HEALTH

New study addresses link between gum disease treatment, diabetes

BY Allison Cerra

OTTAWA A new study to be published in the latest issue of The Cochrane Library found that treating periodontal (gum) disease in diabetics may lower their insulin levels.

A group of researchers from University of Edinburgh and supported by colleagues at the Peninsula Dental School, the University of Ottawa and UCL Eastman Dental Institute suggested that Type 2 diabetics may benefit from such treatments, after analyzing 690 papers of randomized controlled trials of people with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes who had also been diagnosed with periodontal disease and included seven studies in the review that fulfilled prespecified criteria.

Most healthcare professionals, the team said, do not address the correlation between periodontal disease and insulin levels. It is believed that when bacteria infect the mouth and cause inflammation, the resulting chemical changes reduce the effectiveness of insulin produced in the body, thus making it more difficult for diabetics to control their blood sugar

Terry Simpson, lead author at the Edinburgh Dental Institute, said: “It would be wise to advise patients of the relationship between treating periodontal disease and the possibility of lowering their blood sugar levels. Additionally, an oral health assessment should be recommended as part of their routine diabetes management.”

In December, a study published in the Journal of Public Health Dentistry reported that 90% of patients with periodontal disease were at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.

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Gluten-free food offerings on the rise, report finds

BY Allison Cerra

NEW YORK Gluten-free products are becoming the norm as the rate of celiac disease has risen, a Nielsen report has found.

Sales of gluten-free products increased 74% from 2004 to 2009, Nielsen said, and are projected to grow from 15% to 25% a year. The gluten-free market is expected to reach approximately $2.6 billion in sales by 2012. In a February report, the consumer research company found that 62% of store brands claim to be gluten-free, totaling $279 million. In 2008, sales of gluten-free products increased 20% — from $1.46 billion to $1.75 billion — during the 12-month period ended June 14, 2008.

Meanwhile, in a 2008 report, Nielsen underscored the rise in private-label sales, specifically in gluten-free and probiotic categories, citing that consumers “continue to make health and wellness a priority and sales show that [such] products resonate with today’s health-conscious consumers, another avenue for private-label products.”

Celiac disease, an autoimmune disease in which people suffer from gluten intolerance, causes such symptoms as malnutrition and damage to the small intestine. This month is National Celiac Disease Awareness Month.

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Ganeden Biotech granted patent for probiotic

BY Michael Johnsen

CLEVELAND Ganeden Biotech on Wednesday announced that it was granted a patent by the United States Patent and Trademark Office for its invention utilizing a combination of probiotics and lactase to increase lactose digestion in people with lactose intolerance. Lactose intolerance, or the inability to digest lactose, impacts up to 50 million Americans with symptoms like diarrhea, gas and/or bloating after they consume foods containing dairy.

Taking lactase, the enzyme that breaks down lactose and what people with lactose intolerance lack, is the traditional solution for people with lactose intolerance who want to consume dairy.

“Keeping enough lactase pills handy is hard enough, but since lactose intolerance sufferers often don’t know that some of the foods they’re eating contain dairy, they may not even think about taking their lactase pills,” stated Rachel Garber, a Cleveland pediatrician who treats lactose intolerant children and teens at her practice. “A better solution would be one that could be taken in the morning and protect you throughout the day against any dairy that might be consumed, knowingly or not.”

Ganeden Biotech’s Digestive Advantage Lactose Intolerance product contains the combination of the probiotic strain of Bacillus coagulans and lactase enzyme covered by patent the patent, “The lactase enzyme market is rather stagnant, with the leading brands declining in sales,” stated Marshall Fong, head of marketing at Ganeden. “We believe this is because it’s not the ideal solution to lactose intolerance — it’s not always easy to take a lactase pill before eating dairy, especially if you don’t know that the food you’re about to eat contains dairy.”

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