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Diabetes Update: Accurate Meters

Number 59; June 1, 2003

By David Mendosa

Enough cats

Enough Cats

This newsletter keeps you up-to-date with new articles, columns, and Web pages that I have written.

  • I list and link most of these on my Diabetes Directory at and in the site’s menu.

  • From time to time Diabetes Update may also include links to other Web pages of special interest.

My most recent contributions are:

  • Accurate Meters
    Why do you think that the major meter manufacturers boast of the fast speed and small sample size of their blood glucose meters? Do you suppose that it is because they don’t have much to brag about the accuracy of their meters?

    The fact is that home blood glucose meters are not extremely accurate. But wait—here comes the HemoCue! The what? You can read what a Swedish company has in mind for people with diabetes in the U.S. in the newest article on my Web site.

  • The Diabetic Retinopathy: Part 16 of On-line Diabetes Resources
    This month I added the first new part to my On-line Diabetes Resources in several years. The On-line Diabetes Resources is the Web’s most comprehensive directory of annotated links to resources for people with diabetes. Two or three years ago I added Diabetic Neuropathy: Part 15 of On-line Diabetes Resources. That was my first resources section devoted to the complications of diabetes, and the Diabetic Retinopathy section is the second.


  • Glycemic Values of Common American Foods
    Last month I announced a new Web page that ranked about 50 of the most common American foods by low, medium, and high glycemic index values. That was probably the most requested Web page by those of you who were confused by all the foods in the master list of all 750 foods tested for their glycemic index and glycemic load, the Revised International Table of Glycemic Index (GI) and Glycemic Load (GL) Values—2002.

    That was easy. I realized at the time that the real challenge would be to prepare a list of the most common foods ranked by both their glycemic index and glycemic load values. Inevitably, one of you asked for it, so here it is. The combined GI/GL rankings seem to me to be awfully complicated, since the low, medium, and high classes result in nine separate categories.

    So, I tried to make it a bit easier. Now there are three separate tables—the complicated combined rankings as well as separate rankings for GI and GL.

Research Update:

  • The Cause of Insulin Resistance?
    It’s only a short article—less than two pages of text. But the research that it is reporting could have discovered a surprising cause of type 2 diabetes.

    Did you ever think about mitochondrial dysfunction? It’s not anything that I have even heard of before. But now scientists at the Yale University School of Medicine and the affiliated Pierce Laboratory have discovered that mitochondrial dysfunction leads to the accumulation of fat inside the cells of muscle and livers, at least among the 16 volunteers they studied who were at least 61. Previous research established that this fat build-up in the muscle and livers leads to insulin resistance.

    Type 2 diabetes is a “two-hit disease.” It results first from insulin resistance and then beta-cell dysfunction.

    If mitochondrial dysfunction is the root cause of type 2 diabetes, the senior researcher says the next question is whether there aren’t enough mitochondria or there’s something wrong with all of them. Nobody seems to know how many mitochondria organelles there are in a typical human body, but it’s got to be a lot. An organelle is a specialized part of a cell, and there are mitochondria organelles in nearly all cells that have membrane-bound nuclei. These organelles contain enzymes important for cell metabolism, including those responsible for the conversion of food to usable energy through oxidation.

    If the problem is that there aren’t enough mitochondria, exercise could be the solution. “Exercise leads to more mitochondria,” says Yale’s Gerald I. Shulman, the senior author of the new study. Their discovery could also eventually lead to new drugs for type 2 diabetes. PubMed has the abstract of the study online.

  • A Drug in the Pipeline
    If two drugs can be better than one, for some people one drug that targets two problems that most people with diabetes have might also be better. That drug, a dual peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR) agonist with the sexy name “MK-0767,” is now in Phase 3 clinical trials. Since it is a dual PPAR agonist, it target both gamma and alpha receptors. Controlling these receptors means control over both high blood glucose and high cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

    Two PPAR agonists are on the market now and are quite successful. These drugs, pioglitazone (Actos) and rosiglitazone (Avandia), however, target only the PPAR gamma receptors. Actos and Avandia are powerful drugs, but some people are still concerned about safety issues, since the FDA removed a sister drug, troglitazone (Rezulin), from the market because of severe liver toxicity. Therefore, the apparent safety of MK-0767 might be a big advantage over Actos and Avandia and other PPAR agonists in development.

    Merck & Co. Inc. in Whitehouse Station, New Jersey, licensed MK-0767 from Kyorin Pharmaceuticals Co. Ltd. in Tokyo, Japan. Neither company has said much about MK-0767. The best information comes from The American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists, which Dr. Bill Quick brought to my attention.

  • HTML Format
    I send out Diabetes Update e-mail in HTML format, which all Web browsers and most modern e-mail programs can display. HTML has live links to all the sites named in the text so that with a simple click of a mouse you can connect to the site you have just been reading about.

  • My Guarantee
    This newsletter is free and will never include advertising. Nor will I ever sell, rent, or trade your e-mail address to anyone.


    I now send out Diabetes Update once a month. Previous issues are online:

    1. Diabetes Update Number 1: Diabetes Genes of December 10, 2000
    2. Diabetes Update Number 2: DiabetesWATCH of December 18, 2000
    3. Diabetes Update Number 3: Starlix of January 3, 2001
    4. Diabetes Update Number 4: Native Seeds/SEARCH, Tepary Beans of January 17, 2001
    5. Diabetes Update Number 5: Insulin Makes You Fat of January 31, 2001
    6. Diabetes Update Number 6: Available and Unavailable Carbohydrates of February 15, 2001
    7. Diabetes Update Number 7: Dates of March 1, 2001
    8. Diabetes Update Number 8: Quackwatch of March 15, 2001
    9. Diabetes Update Number 9: The Cost of Insulin of March 30, 2001
    10. Diabetes Update Number 10: Sof-Tact Meter of April 2, 2001
    11. Diabetes Update Number 11: iControlDiabetes of April 16, 2001
    12. Diabetes Update Number 12: Cinnamon, Tagatose of May 2, 2001
    13. Diabetes Update Number 13: Glycemic Index of May 15, 2001
    14. Diabetes Update Number 14: Eat Your Carrots! of May 31, 2001
    15. Diabetes Update Number 15: Glycemic Load of June 21, 2001
    16. Diabetes Update Number 16: Homocysteine of July 2, 2001
    17. Diabetes Update Number 17: Chana Dal Tips of July 15, 2001
    18. Diabetes Update Number 18: Lag Time in AlternativeLand of August 2, 2001
    19. Diabetes Update Number 19: Fiber of August 15, 2001
    20. Diabetes Update Number 20: How Diabetes Works of August 30, 2001
    21. Diabetes Update Number 21: Insulin Resistance of September 14, 2001
    22. Diabetes Update Number 22: Trans Fats, Honey, CU of October 1, 2001
    23. Diabetes Update Number 23: Pedometer Power of October 15, 2001
    24. Diabetes Update Number 24: Is Glycerin a Carbohydrate? of October 31, 2001
    25. Diabetes Update Number 25: Kill the Meter to Save It of November 15, 2001
    26. Diabetes Update Number 26: Protein, Fat, and the GI of December 1, 2001
    27. Diabetes Update Number 27: Insulin Index of December 14, 2001
    28. Diabetes Update Number 28: Fructose of January 4, 2002
    29. Diabetes Update Number 29: Aspirin of January 14, 2002
    30. Diabetes Update Number 30: Stevia of January 31, 2002
    31. Diabetes Update Number 31: Gretchen Becker’s Book of February 19, 2002
    32. Diabetes Update Number 32: The UKPDS of March 4, 2002
    33. Diabetes Update Number 33: Financial Aid of March 18, 2002
    34. Diabetes Update Number 34: Pre-Diabetes of April 1, 2002
    35. Diabetes Update Number 35: More Glycemic Indexes of April 15, 2002
    36. Diabetes Update Number 36: Gila Monsters of April 30, 2002
    37. Diabetes Update Number 37: Is INGAP a Cure? of May 15, 2002
    38. Diabetes Update Number 38: Native American Diabetes of June 3, 2002
    39. Diabetes Update Number 39: FDA Diabetes of June 19, 2002
    40. Diabetes Update Number 40: Diabetes Support Groups of July 1, 2002
    41. Diabetes Update Number 41: New GI and GL Table of July 15, 2002
    42. Diabetes Update Number 42: Diabetes Sight of August 1, 2002
    43. Diabetes Update Number 43: DrugDigest of August 18, 2002
    44. Diabetes Update Number 44: Hanuman Garden of September 3, 2002
    45. Diabetes Update Number 45: Guidelines of September 16, 2002
    46. Diabetes Update Number 46: Trans Fat of October 4, 2002
    47. Diabetes Update Number 47: Nutrition.Gov of October 16, 2002
    48. Diabetes Update Number 48: Our Hearts of October 31, 2002
    49. Diabetes Update Number 49: Our Kidneys of November 15, 2002
    50. Diabetes Update Number 50: A1C<7 of December 2, 2002
    51. Diabetes Update Number 51: Diabetes Searches with Google of December 16, 2002
    52. Diabetes Update Number 52: e-Patients of January 2, 2003
    53. Diabetes Update Number 53: Email News of January 16, 2003
    54. Diabetes Update Number 54: Third Generation Meters of January 31, 2003
    55. Diabetes Update Number 55: Hypoglycemic Supplies of February 14, 2003
    56. Diabetes Update Number 56: Food Police of March 1, 2003
    57. Diabetes Update Number 57: Vitamins of April 1, 2003
    58. Diabetes Update Number 58: Lancets of May 1, 2003

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