Overeating has been found to impair blood sugar (glucose) control and insulin levels but a new study suggests that the duration of a bout of overeating can affect how the body adapts to glucose and insulin processing when calorie intake increases.
Obesity and type 2 diabetes have increased significantly worldwide within the past 30 years.
Lifestyle factors such as overindulging in high-calorie foods play a large role in the development of these two serious health conditions.
For the study, researchers from Deakin University in Australia studied a small group of healthy and lean men with an average age of 22.
Volunteers participated in a short-term trial consisting of five days — indicative of humans overeating during festivals and holidays — and a long-term model of chronic overeating lasting 28 days.
The “overfeeding” portion of the diet included high-calorie snacks such as chocolate, meal replacement drinks and potato chips to add approximately 1,000 more calories to the men’s normal food consumption each day.
Published in the American Journal of Physiology-Endocrinology and Metabolism, the study suggests that “early adaptations in response to carbohydrate over-feeding are directed at increasing glucose disposal in order to maintain whole-body insulin sensitivity”.
If there wasn’t already enough reasons to stay away from sugary drinks, here’s another reason not to, sugar filled drinks can increase the risk of heart disease.
Cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of death worldwide and their incidence is increasing especially in young adults owing to poor dietary habits and lack of physical exercise. Among the main risk factors for cardiovascular disease are diet, high blood pressure, as well as elevated levels of blood sugar and cholesterol, notes Dr Udgeath Dhir, Director & Head, CTVS, Fortis Memorial Research Institute, Gurugram.
High sugar beverages such as sodas, energy drinks, and sports drinks are by far the biggest sources of added sugar. Other important sources include cookies, cakes, pastries, fruit drinks, ice cream, and ready-to-eat cereals. It has been found that adults who drink at least one sugary beverage, when compared with those who don’t, have a greater risk for developing dyslipidemia which can increase the risk of heart disease, Dr Dhir says. “According to a major study published in JAMA Internal Medicine, a sugar-laden diet may raise the risk of dying of heart disease even if one isn’t overweight.”
“Consumption of sugar in excess amount leads to an increase in weight gain by tricking the body into turning off its appetite-control system because liquid calories are not as satisfying as calories from solid foods. One of the most important disadvantages of taking high sugar diet is that sugar delivers “empty calories” i.e. the calories which are unaccompanied by fibre, vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. Diet high in sugar content may also stimulate the liver to push more harmful fats into the bloodstream. It has been known since long that people who consume high sugar diets have abnormal blood sugar levels and have abnormal carbohydrate metabolism, with an elevated insulin level,” he states.
He adds: “Insulin has been found to increase lipogenesis and stimulate smooth muscle cell proliferation. Hyperinsulinaemia is also an independent risk factor for CHD and insulin resistance predicts future cardiovascular risk. Increased levels of insulin and insulin resistance which is found in multiple disease including hypertension, coronary artery disease, obesity, peripheral vascular disease and those with hypertriglyceridaemia. Insulin resistance can create an imbalance in the metabolism of glucose which produces chronic hyperglycemia, and in turn triggers oxidative stress and causes an inflammatory response that leads to cell damage. This along with endothelial dysfunction, which can also be induced by aberrant insulin signalling, contribute to atherosclerotic plaque formation.”
Therefore, dietary factors that worsen glucose tolerance or promotes insulin resistance will also likely increase the risk of acute MI and cardiovascular disease related mortality, says the doctor.
Studies have shown that, compared with a diet that contains less than 10 per cent of calories from added sugars, a diet containing 25 per cent or more calories from added sugars nearly triples the risk for cardiovascular mortality.
“New research finds that sugar-laden drinks can not only increase cholesterol levels, but also reduce the amount of HDL (good) cholesterol in our bodies.”
It is obvious from the above discussion that sugary drinks at best should be avoided. It requires concerted efforts at various levels including individuals at risk, nutritionists, healthcare providers and education at schools and colleges. (IANS)
Daily drinkers, please take note. Researchers now reveal that heavy drinking in old age was linked to a 1.5 inch (4cm) larger waist and increased stroke risk in men.
However, stopping heavy drinking at any point in life is likely to be beneficial for overall health.
The study, published in the journal Addiction, examined the association between heavy drinking over a lifetime and a range of health indicators including cardiovascular disease.
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“Alcohol misuse, despite the common perception of young people, binge drinking, is common among older adults, with alcohol-related hospital admissions in England being the highest among adults aged over 50,” said study first author Dr Linda Ng Fat from University College London in the UK.
For the findings, the researchers used data from the “Whitehall II” cohort, which collected information from UK civil servants, aged 34-56 years at study outset, since 1985-88.
The final sample for this study was made up of 4,820 older adults, aged between 59 and 83 years. The mean (average) age was 69, and 75 per cent were male. A heavy drinker was identified using the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test for Consumption (AUDIT-C).
The screening tool consists of just three questions and assesses how often you drink, how much you drink, and how often you binge (have six or more drinks). Participants were asked on a single occasion to complete the AUDIT-C retrospectively for each decade of their life, from 16-19 to 80 and over.
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This information was used to categorise their life-time drinking pattern: never hazardous drinker, former early hazardous drinker (stopped before age 50), former later hazardous drinker (stopped at age 50 or after), current hazardous drinker, and consistent hazardous drinker (during every decade of their life).
More than half of drinkers (56 per cent) had been hazardous drinkers at some point in their life, with 21 per cent being current hazardous drinkers and 5 per cent being consistent hazardous drinkers.
The findings showed that former early hazardous drinkers on average had a 1.17 cm larger waist than never hazardous drinkers, whereas former later hazardous drinkers, current hazardous drinkers and consistent hazardous drinkers had a waist circumference that was 1.88 cm, 2.44 cm and 3.85cm larger. respectively.
Overall, the research found that heavy alcohol consumption over a lifetime is associated with higher blood pressure, poorer liver function, increased stroke risk, larger waist circumferences and body mass index (BMI) in later life, even if you stop drinking heavily before age 50. (IANS)
Heart patients, please take note. Researchers have found that heart attack survivors who carry excess fat around their waist are at increased risk of another heart attack.
“Abdominal obesity not only increases your risk for a first heart attack or stroke, but also the risk for recurrent events after the first misfortune,” said study author Hanieh Mohammadi from the Karolinska Institute in Sweden.
Prior studies have shown that abdominal obesity is an important risk factor for having a first heart attack. But until now, the association between abdominal obesity and the risk of a subsequent heart attack or stroke was unknown.
The research, published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, followed more than 22,000 patients after their first heart attack and investigated the relation between abdominal obesity (measured by waist circumference) and the risk for recurrent cardiovascular disease events.
The researchers specifically looked at events caused by clogged arteries, such as fatal and non-fatal heart attack and stroke.
Patients were recruited from the nationwide SWEDEHEART registry and followed for a median of 3.8 years.
Most patients — 78 per cent of men and 90 per cent of women — had abdominal obesity (waist circumference 94 cm or above for men and 80 cm or above for women).
Increasing abdominal obesity was independently associated with fatal and non-fatal heart attacks and strokes, regardless of other risk factors (such as smoking, diabetes, hypertension, blood pressure, blood lipids and body mass index [BMI]) and secondary prevention treatments.
According to the researchers, waist circumference was a more important marker of recurrent events than overall obesity.
The reason abdominal obesity is very common in patients with a first heart attack is that it is closely linked with conditions that accelerate the clogging of arteries through atherosclerosi, the researchers said.
These conditions include increased blood pressure, high blood sugar and insulin resistance (diabetes) as well as raised blood lipid levels.
“Our results, however, suggest that there may be other negative mechanisms associated with abdominal obesity that are independent of these risk factors and remain unrecognised,” Mohammadi said.
“In our study, patients with increasing levels of abdominal obesity still had a raised risk for recurrent events despite being on therapies that lower traditional risk factors connected with abdominal obesity such as anti-hypertensives, diabetes medication and lipid lowering drugs,” she added.
According to the study, the relationship between waist circumference and recurrent events was stronger and more linear in men.
“There were three times as many men in the study compared to women, contributing to less statistical power in the female group. Therefore, more studies are needed before definite conclusions can be drawn according to gender,” Mohammadi noted. (IANS)