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US Cancels A Planned Alcohol Study Over Trust Issues

NIH Director Francis Collins temporarily suspended the study

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A photo made with a fisheye lens shows bottles of alcohol in a liquor store in Salt Lake City. The National Institutes of Health said Friday that it was canceling a study of moderate drinking's health benefits because the results could not be trusted. Beer and liquor companies were helping to underwrite it.
This June 16, 2016, file photo, taken with a fisheye lens, shows bottles of alcohol during a tour of a state liquor store, in Salt Lake City. Cheap liquor, wine and beer have long been best-sellers among Utah alcohol drinkers, but new numbers from Utah's tightly-controlled liquor system show local craft brews, trendy box wines and flavored whiskies are also popular choices in a largely teetotaler state. VOA
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The U.S. government is shutting down a planned study testing whether moderate drinking has health benefits over concerns that its funding by the alcohol industry would compromise its credibility.

The National Institutes of Health said Friday that the results of the planned $100 million study could not be trusted because of the secretive way that employees negotiated with beer and liquor companies to underwrite the effort.

Government officials say it is legal to use industry money to pay for government research as long as all rules are followed. However, in this case, NIH officials say employees did not follow proper procedures, including keeping their interactions with industry officials secret.

NIH Deputy Director Lawrence Tabak said the interactions between the employees and industry representatives appeared to “intentionally bias” the study so that it would have a better chance to conclude that moderate drinking is beneficial.

An NIH review panel was also concerned that the study’s proposed span of 10 years was too short a time period to adequately test the potential problems of a daily drink, such as an increased risk of cancer or heart failure.

Red wine
Red wine, Pixabay

NIH Director Francis Collins temporarily suspended the study last month after reporting by The New York Times first raised questions about the funding policy violations. Collins said Friday that he was completely shutting down the research.

“This is a matter of the greatest seriousness,’’ he said.

The study had planned to track two groups of people, one group drinking a glass of alcohol a day and another abstaining from alcohol. The study had planned to compare new cases of cardiovascular disease and the rate of new cases of diabetes among participants.

Some of the world’s largest alcoholic beverage makers, including Anheuser-Busch InBev and Heineken, had contributed to the study, although Anheuser-Busch InBev had recently withdrawn its contribution.

The NIH said of the $67.7 million raised from private donations, nearly all from the alcohol industry, $11.8 million, had been spent for the study.

Also read: New Link Found Between Alcohol, Genes And Heart Failure

The NIH’s National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) had planned to spend $20 million of its own money for the study. It said $4 million had been spent.(VOA)

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Type 2 Diabetes May Flare Up Due To Ketogenic Diet :Study

"Diabetes is one of the biggest health issues we face. Although ketogenic diets are known to be healthy, findings indicate that there may be an increased risk of insulin resistance with this type of diet that may lead to Type-2 diabetes."

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Ketogenic diet may up Type-2 diabetes risk: Study. Flickr

Consuming a ketogenic diet — high in fat but low in protein and carbohydrates — may increase the risk of developing Type-2 diabetes while helping in weight loss, a new study has claimed, raising questions whether the diet is healthy.

The study conducted on mice showed that animals fed on ketogenic diets appear metabolically healthy in the fasted state after 3 days of dietary challenge, whereas obesogenic high-fat diet fed animals showed elevated insulin levels.

It is because in ketogenic diets, the process for controlling blood sugar levels did not work properly and there was insulin resistance in the liver.

Insulin is released in the blood and used to control blood sugar levels including signalling the liver to stop producing sugar.

keto diet
Ketogenic Diet increases risk of diabetes, while helping in weight loss. Flickr

If this system is impaired and the body does not use insulin properly, which is called insulin resistance, individuals are likely to develop high blood sugar levels, leading to an increased risk of Type 2 diabetes, the researchers explained.

“Diabetes is one of the biggest health issues we face. Although ketogenic diets are known to be healthy, our findings indicate that there may be an increased risk of insulin resistance with this type of diet that may lead to Type-2 diabetes, said Christian Wolfrum, Associate Professor at the ETH Zurich in Switzerland.

Also Read: Preventing Type 2 Diabetes With the Help of Weight Loss

For the study, published in the Journal of Physiology, the team involved two mice groups: one fed with a ketogenic diet and other a high fat diet.

The team was able to determine the effects of internal sugar production from the animal (mostly the liver), and sugar uptake into tissues (mostly the muscle), during insulin action.(IANS)

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