusively formula-fed, the difference in blood cholesterol levels between breastfed volunteers and formula-fed volunteers was even greater and more consistent, favoring lower cholesterol levels in adults who were breastfed as babies.
OIL & SENILE
OIL & SENILE
degeneration (SND) is the second most common cause of blindness in the
A new study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, assessed the impact of eating oily fish on the incidence of SMD. In this study, volunteers 65 years of age and older underwent extensive dietary surveys to identify the frequency of oily fish consumption. These volunteers also underwent eye examinations to assess for signs of SMD.
Among the 2,275 volunteers, 105 were diagnosed with early or late SMD. Based upon dietary survey results, the authors of this study determined that eating oil-rich fish at least once per week appeared to be associated with a 50% reduction in the risk of developing SMD. Among those patients reporting the highest levels of oily fish intake, the risk of SMD was reduced by about 70%.
Disclaimer: As always, my advice to readers is to seek the advice of your physician before making any significant changes in medications, diet, or level of physical activity.
Dr. Wascher is an oncologic surgeon, professor of surgery, a widely published author, and the Director of the Division of Surgical Oncology at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center
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Copyright 2008. Robert A. Wascher, MD, FACS. All rights reserved.
Dr. Wascher's Archives:
8-3-2008: Exercise & Weight Loss; Green Tea, Folic Acid & Breast Cancer Risk; Foreign Language Interpreters & ICU Patients
7-26-2008: Viagra & Sexual Function in Women; Patient-Reported Adverse Hospital Events; Curcumin & Pancreatic Cancer
7-13-2008: Erectile Dysfunction & Frequency of Sex; Muscle Strength & Mortality in Men; Cryoablation for Prostate Cancer
7-6-2008: Sleep, Melatonin & Breast Cancer Risk; Mediterranean Diet & Cancer Risk; New Treatment for Varicose Veins
6-29-2008: Bone Marrow Stem Cells & Liver Failure; Vitamin D & Colorectal Cancer Survival; Green Tea & Colorectal Cancer
6-22-2008: Obesity, Lifestyle & Heart Disease; Effects of Lifestyle & Nutrition on Prostate Cancer; Ginkgo Biloba, Ulcerative Colitis & Colorectal Cancer
6-15-2008: Preventable Deaths after Coronary Artery Bypass Graft (CABG) Surgery; Green Tea & Colorectal Cancer; Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) & St. John’s Wort
6-8-2008: Vitamin D & Prostate Cancer Risk; Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA) of Kidney (Renal) Cancer; Antisense Telomerase & Cancer
6-2-2008: Acute Coronary Syndrome- Do You Know the Symptoms?; Green Tea & Lung Cancer; Episiotomy & Subsequent Deliveries- An Unkind Cut
5-25-2008: Early Childhood Screening Predicts Later Behavioral Problems; Psychiatric Disorders Among Parents of Autistic Children; Social & Psychiatric Profiles of Young Adults Born Prematurely
5-18-2008: Can Statins Reverse Coronary Artery Disease?; Does Breast Ultrasound Improve Breast Cancer Detection?; Preventive Care Services at Veterans Administration (VA) Medical Centers
5-11-2008: Smoking Cessation & Risk of Death; Childhood Traumas & Adult Suicide Risk; “White Coat Hypertension” & Risk of Cardiovascular Disease
5-4-2008: Super-Size Me: Fast Food’s Effects on Your Liver; Exercise, Weight & Coronary Artery Disease; Contamination of Surgical Instruments in the Operating Room
4-27-2008: Stents vs. Bypass Surgery for Coronary Artery Disease; The “DASH” Hypertension Diet & Cardiovascular Disease Prevention; Testosterone Therapy for Women with Decreased Sexual Desire & Function
4-20-2008: BRCA Breast Cancer Mutations & MRI Scans; Bladder Cancer Prevention with Broccoli?; Diabetes: Risk of Death Due to Heart Attack & Stroke
4-13-2008: Breast Cancer Recurrence & Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT); Carotid Artery Disease: Surgery vs. Stents?; Statin Drugs & Cancer Prevention
4-6-2008: Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), Pap Smear Results & Cervical Cancer; Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) Infection & Oral Cancer; Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) & the Risk of Gastroesophageal Reflux Disorder (GERD)
3-30-2008: Abdominal Obesity & the Risk of Death in Women; Folic Acid Pretreatment & Heart Attacks; Pancreatic Cancer Regression after Injections of Bacteria
3-23-2008: Age of Transfused Blood & Risk of Complications after Surgery; Obesity, Blood Pressure & Heart Size in Children
3-16-2008: Benefits of a Full Drug Coverage Plan for Medicare Patients?; Parent-Teen Conversations about Sex; Soy (Genistein) & Prostate Cancer
3-9-2008: Flat Colorectal Adenomas & Cancer; Health Risks after Stopping Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT); Television, Children & Obesity
3-2-2008: Medication & Risk of Death After Heart Attack; Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) & Mammogram Results; Selenium: Cancer, Heart Disease & Death
2-23-2008: Universal Healthcare Insurance Study; Glucosamine & Arthritis
2-17-2008: Exceptional Longevity in Men; Testosterone & Risk of Prostate Cancer; Smoking & Pre-malignant Colorectal Polyps
2-10-2008: Thrombus Aspiration from Coronary Arteries; Intensive Management of Diabetes & Death; Possible Cure for Down's Syndrome?
2-3-2008: Vitamin D & Cardiovascular Health; Vitamin D & Breast Cancer; Green Tea & Colorectal Cancer
1-27-2008: Colorectal Cancer, Esophageal Cancer & Pancreatic Cancer: Update from the 2008 American Society of Clinical Oncology's Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium
1-20-2008: Testosterone Levels & Risk of Fractures in Elderly Men; Air Pollution & DNA Damage in Sperm; Statins & Trauma Survival in the Elderly
1-12-2008: Statins, Diabetes & Stroke and Obesity; GERD & Esophageal Cancer
1-7-2008: Testosterone Supplements in Elderly Men; Colorectal Cancer-- Reasons for Poor Compliance with Screening Recommendations
12-31-2007: Minority Women, Hormone Replacement Therapy & Breast Cancer; Does Health Insurance Improve Health?
12-23-2007: Is Coffee Safe After a Heart Attack?; Impact of Divorce on the Environment; Hypertension & the Risk of Dementia; Emotional Vitality & the Risk of Heart Disease
12-16-2007: Honey vs. Dextromethorphan vs. No Treatment for Kids with Night-Time Cough, Acupuncture & Hot Flashes in Women with Breast Cancer, Physical Activity & the Risk of Death, Mediterranean Diet & Mortality
12-11-2007: Bias in Medical Research; Carbon Nanotubes & Radiofrequency: A New Weapon Against Cancer?; Childhood Obesity & Risk of Adult Heart Disease
12-2-2007: Obesity & Risk of Cancer; Testosterone Level & Risk of Death; Drug Company Funding of Research & Results; Smoking & the Risk of Colon & Rectal Cancer