Health Front: Sometimes Prevention is Easy
By DR. JERRY DeCAPUA
• A big breakfast that is rich in protein and some fat may actually help people with diabetes type 2 control both their hunger and their blood sugar levels. Patients who ate a big breakfast for three months experienced lower blood sugar (glucose) levels, and nearly one-third were able to reduce the amount of diabetic medicine they took. The researchers in Israel based their study on previous investigations that found that people who eat a regular solid breakfast tend to have a lower blood sugar. Their research randomly assigned 59 people with type 2 diabetes to either a big or small breakfast group. The big breakfast of protein and fat contained about one-third of the total daily calories that the diabetic patients would have. The small breakfast contained only 12.5 percent of their total calorie needs for the day.
The study proved that after 13 weeks, blood sugar levels and blood pressure dropped dramatically in the people who ate the large breakfast. Those who ate the large breakfast enjoyed blood sugar reductions three times greater than those who ate a small breakfast. By comparison, about 17 percent of the small breakfast group found themselves having to increase their medication prescriptions during the course of the trial. The small breakfast group increased their preoccupation with food and wanted to eat all the time. The small breakfast group was very susceptible to eating quick carbohydrates later in the day, to get their blood sugar up. The researchers speculate that that a big breakfast rich in protein causes suppression of ghrelin, which is known as the hunger hormone.
• Eating peanut butter regularly in childhood appears to decrease the risk of developing benign breast disease as an adult, new research indicates and supported by the Breast Cancer Research Foundation and the U.S. National Institute of Health. Benign breast disease, that is, noncancerous changes in breast tissue, is a risk factor for getting breast cancer. About one in four women have a benign lesion, which could become an invasive cancer.
Researchers followed 9,000 females, beginning when they were aged 9 to 15 in 1996, until 2010, when they were young women. Eating peanut butter three times a week reduced the risk of developing benign breast disease by 39 percent. This long term study involved questionnaires about diet. The researchers looked at foods with vegetable protein and vegetable fats, and then focused on individual foods, including peanut butter, peanuts or other nuts, beans and corn.
A daily serving of any of these food groups was linked with a 68 percent reduced risk of benign breast disease. At aged 14, a daily serving of any of those foods was linked to a 66 percent lower risk of benign breast disease. Mothers with a history of benign breast disease may want to change the dietary habits of their preteen girls.
• There has been a rash of overdoses with the drug Molly this summer. The drug is accessible and marketed to recreational users who think that the synthetic powder is a pure form of MDMA, or ecstasy. Users believe that it is less dangerous than its predecessor. The number of visits to U.S. emergency rooms involving Molly has skyrocketed, with four confirmed deaths.
• FDA regulators are putting their harshest warning on Pfizer’s antibiotic Tygacil, saying the drug is associated with a higher increased risk of death than other antibacterial drugs. The intravenous drug is now only approved as a treatment for complicated skin infections and community-acquired pneumonia.
The drug maker reported $335 million in Tygacil revenue last year, including $152 million in the U.S.
• A personal-genomics company in California has been awarded a broad U.S. patent for a technique that could be used in a fertility clinic to create babies with selected traits, or genetic enhancements, reports the Wall Street Journal. The patented process from 23andMe, a DNA collecting company, could be used to match the genetic profile of a would-be parent to that of the egg or sperm donor. In theory, this could lead to the advent of designer babies.
The Mountain View company maintains that it has no plans for designing babies.