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Happy Holidays from
Diablo Clinical Research!
In This Issue
Vegetable of the Month
Hormone Highlight: Glucagon
Could you be diabetic?
New osteoporosis study
Recipe Round Up
Diabetes can be unpredicatable

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Vegetable of 
the Month:  
Sweet Potatoes and Yams
Despite their name, sweet potatoes (
Ipomoea batatas) are not actually potatoes! In fact, they are only distantly related to potatoes. Sweet potatoes are technically roots and are dicots (two seed leaves), where as potatoes are tubers.  Sweet potatoes can be white, yellow, orange, red, brown or purple in color. Their origin is thought to be in Central or South America. By the time Christopher Columbus arrived in 1492, Native Americans had begun to cultivate sweet potatoes.

Yams are moncots (one seed leaf) and are related to grasses and lilies. They contain more starch, less sugar and are drier than sweet potatoes and must becooked prior to eating.  Yams are actually native to Africa and Asia.  In the South, African slaves called the sweet potato "nyami" because it looked similar to another starchy tuber from their homeland. "Nyami" eventually became "yam". Additionally, "yam" also refers to sweet potatoes that are grown in Louisiana.  Louisiana sweet potato growers wanted to distinguish their orange, sweet and soft sweet potato from the drier, white and yellow sweet potatoes grown in other parts of the country. 

Nutrition Information for 1 cup (200 g) of Sweet Potatoes, baked and mashed:  
 180 calories,  41.42 g carbohydrates ( 6.6 g fiber, 12.96 g sugar), 0.30 g total fat,  0 mg cholesterol,  4.02 g protein.  Complete nutrition facts available here.
Nutrition Information for 1 cup (136 g) of Yams, cubed:  
 158 calories,  37.37 g carbohydrates ( 5.3 g fiber, 0.67 g sugar), 0.19 g total fat,  0 mg cholesterol,  2.03 g protein.  Complete nutrition facts available here.
Sweet Potatoes and Yams are a good source of: vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium, fiber, manganese and antioxidants.
Healthy Recipes:

Kitchen 101:

  •  Look for small to medium sized sweet potatoes, with little to no bruising and smooth skin.
  • Sweet potatoes will last for 3-4 weeks in a cool, dry environment around 55 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  • Use a stainless steel knife when cutting sweet potatoes. A carbon blade will cause the potato to darken. 

Did you know.... 

  • Sweet potatoes are related to the morning glory flower family
  • Prior to becoming President, George Washington was a sweet potato farmer.
  • Vardaman, Mississippi claims to be the sweet potato capital of the world
  • For an entire book dedicated to Sweet Potatoes, check out Sweet Potato Power
For more on all things sweet potato, visit the Louisiana Sweet Potato Commission's website.
Interested in Research Opportunities? 
Send an email to:  studies@diabloclinical.com
Hormone Highlight: Glucagon

AKA:  Glucose Raiser 

Location:  Secreted by the alpha cells of the islet of Langerhans in the pancreas

Function(s):  Glucagon is released by the pancreas when blood glucose levels are too low. Along with insulin, it is part of a 'feedback' system to keep blood glucose levels stable. The release of glucagon is triggered by elevated amounts of amino acids (organic compounds that form proteins) in the blood stream and by exercise. Injectable glucagon can be used to quickly raised blood glucose when blood glucose levels are severely low.  Glucagon also stimulates the breakdown of glycogen (stored glucose in the liver and muscles.)
Photo courtesy of Brown University
Advancing Health Newsletter December 2012

Seasons Greetings! 


As 2012 ends and we look forward to 2013, we want to express our gratitude to all of our patients who attended an open house, came in for a free HbA1c, DXA scan or other service, and who volunteered to participate in a study this year.  It is because of your willingness that we are able to find better treatments, learn about new medication possibilities, enhance day to day living and, ideally, save lives.


We trust that each time you come to our clinic, you receive as much time and attention as you need to understand your medical condition and the study that you are participating in.  Our medical staff always strives to ensure that your experience in a study is one that enriches your life and empowers you to take control of your health.  Please let us know if we can do anything to make your time in our clinic more enjoyable or useful to you in 2013.


We also pride ourselves on offering free and low cost classes and testing as a service to our community.  We hope that if you or someone you know does not have access to these services that you will call and make an appointment with us; we know that information is the key to good medical care and if you are in need of this medical information and have no way of obtaining it, we are pleased to provide whatever help and information we can.


We offer free/low cost classes with our registered dietitian (see this and previous newsletters or visit us on  Facebook for more information) and free/low cost testing for: blood glucose, Hemoglobin A1c, cholesterol, blood pressure, heel scans/full bone density (DXA) testing for bone health.  Please call for yourself to take advantage of any of these services or "Share the Health" with a friend or loved one whose health may benefit from our services.


We hope to see more of you in 2013, but most of all, we hope that this coming year is healthy and prosperous for each of you.


In good health and good cheer,


Diablo Clinical Research staff



Ketosis vs Ketoacidosis: Part 1
 Although Ketosis and Ketoacidosis sound the same, these two metabolic processes are very different.  Both conditions involve ketone bodies (ketones), acid compounds (acetoacetate, beta-hydroxybutyrate and acetone) that are created (ketogenesis) when fatty acids are broken down by the liver. The body will use ketone bodies for energy when glucose is not readily available. 
Ketosis: In ketosis, elevated levels of ketone bodies are present in the blood stream (whereas ketonuria is the presence of keton bodies in urine.) Normal serum reference ranges for ketone bodies are 0.05-0.30 mmol/L, which is commonly seen after a meal or with an overnight fast.  A ketogenic diet has levels of ketone bodies between 1.0-5.0 mmol/L. In normal, othewise healthy individuals, ketosis due to starvation or carbohydrate restriction is regulated via metabolism and hormones to prevent an over production of acid, which results in ketoacidosis. 
Ketoacidosis: In ketoacidosis (also referred to as Diabetic Ketoacidosis), blood glucose levels are usually greater than 300mg/dL, while ketone bodies are greater than 25 mmol/L.  Ketoacidosis is much more prevelant in Type 1 diabetics, as they do not produce any insulin to move glucose into cells and muscles. While rare, it is not impossible for a Type 2 diabetic to have ketoacidosis, which may occur in the presence of severe illness. Alcoholic ketoacidosis occurs with excessive alcohol use (heavy drinking on a daily basis) in malnourished persons.  Signs of ketoacidosis include: thirst, frequent urination, high blood glucose levels, high presence of ketones in the urine, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, fruity smelling breath, fatigue/lethargy, or confusion. 
Stay tuned in January for Part 2 when we'll discuss a ketogenic diet!
Could you be diabetic?
Find out in 5 minutes with our free & easy fingerstick blood test.
Risk factors include:
  • Family history of diabetes
  • Low activity level (exercise less than 3 times a week)
  • Obese/overweight (especially around the waist)
  • Persons of African American, Hispanic American, Asian American or Native American ethnicity
If you have any of the following symptoms, call to see if you qualify for a free diabetes screening:
  • Increased thirst
  • Increased appetite (especially after eating)
  • Increased/frequent urination
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Fatigue
  • Blurred vision
  • Slow healing cuts or sores
Must be 18 or older to qualify
Call Diablo Clinical Research at: (925) 930-7267 or email studies@diabloclinical.com to schedule your free test
Do you have Celiac Disease?

Follow a gluten-free diet?

Still experiencing symptoms when 

exposed to gluten?

Interested in Celiac Disease Research?


You may qualify for the study if you:

  • Are between the ages of 18 and 75 and have been diagnosed with celiac disease
  • Have biopsy proven celiac disease and positive serology test results more than 12 months before study entry
  • Have been on a gluten-free diet for 12 months or longer
  • Are still experiencing symptoms when exposed to gluten
  • Have a CeD-GSRS score of 2.0 or higher at screening
  • Have a positive serum anti-tTG (IgA or IgG) or DGP (IgA or IgG) antibodies at screening
  • Are willing to comply with a gluten-free diet for the duration of the study
  • Satisfy other study criteria


To participate in a survey to determine whether or not you qualify, call Ava at 925-930-7267 or send an email to: apaulazzo@diabloclinical.com

Recipe Roundup:  

Low-carbohydrate pizza crusts

almond flax pizza crust  
For a special treat, homemade pizza crusts are a great way to enjoy a slice of pie without overdoing it on the carbohydrates. These gluten-free crusts are a bit higher in fat than typical wheat-based crusts, but most of the fat is the unsaturated, heart healthy kind.  And compared with the average pizza crust, these are loaded with protein and fiber. Add your favorite veggies or other toppings and voilą!

Almond-Flax Pizza Crust
(Makes 4 servings.)

  • 1.25 cups flaxseed meal (ground flax, such as Bob's Red Mill)
  • 1 cup almond flour/meal (such as Trader Joe's or Bob's Red Mill)
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tsp natural baking powder
  • 1 TB honey
  • 1 tsp Italian mixed dried herbs (such as Mrs. Dash or McCormick
  • 3 large eggs, beaten until smooth
  • 3 TB olive oil
  • 1/2 cup water
  • toppings of choice
  1.  Heat oven to 425 F.
  2. Combine flaxseed meal, almond meal, sea salt, baking powder and Italian herbs together until lump-free.
  3. Beat together eggs, oil, honey and water until smooth.
  4. Pour liquid mixture into dry mixture. Blend well until smooth.
  5. Press into desired shape.
  6. Place on a pre-greased or non-stick pizza pan or silicon baking mat.
  7. Bake for 15 minutes in the center of the oven until cooked.
  8. Add favorite toppings and then return to the oven to bake for an additional 10-15 minutes.
Allergen information: contains almonds, eggs, coconut.
Nutrition Facts per serving (w/out toppings):  
372 calories,  18.5 g carbohydrates (10 g fiber, 4.6 g sugar), 18.5 g fat (2.8 g saturated,  10.7 g monounsaturated,  2.2 g polyunsaturated), 158.6 mg cholesterol, 18.5 g protein,  159 mg cholesterol,  255 mg sodium,  287 mg potassium,  89 mg calcium,  2.0 mg iron, 218 mg phosphorous. 

Recipe adapted from Recipe Girl.

Cauliflower Crust Pizza
(Makes 2 servings.)

  • 1 cup cooked, riced (grated) cauliflower*
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp crushed garlic
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • olive oil (optional)
  • choice of toppings (precooked)
  1.  Heat oven to 450 F.  Spray a cookie sheet with non-stick cooking spray.
  2.  In a medium bowl, stir together cauliflower, egg and mozzarella. 
  3. Add oregano, crushed garlic and garlic powder, stir. 
  4. Transfer to the cookie sheet, and using hands, pat into a 9" round. Optional: brush olive oil over the top of mixture to help with browning.
  5. Bake at 450 F for 15 minutes.  Remove from oven. 
  6. Add sauce and toppings. Place under a broiler at high heat just until cheese is melted (approx. 3-4 minutes.) Make sure your toppings are precooked since you are only broiling the crust for a few minutes.
Allergen information: contains eggs, dairy.

Nutrition Facts per serving (w/out toppings):  
278 calories, 5.8 g carbohydrates (1.3 g fiber, 1.8 g sugar),  21.3 g fat (8.7 g saturated,  10.1 g monounsaturated,  1.6 g polyunsaturated),  141.6 mg cholesterol,  18.3 g protein,  397 mg sodium, 232 mg potassium,  427 mg calcium,  0.8 mg iron,  70 mg phosphorous.  

Recipe adapted from Eat Drink Smile.
Diabetes can be unpredictable...
A clinical research study may help people with type 2 diabetes better manage blood glucose levels.
Those who have type 2 diabetes and are currently taking a daily dose of sulfonylurea (SU) with or without metformin are invited to find out if they may qualify for a clinical research study to determine the safety and effectiveness of an investigational medication to manage diabetes.  
To find out if you may qualify, call Ava at Diablo Clinical Research at (925) 930-7267 or send an email to apaulazzo@diabloclinical.com
No insurance required.
Compensation for time and travel 
may be available.
Love healthy cooking? MORE recipes are available on our website at  http://diabloclinical.com/subcat_studyvolunteers_health.php
And don't forget to check out our blog,  http://diabloclinicalresearch.wordpress.com/, for health,nutrition & fitness articles!