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Concept: Insulin


The treatment of noncommunicable diseases (NCD), like coronary heart disease or type 2 diabetes mellitus, causes rising costs for the health system. Physical activity is supposed to reduce the risk for these diseases. Results of cross-sectional studies showed that physical activity is associated with better health, and that physical activity could prevent the development of these diseases. The purpose of this review is to summarize existing evidence for the long-term (>5 years) relationship between physical activity and weight gain, obesity, coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes mellitus, Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

Concepts: Insulin, Nutrition, Hypertension, Diabetes mellitus type 2, Medicine, Obesity, Diabetes mellitus, Epidemiology


Artificial sweeteners have been widely used in the modern diet, and their observed effects on human health have been inconsistent, with both beneficial and adverse outcomes reported. Obesity and type 2 diabetes have dramatically increased in the U.S. and other countries over the last two decades. Numerous studies have indicated an important role of the gut microbiome in body weight control and glucose metabolism and regulation. Interestingly, the artificial sweetener saccharin could alter gut microbiota and induce glucose intolerance, raising questions about the contribution of artificial sweeteners to the global epidemic of obesity and diabetes. Acesulfame-potassium (Ace-K), a FDA-approved artificial sweetener, is commonly used, but its toxicity data reported to date are considered inadequate. In particular, the functional impact of Ace-K on the gut microbiome is largely unknown. In this study, we explored the effects of Ace-K on the gut microbiome and the changes in fecal metabolic profiles using 16S rRNA sequencing and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) metabolomics. We found that Ace-K consumption perturbed the gut microbiome of CD-1 mice after a 4-week treatment. The observed body weight gain, shifts in the gut bacterial community composition, enrichment of functional bacterial genes related to energy metabolism, and fecal metabolomic changes were highly gender-specific, with differential effects observed for males and females. In particular, ace-K increased body weight gain of male but not female mice. Collectively, our results may provide a novel understanding of the interaction between artificial sweeteners and the gut microbiome, as well as the potential role of this interaction in the development of obesity and the associated chronic inflammation.

Concepts: Insulin, Aspartame, Obesity, Nutrition, Gut flora, Metabolism, Sweeteners, Sucralose


Background Degludec is an ultralong-acting, once-daily basal insulin that is approved for use in adults, adolescents, and children with diabetes. Previous open-label studies have shown lower day-to-day variability in the glucose-lowering effect and lower rates of hypoglycemia among patients who received degludec than among those who received basal insulin glargine. However, data are lacking on the cardiovascular safety of degludec. Methods We randomly assigned 7637 patients with type 2 diabetes to receive either insulin degludec (3818 patients) or insulin glargine U100 (3819 patients) once daily between dinner and bedtime in a double-blind, treat-to-target, event-driven cardiovascular outcomes trial. The primary composite outcome in the time-to-event analysis was the first occurrence of an adjudicated major cardiovascular event (death from cardiovascular causes, nonfatal myocardial infarction, or nonfatal stroke) with a prespecified noninferiority margin of 1.3. Adjudicated severe hypoglycemia, as defined by the American Diabetes Association, was the prespecified, multiplicity-adjusted secondary outcome. Results Of the patients who underwent randomization, 6509 (85.2%) had established cardiovascular disease, chronic kidney disease, or both. At baseline, the mean age was 65.0 years, the mean duration of diabetes was 16.4 years, and the mean (±SD) glycated hemoglobin level was 8.4±1.7%; 83.9% of the patients were receiving insulin. The primary outcome occurred in 325 patients (8.5%) in the degludec group and in 356 (9.3%) in the glargine group (hazard ratio, 0.91; 95% confidence interval, 0.78 to 1.06; P<0.001 for noninferiority). At 24 months, the mean glycated hemoglobin level was 7.5±1.2% in each group, whereas the mean fasting plasma glucose level was significantly lower in the degludec group than in the glargine group (128±56 vs. 136±57 mg per deciliter, P<0.001). Prespecified adjudicated severe hypoglycemia occurred in 187 patients (4.9%) in the degludec group and in 252 (6.6%) in the glargine group, for an absolute difference of 1.7 percentage points (rate ratio, 0.60; P<0.001 for superiority; odds ratio, 0.73; P<0.001 for superiority). Rates of adverse events did not differ between the two groups. Conclusions Among patients with type 2 diabetes at high risk for cardiovascular events, degludec was noninferior to glargine with respect to the incidence of major cardiovascular events. (Funded by Novo Nordisk and others; DEVOTE number, NCT01959529 .).

Concepts: Hypoglycemia, Cardiovascular disease, Hypertension, American Diabetes Association, Insulin, Diabetes mellitus type 2, Myocardial infarction, Diabetes mellitus


BACKGROUND: Epidemiological studies suggest that excessive sitting time is associated with increased health risk, independent of the performance of exercise. We hypothesized that a daily bout of exercise cannot compensate the negative effects of inactivity during the rest of the day on insulin sensitivity and plasma lipids. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Eighteen healthy subjects, age 21±2 year, BMI 22.6±2.6 kgm(-2) followed randomly three physical activity regimes for four days. Participants were instructed to sit 14 hr/day (sitting regime); to sit 13 hr/day and to substitute 1 hr of sitting with vigorous exercise 1 hr (exercise regime); to substitute 6 hrs sitting with 4 hr walking and 2 hr standing (minimal intensity physical activity (PA) regime). The sitting and exercise regime had comparable numbers of sitting hours; the exercise and minimal intensity PA regime had the same daily energy expenditure. PA was assessed continuously by an activity monitor (ActivPAL) and a diary. Measurements of insulin sensitivity (oral glucose tolerance test, OGTT) and plasma lipids were performed in the fasting state, the morning after the 4 days of each regime. In the sitting regime, daily energy expenditure was about 500 kcal lower than in both other regimes. Area under the curve for insulin during OGTT was significantly lower after the minimal intensity PA regime compared to both sitting and exercise regimes 6727.3±4329.4 vs 7752.0±3014.4 and 8320.4±5383.7 mU•min/ml, respectively. Triglycerides, non-HDL cholesterol and apolipoprotein B plasma levels improved significantly in the minimal intensity PA regime compared to sitting and showed non-significant trends for improvement compared to exercise. CONCLUSIONS: One hour of daily physical exercise cannot compensate the negative effects of inactivity on insulin level and plasma lipids if the rest of the day is spent sitting. Reducing inactivity by increasing the time spent walking/standing is more effective than one hour of physical exercise, when energy expenditure is kept constant.

Concepts: Impaired fasting glycaemia, Impaired glucose tolerance, Overweight, Diabetes mellitus, Insulin resistance, Obesity, Glucose tolerance test, Insulin


The behavioral outcome of food ingestion is a complex process that involves psychological and biological factors. Avocados are nutrient dense with properties that may favorably impact energy balance. This study sought to evaluate if incorporating approximately one half of a Hass avocado by addition or inclusion into a lunch meal will influence post-ingestive satiety, glucose and insulin response, and subsequent energy intake among overweight adults.

Concepts: Obesity, Insulin, Lunch, Hass avocado, Persea, Carbohydrate, Avocado, Nutrition


Over-nutrition has fuelled the global epidemic of type 2 diabetes, but the role of individual macronutrients to the diabetogenic process is not well delineated. We aimed to examine the impact of dietary fatty acid intake on fasting and 2-hour plasma glucose concentrations, as well as tissue-specific insulin action governing each. Normoglycemic controls (n = 15), athletes (n = 14), and obese (n = 23), as well as people with prediabetes (n = 10) and type 2 diabetes (n = 11), were queried about their habitual diet using a Food Frequency Questionnaire. All subjects were screened by an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) and studied using the hyperinsulinemic/euglycemic clamp with infusion of 6,62H2-glucose. Multiple regression was performed to examine relationships between dietary fat intake and 1) fasting plasma glucose, 2) % suppression of endogenous glucose production, 3) 2-hour post-OGTT plasma glucose, and 4) skeletal muscle insulin sensitivity (glucose rate of disappearance (Rd) and non-oxidative glucose disposal (NOGD)). The %kcal from saturated fat (SFA) was positively associated with fasting (β = 0.303, P = 0.018) and 2-hour plasma glucose (β = 0.415, P<0.001), and negatively related to % suppression of hepatic glucose production (β = -0.245, P = 0.049), clamp Rd (β = -0.256, P = 0.001) and NOGD (β = -0.257, P = 0.001). The %kcal from trans fat was also negatively related to clamp Rd (β = -0.209, P = 0.008) and NOGD (β = -0.210, P = 0.008). In contrast, the %kcal from polyunsaturated fat (PUFA) was negatively associated with 2-hour glucose levels (β = -0.383, P = 0.001), and positively related to Rd (β = 0.253, P = 0.007) and NOGD (β = 0.246, P = 0.008). Dietary advice to prevent diabetes should consider the underlying pathophysiology of the prediabetic state.

Concepts: Unsaturated fat, Fat, Blood sugar, Saturated fat, Glucose tolerance test, Diabetes mellitus, Insulin, Nutrition


The study investigated cross-sectional associations of total amount and patterns of sedentary behaviour with glucose metabolism status and the metabolic syndrome.

Concepts: Insulin resistance, Blood sugar, Diabetes mellitus type 2, Diabetes mellitus, Hypertension, Obesity, Nutrition, Insulin


Self-monitoring of blood glucose among people with type 2 diabetes not treated with insulin does not appear to be effective in improving glycemic control. We investigated whether health professional review of telemetrically transmitted self-monitored glucose results in improved glycemic control in people with poorly controlled type 2 diabetes.

Concepts: Randomized controlled trial, Nutrition, Insulin resistance, Carbohydrate, Diabetes mellitus type 2, Insulin, Diabetes, Diabetes mellitus


Background: Postprandial hyperlipidemia is associated with impaired endothelial function. Peanut consumption favorably affects the lipid and lipoprotein profile; however, the effects on endothelial function remain unclear.Objective: The purpose of the study was to evaluate the effects of acute peanut consumption as part of a high-fat meal on postprandial endothelial function.Methods: We conducted a randomized, controlled, crossover postprandial study to evaluate the effect of acute peanut consumption on postprandial lipids and endothelial function as assessed by flow-mediated dilatation (FMD) of the brachial artery in 15 healthy overweight or obese men [mean age: 26.7 y; mean body mass index (in kg/m(2)): 31.4]. Participants consumed, in a randomized order, a peanut meal containing 3 ounces (85 g) ground peanuts (1198 kcal; 40.0% carbohydrate, 47.7% fat, 19.4% saturated fat, 13.2% protein) and a control meal matched for energy and macronutrient content. Meals were in the form of a shake, scheduled ≥1 wk apart. Lipids, lipoproteins, glucose, and insulin were measured at baseline (0 min) and at 30, 60, 120, and 240 min after shake consumption. FMD was measured at baseline and at 240 min.Results: Acute peanut consumption blunted the serum triglyceride (TG) response 120 and 240 min after consumption compared with the control meal (means ± SEMs-120 min: 188.9 ± 19.4 compared with 197.5 ± 20.7 mg/dL; 240 min: 189.9 ± 24.3 compared with 197.3 ± 18.4 mg/dL; P < 0.05 for both). Total, LDL, and HDL cholesterol and glucose and insulin responses were similar between the test meals. Compared with baseline, only the control meal significantly decreased FMD at 240 min (control: -1.2% ± 0.5%; P = 0.029; peanut: -0.6% ± 0.5%; P = 0.3). Participants with higher baseline total (>150 mg/dL) and LDL (>100 mg/dL)-cholesterol concentrations showed a significant decrease in FMD after the control meal (-1.8%, P = 0.017; -2.0%, P = 0.038), whereas the peanut meal maintained endothelial function in all participants irrespective of total- and LDL-cholesterol concentrations.Conclusion: The inclusion of 85 g peanuts (3 ounces) as part of a high-fat meal improved the postprandial TG response and preserved endothelial function in healthy overweight or obese men. This trial was registered at as NCT01405300.

Concepts: Fat, Lipoprotein, Lipid, Insulin, Obesity, Cholesterol, Atherosclerosis, Nutrition


Although loss of functional β-cell mass is a hallmark of diabetes, no treatment approaches that halt this process are currently available. We recently identified thioredoxin-interacting protein (TXNIP) as an attractive target in this regard. Glucose and diabetes upregulate β-cell TXNIP expression, and TXNIP overexpression induces β-cell apoptosis. In contrast, genetic ablation of TXNIP promotes endogenous β-cell survival and prevents streptozotocin (STZ)- and obesity-induced diabetes. Finding an oral medication that could inhibit β-cell TXNIP expression would therefore represent a major breakthrough. We were surprised to discover that calcium channel blockers inhibited TXNIP expression in INS-1 cells and human islets and that orally administered verapamil reduced TXNIP expression and β-cell apoptosis, enhanced endogenous insulin levels, and rescued mice from STZ-induced diabetes. Verapamil also promoted β-cell survival and improved glucose homeostasis and insulin sensitivity in BTBR ob/ob mice. Our data further suggest that this verapamil-mediated TXNIP repression is conferred by reduction of intracellular calcium, inhibition of calcineurin signaling, and nuclear exclusion and decreased binding of carbohydrate response element-binding protein to the E-box repeat in the TXNIP promoter. Thus, for the first time, we have identified an oral medication that can inhibit proapoptotic β-cell TXNIP expression, enhance β-cell survival and function, and prevent and even improve overt diabetes.

Concepts: Gene, Diabetes mellitus, Insulin resistance, Calcium channel blocker, Glucose, DNA, Gene expression, Insulin