Authored by: Eric Venn-Watson, MD
You might think twice before grabbing a second donut at the office, or politely pass on dessert in an effort to lower your sugar intake, but did you know you could still be at risk of developing diabetes even if you avoid sugary foods?
If you’ve got type 1 diabetes, even avoiding sugary foods won’t prevent you from having a hyperglycemic or hypoglycemic episode if you aren’t properly managing your blood sugar with medication.
The occurrences of diabetes is high, affecting at least one in every ten adults, according to the CDC. While type 1 diabetes is not curable or preventable, we can work to prevent and even reverse type 2 diabetes that is caused by poor diet and health patterns.
First things first: let’s look at the differences and similarities between types 1 and 2 diabetes, and explore options we have in preventing and reversing diabetes in the future.
What is Diabetes?
Simply put, if your blood sugar is consistently too high and your body can’t lower it on its own, you likely have diabetes.
Blood sugar, also called glucose, enters the blood from the foods you eat. Glucose comes primarily from carbohydrates, but those carbs aren’t limited to just sugars and starches in “cheat” foods like donuts. Carbohydrates come in the form of “healthy” foods, too, like fruits and vegetables.
When you eat food, your body turns the carbohydrates in your food into glucose. The glucose in your blood is used for energy. Your pancreas produces a hormone called insulin, which moves glucose from your blood into your cells to be burned as energy.
In a person who is diabetic, there isn’t enough insulin to remove glucose from the blood, and this results in high blood sugar levels. The difference between type 1 and type 2 diabetes has to do with insulin production.
Type 1 Diabetes
A person who has type 1 diabetes cannot produce insulin, or produces too little insulin to have any effect on blood glucose. This type of diabetes is an autoimmune disease that can’t be prevented or cured. It is thought that type 1 diabetes is caused by genetics. Type 1 diabetes can be managed with medication. The immune system of a person who has type 1 diabetes attacks the cells in the pancreas that produce insulin, so no insulin is made.
A person with type 1 diabetes is said to be insulin-dependent, which means they must manage their diabetes by taking insulin medications. Insulin can be taken in the form of a shot or a pump.
Type 2 Diabetes
The body of someone with type 2 diabetes does not make insulin well, or doesn’t use it efficiently. This results in too much glucose in the blood, called hyperglycemia. This can be a result of insulin resistance, a condition where a person’s cells don’t respond to insulin as well as they should.
Type 2 diabetes can develop at any age, but it is most prevalent in middle-aged and older adults. Though the biggest risk factors for developing type 2 diabetes are obesity and lack of physical activity, genetics do play a role.
A person with type 2 diabetes may need medication to control their diabetes, including oral medication like metformin as well as insulin.
Which is More Severe, Type 1 or Type 2 Diabetes?
Both types of diabetes can cause major health issues including cardiovascular disease. However, type 1 diabetes is often more severe than type 2 diabetes. Additionally, type 2 diabetes may be able to be reversed or avoided by maintaining good lifestyle habits and a healthy diet at the pre-diabetes stage.
Because type 1 diabetes is not curable or reversible, it is generally harder on a person’s overall health than type 2 diabetes. However, it should be noted that type 2 diabetes that is not well regulated can lead to very serious health conditions, such as:
These problems can develop over time and become more severe in a type 2 diabetic who does not properly manage their blood sugar levels.
Which Type of Diabetes Are You Born With?
A person with type 1 diabetes is often born with the disease, although type 1 diabetes can be developed. Normally, a person with type 1 diabetes that does not have it at birth develops it as a child, which is why it is often times referred to as juvenile diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes is often developed later as a result of a poor diet, unhealthy weight, and lack of physical activity. Genetic factors do play a role in predisposing a person to type 2 diabetes, but even those genetic factors do not mean a person will definitely develop diabetes.
You can decrease your risk of developing type 2 diabetes by maintaining a healthy weight, eating a well-balanced diet, and exercising regularly. These three factors alone are crucial in keeping your blood sugar levels in the healthy, normal range, and working against any genetic factors that might predispose you to developing diabetes.
You can also promote healthy blood sugar levels by making an effort to consume healthy fats like C15:0 that help to maintain metabolic function. Also known as pentadecanoic acid, research suggests C15:0 is the first essential fatty acid to be discovered in 90 years. Studies show that higher levels of C15:0 in a person’s diet are associated with lower occurrences of type 2 diabetes and a lower risk of type 1 diabetes.
C15:0 and Type 2 Diabetes
So how can a little fatty acid found mostly in full fat dairy help support healthy blood sugar levels? C15:0 gets deep into your cells to support mitochondrial function, bolster your cell walls, and help support your cellular health. Your cells get healthy, you get healthy.
C15:0 is an odd chain saturated fatty acid that helps your body maintain proper cell function.* Specifically, C15:0 naturally activates receptors (called PPARs) throughout our body that help to regulate our metabolism and immunity, as well as our mood, appetite, and sleep. While some saturated fats are bad for us (i.e. even-chain saturated fats), odd-chain saturated fats like C15:0 are associated with good health markers like:
Along with a proper exercise plan and a balanced diet, making an effort to include C15:0 in your daily routine can help you be proactive in your healthcare and in keeping your weight and blood sugar in check.
Type 1 diabetes is not curable or preventable. Normally, people with type 1 diabetes are born with this disease, but it can be controlled with medication.
Type 2 diabetes is a disease affecting every age and sect of the population. Poor diets and lack of exercise have long been the culprits of type 2 diabetes, but you can fight back by making lifestyle changes and incorporating more C15:0 in your diet to help support your overall health.
To learn more about C15:0 and how it supports metabolism, click here!
Authored by: Eric Venn-Watson, MD
Most of us have goals of shedding a few pounds or even making some serious lifestyle changes in order to get healthier and feel better. It goes without saying: losing weight is a challenge. If there’s a way to make it a little easier, we’re all for it.
What makes losing weight so darn difficult? For most of us, it’s twofold:
While there may not be an “easy out” for exercise, appetite suppressants may offer a shortcut for taking in less calories. If you aren’t as hungry, you’ll eat less food. If you eat less food, you’ll lose weight, right?
Let’s take a look at appetite suppressants, how they work and if they’re effective and safe.
What is an Appetite Suppressant?
Appetite suppressants are capable of reducing or eliminating your appetite for a period of time. Some natural substances can have an appetite suppressing effect. For instance, there’s been research on the appetite suppressing effects your morning coffee may have on your body.
Taking a pill to curb your hunger and help you eat less sounds like just the thing to help you lose a few pounds. It also sounds a little too good to be true. The problem with most appetite suppressants is usually their ineffectiveness to help work long term. Let’s look at how they work.
How Does an Appetite Suppressant Work?
Appetite suppressants work by affecting the part of your brain that controls hunger.
Depending on the compound, there are essentially three ways that appetite suppressants control and decrease your appetite:
How does this equate to weight loss? We lose weight by burning more calories than we eat. This is referred to as a caloric deficit.
You enter into a caloric deficit by:
Appetite suppressants decrease and/or eliminate the brain stimulus that tells you you’re hungry, which should make you take in less calories, giving you a caloric deficit. However, if you’re an emotional eater (someone who eats to soothe feelings of stress or anxiety), an appetite suppressant may not be effective in helping you lose weight.
Most appetite suppressants work within an hour of taking them, in terms of curbing your hunger. If you’re wondering how long it will be before you see results when you step on the scale, you should know it can take up to 12 weeks before you’ve lost a significant amount of body fat.
If you’re in search of a natural way to decrease your appetite between meals, you’ve got options. In addition to the classic more exercise and healthier diet routine, there are supplements you can consider that can help you maintain a healthy weight.
Most of us can admit we should eat more vegetables, reduce our intake of sweets, limit salt, and get a bit more physical exercise. Unfortunately, our jammed schedules make fast food and skipping the gym much easier options.
If you’re really striving to do better in terms of improving your overall health, C15:0, a healthy odd-chain saturated fatty acid that a growing body of evidence supports as an essential fatty acid, may help you feel satisfied while promoting your heart health and improving your quality of sleep.*
What is C15:0?
C15:0 (pronounced see-fifteen) is an odd-chain saturated fatty acid found in trace levels in some types of fish and whole fat dairy products.
Saturated fat to help you lose weight? Isn’t saturated fat bad for us?
Well, not all of it.
We already know we need certain essential fatty acids like omega-3 and omega-6 to maintain our health and keep our bodies functioning properly. Now, mounting research suggests that C15:0 is the first essential fatty acid to be discovered in 90 years, and the best part -- it may help you maintain a healthy weight long-term.
How Does C15:0 Help You Maintain Healthy Weight?
So just how does a fatty acid help with weight loss? It’s science. C15:0 dives deep into your cells to give them what they need to function properly. When your cells function properly, your body, including its nutrient sensing and energy metabolism capabilities, functions properly.
C15:0 also interacts with certain receptors in our hippocampus, the area of our brain that controls our hunger, anxiousness, and stress response. C15:0 binds with receptors in the hippocampus that help us respond to stress in a healthier way, which may prevent us from turning to food for stress relief.
Additionally, C15:0 helps promote a healthy metabolism. When your metabolism functions properly, your body burns calories more efficiently, which can help you lose weight and maintain a healthy body fat level when paired with a healthy diet and exercise.
In a case-control study involving 372 women, higher serum C15:0 concentrations were associated with lower adiposity. In our study evaluating a model of obesity, C15:0-supplemented animals gained less weight while on a high-fat diet compared to non-supplemented controls.
Not a bad resume for a simple, dietary fat.
Weight loss can be challenging, but you have options. In addition to making lifestyle changes that help you get more physical exercise, and dietary changes that help you eat more of what you should and less of what you shouldn’t, C15:0 can help support a healthy metabolism.
C15:0 can help support your weight loss goals in a natural, gentle way that is beneficial to your overall health, gentle on your body, and backed by science. It’s a new year, and you’ve got goals and options. You can do it, and C15:0 can help.
Authored by: Eric Venn-Watson, MD
With the new year already under way, many of us will head to our general practitioners to get our annual physical exams. Part of that exam will likely include a lipid panel. A lipid panel blood test measures your cholesterol and also your triglyceride levels. If your triglycerides have been historically high, you can learn how to lower them, and lower your risk of certain associated health risks.
In this article we’ll discuss what triglycerides are, why they matter, and how you can lower them with certain diet and lifestyle adjustments. We’ll also consider how the use of a certain odd-chain saturated fatty acid may be the key in keeping your triglyceride levels within healthy range.
What Are Triglycerides?
You’ve just met with your doctor to discuss your lipid panel and you’re told your triglyceride levels are too high. That likely wasn’t the news you were expecting, and you probably feel a little lost. What are triglycerides? Why do they need to be lower?
Triglycerides are kind of like cholesterol, in that they’re a type of fat that is stored in your blood. Triglycerides are stored in your fat cells and later released as energy when your body needs it. Cholesterol is a type of fat that is stored in your blood that is not converted to energy.
Triglycerides come from the foods you eat, mostly carbohydrates. That may sound confusing since triglycerides are a type of fat, but the biggest source of triglycerides in your body comes from taking in too many carbohydrates.
When you eat an excess of carbohydrates (calories your body cannot burn away), your triglyceride levels increase. This is because your body turns those excess carbohydrates into fat which is later stored in your blood.
The foods most commonly associated with levels of high triglycerides are:
None of these foods are inherently bad on their own, but eating an excess of these foods can lead to higher triglyceride levels.
You’re at a higher risk of having high triglycerides if you are overweight, or if you have uncontrolled diabetes. That’s why maintaining a healthy weight and balanced diet are crucial for keeping your triglyceride levels under control.
Healthy Triglyceride Levels
What’s normal and what’s not? If you’ve been diagnosed with high triglycerides, you likely want to know what’s considered normal range.
Under 150 ml/dL
500 mg/dL or above
Why Do Triglyceride Levels Matter?
High triglycerides might not seem like a big deal -- just a number, right? It’s not quite that simple. High triglycerides are associated with a wide range of health problems. High triglycerides can cause hardening of the arteries, called atherosclerosis, which leads to a much higher risk of heart disease and stroke.
High triglyceride levels also lead to sudden pancreatitis, a condition that is particularly painful and can be life threatening.
High triglycerides are often a marker for underlying conditions like:
It goes without saying you want to avoid these negative health markers and lower your triglycerides. You can lower your triglycerides and improve your health by following a few simple lifestyle changes and incorporating healthy dietary fats into your diet. Here’s how.
5 Tips To Help Lower Triglycerides
When you get a high triglyceride diagnosis from your healthcare provider, you want to know how you can get back on track fast.
Here are five tips on how to lower triglycerides quickly, and maintain a healthier lifestyle.
Not only will exercise improve your triglyceride levels, it can also help you manage cholesterol levels.
Want to learn more about how using fat to battle fat actually works? Read on!
C15:0 and Your Triglycerides
We know what you’re thinking: “I’m supposed to be lowering the amount of fat in my blood, so how can consuming fat help me?”
The first thing to know is that not all fats are bad. For instance, we know that omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are beneficial and an essential part of our diet. Essential means our bodies need them to function healthfully, but they cannot and do not produce them. A good way to increase our omega-3 and omega-6 concentrations is to consume them in our diets.
Pentadecanoic acid, also known as C15:0, is an odd-chain saturated fatty acid present in trace levels in butter and other whole dairy products. Unfortunately, because dietary guidelines recommend that we limit our intake of whole fat dairy products containing saturated fats, that means you likely aren’t getting much of it in your diet.
During the late 1970s, the U.S. government released dietary guidelines that told us that all fats, especially saturated fats, were bad. We listened, and since that time the consumption of foods like whole fat milk and butter have been on the decline. Research suggests we got it wrong.
In fact, studies support that C15:0, as a healthy odd-chain saturated fat, can support healthy triglyceride levels, giving you a better chance of keeping your lipid panels within normal range once and for all.
What exactly does C15:0 do in terms of keeping your triglycerides lower?
Science supports that C15:0 is a fatty acid that can promote our health and may help maintain healthy triglyceride levels. Adding a C15:0 supplement to your health stack can be an important part of obtaining a new level of health and wellness in the new year!
Along with changing your diet and exercise habits, cutting back on your alcohol consumption and lowering your sugar intake, C15:0 may help keep your triglyceride levels lower, which will make your doctor happy and keep you healthier.
To learn more about how C15:0 can support your health for the long-run, click here!
By Stephanie Venn-Watson, DVM, MPH
It’s a classic picture of getting older: a hunched back posture, bent knees, knobby knuckles, and an overall look of discomfort and fatigue. This is also a picture of arthritis, a condition that can have an early onset and increase in severity year by year.
According to the CDC, arthritis affects 23% of all adults age 18 and older, which is about one in every four adults. Arthritis can limit a person’s day to day activities and preclude them from doing things they would or once did enjoy.
Arthritis can also piggyback on other chronic diseases, like obesity, heart disease, and diabetes. In essence, ensuring your protection against these other chronic diseases can lower your risk of developing arthritis, and can help ease the pain of arthritis if you already have it.
Being proactive in preventing arthritis can benefit you for years to come. Let’s look at what arthritis actually is, what causes it, what makes it worse, and what you can do to reduce your risk of developing it.
What is Arthritis?
Arthritis is a term that covers a multitude of inflammatory conditions of the joints that produce pain which can be long-term. Although it’s been classically referred to as an older person’s disease, arthritis affects people of all ages, including children.
Symptoms of arthritis include but are not limited to:
Arthritis is caused by a decrease in the amount of cartilage between the bone joints. This cushiony material keeps bones from rubbing against each other and helps you maintain fluidity of motion.
There are many causes of arthritis, here are just a few:
If you already have arthritis, controlling your pain can be a trying task. Between medications and lifestyle and dietary changes, you can usually find a way to maintain comfort levels and keep your arthritic pain under control. There are some irritants, however, that can make arthritic pain worse.
What Makes Arthritis Worse?
When you have arthritis, the last thing you want to do is experience a flare up, or a time period of intense arthritic pain. Your diet and lifestyle play major roles in keeping your arthritic pain under control and manageable.
If you have arthritis, avoiding the following foods can help you avoid flare ups and better control your arthritic pain:
Controlling your arthritic pain by avoiding certain foods can help you feel better and experience less arthritic flare ups.
5 Tips To Keep Your Joints Healthy for the Long Run
It may seem like arthritis is unavoidable, given the numerous pathways that lead to it. However, that isn’t true. You can give yourself a fighting chance against arthritis by changing certain dietary and lifestyle habits. Here are 5 tips on how to prevent arthritis.
Maintain a healthy weight. The more weight you carry, the more stress you put on your joints. Maintaining a healthy weight can help you avoid the onset of arthritis, especially in your knees.
Control your blood sugar. As previously mentioned, arthritis is often a piggyback disease that occurs alongside other chronic diseases, such as type 2 diabetes. Controlling your blood sugar will help you avoid potential inflammation from the release of cytokines and help you reduce your risk of diabetes and arthritis.
Exercise. Keeping your bones and joints strong and mobile is crucial in avoiding arthritis. Moving for at least thirty minutes a day, most every day of the week, can help you keep your joints oiled and increase your overall mobility.
Stop smoking. Research suggests a strong link between smoking and arthritis, especially rheumatoid arthritis. Stopping smoking now reduces your risk of becoming one in five adult smokers who suffer from arthritis.
Eat enough healthy fat. Not all fats are bad. In fact, some fats are essential. Consuming enough healthy fat, like C15:0, can help you support your overall health, including joint health, for the long run.*
C15:0 and Arthritis Prevention
C15:0, also known as pentadecanoic acid, is an odd-chain saturated fatty acid that a growing library of research shows can help you fight back against the breakdown of your cells due to aging.† This breakdown of cells leads to chronic disease related to aging, like arthritis.
C15:0 is found in foods like full fat dairy, and because dietary guidelines recommended in the 1970s told us not to eat fat, not many of us have been getting this fatty acid.
C15:0 can help support joint health by protecting you at a cellular level:†*
Arthritis can seem unavoidable. There are numerous causes of arthritis, but they may be kept at bay with dietary and lifestyle changes. C15:0 can be one of those changes that helps keep your body healthy and helps you age on your own terms.*
To learn more about C15:0 and how it supports your health, click here!
STEPHANIE VENN-WATSON, dvm, mph
Dr. Stephanie Venn-Watson is a veterinary epidemiologist dedicated to improving both human and animal health. Before co-founding Seraphina Therapeutics and Epitracker, Inc,. she worked for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, World Health Organization, and the Department of Defense. Dr. Venn-Watson has over 70 peer-reviewed scientific publications and is an inventor on 40+ patents. Her dedication to discovering natural compounds to improve global health has been featured in/on Forbes, NPR Science Friday, PBS, National Geographic, BBC, and more.
ERIC VENN-WATSON, MD
Dr. Eric Venn-Watson is a physician, US Navy veteran and serial entrepreneur. Prior to Seraphina Therapeutics, Eric founded multiple companies in therapeutics discovery, healthcare analytics, and medical device industries as well as working in leadership roles in several life science companies.