Diabetes & Metabolism

High Fructose Corn Syrup May Be More Toxic than Table Sugar

In mice that were fed sugar in doses proportional to what many people eat, a fructose-glucose mixture found in high-fructose corn syrup was more toxic than sucrose or table sugar in females, increasing their death rates by 1.9-times and reducing their reproductive capacity by 26%. No differences were seen in males. Both high-fructose corn syrup and table sugar contain roughly equal amounts of fructose and glucose, but they exist as separate molecules, or monosaccharides, in corn syrup. In sucrose or table sugar, they exist as a disaccharide compound.

Genetic Markers in Mice and Humans Linked with Obesity

By analyzing epigenetic markers, or chemical tags, at more than 7 million sites in the DNA of the fat cells in mice, researchers found clear differences between normal and obese mice—and they found a similar pattern in human cells. Some of the epigenetic changes associated with obesity affect genes already known to raise diabetes risk. Others affect genes that had not been conclusively linked to the disease, but that have roles in metabolism. Some of the genes regulate insulin action on sugar uptake, making them potential targets for treating type 2 diabetes.

Type 1 Diabetes May Shorten Life Expectancy, But Early Intensive Treatment May Help Restore Lost Years

At age 20, men with type 1 diabetes have an estimated loss of life expectancy of 11 years; for women, it’s a loss of 13 years compared with nondiabetics. The JAMA findings come from an analysis of individuals in Scotland with type 1 diabetes who were ≥20 years old from 2008 through 2010 and were in a nationwide register.

Elevated Blood Sugar May Increase Heart Failure Patients’ Risk of Early Death

Among 16,524 patients with acute heart failure syndrome who presented to the emergency department, those with blood glucose levels between 6.1 and 7.8 mmol/L had a 26% higher risk of death within 30 days from any cause, a 28% higher risk of death from cardiovascular causes, and a 61% higher risk of diabetes compared with a reference group of patients with blood glucose levels between 3.9 and 6.1 mmol/L.

Genetic Variations in Magnesium-Related Ion Channels May Affect Diabetes Risk

Interactions of diet, genetics, and ethnicity may affect magnesium-mediated diabetes risk, according to a new study. After identifying 17 magnesium-related ion channel genes, investigators examined whether variations in the genes were associated with type 2 diabetes risk in 7287 African-American and 3285 Hispanic-American postmenopausal women. Several variants stood out in the Journal of Nutrition study.

PTSD Symptoms May Increase Women’s Risk for Type 2 Diabetes

Women experiencing the most symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) may have almost 2 times the risk of developing type 2 diabetes than women not exposed to trauma. Almost half of the increased risk was due to higher BMI and antidepressant use associated with PTSD. The JAMA Psychiatry findings come from an analysis of the Nurses' Health Study II data from 49,739 participants followed for 22 years. PTSD symptoms were associated in a dose-response fashion with diabetes incidence.

Are Intensive Diabetes Treatment Regimens Harmful to Older Patients?

New research reveals many older diabetics with compromised health who maintain intensive treatment regimens with tight glycemic control and diabetes medications may have a higher risk of hypoglycemia and other adverse effects. The JAMA Internal Medicine study analyzed NHANES data (2001 through 2010) from 1288 patients ≥65 years who were divided into 3 categories: relatively healthy, those with complex medical histories, and those with significant additional illnesses.

Sulfonylurea May Increase Testosterone in Men with Type 2 Diabetes

Compared with 15 healthy controls, 15 men with type 2 diabetes from a clinical trial of glimepiride had reduced total testosterone levels and a lower testosterone secretion index. However, after 16 weeks of treatment there were significant increases in total testosterone levels and testosterone secretion index values compared with baseline, and significant improvements in blood glucose and lipid profile levels, with no differences in body weight and waist circumference compared with baseline values.

Anti-Inflammatory Drug’s Effects Point to New Diabetes Treatment Strategy

New research reveals how amlexanox, an anti-inflammatory drug, reverses obesity, diabetes, and fatty liver disease. Investigators found that amlexanox exerts its effects through subcutaneous fat cells by increasing the level of a second messenger molecule called cAMP. In turn, cAMP increases the rate by which cells metabolize fat so that the animal loses weight. Amlexanox also coaxes fat cells to release the hormone interleukin-6, which then travels in the circulation to the liver, where it reduces glucose production and thereby lowers overall blood sugar levels.

Metabolic Syndrome May Increase Women’s Risk of Endometrial Cancer

A recent study found that women diagnosed with metabolic syndrome using criteria set by the US National Cholesterol Education Program Adult Treatment Panel III (ATP III) were 39% more likely to develop endometrial cancer, while those diagnosed using International Diabetes Foundation criteria were 109% more likely to develop the cancer. After adjusting for overweight/obesity, women with metabolic syndrome under ATP III and International Diabetes Foundation criteria were 21% and 17% more likely to be diagnosed with endometrial cancer, respectively.