Toothpaste Can Cause Diabetes, Study Says

Washington, Jul 24 (Prensa Latina) The titanium dioxide present in toothpaste favors the appearance of diabetes type two, according to research by the University of Texas, United States.

To demonstrate that statement, the authors analyzed small samples of pancreas tissue from 11 volunteers, says an article in the journal Chemical Research in Toxicology.

As a result, eight of them suffered from diabetes type two and titanium dioxide (E171) was found in their parts. No trace of the chemical was found in the remaining three people.

The authors announced they expect to repeat the experiment in a larger group of people.

E171 is widely used in cosmetics and food industries for its ability to provide a whitish color to products.

Diabetes type two is a metabolic disorder characterized by high blood sugar levels. Its classic symptoms are excessive thirst, frequent urination and constant hunger.

Air pollution contributes significantly to diabetes globally

New research links outdoor air pollution -- even at levels deemed safe -- to an increased risk of diabetes globally, according to a study from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and the Veterans Affairs (VA) St. Louis Health Care System.

The findings raise the possibility that reducing pollution may lead to a drop in diabetes cases in heavily polluted countries such as India and less polluted ones such as the United States.

Diabetes is one of the fastest growing diseases, affecting more than 420 million people worldwide and 30 million Americans. The main drivers of diabetes include eating an unhealthy diet, having a sedentary lifestyle, and obesity, but the new research indicates the extent to which outdoor air pollution plays a role.

"Our research shows a significant link between air pollution and diabetes globally," said Ziyad Al-Aly, MD, the study's senior author and an assistant professor of medicine at Washington University. "We found an increased risk, even at low levels of air pollution currently considered safe by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the World Health Organization (WHO). This is important because many industry lobbying groups argue that current levels are too stringent and should be relaxed. Evidence shows that current levels are still not sufficiently safe and need to be tightened."

The findings are published June 29 in The Lancet Planetary Health.

While growing evidence has suggested a link between air pollution and diabetes, researchers have not attempted to quantify that burden until now. "Over the past two decades, there have been bits of research about diabetes and pollution," Al-Aly said. "We wanted to thread together the pieces for a broader, more solid understanding."

To evaluate outdoor air pollution, the researchers looked at particulate matter, airborne microscopic pieces of dust, dirt, smoke, soot and liquid droplets. Previous studies have found that such particles can enter the lungs and invade the bloodstream, contributing to major health conditions such as heart disease, stroke, cancer and kidney disease. In diabetes, pollution is thought to reduce insulin production and trigger inflammation, preventing the body from converting blood glucose into energy that the body needs to maintain health.

Overall, the researchers estimated that pollution contributed to 3.2 million new diabetes cases globally in 2016, which represents about 14 percent of all new diabetes cases globally that year. They also estimated that 8.2 million years of healthy life were lost in 2016 due to pollution-linked diabetes, representing about 14 percent of all years of healthy life lost due to diabetes from any cause. (The measure of how many years of healthy life are lost is often referred to as "disability-adjusted life years.")

In the United States, the study attributed 150,000 new cases of diabetes per year to air pollution and 350,000 years of healthy life lost annually.

The Washington University team, in collaboration with scientists at the Veterans Affairs' Clinical Epidemiology Center, examined the relationship between particulate matter and the risk of diabetes by first analyzing data from 1.7 million U.S. veterans who were followed for a median of 8.5 years. The veterans did not have histories of diabetes. The researchers linked that patient data with the EPA's land-based air monitoring systems as well as space-borne satellites operated by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). They used several statistical models and tested the validity against controls such as ambient air sodium concentrations, which have no link to diabetes, and lower limb fractures, which have no link to outdoor air pollution, as well as the risk of developing diabetes, which exhibited a strong link to air pollution. This exercise helped the researchers weed out spurious associations.

Then, they sifted through all research related to diabetes and outdoor air pollution and devised a model to evaluate diabetes risk across various pollution levels.

Finally, they analyzed data from the Global Burden of Disease study, which is conducted annually with contributions from researchers worldwide. The data helped to estimate annual cases of diabetes and healthy years of life lost due to pollution.

The researchers also found that the overall risk of pollution-related diabetes is tilted more toward lower-income countries such as India that lack the resources for environmental mitigation systems and clean-air policies. For instance, poverty-stricken countries facing a higher diabetes-pollution risk include Afghanistan, Papua New Guinea and Guyana, while richer countries such as France, Finland and Iceland experience a lower risk. The U.S. experiences a moderate risk of pollution-related diabetes.

In the U.S., the EPA's pollution threshold is 12 micrograms per cubic meter of air, the highest level of air pollution considered safe for the public, as set by the Clean Air Act of 1990 and updated in 2012. However, using mathematical models, Al-Aly's team established an increased diabetes risk at 2.4 micrograms per cubic meter of air. Based on VA data, among a sample of veterans exposed to pollution at a level of between 5 to 10 micrograms per cubic meter of air, about 21 percent developed diabetes. When that exposure increases to 11.9 to 13.6 micrograms per cubic meter of air, about 24 percent of the group developed diabetes. A 3 percent difference appears small, but it represents an increase of 5,000 to 6,000 new diabetes cases per 100,000 people in a given year.

In October 2017, The Lancet Commission on pollution and health published a report outlining knowledge gaps on pollution's harmful health effects. One of its recommendations was to define and quantify the relationship between pollution and diabetes.

"The team in St. Louis is doing important research to firm up links between pollution and health conditions such as diabetes," said commission member Philip J. Landrigan, MD, a pediatrician and epidemiologist who is the dean for global health at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York and chair of its Department of Preventive Medicine. "I believe their research will have a significant global impact."

Women and diabetes, an all-time risk

Our right to a healthy future is the theme of today's World Diabetes Day (WDD).

Before numberless risks, women and girls are considered vulnerable. Hence, the importance of dedicating them the World Diabetes Day, which is held every November 14*.

This year it will be held under the theme Women and Diabetes: “Our right to a healthy future” and organizers seek to raise awareness on a metabolic disease that affects millions of people on the planet and around 10% of the Cuban population, although it is hard to specify figures, because many suffer from it asymptomatically.

According to the International Diabetes Federation (IDF English acronym), it is the ninth leading cause of death among women worldwide, with 2.1 million deaths each year.

The source also states that 2 out of 5 women with diabetes are in reproductive age (over 60 million), therefore they have more difficulty conceiving and may find it harder to have a successful pregnancy.

IDF acknowledges that girls and women with that condition, especially in developing nations, face barriers in accessing effective prevention, early detection, diagnosis, treatment and care.

In our country, diabetes is associated, above all, with third age people and its early detection has influenced the lowering of death rates.

Cuba grants special attention to this health condition, so it has created Centers for Diabetes Care and Education (CDCE English acronym), spaces that offer multidisciplinary consultations geared at guiding patients on how to coexist with the said disease.

Blindness and lower-limb amputation are two of the most serious consequences.

Hence the transcendence of Heberprot-P, a drug developed at the Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (CIGB Spanish acronym); at present the only alternative to prevent lower-limb amputation in diabetic people with terminal lesions, because it speeds up healing.

Because of its proven effectiveness, it is applied in hundreds of healthcare units across the country and over twenty nations have already registered it.

Today, November 14, diabetes will not be a simple health issue. It’s worth staring at it, because it affects, especially, those who give life on this planet.

*It was established in 1991 by the International Diabetes Federation (FID) and the World Health Organization (WHO English acronym) as a response to the alarming rise of diabetic cases globally. The date was chosen to mark the birthday of Frederick Banting, who along with Charles Best, conceived the idea that would lead them to the discovery of insulin in October 1921.

Translated by Jorge Mesa Benjamin / Cubasi Translation Staff

  • Published in Specials

Intestinal bacteria may protect against diabetes

A high concentration of indolepropionic acid in the serum protects against type 2 diabetes, shows a new study from the University of Eastern Finland. Indolepropionic acid is a metabolite produced by intestinal bacteria, and its production is boosted by a fibre-rich diet. According to the researchers, the discovery provides additional insight into the role of intestinal bacteria in the interplay between diet, metabolism and health.

The findings were published in Scientific Reports. The study was carried out in the LC-MS Metabolomics Centre of the University of Eastern Finland together with a large number of partners from Finnish and Swedish research institutes.

The study compared two groups participating in the Finnish Diabetes Prevention Study, DPS. At the onset of the study, all participants were overweight and had impaired glucose tolerance. The researchers investigated the serum metabolite profile of 200 participants with impaired glucose tolerance, who either developed type 2 diabetes within the first 5 years, or did not convert to type 2 diabetes within a 15-year follow-up. The differences between the groups were analysed by non-targeted metabolomics analysis. Instead of focusing on just a few pre-defined markers, metabolomics analysis allows for the determination of the study participants' metabolic profile, i.e. the concentrations of several metabolites.

The greatest differences in the metabolic profiles of those who developed type 2 diabetes and those who didn't were observed in the concentrations of indolepropionic acid and certain lipid metabolites.

A high concentration of indolepropionic acid in the serum was discovered to protect against diabetes. Indolepropionic acid is a metabolite produced by intestinal bacteria. A diet rich in whole grain products and dietary fibre increased the indolepropionic acid concentration. A higher concentration of indolepropionic acid also seemed to promote insulin secretion by pancreatic beta cells, which may explain the protective effect.

In addition to the DPS data, the association of indolepropionic acid with the risk of diabetes was also studied in two other population-based datasets: in the Finnish Metabolic Syndrome In Men Study, METSIM, and in the Swedish Västerbotten Intervention Project, VIP. In these datasets too, indolepropionic acid was discovered to protect against diabetes.

The study also identified several new lipid metabolites whose high concentrations were associated with improved insulin resistance and reduced risk of diabetes. The concentrations of these metabolites were also associated with dietary fat: the lower the amount of saturated fat in the diet, the higher the concentrations of these metabolites. Similarly to indolepropionic acid, high concentrations of these lipid metabolites also seemed to protect against low-grade inflammation.

"Earlier studies, too, have linked intestinal bacteria with the risk of disease in overweight people. Our findings suggest that indolepropionic acid may be one factor that mediates the protective effect of diet and intestinal bacteria," Academy Research Fellow Kati Hanhineva from the University of Eastern Finland says.

A direct identification of intestinal bacteria is a complex process, which is why identifying the metabolites produced by intestinal bacteria may be a more feasible method for analysing the role of intestinal bacteria in the pathogenesis of, for example, diabetes.

The Finnish Diabetes Prevention Study was the first randomised, controlled lifestyle intervention study to show that in persons with impaired glucose tolerance, type 2 diabetes can be prevented by lifestyle changes. The most important lifestyle changes included weight loss, more exercise and dietary adjustments to include more whole grain products, fruits and vegetables.


Cuban Patients Benefited from Heberprot-P Grow

Foot amputations in people with diabetes decreased in Cuba due to the use of Heberprot-P, a specialist said today.

Lianet Rodriguez, national promoter of the Comprehensive Care Program for patients with diabetic foot ulcers, told reporters that Ciego de Avila ranks as the most prominent province of the island using the Cuban medicine, which is unique in the world for treating the ailment.

Some 200,000 patients from the province have benefited from the injected medicine. Yanet Gonzalez, a first-degree specialist in Angiology and Vascular Surgery in the territory, stated that there is at least one health care center in each province where patients with non complex ulcers can acquire the medicine free.

The program includes thorough investigations in communities to allow the early detection of the disease and the rapid implementation of the therapy, she said.

  • Published in Cuba
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