Month: December 2015

Men’s Weight Impacts Epigenetic Markers on Sperm Cells, Likely to Affect Health of Future Children

The study consisted of 13 men with a BMI of 22.9 and 10 men with a BMI of 31.8. In the first part of the study, the researchers found that sperm from obese men had a distinct epigenetic signature in comparison to the normal weight men, particularly at genes that control brain development and function. In the second part of the study, the researchers observed 6 men before and up to a year after they had undergone bariatric surgery. Within weeks, 3000 differences in epigenetic patterns of the men’s sperm were seen, and after a year, as their diet and lifestyle improved, there were upwards of 5000 changes. Differences were particularly noted at gene regions associated with central control of appetite. These results, according to the researchers, demonstrate that the epigenetic landscape of human sperm is dynamic and vulnerable to environmental changes.

“It’s another critical piece of information that informs us about the very real need to look at the preconception health of fathers,” said Ida Donkin, MD in a press release, one of the authors of the study. “And it’s a message we need to disseminate in society.”

Learn more when CMHC faculty member Harold Bays, MD, an expert in obesity and how epigenetics contribute to obesity as a “transgenerational” disease, speaks at the inaugural CMHC West March 4-5, 2016 in San Francisco on “Treating Obesity Seriously: How Genetics and Epigenetic Factors Affect Weight.” (Also visit the CMHC website to view Dr. Bays’s presentation from the 10th Annual CMHC.)

Donkin et al. Obesity and bariatric surgery drive epigenetic variation of spermatozoa in humans. Cell Metabolism. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cmet.2015.11.004 .

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“Burst” Exercise Leads to Greater Cardiometabolic Improvements in Patients with Type 2 Diabetes

Researchers studied 76 patients with type 2 diabetes randomly assigned to either 30 minutes of exercise 5 days per week at 65% of their target heart rate, or 10 minutes of exercise 3 times per day, 5 days per week at 85% of their target heart rate. The “burst” exercisers experienced a 2.3-fold greater improvement in HbA1c and a 3-fold reduction in BMI, along with greater improvements in LDL-C, HDL-C, and triglyceride levels and stronger cardiac fitness, which was measured by stress testing.

It isn’t clear why burst exercise resulted in more significant cardiometabolic improvements than longer, low-intensity exercise. Lead study author Avinash Pandey suggested it may be due to higher intensity exercise using energy in a different way. “We are hoping to continue looking at burst exercise and sustained energy in larger and more diverse patient populations. With further study, burst exercise may become a viable alternative to the current standard of care of low-intensity, sustained exercise for diabetes rehabilitation,” he said. Read more

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Including Walnuts in Daily Diet Improves Health in Adults at Risk for Diabetes

Researchers randomized 112 participants, 31 men and 81 women, ranging in age from 25 to 75 years with multiple risk factors for diabetes (overweight, high blood sugar, blood pressure, or cholesterol, or excess fat around the midsection) to follow a reduced calorie diet with or without nutrition counseling. Within these groups, half were randomly assigned to add walnuts to their daily diet (about 2 ounces/day) for 6 months. After a 3-month break, researchers then switched the groups. Participants were assessed for diet quality, body composition, and cardiac risk measures.

Study results showed that walnuts, with or without nutrition counseling, significantly improved diet quality as measured by the Healthy Eating Index 2010. Endothelial function and total and LDL-C significantly improved from baseline; other factors such as BMI, percent body fat, visceral fat, fasting glucose, glycated hemoglobin, and blood pressure, did not change significantly.

Read the full study here.

Njike V et al. Walnut ingestion in adults at risk for diabetes: effects of body composition, diet quality, and cardiac risk measures. BMJ Open Diab Res Care. 2015;3:e000115 doi:10.1136/bmjdrc-2015-000115.

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New “Fingerprint” of Inflammation Identified in Obesity-Associated T2DM

Researchers at Boston University School of Medicine have identified a new “fingerprint” of inflammation that may be able to predict which patients with obesity may also develop type 2 diabetes. Specifically, inflammatory proteins known as Th17 cells, which are associated with autoimmune conditions, were identified as major contributors to inflammation and hyperglycemia. Although research has already shown inflammation promotes obesity-related type 2 diabetes and related complications, anti-inflammatory drugs have had limited success in treatment. Thus, the findings may provide better insight into the relationship between inflammation and obesity-related type 2 diabetes.

Read more on the study published in the journal Obesity  here.

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Lixisenatide Proves Safety in ELIXA While Liraglutide Shows Greater HbA1c Reduction Compared with SGLT-2 Inhibitors

CV outcomes data from the ELIXA trial have been published in the New England Journal of Medicine for the as-yet FDA unapproved GLP-1 agonist lixisenatide, and have shown no increase or decrease in the rate of major cardiovascular events in patients with acute coronary syndrome. Read more here.

Meanwhile, findings from a recent meta-analysis have shown that among people with type 2 diabetes the GLP-1 agonist liraglutide provided greater HbA1c reductions compared with SGLT-2 inhibitors. Comprising the meta-analysis were 17 randomized controlled trials that included patients with type 2 diabetes inadequately controlled with metformin alone or in combination with sulfonylurea, DPP-4 inhibitors, or thiazolidinedione. Liraglutide was also associated with an improved likelihood of achieving glycemic goals compared with SGLT-2 inhibitors. Read more from a press release on the meta-analysis here.

Pfeffer MA et al. Lixisenatide in patients with type 2 diabetes and acute coronary syndrome. N Engl J Med. 2015;373:2247-2257.

Lorenzi M et al. Liraglutide vs SGLT-2 inhibitors in people with type 2 diabetes: a network meta-analysis. Presented at 23rd World Diabetes Congress, Vancouver, BC, Canada; 30 November – 4 December 2015. Abstract number 0226-P.

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