September 21, 2009
Antioxidants and Diabetes – Does a Little Go a Long Way?
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Can something good for you also be bad for you? Some of the latest research on antioxidants suggests that they can contribute to the early onset of type 2 diabetes.
A study published in Cell Metabolism challenges the long held belief that molecules called Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) are always harmful and that antioxidants are always beneficial. This was the finding by an international team of scientists. Researchers found that the ROS molecules enhance insulin action and may protect individuals during the early stages of type 2 diabetes. Antioxidants prevent ROS molecules from having this beneficial effect.
After all we’ve heard about the disease fighting qualities of antioxidants, this may sound unbelievable, but what the researchers found is that by elevating ROS levels in the muscles of genetically-modified mice they could prevent the onset of insulin resistance and diabetes. When they treated the animals with antioxidants, which cleaned up the ROS molecules, the mice lost their improved insulin response.
However, researchers say that ROS, while beneficial in the early stages of type 2 diabetes, can be harmful as diabetes develops. What they’re now trying to figure out is when these molecules stop being beneficial by enhancing insulin action and helping to lower blood sugar levels, and when they become harmful.
If you’re concerned about diabetes what should you do? The scientist’s advice is to eat healthily and exercise because those are natural sources of ROS molecules that promote insulin action.
If you’re concerned about your potential for developing diabetes, be sure to discuss those concerns with your physician and with your dentist. Why your dentist? Dentists can often spot problems in your mouth – like diabetes – before you have it diagnosed by your physician. And, since you should see your dentist twice a year, that gives you an additional opportunity to have a problem diagnosed in early stages.
Not all dentists are alike when it comes to understanding the links between dental health and high blood sugar levels or other systemic health problems. Every Dentistry For DiabeticsSM dentist, on the other hand, is thoroughly trained in the connections between gum disease and high blood sugar readings. They also know how to lower blood sugar using specific types of dental therapy, so follow this link to find a Dentistry For DiabeticsSM dentist near you.
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