The news about youth and diabetes keeps getting worse. The latest data shows that children with type 2 diabetes are at high risk to develop heart, kidney and eye problems faster and at a higher rate than adults with diabetes. “It’s a public health issue,” said Jane Lynch, M.D., principal investigator for the study at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. On one hand you have the obese child who eats to comfort his or her emotions or feels hungry most of the time and doesn’t realize when he or she is full.
And then there’s the thin child on the outside whose arteries are filling up, gains weight in the belly and not on the hips and thighs, and has high blood pressure, high insulin rates after eating, high LDL cholesterol, low HDL cholesterol, and shows metabolic syndrome and insulin resistance symptoms at an early age, yet looks to be of normal weight or thin.
Youth with type 2 diabetes are at much higher risk for heart, kidney disease, a new study reports. Why are so many processed foods turning children into type 2 diabetics? Is it the excess phosphates in processed foods that may bring on chronic disease concerns? Kids are eating too many processed foods with added phosphates.
For example, pyrophosphates are added to a lot of commercial baked goods and cake mixes to improve the dough. Phosphates are added to some sodas, as posphoric acids, as pyrophospate added to some brands of commercial chocolate milk to suspend cocoa. Then there’s tricalcium phosphate in some brands of orange juice for fortification. Then you have tetrasodium phosphate in strawberry-flavored milk to bind iron to pink color.
The phosphates continue to add up. You’d be better off mixing raw, organic cocoa powder that’s not processed with a little hot water and then adding it to a glass of any type of milk, almond milk, or milk you make yourself from emulsified, pureed nuts, seeds, or grains and water in a blender such as rice milk or oat milk (nondairy substitute, home-made).
You have phosphate in dry cereals so the grains can get through the extruder and fortification processes. Then kids eat cheese with phosphoric acid added to set acidification in cottage cheese. You have phosphates in dips and sliced cheese, in sauces, in baked chips for emulsifying and for acting as a surface agent. More and more builds up. Then there’s the non-dairy substitutes with phosphates added as a buffer.
Phosphates are added to egg products to improve color and stability. You have tripolyphosphate injected into meat products such as processed cold cuts. The nutrition bars and meal replacement beverages add phosphates for fortification and stability in some cases, but it’s not on the label because phosphorus doesn’t have to appear on the labels of processed foods.
If you buy baked potato chips instead of those fried varieties, ther’s phosphate in the chips added and pyrophospate in fresh fries, has brows, and potato flakes to keep them fresh or to create bubbles on potato chips for that special crunch. You have chickens full of tripolyphosphate for moisture and to keep away the salmonella bacteria and other microbes. You have phosphate added to some commercial cheesecakes and puddings. And as for seafood, there’s tripolyphospyhate in shrimp so the mechanical peeler will work smoother.
You have canned tuna with added pyrophosphate for color and crystal control and to preserve the protein in better shape. And what is the result? All the phosphates in processed foods add up in the body leading to a raised risk of chronic disease. You can learn more about this in the June 2013 issue of the Townsend Letter. See page 168, the article, “Phosphates in Processed Foods = Chronic Disease Concerns,” by Betty Wedman-St Louis, PhD, RD, LD. And check out her website for more information on phosphorus and its effect on bone health and cardiovascular issues. See the Betty Wedman-St Louis website.
The news about youth and diabetes keeps getting worse
The latest data from the national TODAY diabetes study shows that children who develop Type 2 diabetes are at high risk to develop heart, kidney and eye problems faster and at a higher rate than people who acquire Type 2 diabetes as adults. “Once these kids have Type 2 diabetes, they seem to be at very high risk for early complications when compared to adults,” said Jane Lynch, M.D., according to the May 24, 2013 news release, “Youth with type 2 diabetes at much higher risk for heart, kidney disease.” Jane Lynch, M.D. is a professor of pediatric endocrinology in the School of Medicine at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.
The study, led in San Antonio by UT Medicine pediatricians, includes 699 children and young people, with 44 San Antonio participants. The rise in youth obesity rates has been accompanied by increasing Type 2 diabetes rates in young people. “It’s really a public health issue,” said Dr. Lynch, who is principal investigator in the San Antonio arm of the study, according to the news release. There are many unanswered questions and few guidelines for treatment of youth with early onset Type 2 diabetes, she said. Type 2 diabetes should not be confused with Type 1 diabetes, formerly called juvenile diabetes.
Of the ‘Today’ participants, more than a third required medication for hypertension or kidney disease 3.9 years after they had joined the study. In the study, published online Thursday afternoon in Diabetes Care, 699 adolescents were randomized into three groups that received metformin, metformin plus rosiglitazone, or metformin plus intensive lifestyle intervention.
The intensive lifestyle intervention group didn’t do better
While the children on the combined drugs did the best of the three groups, Dr. Lynch said, all did poorly. The researchers were particularly disappointed that the intensive lifestyle intervention group did not do better. The rate of deterioration of beta cell function in youth was almost four times higher than in adults, researchers found, noting a 20-35 percent decline in beta cell function per year on average, compared to 7-11 percent for adults. Beta cells store and release insulin.
It does not make things easier that these adolescents with early onset T2 diabetes have a tough time managing complex health problems. “In puberty, everyone becomes somewhat insulin-resistant. And when you’re insulin-resistant, you’re hungry, plus when you have diabetes you’re thirsty. This becomes a huge issue when there’s the tendency to make poor choices.”
The young patients all had to fit specific health parameters
One sobering aspect of the study results is that the young patients all had to fit certain health parameters, such as not having high blood pressure or having a treatable level of high blood pressure, and they all received the best possible care, education and medical support.
They had to have a parent or guardian who would also participate in the clinic visits and lifestyle education. Their medicine was paid for and they were brought to the clinic by taxi if that’s what it took to get them there. “That’s Cadillac treatment for any kids with diabetes — and we still had these outcomes,” Dr. Lynch explained in the news release.
Despite the interventions in all three treatment arms, the kids kept getting sicker
Boys and girls both developed kidney disease at about the same rates, but obese teenage boys were 81 percent more likely to develop hypertension, Dr. Lynch said in the news release. “What’s especially challenging for these children is that many also develop fatty liver, which limits our use of the drugs that control hypertension.”
The study will continue as researchers monitor the participants’ overall outcomes, including cardiac health. “Our goal is to follow them for 10 or 15 years as we figure out better ways to prevent this disease and how to predict complications,” Dr. Lynch explained in the news release. All the educational handouts used in the study are available free online at the ‘Today’ materials site. An NIDD/NIH, grant no. U01-DK-61230 (in part) funded the study. Also check out, NIH/National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.