Type 2 Diabetes – Protecting the Heart and Blood Vessels

Omentin is a small protein recently discovered. This protein is found…

  • in fat cells around the heart and other organs,
  • in the small intestines,
  • in the cells lining the heart and other organs,
  • in blood vessel cells,
  • in some airway cells,
  • in the colon,
  • in the ovaries, and
  • blood.

The molecule is anti-inflammatory, and varying levels of it have been found in insulin resistance and Type 2 diabetes…

  • omentin levels rise when the body attempts to correct Type 2 diabetes and its associated heart and blood vessel complications.
  • studies have also revealed low levels of the molecule are present in obese individuals.

In January of 2019, the journal Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice reported on a study completed at Osaka City University in Osaka, Japan. Researchers there compared…

  • 425 people who had been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, with
  • 223 non-diabetic study participants.

In those at high risk for serious complications…

  • those 65 or over,
  • those with heart and blood disease, and
  • those with reduced kidney function,

Low omentin levels were linked with reduced blood vessel dilation in response to increased blood flow. From these results, the investigators concluded omentin plays a protective role in people with Type 2 diabetes at risk for heart and blood vessel complications.

A study reported in December of 2018 in the journal Clinical Nutrition shows adherence to the Mediterranean low-calorie diet could be helpful in raising omentin levels. Researchers at the University of Valladolid in Valladolid, Spain, prescribed the diet for 67 obese participants with an average age of 48 for three months.

By the end of the study, omentin levels increased, while decreases were seen in the following…

  • body mass index (BMI),
  • body weight,
  • body fat,
  • waist measurement,
  • blood pressure,
  • blood sugar level,
  • insulin – because not as much was needed,
  • insulin resistance, the cause of Type 2 diabetes, and
  • LDL cholesterol – “bad” cholesterol.

The main foods included in the Mediterranean diet are…

  • vegetables – Greek people typically eat nine servings a day of fruits and vegetables,
  • fruit,
  • whole grains – bread, pasta, and rice,
  • legumes – beans,
  • nuts – pistachios, walnuts, almonds contain healthful fats, but eat them in moderation due to high calories,
  • healthy fats such as olive and canola oils instead of butter. Bread is eaten dipped in liquid vegetable oil instead of butter,
  • red wine in moderation – optional, and
  • herbs and spices instead of salt – parsley, saffron, thyme, basil, rosemary, oregano, and sage.

Alicia D. Walker

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