A new study published this week in the journal Neurology shows that people with type 2 diabetes demonstrate a decline in cognitive skills and ability to perform daily activities over the course of only two years.
- After two years, the people with diabetes showed greater declines in gray matter as well as impairments in their ability to regulate blood flow in the brain than the people without.
- Blood flow regulation decreased by an average of 65 percent in the participants with diabetes.
- Among participants with diabetes, scores on thinking and memory tests decreased by an average of 12 percent, from 46 to 41 points, while test scores of the participants without diabetes stayed the same at 55 percent.
- Higher levels of inflammation were correlated with greater difficulties with blood flow regulation.
- Those with the highest levels of blood flow regulation impairment at the outset of the study had more difficulties performing daily activities (such as cooking and bathing) after two years.
Diet changes that could help
Despite cheese's less-than-healthy reputation, a recent study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that cheese-eaters actually have a 12 percent lower risk of the disease than their non cheese-eating counterparts.
Plus, people who ate more cheese, fermented milk and yogurt in the study were also more likely to have a decreased diabetes risk than people who ate less of these foods, noted the
Researchers from the Louisiana State University Agricultural Center found that people who regularly eat tree nuts (we're talking pistachios, walnuts, almonds and cashews) have a lower risk of Type 2 diabetes, as well as heart disease and metabolic syndrome.
University of Washington and University of Pittsburgh researchers found that people who walked the most in their study -- which included 1,826 people from Native American communities -- had a 29 percent lower risk of diabetes, compared with those who walked the least.
Apple, pear and blueberry eaters have lower risks of Type 2 diabetes, according to a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
The study was based on the diets of 200,000 people. HuffPost Canada reported that anthocyanins and fruits rich in anthocyanins were linked with lower diabetes risk; flavanoids, however, were not.
Eating a range of fruits and veggies could help to lower the risk of Type 2 diabetes, Medical Daily reported.
Drinking alcohol at a moderate level is linked with a lower risk of Type 2 diabetes for some people, according to an American Journal of Clinical Nutrition study. Harvard researchers found that for women with refined carb-heavy diets, moderate alcohol consumption is linked with a decreased diabetes risk of 30 percent, compared with non-imbibing women who eat similar diets, Reuters reported.
Chinese researchers found earlier this year that coffee may stop a protein linked with Type 2 diabetes from building up, thereby possibly lowering the risk of the disease, WebMD reported. The research, published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, suggests that three particular compounds found in coffee are able to have this beneficial effect: caffeine, chlorogenic acid and caffeic acid, according to WebMD.