In the Doctor's Lounge - Diabetes, exercise, diet | St. Louis Public Radio

In the Doctor's Lounge - Diabetes, exercise, diet

Aug 5, 2008

This article was originally published in the St. Louis Beacon: August 5, 2008 - Diabetes-diet Link Examined in Trio of Studies

We know that fruits and vegetables are good for us. One of a trio of studies on dietary links to diabetes published in the July 28 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine gives us yet another example of just how much. "Our findings highlight a potentially important public health message on the benefits of a diet rich in fruit and vegetables for the prevention of diabetes," wrote the authors.

Also examined in the journal were fruit juices and low-fat diets. Verdict? Not so great. An increased consumption of fruit drinks was linked to an increased risk of diabetes. Low-fat diets were found to have no effect in reducing diabetes. But before you abandon any low-fat diet that is working to control your weight, know that weight loss does have an affect. So stick to your diet if you need to lose weight.

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For more on diabetes and diet, click here .Exercise Is Key for Long-term Weight Loss

Getting weight off is hard. Keeping it off? Even harder. This is true for everyone, but many times more so for women.

But there is some good news this week in the July 28 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine. High levels of physical activity help sustain weight loss at two years, according to the research. "The addition of 275 minutes per week of physical activity, in combination with a reduction in energy intake, is important in allowing overweight women to sustain a weight loss of more than 10 percent," wrote the researchers.

In the never-ending quest for weight loss and maintenance of a healthy body weight, keep in mind that regular physical activity is key.

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For more on weight loss and exercise, click here .

Fish Intake, Atherosclerosis Levels Linked

Got fish? Japanese men do, and they are far less likely to have blood vessel plaque than American men. Japanese men have been found to have higher levels of the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish, and lower atherosclerosis levels despite higher rates of smoking, than other men, according to a study in the Aug. 5 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

If you don't have heart disease, the American Heart Association says shoot for at least two servings a week of oily fish, like salmon or albacore tuna. For those with heart disease, your goal is at least one gram of omega-3 fatty acids daily, preferably from fatty fish. Caution: higher levels can cause problems so consult your doctor about what is best for you.

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For more on omega-3 fatty acids and heart health, click here .Use of Antibiotic Prophylaxis for Endocarditis Discouraged

Antibiotics should not be given routinely for dental and other procedures in those at risk for infective endocarditis, a once standard practice. These updated guidelines were published online July 28 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology and jointly developed by the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association.

The reason for the changes, according to the report, is that infective endocarditis is more likely to be acquired during routine daily activities than medical procedures, and antibiotics would only prevent a very small number of cases at best. Antibiotics also have possible side effects and adverse reactions to consider.

If this changes anything for you, talk to your doctor. They can help navigate the revision and get you comfortable with the new routine.

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For more on the infective endocarditis, click here .Genetic, Lifestyle Factors Linked to Alzheimer's

Studies presented recently at the Alzheimer's Association's International Conference in Chicago took a fresh look at risk factors.

One study showed, for the first time, that patients with an affected mother may be at increased risk because their brains may not be using sugar effectively. In another study, researchers found that people who lived with a partner in midlife had a 50 percent reduced risk of developing dementia when compared with those who lived alone.

While there's not much you can do about who your biological parents are, and what diseases may affect them, living a healthy lifestyle overall may help reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease. This includes a healthy diet and a regular exercise routine. And according to these findings, living with a partner "may imply cognitive and social challenges" that can provide some protection against impairment. One more reason to feel grateful for your partner, even when he or she snores.

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For more on Alzheimer's disease and associated risks, click here .This column by HealthDay's Dr. Cindy Haines, managing editor of the Physician's Briefing news service, will run each week in the St. Louis Beacon.