Could marijuana lower diabetes risk?
It’s estimated that as many as 4.6 million Americans smoke marijuana daily and if new research holds true, they may actually be helping their bodies reduce the risk of diabetes. According to a study from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, regular marijuana use is linked to better diabetic control and lower probability of insulin resistance. In the research, current users of marijuana had 16 percent lower fasting insulin levels than those who never used marijuana.
The study used data from the National Health and Nutrition Survey collected between 2005 and 2010, analyzing information from a total of 4,657 people, of which 579 were current marijuana users and 1,975 had used in the past. After nine hours of fasting, participants gave blood samples to measure fasting insulin and glucose levels. The results indicated that those who used marijuana within the past month had reduced levels of fasting insulin and better scores on insulin resistance evaluations. The study also showed a link between insulin levels and those who had used marijuana at least once, but not within the past month – though these results were not as strong as among the regular users.
While it is known that those who have a larger waist circumference are at higher risk of diabetes, this research also showed that marijuana use is linked to smaller waist circumferences, lowering the risk of diabetes.
Scientists said they were hopeful that the results will prompt more clinical research into the short-term and long-term effects of marijuana.
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