Mindfulness and weight loss
Mindfulness training may improve the effectiveness of intensive weight management programs, according to a small study published in the Endocrine Society’s Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.
Individuals who participated in mindfulness training as part of an intensive weight management program lost more weight in six months than other program participants who did not attend mindfulness courses.
The findings are the result of research from the University of Warwick and the Warwickshire Institute for the Study of Diabetes Endocrinology and Metabolism at University Hospitals
Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust.
Mindfulness is a mind-body practice where individuals learn to achieve
heightened awareness of their current state of mind. Practices of mindful eating
include: eating when hungry and stopping when full, selecting nutritionally-dense
foods, and eating slowly to savor each bite.
Obesity worldwide has nearly tripled since 1975, according to the World Health
Organization. As of 2016, more than 1.9 billion adults worldwide met the criteria
for overweight or obesity.
Drug cocktail could help diabetics
Researchers at Mount Sinai have discovered a novel combination of two classes
of drugs that induces the highest rate of proliferation ever observed in adult human
beta cells—the cells in the pancreas that produce insulin. The result is an important
step toward a diabetes treatment that restores the body’s ability to produce insulin.
“We are very excited about this new observation because for the first time, we are able to see rates of human cell beta cell replication that are sufficient to replenish beta cell
mass in human beings,” said Andrew Stewart, MD, Director of the Mount Sinai Diabetes, Obesity, and Metabolism Institute and lead author of the study. “We have discovered a drug combination that makes beta cells regenerate at rates that are suitable for treatment. The next big hurdle is figuring out how to deliver them directly to the pancreas.”
According to Dr. Stewart, none of the diabetes drugs currently on the market can
induce beta cell regeneration in people with diabetes. In parallel with the Mount
Sinai work, other researchers are studying pancreatic transplantation, beta cell
transplantation, and stem cell replacement of beta cells for people with diabetes,
but none of these approaches is in widespread use.
Approximately 30 million people in the United States have diabetes and
nearly 50 to 80 million more are living with pre-diabetes (also called “metabolic
Diabetes occurs when there are not enough beta cells in the pancreas, or when those beta cells secrete too little insulin, the hormone required to keep blood sugar levels in the normal range. Diabetes can lead to major medical complications: heart attack, stroke, kidney failure, blindness, and limb amputation.