Diabetes is a long-term condition that makes blood sugar extremely high. And a new study has found that easy lifestyle changes may be “stronger” than medication at preventing the condition.
The study, conducted by the Charles Perkins Center at the University of Sydney, examined the effect of food compared to drugs on the inner workings of our cells. And I discovered that diet has a much stronger effect.
The study, published in the journal Cell Metabolism, also revealed that diabetes isn’t the only condition that can be avoided by following the right diet.
And for conditions like stroke and heart disease, our diet may also be “stronger” than drugs.
It showed that the overall balance of calories and macronutrients had a greater impact on aging and metabolic health, compared to three drugs commonly used to treat diabetes.
Macronutrients describe the nutrients you eat that give you energy, and include proteins, carbohydrates, and fats.
The preclinical study, which discovered the importance of nutrition, was conducted on mice.
The team’s work shows the role of diet and specific combinations of proteins, fats and carbohydrates in aging, obesity, heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
Lead author Professor Stephen Simpson said: “Diet is a powerful drug. The drugs are designed to work in the same way and on the same nutrient signaling pathways as food. Since humans essentially share the same nutrient signaling pathways as mice. The research suggests that humans have a have better value than changing their diet to improve metabolic health rather than taking the drugs we studied.”
The researchers designed a complex study on mice with 40 different treatments.
Each of these treatments had different levels of proteins, fats, carbohydrates, calories and drugs.
They found that calorie intake and macronutrient balance seriously affect the liver.
Protein intake and total calorie intake affect metabolic pathways and the processes that govern how our cells function.
The protein is linked to activity in mitochondria, the part of cells that produces energy.
The study also showed that the drugs essentially inhibit the cell’s metabolic response to diet, rather than “essentially remodeling” it, Science Direct reports.
One anti-aging drug had a greater effect on changes in cells caused by dietary fats and carbohydrates.
Lead author Professor David Le Cotter added: “This study shows how food can dramatically affect many of the processes in our cells.”