Diabetes Self-Management Blog

Every now and then I like to write about some of the latest developments and findings in the arena of weight loss or weight control. Obviously, a lot of research is going on in this area, and given that so many of us (with and without diabetes) struggle with weight or have to work hard to stay at a healthy weight, I think it’s a good idea to periodically highlight these findings.

Link Between Weight and Cancer
I’m sure most of you have heard that there’s a link between being overweight or obese and the increased risk for heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, and arthritis. What you may not know is that being too heavy and not being active enough may account for up to one third of all cancer deaths in the US, according to the American Cancer Society. In particular, breast, colorectal, kidney, pancreatic, esophageal, and uterine cancers are linked with being overweight.

Why? Researchers speculate that excess weight can increase levels of certain hormones, increase inflammation, boost blood pressure, and affect insulin levels in the body. Overweight cancer survivors seem to have a worse quality of life than those who are not overweight, as well.

The good news? Deaths from cancer are down in the US, thanks to better screenings and treatments. But lifestyle factors still play a role in outcomes for many types of diseases, so focusing on eating healthfully, reaching a realistic weight, and being active most days of the week is a goal for all of us.

Eating Chocolate Makes You Thin?
Hey, if Katharine Hepburn stayed slim by eating chocolate, why not the rest of us? Researchers at the University of California, San Diego showed that adults who regularly eat chocolate are thinner than adults who don’t.

After looking at dietary data and other information from over 1000 adult men and women, the researchers puzzled over the fact that the chocolate eaters had a lower body-mass index but consumed more calories and did not exercise any more than the folks who didn’t eat much chocolate. Of course, this was a small study and the findings, while pleasantly surprising, do not mean that we should rush to stock up on chocolate bars. On the other hand, perhaps we don’t need to feel so guilty as we nibble on a piece of chocolate.

Green Coffee Beans Promote Weight Loss
No one is saying you should make your morning coffee with green (unroasted) coffee beans. But a very small study (only 16 people) showed that adults who were given two different doses of green coffee beans as a supplement for 22 weeks lost an average of 17 pounds. No changes were made to their diets or to their physical activity. The subjects took a placebo for the same amount of time at another point in the study, too.

What triggered the weight loss? The researchers think that it could be the chlorogenic acid, an antioxidant found in coffee beans. This antioxidant is thought to boost metabolism by affecting how glucose is absorbed and utilized in the body. Studies with larger amounts of subjects are planned, so stay tuned.

Bariatric Surgery Better Than Medicine for Managing Type 2
Last week, a study was published in The New England Journal of Medicine reporting that bariatric surgery was more effective at treating both obesity and diabetes than more conventional treatment. In this study, obese people were randomized into one of three groups: Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, biliopancreatic diversion, or medication, diet and lifestyle intervention.

Diabetes went into remission (and that remission was maintained) in 95% of those who received the biliopancreatic diversion and 75% who got the gastric bypass. None of the medication/lifestyle treatment subjects went into remission (remission was defined as a fasting blood glucose of under 100 mg/dl and an A1C of less than 6.5% for at least one year). Currently, guidelines limit gastric bypass procedures to those with Type 2 diabetes who have a BMI of 35 or greater. A study is going on now at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center with people who have BMIs between 26 and 35.

Extra, Extra: Most Weight-Loss Supplements Don’t Work
A researcher from Oregon State University confirmed what most of us knew but secretly wished wasn’t true: The majority of weight-loss supplements on the market just don’t work. In others words, there’s no magic pill that will magically melt those pounds away.

The study, published in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, looked at a variety of supplements, including fat and carbohydrate blockers, stimulants that contain caffeine or ephedra, products that claim to change body composition, and appetite suppressants. Most of these supplements had no credible research to back up their claims, the studies using them did not include exercise, and any weight loss was very modest — less than two pounds — compared to a placebo. Some of these supplements also had mild to serious side effects, as well.

Are any supplements effective? Green tea, fiber, and low-fat dairy supplements may help you drop 3–4 pounds, but only if you cut calories and step up the physical activity.

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Comments
  1. Victoza has permitted me to cut my TDD of insulin from 125 units to 30 to 50 so I can loose weight now. Works by making you feel a bit sick to tummy hence no appetite. Also does marvels for blood sugar control. Prohibitively expensive for the uninsured poor.

    Posted by calgarydiabetic |
  2. I am a type 2 diabetic. I am currently taking 80 units Insulin - Lantus SoloStar daily; 1 - 2ml shot weekly on Wednesday Bydureon; Glybride 5 mg (1am and 3 pm), Metformin, 750 mg twice daily, Losartin Potassium 25 mg, hydochloriziade 25mg, Synthroid, 112 or 125 mcg every other day (112 on Sun/Tue/Thur/Sat and 125mcg on Mon/Wed/Fri); Crestor 40 mg; Trilipix; Actonel 150mg once monthly and Vitamins - Vit B super complex, Vit B6 and Vit E for carpel tunnel, VIt C and Vit D.

    My Question: seen TV ad from Dr Oz to use pure Green Coffee Bean Extract for weight loss. I ordered this and have been using since Aug 2nd. So far I have not lost any weight? I got this from Ketonic Labs label is Natural Green Coffee Bean Extract. Can the medications that I am on alter what the green coffee bean extract is supposed to do?

    Please email to me - what drugs will affect this green coffee bean extract.

    Thank you

    Posted by Janis |
  3. Hi Janis,

    I’m not exactly surprised that you haven’t lose weight with the green coffee bean extract. There is very little research to show that it can help with weight loss, which is why it’s probably too soon to recommend it. This supplement contains caffeine, but to my knowledge, caffeine shouldn’t interfere or interact with the medications that you are taking. However, you may want to check with your pharmacist.

    Posted by acampbell |

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Diabetes Research
Can Grapefruit Juice Prevent Weight Gain, Increase Insulin Sensitivity? (10/16/14)
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Diabetes News
New Metformin Combination Medicine Approved for Type 2 Diabetes (10/30/14)
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Can Grapefruit Juice Prevent Weight Gain, Increase Insulin Sensitivity? (10/16/14)
Low-Carb Diet Improves Quality of Life in Type 2 Diabetes (10/07/14)

 

 

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