Note: The following abstracts are written in extremely technical language and include technical research and case studies. References are provided. For 'user-friendly' informative reading, check out the health topics presented by Dr. Martin and Dr. Davenport. Feel free to contact us for more information or if you have any questions.

Effects of glucose/insulin perturbations on aging and chronic disorders of aging: the evidence

Among changes associated with aging is a decline in glucose tolerance. The reported causes are increased insulin resistance from receptor and/or post receptor disturbances and diminished pancreatic islet B-cell sensitivity to glucose. Many recent reports indicate that insulin resistance with hyperinsulinemia and/or hyperglycemia contribute to or even causes many chronic disorders associated with aging, i.e., chronic metabolic perturbations including noninsulin-dependent diabetes mellitus, obesity, hypertension, lipid abnormalities, and atherosclerosis. How could such disturbances in glucose/insulin metabolism lead to many chronic disorders associated with aging? In aging, similar to diabetes, the elevation in circulating glucose and other reducing sugars secondary to age-induced insulin resistance can react nonenzymatically with proteins and nucleic acids to form products that affect function and diminish tissue elasticity. Also, perturbations in glucose/insulin metabolism are associated with enhanced lipid peroxidation secondary to greater free radical formation. Free radicals of oxygen are important known causes of tissue damage and have been associated with many aspects of aging including inflammatory diseases, cataracts, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases. Augmented free radical formation and lipid peroxidation are not uncommon in diabetes mellitus, commonly associated with "premature aging". Ingestion of sugars, fats, and sodium have been linked to decreased insulin sensitivity, while caloric restriction, exercise, ingestion of chromium, vanadium, soluble fibers, magnesium, and certain antioxidants are associated with greater insulin sensitivity. Thus, manipulation of diet by influencing the glucose/insulin system may favorably affect life span and reduce the incidence of chronic disorders associated with aging.

J-Am-Coll-Nutr. 1997 Oct; 16(5): 397-403

Partial preservation of pancreatic beta-cells by vanadium: evidence for long-term amelioration of diabetes

Streptozotocin (STZ)-diabetic rats treated with vanadium can remain euglycemic for up to 20 weeks following withdrawal from vanadium treatment. In this study, we examined the effects of short-term vanadium treatment in preventing or reversing the STZ-induced diabetic state. Male Wistar rats were untreated (D) or treated (DT) with vanadyl sulfate for 1 week before administering STZ. Treatment was subsequently maintained for 3 days (DT3) or 14 days (DT14) post-STZ, after which vanadium was withdrawn. At 4 to 5 weeks post-STZ and following long-term withdrawal from vanadium, DT14 rats demonstrated levels of food and fluid intake and glucose tolerance that were not significantly different from those of age-matched untreated nondiabetic rats, and had significantly reduced glycemic levels in the fed state compared with D and DT3 groups. The proportion of animals that were euglycemic (fed plasma glucose < 9.0 mmol/L) was significant in DT14 (five of 10) relative to D (one of 10) and DT3 (one of 10) (P = .01). All euglycemic animals had an improved pancreatic insulin content that, albeit low (12% of control), was strongly linked to euglycemia in the fed state (r = -.91, P < .0001). Moreover, the highly significant correlation persisted with the analysis of untreated STZ-rats alone (r = -.95, P < .0001). Similarly, improvements in glucose tolerance and insulin secretory function in euglycemic rats were strongly correlated with small changes in residual insulin content. Hence, as vanadium pretreatment did not prevent STZ-induced beta-cytotoxicity, the vanadium-induced amelioration of the diabetic state appears to be secondary to the preservation of a functional portion of pancreatic beta cells that initially survived STZ toxicity. The partial preservation of pancreatic beta cells, albeit small in proportion to the total insulin store, was both critical and sufficient for a long-term reversal of the diabetic state. These results suggest that apparently modest effects in preserving residual pancreatic insulin content can have profound consequences on glucose homeostasis and may bear important implications for interventions that have "limited" protective effects on beta cells.

Cam-MC; Li-WM; McNeill-JH
Metabolism. 1997 Jul; 46(7): 769-78

Insulin-like effects on liver Golgi membrane preparations of bis(oxalato)oxovanadate(IV) complex ion, a new vanadate compound

Recent studies have shown the insulin-like effect of vanadyl sulphate or sodium ortho (or meta-) vanadate administered orally to rats. Toxicity of these drugs and reluctance by the animals to drink the solutions and take food, concerning the amelioration of some diabetes syndrome discussed in 1994 by Domingo et al. (1), McNeill et al. (2) and Wiliams and Malabu (3), prompted us to investigate a new vanadate complex: disodium bis (oxalato) oxovanadate (IV), Na2[VO(OX)2]pO.

The main object of the experiment was to study whether this complex administered as 3 mmol/l solution in 0.5% NaCl during 7 days could act on the subcellular level and influence the activity of liver Golgi membrane galactosyltransferase activity. Free blood sugar level was lowered (but was still higher than in the control group) in diabetic rats after seven days of vanadate action and was accompanied by lowered, however not statistically significant, serum triglyceride levels. The yields of isolated Golgi-rich membrane fractions were about half of the level in diabetic groups (untreated and treated with vanadium) compared with the control groups. Purity of these membrane fractions, expressed as nmol Gal transferred per mg of proteins and per h, was the same in four groups investigated and showed the possibility to compare them. Activity of galactosyltransferase calculated in nmol Gal transferred per 1 g of liver and per 1 h or per whole liver in the same time (as a possibility of glycosylation of the secretory and membrane glycoproteins) was lower in both diabetic groups. However, after vanadium treatment (D+V group), the activity was higher than in untreated diabetic rats (D group) in three of five investigated animals. Vanadyl-oxalate complex did not normalize in a statistically significant manner the enzyme activity which was significantly lower in diabetes than in control. This is similar to insulin influence on the galactosyltransferase activity reported previously by Kaczmarski et al. in 1981 (4) and Kordowiak et al. in 1981 (5).

Kordowiak-AM; Trzos-R; Grybos-R
Horm-Metab-Res. 1997 Mar; 29(3): 101-5

Role of essential trace elements in the disturbance of carbohydrate metabolism

Zinc and chromium have been well known to be important trace elements in diabetes as a cofactor for insulin, although their real mechanisms in carbohydrate metabolism are not clear. Especially, chromium is considered essential for maintenance of normal glucose tolerance, and a chromium complex occurring in brewer's yeast, termed glucose tolerance factor (GTF), was found to be of outstanding activity. Recently, some essential trace elements such as vanadium and selenium were observed to have several physiological insulin-like effects by a post-insulin receptor kinase mechanism. It is very likely that chromium, manganese, vanadium, and selenium have a favorable effect on carbohydrate metabolism.

Nippon-Rinsho. 1996 Jan; 54(1): 79-84

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