Type 2 diabetes: Doctor explains impacts of the condition
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Type 2 diabetes is a condition that affects more than three million people in the UK. This more common form of diabetes is often linked with lifestyle factors including unhealthy diet and lack of exercise. It causes the blood sugar levels (glucose) in your body to become too high.
There are a number of ways to control blood sugar that your doctor might recommend, including medicines, changing your diet, losing weight and exercising more.
However, a study, published in the European Journal of Nutrition, has found that taking blackcurrant extract daily could have a significant impact on type 2 diabetes patients.
Specifically the research conducted by the Liverpool John Moores University trialled the use of a New Zealand blackcurrant extract called CurraNZ.
As part of the trial 25 overweight participants received either 600mg of CurraNZ or a placebo every day for eight days.
The supplements were taken prior to eating a high-carbohydrate, high-fat liquid meal, and they then continued their normal daily activities and ate their usual diets.
Insulin sensitivity and markers of inflammation were assessed on day seven, while blood sugar levels after eating were checked on day eight.
It found that insulin sensitivity was improved by 22 percent.
This was significant because having high insulin sensitivity leads to reduced blood sugar.
And blood sugar levels after breakfast and lunch reduced by nine percent and eight percent respectively
Study lead Doctor Sam Shepherd said: “These latest research findings are really exciting, with the potential of New Zealand blackcurrant extract to have an even greater effect in unhealthy people and those with type 2 diabetes.
“We know that exercise and specific diets can improve insulin sensitivity and reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, and CurraNZ provides another approach.
“The big difference is its implementation, as unlike exercise and diet, taking two blackcurrant capsules a day doesn’t require a lot of effort from the user.”
The research suggests that anthocyanins – a potent polyphenol group of compounds found in New Zealand blackcurrants – can help ward off developing type 2 diabetes as well as the associated health risks of pre-diabetes.
Mike Wakeman, clinical pharmacist, author, and ingredient formulating scientist added: “The data from this latest study looking at the CurraNZ extract in relation to type 2 diabetes and reducing the risk of developing the disease is great news.
“It adds to the weight of evidence that is really building now, on this specific New Zealand Blackcurrant extract.
“It appears that the magic in this unique extract – CurraNZ – is the working action of anthocyanins wrapped into the proprietary complex – Enzans.
“And it is this Enzans complex which sits at the heart of the CurraNZ extract – that delivers a whole host of health benefits from warding off the development of Type 2 diabetes in overweight and obese people, heart health benefits such as reducing central arterial stiffness and blood pressure in older adults, to providing clinically significant cardioprotective effects by reducing the age of arteries by a staggering 10 years.”
A “normal” fasting blood glucose level is considered 100 milligrams per decilitre (mg/dL).
If it ranges between 100 to 125 mg/dL it is considered prediabetes, or 126 mg/dL and higher means the patient has diabetes.
Symptoms of type 2 diabetes can include:
- Peeing more than usual, particularly at night
- Feeling thirsty all the time
- Feeling very tired
- Losing weight without trying to
- Itching around your genitals, or repeatedly getting thrush
- Cuts or wounds taking longer to heal
- Blurred vision.
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