Monday August 20, 2018

LGBQ Teens at Higher Risk of Diabetes Than Heterosexual Youth, Finds Study

Teachers, parents and physicians should work together to ensure these youth have the tools they need to stay healthy

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The study found that on average, sexual minority and questioning students were less likely to engage in physical activity than heterosexual students. Pixabay
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Lesbian, gay, bisexual and questioning youth are more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes, be obese and engage in less physical activity and more sedentary activities than heterosexual youth, a Northwestern University Medicine study has found.

This is the largest study to date to report differences in levels of physical activity, sedentary behaviour and obesity by sex and sexual orientation among high-school-aged students, Xinhua reported.

The researchers used national data from 350,673 US high-school students, predominantly ranging between 14 and 18 years old, collected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as part of the Youth Risk Behavior Survey to detect disparities in diabetes risk factors by sexual orientation.

The study found that on average, sexual minority and questioning students were less likely to engage in physical activity than heterosexual students. They reported approximately one less day per week of physical activity and were 38 to 53 per cent less likely to meet physical activity guidelines than heterosexual students.

The number of hours of sedentary activity among bisexual and questioning students was higher than heterosexual students, with an average of 30 minutes more per school day than heterosexual counterparts.

And lesbian, bisexual and questioning female students were 1.55 to 2.07 times more likely to be obese than heterosexual female students. Obesity and sedentary activity may be higher in this population because lesbian, gay, bisexual and questioning youth are subjected to minority stress.

Representational image.
Representational image. Pixabay

“Many of these youth might be taking part in sedentary activities like playing video games to escape the daily stress tied to being lesbian, gay, bisexual or questioning,” said lead study author Lauren Beach, a postdoctoral research fellow at NU Institute for Sexual and Gender Minority Health and Wellbeing.

“Our findings show that minority stress actually has a very broad-ranging and physical impact.”

Cultural and environmental factors may also be at play.

Also Read: Kids of mothers With Type-1 Diabetes at Risk of Being Overweight

Teachers, parents and physicians should work together to ensure these youth have the tools they need to stay healthy, Beach said.

Family support and identity affirmation: developing positive feelings and a strong attachment to a group, have been consistently linked to better health among LGBQ youth.

The study has been published in the journal Pediatric Diabetes. (IANS)

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Here’s How Mushrooms can Help in the Treatment of Diabetes

Managing glucose better has implications for diabetes, as well as other metabolic diseases

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Mushrooms
How mushrooms can aid in diabetes treatment, Find out here. Pixabay

Eating white button mushrooms daily can act as a prebiotic by improving microbial community in the gut, which could then improve the regulation of glucose in the liver, a finding that could one day pave way for new diabetes treatments, say researchers.

In the study, feeding white button mushrooms to mice changed the composition of gut microbes — microbiota — to produce more short chain fatty acids, specifically propionate from succinate, according to Margherita T. Cantorna, Professor at Pennsylvania State University in the US.

Previous research has shown that succinate and propionate can change the expression of genes needed to manage glucose production, she said.

“Managing glucose better has implications for diabetes, as well as other metabolic diseases,” Cantorna noted.

The study, reported in the Journal of Functional Foods, used two types of mice who were fed about a daily serving size of the mushrooms. One group had microbiota, the other were germ-free.

Mushrooms
Mushrooms. Pixabay

Consuming the mushrooms set off a chain reaction among the gut bacteria, expanding the population of Prevotella — a bacteria that produces propionate and succinate.

These acids can change the expression of genes that are key to the pathway between the brain and the gut that helps manage the production of glucose, or gluconeogenesis.

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The mushrooms, in this case, serve as a prebiotic, which is a substance that feeds beneficial bacteria that are already existing in the gut. Probiotics are live beneficial bacteria that are introduced into the digestive system.

Beyond the possible beneficial benefits of mushrooms as a prebiotic, Cantorna said that this study also shows more evidence that there is a tight connection between diet and microbiota.

“It’s pretty clear that almost any change you make to the diet, changes the microbiota,” Cantorna added. (IANS)