Monday June 24, 2019

Wine Tied to Healthier Arteries for Some Diabetics

Some previous research has linked drinking moderate amounts of wine or other alcohol to a lower risk of cardiovascular disease in otherwise healthy people as well as diabetics

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A woman tastes 2015 vintage wine from Barsac Sauternes during the Union des Grand Crus of Bordeaux tasting event Jan. 25, 2018, in San Francisco. VOA

Some diabetics with plaque buildup in their arteries might have less debris in these blood vessels after adding wine to their diets, a recent study suggests.

For the study, researchers examined data on 224 people with type 2 diabetes who normally didn’t drink alcohol but were randomly assigned to follow a Mediterranean diet and drink approximately one glass of red wine, white wine or water for days. Among the subset of 174 people with ultrasound images of their arteries, 45 percent had a detectable plaque at the start of the study.

Two years later, researchers didn’t see any significant increase in plaque for any of the participants with ultrasounds, regardless of whether they drank wine or water.

ALSO READ: Label Description with Details of Winery History on the Bottle may Influence your Choice of Wine

However, among the people who started out with the most plaque in their arteries, there was a small but statistically meaningful reduction in these deposits by the end of the study, researchers report in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

“Among patients with well-controlled diabetes and a low risk for alcohol abuse, initiating moderate alcohol consumption in the context of a healthy diet is apparently safe and may modestly reduce cardiometabolic risk,” said lead study author Rachel Golan, a public health researcher at the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Beer Sheva, Israel.

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Cardio-metabolic risk factors can increase the chances of having diabetes, heart disease or a stroke. Pixabay

“Our study is not a call for all patients with type 2 diabetes to start drinking,” Golan said by email.

In addition to plaque in the arteries, other risk factors include high blood pressure, elevated blood sugar, high cholesterol, smoking and having poor diet and exercise habits.

ALSO READ: Prepare these Amazing Cocktails for a tipsy Winter

Previous research

In the current study, all of the participants had the most common form of the disease, known as type 2 diabetes, which is linked to obesity and aging and occurs when the body can no longer produce or use the hormone insulin to convert sugars in the blood into energy.

Participants were part of a larger study looking at people with cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

They were typically in their late 50s or early 60s and most of them were overweight or obese. Roughly 65 to 70 percent of them took medications to lower cholesterol or other blood fats and the majority of them also took diabetes drugs to control blood sugar.

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Some previous research has linked drinking moderate amounts of wine or other alcohol to a lower risk of cardiovascular disease in otherwise healthy people as well as diabetics. Pixabay

ALSO READ: World’s oldest Italian wine has been found: US Study 

Mediterranean diet

Patients were told to follow a Mediterranean diet, which typically includes lots of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes and olive oil. This diet also tends to favor lean sources of protein like chicken or fish over red meat, which contains more saturated fat.

Participants were provided with wine or mineral water throughout the study period along with a 150-milliliter (5.07-ounce) glass to measure the daily dose of their assigned beverage, which was consumed with dinner.

Some previous research has linked a Mediterranean diet to weight loss and a reduced risk of heart disease and some cancers as well as better management of blood sugar in people with diabetes.

Another drawback is that researchers only had ultrasound images of plaque buildup for a small proportion of patients, and the two-year follow-up period might not be long enough to detect meaningful differences in plaque accumulation.

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One limitation of the current study is the potential for the apparent beneficial effect of the wine to have been at least partially caused by the Mediterranean diet. Pixabay

ALSO READ: Kerala: Catholic Church wants permission to produce more wine

There is a risk

Alcohol may help, but it also isn’t risk-free, noted Dr. Gregory Marcus, a researcher at the University of California, San Francisco, who wasn’t involved in the study. It can increase the risk of heart rhythm problems, which can cause stroke, Marcus said by email.

Even though alcohol might help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease in some circumstances, there isn’t enough evidence yet to suggest that people who avoid alcohol should start drinking, Marcus said.

“I would certainly recommend against starting to drink alcohol in the hopes of obtaining beneficial health effects among anyone that currently abstains,” Marcus said. “And among those who drink, these sorts of positive results should never be used to consume more alcohol, particularly beyond drinking in moderation.” (VOA)

Next Story

Researchers Find Drug to Delay Type-1 Diabetes by Two Years

The effects of the drug were greatest in the first year after it was given, said the study published online in The New England Journal of Medicine

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Representational image. Pixabay

In a first, researchers have found that a treatment affecting the immune system effectively slowed the progression to clinical Type-1 diabetes in high risk individuals by two years or more.

“The results have important implications for people, particularly youth, who have relatives with the disease, as these individuals may be at high risk and benefit from early screening and treatment,” said Lisa Spain, Project Scientist from US National Institutes of Health’s National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK).

The study, involving treatment with an anti-CD3 monoclonal antibody (teplizumab), was conducted by Type 1 Diabetes TrialNet, an international collaboration aimed at discovering ways to delay or prevent Type-1 diabetes.

Participants were randomly assigned to either the treatment group, which received a 14-day course of teplizumab, or the control group, which received a placebo.

All participants received glucose tolerance tests regularly until the study was completed, or until they developed clinical Type-1 diabetes – whichever came first.

During the trial, 72 per cent of the people in the control group developed clinical diabetes, compared to only 43 per cent of the teplizumab group.

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“Although Type-1 and Type-2 diabetes in parents are well-established risk factors for diabetes, we show that gestational diabetes mellitus may be a risk indicator for diabetes in the mother’s children before age 22,” . Pixabay

The median time for people in the control group to develop clinical diabetes was just over 24 months, while those who developed clinical diabetes in the treatment group had a median time of 48 months before progressing to diagnosis.

“The difference in outcomes was striking. This discovery is the first evidence we’ve seen that clinical Type-1 diabetes can be delayed with early preventive treatment,” Spain added.

Type-1 diabetes develops when the immune system’s T cells mistakenly destroy the body’s own insulin-producing beta cells.

Also Read- Cutting Sodium Intake May Prevent 94 Million Premature Deaths From CVD

Insulin is needed to convert glucose into energy. Teplizumab targets T cells to lessen the destruction of beta cells.

The effects of the drug were greatest in the first year after it was given, said the study published online in The New England Journal of Medicine. (IANS)