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Study Finds Diabetics May Lack Sufficient Amounts Of Cholesterol

December 9, 2010 by  

Study finds diabetics may lack sufficient amounts of cholesterol Scientists from the Joslin Diabetes Center have found that while a person’s brain contains significant amounts of cholesterol, diabetics may lack the sufficient amount needed — which affects critical brain functions.

The researchers noted that cholesterol is produced within the brain itself, and that the recent findings may provide further reasoning as to why there are many cerebral complications associated with diabetes, including depression, memory loss and cognitive dysfunction.

For the study, the investigators examined gene activity in the brain’s hypothalamus among diabetic mice. The results showed that the animals’ eating genes significantly changed. Moreover, the researchers discovered that there was also an alteration among the subjects’ cholesterol production genes.

Through further examinations of the mice, the scientists discovered the there was a reduction in SREBP-2 — a main controller of cholesterol metabolism. As a result, this decreased cholesterol production in the brain and also lowered the amount of cholesterol in cell membranes — which are important for neuron communication.

C. Ronald Kahn, M.D., one of the study’s investigators, said that this research is another reason why diabetics should learn how to better manage their blood sugar levels.

More than 23 million children and adults in the U.S. suffer from diabetes, according to the American Diabetes Association.

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  • coal miner


    (Ivanhoe Newswire) – The human brain is loaded with cholesterol, almost all of which has to be produced within the brain itself, where it is critical for normal brain functions. This study shows how critical cholesterol synthesis in the brain is derailed in mice with diabetes.

    The findings offer a new explanation for the neurologic and cerebral complications that come with diabetes, including cognitive dysfunction, depression, and an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease, according to the researchers.

    “People with diabetes can have a lot of problems with brain function, especially if it is uncontrolled,” C. Ronald Kahn of Harvard’s Joslin Diabetes Center, was quoted as saying. “The assumption had been that this was related to the effects of poor glucose control. Our findings suggest a completely new concept.”
    The discovery came from a general exploration of changes in global gene activity in the brain’s hypothalamus in insulin-deficient diabetic mice. Those screens turned up changes in genes involved in appetite and feeding, as expected. However, they also turned up many genes involved in cholesterol synthesis.

    “The changes were not large, but they were in many genes in the pathway and they were all in the same direction,” Kahn said.

    The study also showed that the insulin-deficient mice exhibited a reduction in a gene, called SREBP-2, which is a master controller of cholesterol metabolism. That change reduced the production of cholesterol in the brain and lowered the amount of cholesterol in cell membranes that are important for the communications from one neuron to the next.

    The cholesterol in those cell membranes turns over rapidly, and effects could be seen in animals with uncontrolled diabetes after just a week or two. That brief period of insulin deficiency did not lead to changes in the cholesterol-rich myelin that insulates neurons. It’s possible that uncontrolled diabetes over a longer period of time—months or even years—might lead to changes in the myelin as well.

    The changes they observed were traced to the direct effects of insulin on brain cells. Cholesterol synthesis was completely restored when the animals were injected with insulin.

    Kahn said it is clear that the changes in cholesterol metabolism could have broad effects on brain function, with the potential to influence memory, physical functioning, and hormone levels, depending on which parts of the brain are most affected. They hope to get a handle on those secondary effects through further study in animals and to ultimately begin to explore the relevance of the new findings to human patients.

    As for what those who have diabetes might take from the findings, Kahn said, “This is another reason to think that keeping good control over blood sugar might make a difference.”

    SOURCE: Cell Metabolism

    • coal miner

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  • Ken Durrett

    This article on diabetes was interesting; and I am happy that researchers are constantly learning new details about any disease.

    However, the article addresses neither the root cause nor the cure for diabetes. The root cause is acidosis resulting from hypoxia, which is the result of dehydration. The cure is proper hydration with micro-clustered, hexagonal, alkaline water.

    As the noted expert on dehydration, the late Dr. Fareydoon Batmanhelidjh, declared: “More people have been killed by dehydration than anything on earth. The problem is that the cause of death is normally diagnosed as something else (i.e. diabetes, cancer, stroke, heart attack, high blood pressure, asthma, etc), which are actually the result of dehydration.” When you comprehend what water does and how it does it (especially alkaline water), then you will understand why Dr. “Batman” made that statement.

    As a matter of fact, Dr. Otto Warburg was awarded the 1931 Nobel Prize in physiology and medicine; and he made a similar statement. He won the Nobel Prize for having discovered that “acidosis” is the prime cause of cancer (and virtually all other diseases that are not genetically or environmentally induced) and that “alkalinity” is the cure.

    We have found that to be absolutely true! For 18 months, we have been freely giving away alkaline water to anyone who wants it; and we have personally seen astounding results in people with bone cancer, pancreatic cancer, diabetes, kidney stones, high blood pressure, arthritis, acid reflux, intestinal problems, skin problems, etc.

    If you would like to learn more, feel free to contact me. I am confident that you will be amazed at what you discover.

    Merry Christmas!

    • Marian Lewis

      Dear Ken Durrett,

      I read about alkaline water. I try to keep my system alkaline with right food but it is hard to maintain. What is alkaline water and how do I get that?


      Marian Lewis
      New York City

  • Ellen

    The presence or absence of cholesterol in diabetics may not address the root cause or cure BUT it points out rather strongly that the conventional “wisdom” of putting diabetics on statins is absurd. (The whole demonization of cholesterol is absurd and guaranteed to decimate our older population, by design.)

    The whole diabetes issue is absurd. People need to be educated in what they choose to feed themselves and NOT supported by others when they continue to gorge on the crap that comprises the standard American diet.

    I am interested in reading more about the alkalinity/acidity issue. For therapeutic effects, drinking alkaline water may indeed be a boon to humanity. Thus far, it is outside my area of experience.

    Good article!

    • http://?? Joe H.

      I have type 2 diabetes and also high cholesterol!!! I’m on two types of cholesterol meds, Lipitor and Tricor. my sugar levels have been at 6.0 or less on my A1C and my daily levels are between 95 and 110. my cholesterol levels are superb, in that good levels are high and bad low!! Couldn’t ask for better. I guess you could say that I don’t put too much stock in this study!

  • Mike

    Diabetes Relief – How Alkaline Water Can Help
    By Jim Keayes Platinum Quality Author

    As you no doubt know if you suffer from Diabetes, there are two main categories of Diabetes:

    Type 1 diabetes, also called Insulin-Dependent Diabetes usually occurs in young people and is the second most common chronic disease in children (after asthma). In this condition the pancreas produces a minimal amount of insulin and daily injections are needed to make up the deficit.

    Type 2 diabetes, also called Adult-Onset Diabetes, has historically occurred almost exclusively in adults and is generally triggered by dietary habits which continuously spike the blood sugar and finally exhaust the pancreas.

    But here is the shocking reality of the recent outcome of our children’s lifestyle and dietary habits: Children of ages of 15 to 19 years are now the fastest growing group to contract this disease.

    Type 2 diabetes now accounts for ninety percent of all diabetes cases and is the fastest-growing disease in North America… but it doesn’t need to be like this!

    But here’s another shocking reality. Type 2 is not only preventable it has been shown to be completely reversible in many, many cases using completely natural means without drugs. That’s right… alkaline ionized water, the right diet, exercise and a healthy balanced lifestyle can generate remarkable reversals in this condition in a very short time.

    Many scientists are now of the opinion that not only is Type II Diabetes controllable but is reversible without drugs. Inadequate hydration and an acid pH balance in the body, coupled with free radical damage, are now considered major culprits in the growth of diabetes.

    Clinical trials of diabetic patients were run in a Korean hospital and reported by MBC TV in a program called the “Truth about Water of Life”. The patients were divided into two groups, one group continued with their usual insulin protocol while the second group, ceased their insulin injections and instead drank only ionized alkaline water.

    Dr Won H. Kim whose background includes a doctorate from Oxford University in biochemistry is a Professor at the Medical School at Yonsei University, Seoul, South Korea. In his book “Water of Life” he reports as follows on the above trials: “in less than one month the blood sugar level of the group drinking alkaline water had amazingly decreased in contrast to that of the insulin-injection group. Daily fluctuations in blood sugar continued to occur in the case of the insulin group, while those drinking the alkaline water maintained remarkably stable levels.”

    This result is quite extraordinary!

    Ordinary tap water can be run through an alkaline water ionizer and produce both short term and long term relief for diabetes sufferers. And this ionized water is rich in negative ions which act as a powerful anti-oxidant to neutralize the hordes of free radicals in our bodies.

  • coal miner


    Alzheimer’s And Heart Attacks Share The Same Genes, Study
    Main Category: Alzheimer’s / Dementia
    Also Included In: Cardiovascular / Cardiology | Genetics
    Article Date: 13 Dec 2010

    Alzheimer and heart attacks have been found to share common genetic basis. The research leads the way to the first genetic test on developing the risk of the diseases even at a young age. According to Federico Licastro, an immunologist at the University of Bologna who coordinated the study published in the scientific journal, Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, a test is now ready. “They are already selling it in America”, he says, citing the case of a private firm in New Mexico (USA) that collaborated on the study. “But the tests could easily be also conducted wherever, using a simple blood test”.

    It comes as no surprise that the prospect of personalised tests is also very attractive to healthcare companies. Alzheimer and heart attacks are two relatively common diseases, Alzheimer being the most frequent form of senile dementia: by 85, it affects one in five women and one in ten men. Heart attacks, along with other cardiovascular problems, are one of the most widespread diseases and one of the main causes of death, affecting approximately 12.5 per cent of the population.

    Very little was known to date about the connection between the two diseases. However, some epidemiological data appeared to suggest such a link. For example, coronary problems had already been associated with elevated frequency of Alzheimer, just as other issues such as hypertension, high cholesterol, diabetes and other typical cardiovascular risk factors. Some genes, controlling for inflammatory processes and cholesterol metabolism, were also known to be connected in some way to both Alzheimer and heart attacks.

    What the researchers did was to examine the DNA of 1800 people (280 of whom had suffered a heart attack, 257 Alzheimer and 1307 healthy subjects, used as a control group), in their search for genetic factors suggesting a risk common to the two diseases. Their research proved positive; indeed there is some overlapping between the congenital risks of being affected by Alzheimer and suffering a heart attack. This common genetic predisposition was found in 30 percent of heart attack sufferers and 40 per cent of those affected by Alzheimer. To reach this conclusion, the researches separated all those tested into six groups, with varying levels of risk; low for groups one, two and three; groups two and three only being classified as low risk under the age of 65. Groups four, five and six were classified as high; group five only having a high risk of suffering a heart attack (over the age of 55). Groups four and six, on the other hand, were the two main groups that the researchers focused on. Both had a high risk of suffering a heart attack (under the age of 40 in group four and between the ages of 40 and 54 in group six) as well as Alzheimer (under the age of 65 in group four and over it, in group six). Indeed, it was these last two groups that showed a common genetic predisposition.

    “Until now, we only knew about individual genes linked to both diseases and this was not sufficient to develop an individual test for the risk”, explained Licastro. “However, we have now been able to identify a genetic profile of several genes partially common to both diseases. This is the leap in quality that now enables us to conduct a test and assess a profile partially specific to both diseases”.

    Based on the result of the test, the researchers say that you can, for example, decide whether or not to monitor the situation by regular medical checks and more in-depth medical exams. Furthermore, the link between the two diseases tells us a bit more about their origin. According to Licastro, “the core of the genetic risk profile consists of genes that are involved in synthesizing and transporting cholesterol and in controlling for inflammation, which, therefore, appears to be at the root of both diseases”. This means that not only can you conduct tests to identify the diseases, you can also define appropriate life-styles to prevent heart and circulation problems and Alzheimer’s.

    However, the researchers understand that technical ingredient that brought about the success of the test is likely to be controversial. Indeed, to study the DNA of their patients, they had to resort to an innovative statistical technique called grade of membership analysis. Although this approach is already applied to the study of other problems, from melanomas to schizophrenia, it is still being debated within the international scientific community. “However, it is only by using such statistical analyses”, says Licastro, “that such diseases can be tested, conducting tests on only a few hundred cases. Classical statistics would require us to test 10, 12 or even 20 or 30 thousand cases”.

    In short, the debate is still open. Professor Federico Licastro and his group, which includes the very young Elisa Porcellini and Ilaria Carbone, will continue looking into the question in more depth, hoping to find new genetic links between the two diseases. Critics may contest the statistical results or even put forward counter tests based on classical statistics. For now, however, what everyone seems to agree on is that a healthy life-style that helps keep cholesterol and hypertension under control is not only beneficial to the heart but also to the brain.

    Università of Bologna

    Copyright: MediLexicon International Ltd

    Original article posted on Medical News Today.
    Articles not to be reproduced without permission of Medical News Today
    Medical News Today publishes the latest health news and health videos for consumers and health professionals. It has a searchable archive of over 100,000 health news articles.


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