5

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Diabetes in Sub-Saharan Africa

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created November 13, 2011 at 10:28 PM

I ran across this article summary in the Lancet and spoke to a colleague about the topic. Diabetes and CVD are on the rise in Sub-Saharan Africa despite the fact that many of these folks are living in starvation conditions. I was surprised to see/hear about this. Does anybody have more information and/or know what factors may be at play here?

Fa9f340eddbad9a544184c688fa4dcdd

(6433)

on November 14, 2011
at 05:52 AM

Just as long as there's good food to put in that second mouth... ;)

Be1dbd31e4a3fccd4394494aa5db256d

(17969)

on November 14, 2011
at 05:02 AM

It depends on the tradeoff. 6th finger>blindness, but maybe Blindness>Second mouth on your forehead. Ha, I kid, I'm sure they can genetically modify food to be relatively safe.

Be1dbd31e4a3fccd4394494aa5db256d

(17969)

on November 14, 2011
at 04:52 AM

6th thumb>blindness.

Fa9f340eddbad9a544184c688fa4dcdd

(6433)

on November 14, 2011
at 04:28 AM

Bioengineered foods might be controversial, but I think that projects like Golden Rice can certainly make a huge difference in situations like these.

Fa9f340eddbad9a544184c688fa4dcdd

(6433)

on November 14, 2011
at 04:26 AM

I know it's not exactly Paleo, but I think that projects like Golden Rice can certainly make a huge difference in situations like these.

64433a05384cd9717c1aa6bf7e98b661

(15236)

on November 13, 2011
at 11:46 PM

I can only speak for myself, but I think PH should be open to links for charities

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on November 13, 2011
at 10:35 PM

I'm not sure enough to post this as an answer, but I once read that people were eating a sugary root or tuber during famine when they would have been better off not to eat at all. Something about that food preventing them from using ketosis effectively. Could it also be linked to diabetes? I'll try to find that info and post a link.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on November 13, 2011
at 10:34 PM

I'm not sure enough to post this as an answer, but I once read that people were eating a sugar root or tuber during famine when they would have done better not to eat at all. Something about that food preventing them from using ketosis effectively. Could it also be linked to diabetes? I'll try to find that info and post a link.

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4 Answers

4
Be1dbd31e4a3fccd4394494aa5db256d

(17969)

on November 13, 2011
at 11:00 PM

When they are close to starvation and living on one crop they could possibly have severe nutrient deficiencies like in magnesium http://www.springerlink.com/content/b780j57171243854/

They could also be short on B12 and sulfur-containing amino acids which can produce heart disease http://www.westonaprice.org/blogs/kdaniel/2011/09/26/heart-of-the-matter-high-homocysteine-low-sulfur-and-other-reasons-plant-based-diets-do-not-prevent-heart-disease/

Diseases of poverty are often diseases of extreme deficiency. Sad stuff, there are some charities that work to prevent these sorts of things if anyone is interested (I don't know if it's against the rules to share links, so just google the issue).

Fa9f340eddbad9a544184c688fa4dcdd

(6433)

on November 14, 2011
at 04:26 AM

I know it's not exactly Paleo, but I think that projects like Golden Rice can certainly make a huge difference in situations like these.

Be1dbd31e4a3fccd4394494aa5db256d

(17969)

on November 14, 2011
at 04:52 AM

6th thumb>blindness.

Fa9f340eddbad9a544184c688fa4dcdd

(6433)

on November 14, 2011
at 05:52 AM

Just as long as there's good food to put in that second mouth... ;)

64433a05384cd9717c1aa6bf7e98b661

(15236)

on November 13, 2011
at 11:46 PM

I can only speak for myself, but I think PH should be open to links for charities

Fa9f340eddbad9a544184c688fa4dcdd

(6433)

on November 14, 2011
at 04:28 AM

Bioengineered foods might be controversial, but I think that projects like Golden Rice can certainly make a huge difference in situations like these.

Be1dbd31e4a3fccd4394494aa5db256d

(17969)

on November 14, 2011
at 05:02 AM

It depends on the tradeoff. 6th finger>blindness, but maybe Blindness>Second mouth on your forehead. Ha, I kid, I'm sure they can genetically modify food to be relatively safe.

3
9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on November 14, 2011
at 04:43 AM

Certain cancers are also very high in sub-saharan Africa. In that case, the theory is that they are caused by the fact that some populations are getting almost all their fat from corn, so they have massive fatty acid imbalances. Those are implicated in heart disease too, see the Israeli paradox.

2
Fa9f340eddbad9a544184c688fa4dcdd

(6433)

on November 14, 2011
at 04:16 AM

As rates of smoking have tailed off in more affluent countries, cigarette companies are increasingly looking to the growing popularity of tobacco in the developing world to make up for this shortfall. Although it is not possible to accurately track actual cigarette usage statistics in the sub-Sahara, Africa in general (and the Sahara in particular), is archetypical of this sort of lucrative, emerging market. For example, British American Tobacco employs several thousand people in sub-Saharan Africa alone.

http://www.voanews.com/zimbabwe/news/special-reports/The-Strategy-of-Tobacco-Companies-78162287.html

Smoking is already well established in the aetiology of CVD, but it is also increasingly being linked to the development of Type 2 diabetes, due factors like its role in insulin resistance/effect on the pancreas.

http://jcem.endojournals.org/content/82/11/3619.short

It is believed that up to 12% of all cases of Type 2 diabetes in America are attributable to smoking. Comparing the contexts of a sugary industrial diet with a low sugar, whole foods diet, this percentage could perhaps even rise further outside of the US.

http://jama.ama-assn.org/content/298/22/2675.extract

Of course, diabetes in turn also increases the risk for CVD.

0
De787530dd6cf65e2cd03ada9f4cd214

on November 14, 2011
at 03:08 PM

I watched a documentary about control of water supplies, called "Blue Gold: World Water Wars." According to that film, a lot of impoverished countries don't have clean, reliable water supplies; large corporations vie to sell bottled water and soda to the residents. In the examples they filmed, the water cost about 2x what they charged for soda. I don't know how widespread that trend is, or if the typical third-world resident even has money to buy beverages, but it might be one factor contributing to the trends you cited.

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