NO MAGIC PILL

Here’s a bummer for anyone hoping hoodia pills (made from a South African plant) will whittle their waistline:  A study found that most weight-loss supplements don’t work. A researcher reviewed products claiming to block fat or carb absorption, increase metabolism, reduce body fat, or suppress the appetite and found that many supplements had no randomized clinical trials-the best way to determine a drug or supplement’s  effectiveness-to prove their claims.  And those tested showed at most a 4-pound drop in weight compared with people taking placebos.  A safer, more effective way to lose weight:  Eat fewer calories and exercise more.

 

Source:  Diabetes Forecast Magazine July 2012/ International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, April 2012

DIABETES: THE LATE SHIFT

Science has again shown the importance of a good night’s sleep.  Twenty-one people without diabetes got only six hours of shut-eye a day, at odd hours, for three weeks.  By the end, their sleep-deprived bodies were making an average of 32 percent less insulin after a meal than they did at the study’s start, leading to higher blood glucose that reached prediabetic levels in some people.  What’s more, the drowsy participants ended up with a lower metabolic rate, which would translate into a weight gain of almost 13 pounds over a year, the researchers say.  After a nine-day recovery period, participants’ blood glucose metabolism returned to normal.  Theses findings suggest a link between sleep schedules, obesity, and type 2 diabetes.

Source:  Diabetes Forecast Magazine July 2012/  Science Translational Medicine, April 11, 2012.