Health Update

The latest Health Updates from November 2015

Diabetes Can We Look to the Sea For Answers

A Driving FORCE
Rufus Dorsey, AFAA Certified Group Exercise Instructor and actor in such films as Rise of the Planet of the Apes, has dedicated himself to helping others through his fitness, health and wellness company, D-FORCE for LIFE™. Growing up in Philadelphia, Dorsey’s drug-addicted but devoted mother encouraged him to be as successful in school as he was in sports, helping him to graduate with honors . . .and a football scholarship.  But everything changed a month before he left for college when he was diagnosed with Type I diabetes and went into a downward spiral that could have ended his life.  His mother, fighting through her own struggles, taught him the meaning of strength and Dorsey was slowly able to re-focus on taking control of his health, continuing his education and playing college football.  After earning a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice Administration, he moved to Los Angeles to pursue an acting career, but his health remained a strong focus.  Dorsey and co-founder Lisa Ximenez created D-FORCE for LIFE, and grounded it in The D-FORCE for LIFE philosophy:  

Face your challenges
Own your health
Remember to get regular check-ups
Choose healthy food options
Exercise regularly.

Dorsey currently travels the country as a volunteer Ambassador for the American Diabetes Association and has been featured in Diabetes Forecast Magazine. He also performs fitness demonstrations for Let’s Move! (Michelle Obama’s initiative for all children to live a healthy lifestyle) in Southern California.

Dorsey also invented D-EASY GRIP water bottle straps, “the easiest way to carry a water bottle.”  D-EASY GRIP allows anyone—from elite athletes to individuals with physical challenges—to carry a water bottle while walking, running, hiking or working out…anytime, anywhere in total comfort.   The design is simple; fingers are inserted through the strap with the thumb placed next to them rather than around the bottle, which now stays in the hand without gripping.  D-EASY GRIP releases all pressure from the hand, wrist and thumb by creating a fully overhand grip. It’s the No-Grip grip! Dorsey has also developed the D-EASY GRIP Water Bottle Workout for group fitness.

This workout allows the participants to use various size bottles as dumbbells while allowing for proper muscle isolation.

November is American Diabetes Month, and Rufus Dorsey wants it known that “I’ve made the most of my training and have invented a fitness product and group workout to help those with Diabetes and prevent others from getting it.”

Diabetes—Can We Look to the Sea For Answers? 
For decades, the public has been told to avoid foods high in saturated fats and cholesterol. A new study led by the National Marine Mammal Foundation (NMMF) discovered a saturated fat called heptadecanoic acid that may help reverse prediabetes in humans.

NMMF research found that bottlenose dolphins can readily switch in and out of diabetes-like states, and that dolphins—including those in the wild—can develop metabolic syndrome, called prediabetes in humans. “To better understand what may be a driver for metabolic syndrome in dolphins, we started exploring their diet, which is primarily fish,” says Dr. Stephanie Venn-Watson, director of NMMF’s Translational Medicine and Research Program and the study’s lead author. 

“The saturated fat heptadecanoic acid [found in high levels in some fish] appeared to have had the most beneficial impact on dolphin metabolism,” Venn-Watson continues. “Dolphins with higher levels of [this] acid in their blood had lower insulin and triglycerides.” Six dolphins with low heptadecanoic acid were fed fish high in this saturated fat. Within six months on the new diet, indicators including elevated insulin, glucose and triglycerides normalized.

Heptadecanoic acid is found in dairy fat, rye and some fish. The study showed that the highest levels were found in whole fat milk, yogurt and especially butter. “We hypothesize that widespread movement away from whole fat dairy products in human populations may have created unanticipated heptadecanoic acid deficiencies,” explains Venn-Watson, “and . . . this dietary deficiency may be playing a role in the global diabetes pandemic.”

Does this mean that we can now eat butter without guilt? Dr. Venn-Watson concludes, “Butter may have both good and bad saturated fats, but it’s always best to check with your physician before making changes to your diet.”


Promoting Diet Diversity

Promoting Diet Diversity 
A loss of dietary diversity during the past 50 years could be a contributing factor to the rise in several diseases, including type 2 diabetes, according to Mark Heiman, vice president of research and chief scientific officer at MicroBiome TherapeuticsTM.

Heiman says diet is the principal regulator of the GI microbiome, the ecosystem of the human gastrointestinal tract. The microbiome needs a diverse diet to function optimally. However, current agricultural practices as well as climate change have contributed to a loss of that diversity, with about 75% of the world's population consuming only five animal species and 12 plant species.

“Like any ecosystem, the one that is most diverse in species is the one that is going to be the healthiest,” Heiman explains. “In almost every disease state that has been studied so far, the microbiome has lost diversity.”

In his research, Heiman found people with prediabetes and type 2 diabetes had a different microbiome makeup than people without those health conditions. He created NM504, a formulation of insulin, beta glucan and antioxidants, and tested it with 30 individuals. Half of them received the formulation twice a day, while the others received a placebo. Those who took NM504 saw shifts in the makeup of their microbiome including improved glucose control, increased satiety and relief from constipation. 

Heiman says the study showed health benefits from taking a therapeutic agent, but the results also point to the potential health benefits for people who make dietary changes. 

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