Thursday, 30 September 2010

GW Starts Study on New Type 2 Diabetes Treatment

GW Starts Study on New Type 2 Diabetes Treatment

GW Pharmaceuticals has started the first of a programme of Phase IIa exploratory clinical trials to evaluate cannabinoids as potential treatments for type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome.

This study programme follows promising pre-clinical research results and comprises at least three small scale clinical trials evaluating various metabolic parameters.

The first Phase IIa study to commence is a multi-centre, randomised, double blind, placebo controlled, parallel group pilot study in the treatment of dyslipidaemia in patients with type 2 diabetes.

A total of 50 patients will be divided into five treatment groups comprising four different cannabinoid formulations and placebo.

Following a 2-5 week baseline period, the treatment duration will be 13 weeks.

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Cell Replacement and Diabetes

Cell Replacement and Diabetes

Achieving normoglycemia is the goal of diabetes therapy and of the scientists working in this field.

There are potentially various ways to reach that goal, including the transplantation of cells exhibiting glucose responsive insulin secretion. However, to be applicable to the large number of people who might benefit from cell replacement, an unlimited supply of cells must be found. To address this problem, we have been developing cell lines from the human endocrine pancreas.

In one case, a cell line of a certain type has been developed from actual human islets that can be induced under some circumstances to differentiate into functional cells exhibiting appropriate glucose responsive insulin secretion.

Inducing differentiation is complex, requiring the activation of multiple signaling pathways, including those downstream of those involved in cell to cell contact and the glucagon like peptide receptor.

In addition, transfer of a gene called the PDX-1 gene is also necessary to render the cells competent for differentiation. However, it is now clear that many other genes are also involved in maintaining the commitment of the cells towards the cell lineage.

Understanding the commitment of genes required to establish and maintained a cell lineage commitment would be enormously helpful in effort to develop a cell line that can be used for the cell replacement therapies.

Here, we provide further information on the characteristics of cell lines that we have developed from human pancreas that are relevant to the development of a cell replacement therapy for diabetes.

The recent explosion of interest in cell replacement therapies for diabetes has been driven primarily by the dramatic progress in allogeneic islet cell transplantation.

For the first time it has actually been demonstrated that islet transplantation is a viable therapy for diabetes, and this scientific advance was largely dependent on the progresses made in immunosuppressive drug therapy that actually allowed for a steroid free regimen.

Further advances in this particular area are most likely to result in even better long term results as there is an evidence that even the current improved drug regimens are toxic to cells.

It is fairly clear that the use of stem cells could lead to cure a lot of diseases and that is also why the number of stem cell banks and cord blood banks has hugely increased. Cord blood collection, cord blood storage and stem cell storage are slowly becoming more and more common in private and public hospitals.

Cord blood banking uk and private stem cell banks are going into the mass market as we discover how helpful stem cells could be.

New Insulin Being Developed to Combat Diabetes

New Insulin Being Developed to Combat Diabetes

Scientists are developing a new insulin that could take away the need for daily injections, as well as reducing glucose fluctuations, it has emerged. Presented at a recent meeting of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes, the study examined data from a stage 2 trial that used a new insulin called degludec that provided an improved glucose-lowering effect in patients suffering from type 1 diabetes .

A group of patients with type 1 diabetes were prescribed either insulin degludec or insulin glargine once daily, with treatment effects then monitored over the trial period. It was discovered that the variability of treatment effects was more reduced among patients given insulin degludec than those given standard treatments.

In an accompanying study, the researchers were able to show that degludec injected three times a week by type 2 diabetes patients was as effective at bringing down HbA1c levels as existing daily therapies for diabetics .

The trial also compared insulin degludec taken once daily or three-times-weekly with insulin glargine, showing that the treatments produced similar reductions in HbA1c, as well as some adverse effects.

These are early days for the treatment. Dr Iain Frame, director of research at Diabetes UK, commented "The next stage will be to test the formulations on larger numbers of people for a longer time period."

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Nestle to Develop Products to Treat Diabetes & Obesity

Nestle to Develop Products to Treat Diabetes & Obesity

Nestle SA, the world’s largest food company, said it’s setting up a unit to develop personalized nutrition products to treat or prevent diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease and Alzheimer’s.

Luis Cantarell, who leads Nestle’s business in the Americas, will be chief executive officer of Nestle Health Science SA, the Vevey, Switzerland-based maker of Nescafe coffee said today in a statement.

The manufacturer can use cash from a sale last month to fund fund research and takeovers to become a leader in foods targeted at health needs, surpassing Groupe Danone SA, said Jean-Marie L’Home, an analyst at Aurel in Paris. Nestle received $28.3 billion from Novartis AG last month for a majority stake in the Alcon eye-care division.

“Nestle’s cash and know-how really make it a powerful machine,” he said. “Nestle will probably be the leader in this category within the next few years.”

The manufacturer is establishing the new division as regulators increase scrutiny of the food industry’s health- benefits promotion. Danone, whose medical-nutrition unit had sales of 925 million euros ($1.2 billion) in 2009, withdrew applications with the European Food Safety Authority for its Actimel yogurt drinks’ health claims in April, saying it wants clarity on rules.

Backing New Institute

The new unit will include Nestle’s existing health-care nutrition business, which had sales of 1.6 billion Swiss francs ($1.6 billion) last year, the manufacturer said. The company is also creating the Nestle Institute of Health Sciences, an organization to be based at research partner Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne.

The Swiss company formed a research alliance with the EPFL in 2006. The company donates 5 million francs a year to help the Lausanne-based university study ways to improve children’s cognitive development and prevent brain degeneration in the elderly, and learn more about links between gastrointestinal functions and the brain.

Nestle rose as much as 0.6 percent to 53 francs as of 10:07 a.m. in Zurich trading. The stock has gained 5.6 percent this year, valuing the company at 183.6 billion francs.

Emmanuel Baetge, former chief scientific officer of ViaCyte, a San Diego, California-based company that’s developing diabetes treatments from stem cells, will lead the research institute, the Swiss company said. The manufacturers said it will invest hundreds of millions of francs over the next decade in the project.

Nutrition Businesses

Nestle also said Nandu Nandkishore, who became temporary head of its nutrition unit when Richard Laube resigned last month, will continue in that role. The division will consist of infant nutrition, the Jenny Craig weight-loss service and products for athletes after the health-nutrition business is shifted into Nestle Health Science.

Nestle Health Science will become operational on Jan. 1. Chris Johnson, head of Nestle in Japan, will succeed Cantarell in Nestle’s Americas post on that date.

Johnson joined Carnation as a trainee in 1983, two years before Nestle bought the maker of condensed milk. He also worked in Nestle’s U.S. pet-care and bottled water divisions and has been head of Nestle for Taiwan.

Monday, 27 September 2010

Magnesium Intake Lowers Diabetes Risk

Magnesium Intake Lowers Diabetes Risk

NEW YORK – Getting enough magnesium in your diet could help prevent diabetes, a new study suggests.

People who consumed the most magnesium in foods and from vitamin supplements were about half as likely to develop diabetes over the next 20 years as people who took in the least magnesium, Dr. Ka He of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and colleagues found.

The results may explain in part why consuming whole grains, which are high in magnesium, is also associated with lower diabetes risk. However, large clinical trials testing the effects of magnesium on diabetes risk are needed to determine whether a causal relationship truly exists, the researchers note in Diabetes Care.

It’s plausible that magnesium could influence diabetes risk because the mineral is needed for the proper functioning of several enzymes that help the body process glucose, the researchers point out. Studies of magnesium and diabetes risk have had conflicting results, though.

To investigate the link, the researchers looked at magnesium intake and diabetes risk in 4,497 men and women 18 to 30 years old, none of whom were diabetic at the study’s outset. During a 20-year follow-up period, 330 of the subjects developed diabetes.

People with the highest magnesium intake, who averaged about 200 milligrams of magnesium for every 1,000 calories they consumed, were 47 percent less likely to have developed diabetes during follow up than those with the lowest intakes, who consumed about 100 milligrams of magnesium per 1,000 calories.

He and colleagues also found that as magnesium intake rose, levels of several markers of inflammation decreased, as did resistance to the effects of the key blood-sugar-regulating hormone insulin. Higher blood levels of magnesium also were linked to a lower degree of insulin resistance.

“Increasing magnesium intake may be important for improving insulin sensitivity, reducing systemic inflammation, and decreasing diabetes risk,” He and colleagues write. “Further large-scale clinical trials are needed to establish causal inference and elucidate the mechanisms behind this potential benefit.”

Saturday, 25 September 2010

Insulin Spray for ‘Diabetes of the Brain'

Insulin Spray for ‘Diabetes of the Brain'

New studies are showing that insulin could play a key role in treating ' diabetes of the brain'.

Many experts have held Alzheimer's disease akin to diabetes of the brain. The theory is that the aging brain also can develop insulin resistance or suffer from a dwindling insulin supply, damaging neurons and contributing to the widespread destruction of mind.

"It was about 30 years ago that Suzanne de la Monte at Brown introduced the idea of Alzheimer's being diabetes of the brain ... Now, it's coming back," the Globe and Mail quoted Howard Chertkow at McGill University, as saying.

Dr. de la Monte injected rats with an antibiotic that happens to block insulin, to give the animals "diabetes of the brain." But the post mortems revealed that the rats' brains were riddled with dead cells, plaques and tangled nerve fibres – a sign of Alzheimer's.

But not all Alzheimer's patients are diabetic, and Dr. de la Monte believes insulin resistance in the brain can develop regardless of whether a person has diabetes.

Patrick McGeer emeritus at the University of British Columbia also found similarities between conditions of diabetes and AD, but he is not convinced that insulin drives the disease.

At the moment, she is trying the experiment that was reported in Hawaii, by having Alzheimer's patients at Brown inhale insulin.

"I don't think the nasal spray is the answer but if the concept gets legs, that's when the creativity kicks in," she said.

Friday, 24 September 2010

Flu Jab Helps Protect Against Diabetes

Flu Jab Helps Protect Against Diabetes

A new study has found that the vaccine used against the flu virus can also reduce the chances of getting diabetes, strokes and asthma . Diabetics are encouraged to have the flu vaccine, since the virus can be a serious problem, especially as diabetes can make the immune system more vulnerable to severe cases of influenza . They are also nearly three times more likely to die from flu or pneumonia .

In addition, deaths among people with diabetes increase by 5–15 per cent during flu epidemics, and diabetics are six times more likely to be hospitalised with flu complications than those without the metabolic condition.

Recent research has also revealed that the influenza vaccine lowered the rate of first heart attack by 19 per cent, and a greater reduction in risk when people received their jabs early in the autumn.

The study reported "Our findings reinforce current recommendations for annual influenza vaccination of target groups, with a potential added benefit for prevention of acute myocardial infarction in those without established cardiovascular disease . This benefit may lead to an increase in suboptimal rates of vaccination, particularly among younger patients."

There is thought to be a connection between heart attacks and respiratory infections, which usually rises in winter. Also, asthma can increase the risk of serious respiratory complications from the flu, which can lead to pneumonia and acute respiratory disease .

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Anthony Anderson Takes On Diabetes

Anthony Anderson Takes On Diabetes

As one of Hollywood’s self-proclaimed “fat funny guys,” Anthony Anderson has appeared in comedies including “Big Momma’s House” and “Kangaroo Jack,” but when he was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes at the age of 32, Anderson found that his weight was no laughing matter.

In the October issue of Diabetes Forecast, the consumer magazine of the American Diabetes Association, Anderson opens up about incorporating diabetes management into his busy schedule and how his desire to go skydiving has inspired him to shed pounds.

It was eight years ago that Anderson started experiencing symptoms of diabetes — he was tired and lethargic. “I chalked it up to being overworked,” he tells Diabetes Forecast. “I just thought I was running myself ragged.” When other symptoms started to appear, such as constant thirst and frequent urination, he saw his doctor and was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.

After his initial diagnosis, Anderson didn’t make many changes to his lifestyle, only to find that he wasn’t feeling better. The turning point was the idea of skydiving. “I want to skydive,” he says, “and one place I called told me you can’t weigh more than 235 pounds.” At 240 pounds, Anderson asked, jokingly, what he could do. Without missing a beat, the person from the skydiving center said, “Lose five pounds.”

He started to run three miles a day, and cut back his portion sizes. “Now I’m well below 235, and I’m going to jump out of a plane!”

Diabetes was not new in Anderson’s family. His father had the disease, and his mother was recently diagnosed. Despite this, Anderson found that there were very few people talking about diabetes who spoke to him as a young African American man. He decided to be a spokesperson for Eli Lilly’s FACE Diabetes, an initiative to educate and empower African Americans about diabetes.

“Statistics show that African Americans born today have a 50 percent chance of being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes,” Anderson says. “That’s what I’m doing now with the FACE Diabetes initiative through Lilly — getting as much information [as possible] and bringing awareness to our community and to our youth, because if we catch it early enough, this can be prevented.”

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Blood Test to Predict Diabetes 10 Years Earlier

Blood Test to Predict Diabetes 10 Years Earlier

The test can identify around half of people who will develop type 2 diabetes said researchers speaking at the British Science Festival in Birmingham.

It works by detecting levels of a genetic molecule in their blood, it was claimed.

The same molecule, called a microRNA (MiR), could help pinpoint sufferers at high risk of heart and artery disease.

Amongst the two million people in Britain who already have diabetes, the test can also distinguish between those who will and will not go on to develop some of the complications of diabetes caused by damage to blood vessels, such as heart attack, stroke and poor circulation.

The lead scientist Dr Manuel Mayr, from King's College London, said he expected the MiR test to be used in conjunction with conventional methods. It is likely to cost around £2.

Its biggest advantage was that it directly assessed the damage diabetes was causing to blood vessels.

"It's very important for doctors to define those diabetic patients that are at the highest risk of developing cardiovascular complications," said Dr Mayr.

"We hope that this new class of blood markers may give additional insight that we're currently not getting from other clinical tests."

Being able to identify which people with diabetes are particularly at risk of having a heart attack or stroke should allow doctors to begin early treatment with cholesterol and blood pressure lowering drugs and target it at those who are most likely to benefit.

Treating diabetes costs the NHS £9bn a year.

One type of micro-RNA, known as MiR-126, protects blood vessels from damage.

Healthy blood vessel cells are able to release substantial MiR-126 in to the blood stream.

However, when they become damaged, they need to keep the MiR-126 for themselves and shed less in to the blood.

Dr Mayr studied 822 adults aged between 40 and 79 living in northern Italy.

Of the two types of diabetes, type 2, or adult onset, diabetes is much more common.

Around five per cent of adults in England have diagnosed type 2 diabetes. A further three percent of men and two per cent of women aged over 35 may have undiagnosed type 2 diabetes.

The risk of having a heart attack is between two and five times greater in people with diabetes. Around 15 per cent of heart attacks in western Europe are due to diabetes.

The findings were published in the journal Circulation Research.

Professor Jeremy Pearson, associate medical director at the British Heart Foundation, which funded the research, said: "This is important because right now there is no quick and simple way to monitor blood vessel health.

“Problems go unnoticed until symptoms appear, and the first symptom could be as serious as a heart attack."

Saturday, 18 September 2010

Free Diabetes Risk Assessment Tool

Free Diabetes Risk Assessment Tool

A tool designed to identify people at high risk of impaired glucose regulation (prediabetes) and type 2 diabetes is being freely offered to healthcare professionals.

Leading health charity Diabetes UK is asking all healthcare professionals to logon to its website and sign up to receive the full, free assessment pack, which includes background information, frequently asked questions, an explanation on how to use the Diabetes Risk Score, and follow up materials.

The Diabetes Risk Score, developed in collaboration with the University of Leicester and University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust, is made up of seven questions based on the risk factors of type 2 diabetes. It aims to identify those with impaired glucose regulation (IGR) and determine a person’s risk of developing type 2 diabetes over the next 10 years.

The tool uses an evidence-based points system to identify if a person is at low, increased, moderate or high risk of developing diabetes. Based on this score, appropriate advice is provided in the form of lifestyle changes or a GP referral.

The Diabetes Risk Score has been used successfully at Diabetes UK Measure Up Roadshows and as part of various diabetes awareness-raising campaigns. The new risk assessment is a valuable tool in assessing people who do not fall within the NHS Health Check age range, as anyone over the age of 18 can use it with the exception of pregnant women; those from black, Asian and minority ethnic groups (who are at increased risk of diabetes from the age of 25 upwards) as well as those from socially deprived groups who are less likely to access local healthcare services.

Diabetes UK wants to see the Diabetes Risk Score more widely used in preference to the finger prick test, as it takes into consideration the condition’s risk factors. These avoid falsely reassuring people who may have a normal blood glucose level but might still be at risk of developing the condition.

Friday, 17 September 2010

Sleep Deprivation Increases Risk of Diabetes

Sleep Deprivation Increases Risk of Diabetes

Are you one of those who skim on sleep regularly? Then here's a good reason to get a full night's sleep starting today: According to a recent study by the University of Warwick, people who sleep fewer than six hours per night have a three-fold risk of developing a condition that could progress to type II diabetes, strokes and heart attacks.

Analyzing six years' worth of data from 1,455 participants, researchers found that decreased sleep duration is associated with a heightened risk of incident-impaired fasting glycaemia (IFG) -- a pre-diabetic condition characterized by blood glucose levels that are higher than normal but yet not high enough to be classified as diabetes.

"We found that short sleep, less than six hours, was associated with a significant, three-fold increased likelihood of developing IFG, compared to people who got an average of six to eight hours sleep a night," said Dr Saverio Stranges, lead author of this study.

The research used data taken from the Western New York Health Study. All participants were between 35 and 79 years of age and had completed a clinical examination as well as surveys which included questions about their general health and sleeping patterns.

According to the American Diabetes Association, about 11 percent of people with IFG developed type 2 diabetes each year during the average three years of follow-up. Pre-diabetic patients are also 1.5 times more likely to develop cardiovascular disease compared to those with normal blood glucose levels.

How does sleep deprivation lead to diabetes and heart disease? The reason is unclear but previous studies suggested that it may have something to do with a decrease in glucose tolerance and an increase in levels of cortisol, a type of stress hormone, when one does not get enough sleep.

In the past, studies have largely focused on the relationship between sleep duration and diabetes. But this is believed to be the first time that the link between sleep duration and pre-diabetes has been investigated. This research has been published in the Annals of Epidemiology journal.

Results from this study add to the growing list of potential health problems that have been associated with sleep deprivation. These include obesity, impaired immune system, hypertension and higher mortality rate.

Thursday, 16 September 2010

Green Leafy Vegetables May Cut Diabetes Risks

Green Leafy Vegetables May Cut Diabetes Risks

More information on preventing diabetes. UK researchers from Leicester University have found that a diet full of green leafy vegetables such as spinach, cabbage and broccoli, rather than just a healthy diet in general, might considerably reduce diabetes risks.

In an analysis of six studies that included 220,000 adults (aged 30 to 74 years old) in the U.S., China and Finland, the team examined fruit and vegetable intake, finding only spinach and cabbage to have a significantly positive effect on diabetes risk.

In fact, a portion and a half of leafy greens a day was seen to cut type 2 diabetes risk by 14% according to the report that has just appeared in BMJ. Of course it may be that those who eat their leafy greens also have other lifestyle factors – healthier diet overall, more regular exercise, a better financial situation – that play a part in how whether they end up with type 2 diabetes.

Earlier work has found that fruit and veggies can help prevent cancer and heart disease, but the benefits to diabetes were unknown until this latest study.

This form of diabetes is caused by the body being unable to use insulin, a hormone that’s produced by the pancreas, to regulate the glucose that comes from food. When not controlled, the sugar levels go up and can do damage to the kidneys, nerves, heart and major arteries, even the eyes.

An estimated 180 million people the world over have diabetes, and though there is no cure, those who have the condition can keep themselves healthier by being more active and losing weight. Some people do need medication to control their blood sugar and insulin levels.

In an editorial that accompanied the BMJ study, Professor Jim Mann from the University of Otago in New Zealand, points out that the message of increasing overall fruit and veggie intake is important. Forget the “magic bullet” idea and focus instead on adding green leafy vegetables to your recommended five servings a day. Keep your focus on the big picture – an overall healthy, natural and balanced diet.

No one can say why green leafy veggies seem to have such a protective effect. One reason might be the high levels of antioxidants, like vitamin C. They also have high levels of magnesium and omega 3 fatty acids. All of these have benefits to the body.

The take home message from the research is that people should still aim for five servings of fruits and veggies each day according to study leader Melanie Davies, a professor of diabetic medicine at the University of Leicester. As recently as 2008 and 2009, the National Diet Nutrition Survey found that although fruit and vegetable intake has gone up over the past ten years, only a third of men and women are eating the right amount today. This needs to change.

Green leafy vegetables may in fact have particular benefits in terms of diabetes risks, though more work is needed. Eating healthy, and including these foods in your diet as much as possible until we know more, is your best bet.

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Help for Teens With Diabetes

Help for Teens With Diabetes

Managing any teenager can be challenging some days. But for parents of teens with Type 1 diabetes, managing them can be a challenge every day.

When dealing with a young person whose condition demands constant monitoring, it can be a running battle to get them to take their blood sugar readings throughout the day, let alone report on how they're doing.

But with a little help from wireless technology, it's getting easier to strike a balance between enforcing the rules for good health and allowing teens the independence they crave.

According to the Canadian Diabetes Association, of the more than three million Canadians currently living with diabetes, approximately 10 per cent have Type 1 diabetes. People are usually diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes before the age of 30, most often during childhood or their teens.

Teaching teens how to manage a chronic condition is far from easy. Karen Moore of Sudbury, Ont., whose 14-year-old son Keegan was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes three-and-a-half years ago, acknowledges that keeping track of his blood sugar readings "can be so difficult for a child his age. But all the technology available has been wonderful for him and for us."

Among other tools, Keegan uses an insulin pump and a glucose monitor that sends his blood sugar readings to his laptop over a wireless connection. His parents can keep track of those readings simply by logging in through a web-based portal from any location. According to Keegan, "it's a lot easier because I don't have to worry about writing it down, and my parents can know what I'm doing. They don't worry as much."

"Diabetes management is a major challenge for adolescents," says Joseph Cafazzo, lead for the Centre for Global eHealth Innovation and associate professor at the University of Toronto.

"They're transitioning from being totally dependant on their parents' care to learning life skills to manage their own care. They want to exert their independence but don't have the maturity to tackle a serious chronic condition. That can lead to a lot of stress in households. It's a tricky problem."

To tackle the diabetes management challenge, the Centre developed a new application called bant, which is targeted squarely at adolescents.

This free downloadable iTunes application lets them enter their blood sugar readings and store them on the Google Health portal using their iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad.

They can also engage in social networking with other Type 1 diabetes patients because the application includes Facebook and Twitter feeds.

Cafazzo says what prompted the development of bant was the fact that behavioralists at the Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) in Toronto observed that no matter how ill teenagers might be, they're never far from their phones.

"That resonated with us," he says. "It's such a natural conduit."

It stands to reason that teens are more inclined to manage their health if there's a smartphone or other wireless device in the picture, agrees Michel Nadeau, president, CEO and founder of Tactio Software, a Montreal-based developer of iPhone and web-integrated applications for health care.

"Smartphones are the No. 1 place that people are ready to consider when managing their own health. You have it with you. It's an everyday thing. It's well deployed and easy to understand."

Karen Moore expects that entering readings into a smartphone will be the next step in Keegan's move to independence. "It would be so much better than other tools. While we hope for a cure in his lifetime, the crucial thing right now is to maintain his health."

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Amyloid Protein Can Trigger Diabetes

Amyloid Protein Can Trigger Diabetes

To discover the cause of malfunctioning protein that helps in triggering Type 2 diabetes could present the possibility to stop the harm which it causes, believe researchers. The presence of amyloid protein may create a chain reaction that annihilates essential insulin making cells.

Amyloid is drawn in many other conditions, among them the most notable is Alzheimer’s. The most common form of diabetes is Type 2 diabetes that usually develops in later adulthood. It occurs when the body loses its capability to produce sufficient insulin to manage blood sugar levels and becomes resistant to insulin.

Insulin is produced in beta cells in the pancreas and the deposit of amyloid protein in pancreatic tissue was noticed by researchers in some people with type 2 diabetes. It was believed amyloid could poison the cells directly. But latest research found that a type of immune cell known as macrophage, responded unusually when it ingested amyloid.

Macrophage plays a role in getting rid of debris in the cell. It activates the activity of other angry macrophages that in turn liberate protein which cause inflammation. The inflammation destroys the beta cells and their capability to make insulin is decreased. The finding would encourage new research that aims the devices of the condition.

The lead researcher into amyloid related disease, Dr Eric Hewitt at Leeds University explained that it suggested that they were observing a very complex disease. They knew that amyloid was present in some type 2 diabetes but not others.

This could be helpful when they observing other conditions that may involve amyloid like Alzheimer’s. It offers a potential prospect to disrupt this device at some point in the future and perhaps halt the disease from progressing, added Dr Hewitt.

Monday, 13 September 2010

You May Not Know You Have Diabetes

You May Not now You Have Diabetes

NEARLY 2,000 people in the town have diabetes and know nothing about it according to the latest figures released by a leading health charity.

Diabetes UK says there are 10,142 people in Swindon who have a form of diabetes – but nearly 20 per cent of those have not yet been diagnosed.

And a total of 98,300 people, almost a third of the diabetic population, in the South West Strategic Health Authority area are now thought to have undiagnosed Type 2 diabetes, putting themselves at risk of devastating complications, including blindness, amputation, kidney failure, stroke and heart disease.

It is the greatest proportion of undiagnosed Type 2 cases in the country.

Graham Cooper, Diabetes UK South West regional manager, said: “This new estimate of 98,300 undiagnosed Type 2 cases in the West Country is truly alarming.

“PCTs need to better prioritise screening of at risk groups and improve uptake of programmes such as NHS Health Checks.

“We also urgently need more initiatives in our area such as the Diabetes UK Measure Up campaign to raise awareness of the risk factors and symptoms of Type 2 diabetes and encourage people at risk to go to their GP for a simple diabetes test.

“We face a bleak future of spiralling NHS costs and worsening public health if diagnosis rates for Type 2 diabetes do not improve. Diabetes is serious but once people are diagnosed and start managing it, there is every reason they can live long and healthy lives.”

The main risk factors for developing Type 2 diabetes are being overweight or having a large waist, being aged over 40, or over 25 in black and South Asian people, and having a close relative with diabetes.

Symptoms include going to the toilet more often and especially at night, increased thirst, extreme tiredness, unexplained weight loss, genital itching or regular episodes of thrush, slow healing of cuts and wounds and blurred vision.

Saturday, 11 September 2010

The Truth About Diabetes – Diet, Nutrition and Treatment

The Truth About Diabetes – Diet, Nutrition and Treatment

Reversing diabetes naturally is not only possible but a preferable solution to the drugs modern day medicine provides, which serve to treat only the symptoms of diabetes without addressing the root cause.

Treating diabetes naturally is not something pharmaceutical companies want shouted out, despite the fact that countless people are successfully doing so, as diabetic drugs are a lucrative business. Sadly, diabetic drugs are also not without their dangers. Many of the side effects however are justified as the disease symptoms are considered worse. You can live without either.

Reversing diabetes naturally is not about a specific home remedy or natural treatment per se as the solution involves addressing diet and nutrition on a broader scale. Key diet and nutrition factors need to be properly understood, and when appropriately balanced and adjusted, can serve to reverse diabetes successfully and naturally and increase the body’s insulin production. In particular, a re-education in how the human body deals with dietary sugars and refined carbohydrates is fundamental, as is an understanding of the effects of acidity and the importance of an alkaline diet. Regular exercise is also important.

Eliminating foods that promote diabetes is paramount. These include sugar and high-glycemic foods such as refined carbohydrates (white flour/rice/bread/pasta), sucrose, corn syrup and dextrose and commercial, processed oils (virgin coconut oil is a diabetic-friendly alternative).

Dr. Mercola in his new book ‘The No-Grain Diet’ points out how a high-carbohydrate diet can lead to diabetes over time. He writes, “If you regularly consume grains, sweets, and starches, and avoid exercise, your weight will escalate while your insulin levels rise. As your tissues become progressively more tolerant to higher levels of insulin, you may develop what is termed “insulin resistance”, a condition where your tissues have absorbed all the insulin they can retain. This entire syndrome can frequently lead to diabetes, and it’s no surprise that 17 million Americans, nearly 7.3 percent of our population, are diabetic with an astounding 33 percent rise in the prevalence of the disease between 1990 and 1999.”

As well as eliminating foods it is also important to ensure the body’s internal environment is primed for optimum health and resistance to disease. An alkaline diet is imperative here as pH balance is pivotal for the appropriate functioning of body fluids which in turn affect the healthy functioning of all cells within the body. As pH specialist Dr. Robert Young writes, “A cell is only as healthy as the fluids it is bathed in.” He further states that diabetes “is not a disease of the pancreas or the insulin producing beta cells or an autoimmune response, it is from the fluids which the pancreas cells are floating in.”

An acidic system (acidosis) is associated with a wide range of health problems including diabetes, obesity, arthritis, stomach ulcers, bladder and kidney conditions, osteoporosis, heart disease and cancer. Foods that acidify the body include sugar, meat, dairy products, eggs, junk/processed foods, fats and most grains (except millet, quinoa and amaranth). Some of the ‘best’ acid foods include nuts and seeds, beans and lentils, brown rice, oats and fish.

Alkaline foods are largely raw fruits, vegetables and herbs, particularly green veggies, algae (spirulina or chlorella) and grasses such as barley grass or wheat grass.

The diabetic condition leads to a great loss of nutrients from the body in its attempts to eliminate sugar, which in turn leads to the deterioration of eyes and kidneys and damage to nerves and blood vessels. Diabetes also promotes abnormal triglyceride levels which dramatically increases the risk of developing atherosclerosis. This is why cardiovascular disease accounts for 80 percent of all diabetic deaths, with diabetics having more than 400 per cent greater risk of heart attack than non-diabetics.

Are diabetic drugs a solution? Sadly, diabetics taking drugs are 2.5 times more likely to die from heart disease than those treated by diet alone. And then there are the side effects of medication. These include liver problems (jaundice), anemia, skin rashes and in some rare cases, death. There is also the ‘Catch 22′ of insulin resistance. Most anti-diabetic drugs stimulate your already drained pancreas to produce even more insulin which results in a loss of insulin-secreting beta cells making you more diabetic. Diabetic drugs increase fat storage and weight gain, leading to greater insulin resistance and an even worse diabetic condition.

Both oral anti-diabetes drugs and insulin can are not health-friendly options. They hasten the onset of aging, and damage your liver, heart and other organs among other complications.

There is a solution. Diabetes is not cured by treating symptoms with drugs that only perpetuate the condition. You need to address the root cause of diabetes to reverse it and increase your body’s insulin production naturally, with out the complications or side-effects of drugs and medications.

Why don’t we hear about this infomation from the American Diabetes Association? The truth is, the American Diabetes Association are benefiting hugely from the current trend in diabetes. They are funded by pharmaceutical companies who would lose out if people reversed there diabetic conditions.

Saturday, 4 September 2010

Diabetes Type 2 Natural Treatment

Diabetes Type 2 Natural Treatment

Type 2 diabetes is getting increasingly common in developed countries. Other developing countries are seeing a fast emerging trend of the disease. Diabetes type 2 is caused by insulin deficiency and hyperglycemia. Although this disease is more common in adults over 40, it is increasingly seen in young teenagers and even children. This worrying trend is linked to the rising rates of obesity as well as inactivity.


Here are some of the major risk factors for type 2 diabetes:

1) Age – As people age, the chances of getting diabetes type 2 is considerably higher. So for those who are older than 45 years, they are at a higher risk of getting the disease.

2) Overweight – Being overweight is another strong risk factor especially the person is heavier in the center.

3) Genetic factors – Having someone with diabetes in the family puts you at a higher risk.

4) Certain ethnic groups such as such as native americans, african americans, latino americans, pacific islanders and asian individuals who are at higher risk for developing type 2 diabetes.

5) People with high blood pressure and high cholestorol levels are at higher risk for type 2 diabetes.

6) Women at risk – women who have had a big baby of more than 9lbs are at higher risk of having type 2 diabetes. Other risk factors include women who had gestational diabetes, polycystic overian syndrom, irregular menstrual cycles and developing facial hair.

Of all these common risk factors, the most common are those who have family history as well as those who are gaining weight in the middle.


Diabetes can be one of the hardest diseases to treat as it does not go away. It is always there with you, day in and day out. It will affect your daily life in what you do and what you eat. You have to be always conscious of your blood sugar as you can’t let it go too high to avoid complications. The next best thing you can do to help yourself is to control the disease.

The main cause of type 2 diabetes is insulin resistance and insulin deficiency. So the first thing you want to do is to help reduce the resistance of insulin. Exercising and losing weight can help reducing resistance to insulin and thus control type 2 diabetes. The other way is using pills which your doctor will recommend to you. However,due to the advance technology as well as rising awareness of using alternative way to treat type 2 diabetes, herbal and natural supplements are increasingly popular.

Here are a few of the natural/alternative herbs which have worked for many diabetics:

1. Bitter melon has long been regarded as the natural cure for diabetes. This fruit is known for its abilities to regulate blood glucose level. In fact, bitter melon is recommended by the Dept of Philippines as one of the best herbal medicines for managing diabetes.

2. Gymnema sylvestre is a herb native to the tropical forests of southern and central India where it has been used as a naturopathic treatment for diabetes for nearly two millennia. This herb has been shown to reduce blood sugar levels when used for an extended period of time. The active ingredient is thought to be gurmenic acid which has structure similar to saccharose. Extracts of Gymnema is not only claimed to curb sweet tooths but also for treatment of as varied problems as hyperglycemia, obesity, high cholesterol levels, anemia and digestion.

3. Cassia (Cinnamomum aromaticum or Chinese cinnamon) is a close relative to cinnamon. In fact, when cinnamon is said to be beneficial for diabetes, it is actually cassia, a less delicate version of the true cinnamon. A 2003 study published in the DiabetesCare journal followed Type 2 diabetics ingesting 1, 3 or 6 grams of cassia daily. Those taking 6 grams shows changes after 20 days, and those taking lesser doses showed changes after 40 days. Regardless of the amount of cassia taken, they reduced their mean fasting serum glucose levels 18–29%, their triglyceride levels 23–30%, their LDL cholesterol 7–27%, and their total cholesterol 12–26%, over others taking placebos. The effects, which may even be produced by brewing a tea from cassia bark, may also be beneficial for non-diabetics to prevent and control elevated glucose and blood lipid levels.

4. Chromium – Starting in the 1960s reports have shown that Chromium helps cells respond properly to naturally produced insulin. Current estimates show that 90% of Americans are lacking in this essential mineral nutrient.

5. Helps to improve circulation in the little capillaries in the hands and feet. Also valuable in balancing the digestion and strengthening the immune system.

6. Mulberry leaves is know to effectively help regulate blood sugar levels. Drink as tea can help to reduce absorption of sugar and carbohydrates. It is also a good source of antioxidants, vitamin C and carotene.

Beside these, there are others less known herbs for controlling diabetes. These herbs when combine together in the right balance can be very powerful in helping you manage diabetes. However, it is important to research on these supplements to ensure they indeed do what they claim.

Friday, 3 September 2010

AccuracyIimportant for Diabetes Control

Accuracy Important for Diabetes Control

Reliable blood glucose monitoring devices and a strong mentality are an important part of managing diabetes, an expert said.

Speaking at the Australian launch of Johnson and Johnson’s OneTouch Verio blood glucose monitoring system, professor of medicine and diabetes treatment at the University of Washington school of medicine in Seattle, Dr Irl Hirsch stressed the importance of having an accurate meter for measuring blood sugars.

Dr Hirsch described monitors as “one piece of the puzzle” when it comes to treating diabetes.

“I don’t think people appreciate how important the whole introduction of home blood glucose monitoring has been,” he said.

However he questioned the accuracy of many devices on the market, as the ISO standard they have to meet allows for a 20 per cent variation in accuracy.

“Glucose variability can only be accurately accessed if the data used is accurate, whether you’re using a glucose meter or a continuous glucose monitoring device.

“Is this level of accuracy good enough with our current international standards for accuracy?” he asked.

Johnson and Johnson area vice president for Australia and New Zealand, Namal Nawana said the company’s new OneTouch Verio device, which went on sale in Australia yesterday had “unsurpassed accuracy”.

Mr Nawana added the Australian developed Tri-Sure strips for the device were a world first, which allow the user to see the strip fill with blood.

Thursday, 2 September 2010

Raman Resource Including Vibrational Spectroscopy

Raman Resource Including Vibrational Spectroscopy

A new device based on Raman spectroscopy has been developed by scientists at MIT to help patients with diabetes monitor their blood glucose levels without needing to prick their fingers to take a blood sample.

People with Type 1 diabetes must ensure that they monitor their blood glucose levels in order to avoid the potentially lethal complications of the disease, such as organ damage caused by too much glucose in the blood and hypoglycaemia, in which organs including the brain are deprived of fuel. Most patients are forced to prick their fingers several times a day to draw blood for testing.

Researchers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Spectroscopy Laboratory hope to remedy that situation for diabetes sufferers and are working on a non-invasive way to measure blood glucose levels using light.

The concept of a light-based blood-glucose monitor was first postulated fifteen years ago by MIT physicist the late Michael Feld who was head of the Spectroscopy Laboratory. He reasoned that Raman spectroscopy would be the most appropriate tool to develop for such a test. A Raman device could obtain a measure of blood glucose concentration simply by scanning a patient's skin on their arm or finger with near-infrared light.

Now, two graduate students in the laboratory, Ishan Barman and Chae-Ryon Kong, have developed a small Raman spectrometer, not much bigger than a standard notebook computer that could be used by physicians and patients alike. The device would be a boon to the lives of millions of Type 1 diabetes patients the world over.

The MIT team was faced with a major obstacle in that to be effective they must circumvent the problem of near-infrared light penetrating the skin by only about half a millimetre. The technique would thus be determining not blood glucose but the fluid that bathes skin cells, the interstitial fluid. The key was to devise an algorithm that relates the two concentrations, using interstitial fluid concentration as an accurate proxy of blood glucose levels.

So far, so simple.

However, the correlation between these two measurements is affected by whether or not someone has ingested something sweet. Blood glucose rises rapidly immediately after eating or drinking something containing sugar whereas the interstitial concentration lags behind, taking some five to ten minutes to rise to its peak level. In other words, interstitial fluid measurements do not give an accurate picture of what is happening in the bloodstream and so a patient could administer insulin inappropriately.

The team, which also includes Ramachandra Rao Dasari, associate director of the Spectroscopy Lab, and former postdoctoral researcher Gajendra Pratap Singh, has now addressed this time lag using a new calibration method they call Dynamic Concentration Correction (DCC). This new algorithm incorporates the rate at which glucose diffuses from the blood into the interstitial fluid.

Writing in the journal Analytical Chemistry, the team describes how the study tested the new system on ten healthy -volunteers. The researchers used DCC-calibrated Raman spectroscopy to significantly boost the accuracy of blood glucose measurements. They saw an average improvement of about 15 percent in some volunteers and up to 30 percent in others.

The success of the system will hinge on a full clinical trial in healthy volunteers, which Barman and Kong plan to launch in Autumn 2010 with funding from the National Institutes of Health and National Center for Research Resources.

Chemist Michael Morris, of the University of Michigan, is enthusiastic about the work. "Getting optical glucose measurements of any sort is something people have been trying to do since the 1980s," he explains. Researchers usually report that they can get good measurements one day, but not the next, or that it only works for a few people, a universal calibration system has, until now, remained elusive. Morris adds that the non-invasive nature of Raman spectroscopy could help boost quality of life for diabetes patients, but that to be practical, any device would need to become more affordable and very simple to use. The Spectroscopy Lab researchers believe that the smaller machine they are now developing should substantially drive down costs by miniaturizing and reducing the complexity of the instrument.

"The new device based on Raman spectroscopy is currently under development and we hope to have a functional prototype in the next two years," Barman told SpectroscopyNOW. "However, at this time, we have a portable instrument, which is relatively large, the size of a shopping cart, and can only be used for clinical studies. In fact, our feasibility studies which will start this Fall will be making use of this portable instrument that can be wheeled into a clinic but cannot be used for personal use."

"We will be starting [clinical] studies in September 2010," Barman told us. "We expect the initial series of studies to complete by the middle of next year. In the first trials, we will be testing our instrumentation and methodologies on healthy human volunteers. In the next set of investigations, we will be incorporating our primary target population of Type I and II diabetics. For our purposes, there is no difference between any diabetic patient (Type I, II or gestational) - however, if successfully implemented our technology would be most beneficial to Type I patients who need to perform 6-12 measurements per day."

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Not Breastfeeding & Diabetes Linked

Not Breastfeeding & Diabetes Linked

A recent study has shown that mothers who do not breastfeed their children have an increased risk of developing type-2 diabetes. It is the most common form of the disease. The disease has become increasingly widespread over the last century, mostly attributed to a change in the everyday diet of most Americans. The study was conducted by Eleanor Bimla Schwarz of the University of Pittsburgh.

It is know that proper diet and exercise impact the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, but not many realize that breastfeeding also reduces the risk. By reducing maternal belly fat, a mother can help her chances later in life.

The study followed 2,200 women between the ages of 40 and 78. 56 percent of mothers said that they had breastfed their child for at least one month, and those mothers showed a reduced risk of developing type 2 diabetes at any point in their life.

The twenty seven percent of mothers who did not breastfeed their children were more than twice as likely to develop the condition at some point than women who had breastfed or had never given birth. Mothers who breastfed all of their children were not more likely to develop the condition than women who had never had any children.

The results were consistent, even when taking other measures including alcohol use, age, race and physical activity into account. With the results so clear cut, could breastfeeding become a recommendation for mothers who are at a high risk level for developing type 2 diabetes?