Diabetes Varies For Everyone: Drugs and Diet News

Gretchen Becker Health Guide
  • One concept most of us with diabetes are familiar with is the idea that we're not all alike. A drug or a diet that works well for me might not work as well for you.

    We call this "YMMV," for "Your mileage may vary." (See Gretchen's previous post on the topic for more information)

    Most doctors are aware of this phenomenon, and they'll often try a drug for some problem and have you come back in a few weeks to see if it's working for you. If not, they'll try another one, and they'll keep on like this until they find one that works.

    Unfortunately, when it comes to diets, there's often a one-size-fits-all-diabetics approach. Yet we patients know that YMMV applies to diets as well as to drugs.

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    Now a recent study has documented that. Researchers have shown that men with a certain gene mutation (C/C) had higher BG levels after eating a meal high in saturated fat than men without the C/C genotype (161 compared with 119 mg/dL).

    And the BG levels among the C/C men dropped significantly when they were switched from the high-saturated-fat diet to a diet high in monounsaturated fat or high in carbohydrate (from 161 to 104 and 114 mg/dL, respectively). The other men saw their BG levels drop relatively little, from 119 to 116 and 105 mg/dL, respectively).

    Hence for the C/C men, a diet high in saturated fat would probably not be recommended. For the other men, it wouldn't make much difference in terms of insulin resistance and BG control, although the different diets could also affect other health factors.

    The researchers found no significant differences among women.

    This particular research has no immediate clinical benefit, as most of us aren't going to be tested for obscure genetic variations. But it's a step toward developing methods to individualize diet treatment of diabetes.

    And if nutritionists would notice research like this, they might be more apt to teach patients how to measure their BG levels while trying different diets to find the one that worked the best for that individual patient.


Published On: September 08, 2008