7 September DRC - Should Women Limit Potato Consumption Before Pregnancy? September 7, 2016 By The Fraternal Order of Eagles Diabetes Research Center 0 Women who eat more potatoes before pregnancy are more likely to develop gestational diabetes (i.e., the form of diabetes that occurs during pregnancy), a new study suggests. The study was first-authored by Dr. Wei Bao, a new faculty in the UI Department of Epidemiology and a previous postdoc fellow at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Dr. Bao is also a member of the UI Obesity Research and Education Initiative (OREI) and the Fraternal Order of Eagles Diabetes Research Center (FOEDRC).Potatoes are one of the most commonly consumed crops in the world. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans continue to include potatoes in the vegetable food group and encourage consumption. However, previous studies suggest that potatoes may have a detrimental effect on blood glucose levels due to their high starch content. Gestational diabetes is a common pregnancy complication that affects around 9% of all pregnancies in the United States. Gestational diabetes has both short-term and long-term health risks for the mothers and children. The association between potato consumption and risk of gestational diabetes remains unknown until the present study.Teamed up with researchers from NIH and Harvard University, Dr. Bao analyzed data from 15,632 women in the Nurses’ Health Study II over a 10-year period (1991-2001). The women had no history of gestational diabetes or chronic diseases before the index pregnancy. Consumption of potatoes and other foods was assessed every four years. Gestational diabetes was ascertained from self-reports of a physician diagnosis, which was previously validated by medical records.They found that higher total potato consumption was significantly associated with an increased risk of gestational diabetes. Though the detailed mechanisms for the observed association remain to be understood, the researchers pointed out the high starch content with high glycemic index as a possible explanation. As a result, high consumption of potatoes can result in a sharp rise in blood glucose concentrations after a meal putting stress on pancreatic islet cells.The researchers also estimated the effect of substituting of total potatoes with alternative, healthier foods. They found that substitution of two servings per week of total potatoes with the same amount of other vegetables, legumes, and whole grain foods was significantly associated with a lower risk of GDM: 9% lower risk for other vegetables, 10% for legumes, and 12% for whole grain foods.The authors cautioned, however, that because their study was an observational study rather than an intervention study, their results do not prove the cause and effect relation that potato consumption directly leads to gestational diabetes.These findings were published in the scientific journal BMJ (the British Medical Journal). Related Articles New Ways To Predict The Risk Of Gestational Diabetes DRC Director's Report - November 2017 We are pleased to announce that Dr. Wei Bao, Assistant Professor in the Department of Epidemiology, College of Public Health, University of Iowa, and a member of the Fraternal Order of Eagles Diabetes Research Center (FOEDRC) was recently awarded a $419,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health to fund a project entitled: Pregnancy-associated microRNAs in plasma as predictors of gestational diabetes. Some of the preliminary work that contributed to this award were provided by pilot funding from the FOEDRC. Iowa State Eagles & SoldierStrong Partner to Donate Ekso GT Suit to Younker Rehabilitation DES MOINES, Iowa. - The Iowa State Fraternal Order of Eagles have partnered with SoldierStrong, a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing advanced medical technologies to veterans, to donate an EksoGT™ exoskeleton to Younker Rehabilitation at Iowa Methodist Medical Center. The robotic exoskeleton is used in rehabilitation to help people—including veterans—who have had a stroke or spinal cord injury walk again. Potthoff Identifies Liver-Generated Hormone Regulating "Sweet Tooth" A research team lead by Matthew Potthoff, PhD, Assistant Professor of Pharmacology and member of the FOEDRC, at the University of Iowa recently discovered a liver hormone that appears to regulate sugar intake. The Fraternal Order of Eagles and Ekso Bionics Highlight the Revolutionary Ekso GT Suit Allowing Paralyzed Veterans to Walk July 4 at Arlington Cemetery Austin Reese, a Navy veteran with spinal cord injuries and lower extremity paralysis, highlighted American innovation enabling significant recovery and enhanced health. The Fraternal Order of Eagles (F.O.E.), an international nonprofit community organization, and Ekso Bionics, a California-based pioneer in the field of robotic exoskeletons, partnered for a special ceremony honoring veterans at Arlington National Cemetery July 4. Along with Austin Reese, they placed a focus on this extraordinary development during a demonstration on America’s birthday. FOE, Soldier Strong Partner To Donate Ekso GT Suit to CHI Health Rehab Institute in Omaha STAMFORD, Conn., Aug. 28, 2017 -- The Fraternal Order of Eagles, a nonprofit organization dedicated to community service and philanthropy, today announced that in partnership with SoldierStrong, it will be donating an EksoGT™ exoskeleton, to the CHI Health Immanuel Rehabilitation Institute. The donation ceremony, which will include a patient demonstration, will take place at the center on Monday, August 28th at 1:30 p.m. “We are grateful for the generosity of these national organizations and for their commitment to helping veterans,” said Larry Niemann, Director of Rehabilitation Service, CHI Health Immanuel Rehabilitation Institute. “This heartfelt donation will help our rehabilitation program deliver even more leading treatments to our patients, many of whom are veterans, to help them to stand up and relearn to walk.” Fraternal Order of Eagles & Soldier Strong Partner to Donate Ekso Bionics Suit to Minneapolis Veterans Affairs Hospital The Fraternal Order of Eagles, an international nonprofit community organization, and Soldier Strong, a nonprofit dedicated to assisting veterans, partnered to donate an Ekso Bionics Ekso GT suit to the Minneapolis Veterans Affairs Hospital. The suit was formally presented to the hospital during a ceremony on Wednesday, May 18. 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