Hidden Benefits

1 decade 1 year 5 months ago Tuesday, July 10 2007 Jul 10, 2007 Tuesday, July 10, 2007 4:49:54 PM CDT July 10, 2007 in News

A Bonus To Gastric Bypass

Many of us associate gastric bypass surgery with losing weight, but this might not be the only benefit. In some cases, the procedure can get rid of type 2 diabetes by returning blood sugar levels to normal.

The operation is, however, risky.

"That hormone level in diabetics seems to be a little low, and after gastric bypass, every time the patients eat, they get a huge shot up of the hormone level and that seems to be what helps the body to normalize the blood sugar level," said Dr. Nestor De La Cruz-Munoz, a bariatric surgeon.

Even though there is a possibility the surgery could make the diabetes disappear, this method is not being used as a cure. The thought is to develop a surgery for patients who are not obese.

Pumpkins Up, Tomatoes Down

Pumpkin extract could lower the amount of insulin diabetics need to manage blood sugar levels.

Scientists tested rats with type one diabetes. The pumpkin extract seemed to help repair damage done to pancreatic cells. After they were repaired they were able to make insulin.

In the U.S., it is estimated more than 20 million people have either type one or type two diabetes.

Pumpkin extract may help with diabetes, but don't count on tomatoes to help prevent cancer. At one time it was thought red fruit could help prevent cancer, but a recent FDA review of several studies found the relationship is limited.

There is a small benefit for ovarian, prostate and and gastric and pancreatic cancer, but not enough to get excited about. This means manufacturers can not claim cancer health benefits about their tomatoes.

Quitting, One Pill At A Time

A pill designed to help smokers stop smoking may also help alcoholics give up the bottle. The company Pfizer is selling the pill under the name Chantix.

As nicotine affects the "pleasure" center of the brain, the drug releases dopamine which blocks the effects of nicotine. Researchers think the pill could block the effects of alcohol in a similar way as nicotine.

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