Fast Facts About the Pancreas and Diabetes

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Impaired fasting glucose, or a glucose level between 110 and 125 milligrams per deciliter (mg./dl.) after fasting, is a sign that you may be at an increased risk for development of diabetes. Other risk factors for diabetes include:

Age. The risk of type 2 diabetes increases as we get older, especially after age 40.
Weight. Obesity is one of the main risk factors; the more fatty tissue we have, the more resistant our cells are to insulin. Eighty percent of type 2 diabetic patients are overweight.
Family history. If we have a parent or sibling with diabetes, our risk increases.
(Source: Mayo Clinic Health Letter, January 2003.)
High-heat cooking methods (such as grilling) have been shown to produce carcinogenic substances called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and heterocyclic amines (HCAs). When a panel of cancer experts considered the influence of cooking methods on cancer risk, they concluded that the process of grilling meat might increase the risk of contracting some cancers.

After compiling and analyzing data from around the world on all aspects of the diet-cancer connection, the panel issued a 670-page report, Food, Nutrition, and the Prevention of Cancer: A Global Perspective. On the basis of this report, the panel published a series of recommendations to reduce cancer risk.

According to the American Institute for Cancer Research and the Mayo Clinic, regardless of the cooking method, diets high in red meat are a probable risk factor for pancreatic and colorectal cancer, the third most common cancer in America, and a possible risk factor for cancers of the pancreas, breast, prostate, and kidney. The report also concluded that the process of grilling meat poses a possible additional risk for colorectal and stomach cancers.

(Source: American Institute for Cancer Research, August 5, 2002.)
"A billion people in the world are overweight," says Dr. Jonathan M. Graff, senior author of a fat storage study published in Developmental Cell, and associate professor in the Center for Developmental Biology at the University of Texas-Southwestern. "During the next few decades, it will be one of the major health issues facing mankind."

Approximately 58 million Americans are overweight, and about 300,000 deaths annually are attributable to poor diet and inactivity, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive Kidney Diseases. Nearly 70 percent of cardiovascular disease cases are related to obesity.

The American Diabetes Association reports that about 17 million people have diabetes, a disease in which the body does not produce or properly use insulin. In 1999, diabetes was the sixth leading cause of death listed on U.S. death certificates.

(Source: Developmental Cell, January 13, 2003.)
Individuals with lower levels of education are more likely to have diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease. The prevalence of these diseases also varies by income, race, and gender.

(Source: Center for the Advancement of Health, December 2002.)
Research suggests that higher nut and peanut butter consumption might lead to a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes in women. To prevent an increase in caloric intake, nuts can be used in place of refined grain products or red or processed meats.

(Source: Journal of the American Medical Association, November 27, 2002.)
A shortage of sunlight and vitamin D can cause bones to weaken, arthritis to worsen, and the risk of diabetes, heart disease, and other disorders to increase. On average, we obtain 90 percent of our vitamin D from sunlight and the rest from dietary sources.

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