In the News: Caffeine May Help Women With Diabetes, Weight Loss Myths Debunked, Gut Bacteria Can Indicate If You Can Lose Weight

Caffeine may help women with diabetes. A study carried out at the University of Porto in Portugal has found that caffeine may benefit women with diabetes, finding that just one cup of coffee can reduce their risk of death by 50 percent. They found that women who had 100-200 milligrams of caffeine were 57 percent less likely to die compared to participants who had no caffeine. By increasing the dose to over 200 milligrams daily,  participants had a 66 percent lower risk of death. It looks like tea may be beneficial as well, with researchers finding that drinking green tea reduced cancer-related mortality. Women who had over 200 milligrams of caffeine in the form of tea had an 80 percent smaller likelihood of developing cancer compared to those who did not get their caffeine fix from tea. More research will be required to find out exactly how coffee and tea play a role in disease prevention and diabetes management. If you have diabetes you can take control of your condition in four easy steps. (MN)

Nine popular weight loss myths debunked. It’s no surprise that losing weight can feel impossible sometimes, but all the myths circulating around this topic don’t make it any easier. Many people think that losing weight is as simple as moving more and eating less but genetics, emotions, the types of food, and environmental factors can also play a role in weight loss success. Another myth states that all calories are created equal and while that may be technically true, when it comes to weight loss, eating foods high in protein and fiber will keep you from binging on unhealthy snacks and keep you fuller longer than a diet soda or a bag of chips. Another myth states that alcohol is the enemy when weight loss is the goal. But according to the New York Times, light and moderate drinking doesn’t prevent weight loss, it’s all about being mindful of how much you consume and choosing the right type of beverages. Want to lose a few pounds? Try Dr. Oz’s 21-Day Weightloss Breakthrough Diet. (T)

Gut bacteria can reveal if you can lose weight.  According to a study at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark, gut bacteria can play a major role in our ability to lose weight. While gut bacteria has long played a role in obesity, it’s possible that it can also help scientists figure out how to treat overweight patients as well. In the study, half of the participants ate according to the Danish national dietary recommendations, consuming lots of fresh produce, whole grains, and fiber. The other group followed the New Nordic Diet, which resembles the Mediterranean diet in many ways. Those on the new diet lost 3.5 kg while those on the average Danish diet lose 1.7 kg. It appears that high levels of Prevotella bacteria lead to greater weight loss; the participants with a higher amount of Prevotella bacteria lost more weight on the New Nordic Diet than those who had less. These results demonstrate that it’s not just the diet type, but other factors as well, that can contribute to weight loss, further banishing the “one size fits all” concept. (SD)