Wednesday, April 02, 2014
Letter: Smoking causes, worsens diabetes. EDITOR: Nearly 26 million Americans have diabetes and the number is rising daily. Since 1980, the percentage of people under 45 with diabetes has increased by 167 percent. There are many risk factors for Type 2 diabetes. Many of these, like family history, can’t be changed. But you can avoid or change some risk factors. One of these is smoking. We have known for some time that smoking makes diabetes complications worse. But new findings from the 2014 Surgeon General’s Report now confirm that smoking actually causes Type 2 diabetes. How does smoking cause diabetes, or make diabetes worse? • Smokers have more abdominal or “belly” fat. This kind of fat makes the body more resistant to insulin. • Nicotine in cigarette smoke may make the body more resistant to insulin. This means that smokers with diabetes may need to take more insulin and have worse control of their blood sugar than non-smokers. • Smokers with diabetes are more likely to have diseases that result from damaged blood vessels than are nonsmokers with diabetes. Chemicals in cigarette smoke cause injury to the cells lining the blood vessels. This interferes with the body’s ability to make blood vessels widen and to control blood clotting. The best advice is to cut back or quit smoking. Call 800-Quit-Now or visit www.wiquitline.org. Dorothy Kalmon, Central Wisconsin Tobacco-Free Coalition, Wausau
New Study: Is Today’s Wheat Bad for You? Today’s wheat is not the same wheat that your grandmother ate when she was young. Not even close. Today’s wheat is greatly genetically modified to grow faster and provide a higher yield of wheat per acre. More food to the starving poor was a blessing, but could there be disadvantages with the modern super wheat? Could it be bad for our health? Could it, for example, lead to severe digestive issues for many people? Cardiologist William Davis argued this in his best selling book Wheat Belly. Davis got criticized for exaggerating the scientific support for his theories – which he did. But a lack of good evidence doesn’t mean that a theory must be incorrect. A new high quality study, published in British Journal of Nutrition, tests one of Dr. Davis’ speculations, with dramatic results. [...] The difference was clear-cut. When participants with digestive issues consumed modern wheat they felt like they usually did, they suffered from their usual digestive issues. But when for six weeks they ate the ancient wheat their symptoms improved with significantly less abdominal pain, less abdominal bloating and an improved quality of life. The improvements were so great that they could hardly be a coincidence. In addition, reduced levels of inflammatory substances in the blood were recorded in people who avoided modern wheat.