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Diabetic Diet May be As Good for the Brain as it is for the Body

Whitney | September 6th, 2012

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Most know a healthy diabetic diet is good for the body. But new research suggests that diabetes diets are good for the brain as well. Studies have found that insulin resistance has a direct impact on cognitive function – for better or worse. This means that diabetics seeking fast weight loss through healthy diets and exercise may benefit their ability to think while they trim their bodies.

Type 3 Diabetes and a Diabetic Diet

Type 3 diabetes is a new term given to a type of diabetes that affects the brain. It was first used by researchers at Brown University that discovered Alzheimer’s patients had a decrease of insulin by as much as 80 percent, compared to those who did not exhibit any Alzheimer’s symptoms. This discovery led researchers to the realization that the brain, like other parts of the body, had the ability to develop insulin resistance, the same process that occurs in patients with type II diabetes.

Doctors specializing in medical weight loss hope that the news encourages their pre-diabetic and overweight patients to get on a serious path to wellness.  The Center for Medical Weight Loss, one of the largest groups of medical weight loss doctors in the country, offers customized programs to patients who wish to lose weight, avoid a later diabetes diagnosis, or even reverse a condition previously diagnosed.

According to the Center’s founder, Dr. Kaplan, “We see diabetic patients all the time who lose weight and no longer need insulin.”  Weight loss success stories like this are typical of patients seen at over 450 locations across the country.

Diabetes Diets and Alzheimer’s

Another study conducted at Brown University found that when insulin was blocked in the brains of test rats, the rats became disoriented to the point they were unable to complete a maze. When the brains of the rats were examined, similar deterioration patterns to those of Alzheimer’s patients were seen in the rats. Of particular interest to researchers was the presence of amyloid plaque, which is a trademark sign of Alzheimer’s disease. While this study showed a link between insulin resistance and brain function, it did not indicate whether diabetes diets could provide a positive effect on the trend.

Subsequent research has led scientists to believe that insulin can also improve the symptoms of Alzheimer’s in some patients. A small study at Washington University showed that patients who received insulin administered by nasal spray actually showed cognitive improvement after treatment. Test subjects that received the nasal spray were better able to recall details of a story they heard, and exhibited longer attention spans.

The evidence from the Brown study also suggests that a healthy diabetic diet and exercise may slow the progression of Alzheimer’s in some patients. It may even prevent the onset of the condition for those who have not yet exhibited any signs of the disease. The results offer one more good reason those with type II diabetes, or those at higher risk for the disease, should follow a diabetic diet for fast weight loss before the first symptoms of diabetes even present.

To learn more about the Center for Medical Weight Loss or to find a Center near you, please enter your zip code in the box above. Special offers are available to new clients at some locations.