Posts Tagged ‘diabetes’
And it’s supposed to be a good thing?
Chris sent me this great press release to deconstruct. If you’re in on the joke, it’s downright hysterical.
Aspirin-like compounds (salicylates) can claim another health benefit: increasing the amount of insulin produced by otherwise healthy obese people. Obesity is associated with insulin resistance, the first step toward type 2 diabetes.
Aspirin and other salicylates are known to reduce blood glucose in diabetic patients. New research accepted for publication in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism reveals a similar beneficial effect among obese individuals by increasing the amount of insulin secreted into the bloodstream.
“The administration of a salicylate led to the lowering of serum glucose concentrations,” said Jose-Manuel Fernandez-Real of the Institut d’Investigacio Biomedica de Girona and CIBEROBN Fisiopatologia de la Obesidad, Spain, and lead author of the study. “These findings highlight the importance of further research on the possible therapeutic benefit of aspirin in the fight against type 2 diabetes.”
For their study, Fernandez-Real and his colleagues evaluated the effects of triflusal (a derivative of salicylate) on 28 subjects (nine men and 29 women). The average age of the participants was 48 years old and their average Body Mass Index (BMI) was 33.9. A BMI of over 30 is considered obese. During three, four-week treatment periods, the study participants received a 600 mg dose, a 900 mg dose, or a placebo once per day.
The researchers found that administration of triflusal led to decreased fasting serum glucose. Contrary to their expectations, insulin sensitivity did not significantly change during the trial. Insulin secretion, however, significantly increased in relation to the dose size.
In conjunction with the human studies, the researchers also conducted laboratory studies on insulin-producing cells (known as islets of Langerhans) from mice and humans. The researchers observed that triflusal significantly increased the insulin secreted by these cells.
“Aspirin therapy has been recognized to improve glucose tolerance and to reduce insulin requirements in diabetic subjects,” said Fernandez-Real. “To our knowledge, this is the first study to show that salicylates lowered serum glucose in non-diabetic obese subjects. We believe that this effect was due to a previously unsuspected increase in insulin secretion rather than enhanced insulin sensitivity.”
The paper “Salicylates increase insulin secretion in healthy obese subjects” will appear in the July issue of JCEM, a publication of The Endocrine Society.”
Other researchers involved in the study include Abel Lobez-Mermejo, Ana-Belen Ropero, Sandra Piquer, Angel Nadal, Judit Bassols, Roser Casamitjana, Roman Gomis, Eva Arnaiz, Inaki Perez, and Wifredo Ricart. Aspirin-like compounds increase insulin secretion in otherwise healthy obese people
Were these scientists born yesterday? Aspirin therapy does not “improve glucose tolerance”. It just lowers blood glucose! If anything, it impairs glucose tolerance by inducing the release of too much insulin, which causes hypoglycaemia.
There are two types of diabetics; Type 1 and Type 2. Type 1 diabetics have an autoimmune condition characterised by low to non-existent insulin levels, high blood sugar, and weight loss. Type 2 diabetics have something called ‘insulin resistance’. They have high levels of insulin, high blood sugar, and weight gain. Insulin lowers blood sugar by pushing glucose into cells. T2 diabetics resist the presence of insulin, so they have both high insulin levels and high blood sugar. When doctors talk about improving insulin sensitivity, they are talking about decreasing the resistance to insulin.
Any endocrinologist (in fact, any diabetic) can tell you that insulin is a weight gain hormone. They will also tell you that the more weight you gain, the more resistant to insulin you will be. So why, why would you want to give a T2 diabetic more insulin?
Because you’re using the wrong criteria to assess their health!
Currently diabetes medicine is labouring under a sad misunderstanding. The misunderstanding is that most of the negative symptoms of diabetes are caused by high blood sugar, and that blood sugar must be kept under control at all costs. Unfortunately some of the negative symptoms of diabetes are actually caused by high insulin levels, not high blood sugar. This means that outdated drugs that actually worsen T2 diabetes over time are still being prescribed to T2 diabetics. In fact, Michael Eades MD posted on this subject not so long ago, describing how the large, well-funded ACCORD study has halted its rigorous blood sugar control trials in diabetics because the diabetics who were controlling their blood sugar the best (by raising their insulin levels even higher), were dying faster than the control group.
There are two main types of drugs that are given to T2 diabetics: drugs that increase insulin output (or actual insulin), and drugs that increase sensitivity to insulin. The first class of drugs includes the sulfonylurea drugs, which work to lower blood sugar by stimulating insulin release. The second class of drugs includes metformin, which works by increasing the body’s sensitivity to the existing insulin – that is, by reducing insulin resistance. Metformin is the drug of choice for T2 diabetics. Not sulfonylureas, whose side effects include weight gain. Duh!
So here we have this bizarre study of triflusal – which appears to be a drug without real a purpose other than to mimic aspirin – and researchers are looking for some use for it. Some bright spark who read a medical book once comes up with this. What’s the betting triflusal also causes weight gain and hypoglycaemia? Just the same as salicylates cause me weight gain and hypoglycaemia by inducing insulin release. I’m willing to put money on it.