Diabetes - Mechanisms/Disease Processes

Environmental factors in the etiology of type 1 diabetes.

Type 1 diabetes is considered to be an autoimmune disease in which T lymphocytes infiltrate the islets of pancreas and destroy the insulin producing beta cell population. Besides antigen specificity, the quality of immune reactivity against islet cell antigen(s) is an important determinant of the beta cell destruction. Much evidence indicates that the function of the gut immune system is central in the pathogenesis, as the regulation of the gut immune system may be aberrant in type 1 diabetes.

Predominantly vegetarian diet in patients with incipient and early clinical diabetic nephropathy: effects on albumin excretion rate and nutritional status.

Several studies have suggested that dietary protein quality may be an important determinant in the natural history of renal disease. We have therefore studied the effects of a predominantly vegetarian diet in eight patients with Type 1 diabetes mellitus and an albumin excretion rate (AER) in excess of 30 micrograms min-1. The AER was measured after an 8-week run-in period on the patient's usual diet, and again after 8 weeks of a predominantly vegetarian diet in which the proportion of vegetable protein was supplemented in order to minimize the reduction in total dietary protein intake.

Dietary intake and tissue concentration of fatty acids in omnivore, vegetarian and diabetic pregnancy.

The aim of this study was to determine the effect of fatty acid intake and insulin dependent diabetes on the fatty acid composition of maternal erythrocytes, the placenta and cord. Fatty acid intake (from food frequency questionnaire) and the fatty acid composition of maternal erythrocytes, the placenta and cord from pregnant vegetarians (n = 4) and insulin dependent diabetics (n = 5) was compared with pregnant omnivores (n = 10).

Favorable impact of a vegan diet with exercise on hemorheology: implications for control of diabetic neuropathy.

A little-noticed clinical report indicates that a low-fat, whole-food vegan diet, coupled with daily walking exercise, leads to rapid remission of neuropathic pain in the majority of type 2 diabetics expressing this complication. Concurrent marked improvements in glycemic control presumably contribute to this benefit, but are unlikely to be solely responsible. Consideration should be given to the possibility that improved blood rheology - decreased blood viscosity and increased blood filterability - plays a prominent role in mediating this effect.

Type 2 diabetes and the vegetarian diet.

Based on what is known of the components of plant-based diets and their effects from cohort studies, there is reason to believe that vegetarian diets would have advantages in the treatment of type 2 diabetes. At present there are few data on vegetarian diets in diabetes that do not in addition have weight loss or exercise components. Nevertheless, the use of whole-grain or traditionally processed cereals and legumes has been associated with improved glycemic control in both diabetic and insulin-resistant individuals.

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