Diabetes Research: The Latest Discoveries And Treatments

Posted: Mar 14 2017, 1:57pm CDT | by , in News | Latest Science News

 

Diabetes Research: The Latest Discoveries and Treatments
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Diabetes is a chronic disorder characterized by elevated blood glucose levels and the body’s inability to produce sufficient quantities of insulin to combat it. Over time the elevated levels of glucose in the blood stream damage several tissues and cells resulting in other biochemical complications such as heart diseases, stroke, and kidney problems.

Heart disease began in the 1930s, obesity hit the US for the first time in the 1970s and diabetes rates really shot up in the 1990s. It is a disease of civilization like the other two previous examples. The causes may range from stress to genetic proneness all the way to a diet of refined carbohydrates. Yet with all the scientific arsenal at our disposal, we are fast approaching novel treatments for this curse of a disease.

According to the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) the number of people in the world with diabetes will rise to 642 million by the year 2040. Diabetes research is mainly focused towards the methods of either prevention or management after diabetes has manifested in individuals. Some of the current advances in the field of diabetes include findings by:

3 Hours a Day in Front of TV or iPad Raise Diabetes Risk in Kids

Kids who used electronic devices tend to increase their chances of contracting diabetes. The boys were more prone to spend their leisure time watching TV and surfing the Internet rather than the girls and hence were more susceptible to the disease.

Not only did the adipose tissue show signs of increasing among the children but also their glucose levels, blood pressure and insulin resistance status were all topsy turvy thanks to extended screen time. While adults had been studied up until now, the research on kids show that intervention in lifestyle has to begin early in order to prevent the chances of contracting type 2 diabetes later on. 

Air Pollution Causes Diabetes

Scientists at the Helmholtz ZentrumMünchen institute found air pollution may be one of the culprits behind causing diabetes. The findings were reported in the journal Diabetes. According to the researchers bad quality of air inside residences can be a risk factor for the development of insulin resistance, which is the precursor stage of diabetes as the body is unable to use up insulin properly.

As the lead researcher Dr. Kathrin Wolf stated, the environmental pollution is particularly critical for people with an impaired glucose metabolism also defined as ‘pre-diabetics’. The blood markers of such vulnerable individuals show the increased presence of air pollutants greatly disturbs their insulin metabolism. So air pollution is also a cause of diabetes. 

HIV Increases Risk of Diabetes

Another research published in the journal BMJ Open Diabetes Research & Caresuggests individuals infected with HIV have a greater risk of developing diabetes. Individuals with HIV are more susceptible to developing diabetes even in the absence of key factors such as obesity. The research derived the number of people infected with HIV have 4% higher rate of developing diabetes than in the general population.

Other factors taken into account included age, CD4 count and even economic status. The researchers implied the poor state of the immune system along with low economic status of the individuals with HIV makes them more vulnerable to developing diabetes than normal individuals. 

Beta Cells may be Responsible for Type I Diabetes

A study led by researchers at the City of Hope Institute in the US, has found beta cells may actually be causing the immune system to react in a way to lead to Type I Diabetes. The study published in the journal Nature Medicine is challenging the older established views the scientific community has on the cause of type I diabetes.

It is currently believed damage to the insulin-producing beta cells present in the pancreas is the main cause of type I diabetes. The beta cells are believed to be attacked by the immune system as a result of malfunction. However the new findings suggest it’s not the immune system malfunction leading to type I diabetes but the beta cells itself are signaling the immune system to destroy it.

It is possible the ‘unhappy’ beta cells may release a mistaken distress call signal to the immune cells which then destroy the cells in the same manner of cancer cell destruction. The results were further substantiated by the finding people undergoing immunotherapy are more prone to develop diabetes. 

Gluten-Free Diet may be Causing Type II Diabetes

The American Heart Association recently revealed a diet higher in gluten may not lead to but in actuality prevents the formation of type II diabetes. The AHA study revealed people who eat lower amounts of gluten are also susceptible to receiving lower amounts of cereal fiber. Since cereal fiber is a protective factor in the development of type II diabetes, gluten free diets may lead to an increased risk of disease manifestation.

Gluten is a protein naturally present in foods such as wheat, rye and barley. People suffering from Celiac disease or gluten sensitivity are unable to tolerate gluten so they cannot consume it in their diets. However in recent years gluten has been stigmatized as an obesity and diabetes causing food and reducing gluten consumption is believed to impart long-term health benefits; however that is far from the truth. Whereas, eating more gluten is linked with a lower risk of forming type II diabetes.

Resveratrol may Treat Diabetes in Future

In one of the most dramatic findings the researchers at the University of Alberta Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry, found antioxidants may be the future of diabetes treatment. Feeding the antioxidant ‘Resveratrol’ which is found in plants to obese mice for a period of 6 weeks can dramatically change their gut bacteria make up which lead to improved glucose tolerance. 

Low Carbohydrate Diet for Diabetes Management

Further research carried out by the London Metropolitan University has substantiated a diet lower in carbohydrates is a better option for people already suffering from diabetes. In diabetes management a reduced carbohydrate diet can prove to be a safe and effective strategy in the long-term. Such a diet maintains a low level of blood glucose thus reducing the risk of developing other chronic complications.

In the study the researchers analysed the glycated haemoglobin levels of their participants after they were put on a low carbohydrate diet. The glycated haemoglobin level is determined by looking for the presence of the glycated haemoglobin protein which forms in the red blood cells and combines with blood glucose. It is a long-term marker for diabetes. The researchers found the levels of the glycated haemoglobin protein fell after the participants started consuming lower carbohydrate diets equal to 120g per day. 

Diabetes Has No Links to Sitting

New research shows that sitting is not as bad as we think. In the past, the diabetes was liked to too much sitting. But, new research from university of Sydney shows the opposite. Most people consider sitting bad like smoking, and think it’s harmful to health.

Several researchers were conducted on effects of sitting on health, but hardly any research happened on the opposite to find the link of sitting with diabetes, explained lead author Associate Professor Emmanuel Stamatakis from the Charles Perkins Centre and School of Public Health.

Read more here.

Taking 12 Grams of Butter Daily Can Increase the Risk of Diabetes

Saturated animal fats are risky for health and can cause type 2 diabetes Doctors and researchers now suggest that people should take plant based diet, including legumes, whole grain cereals, fruits and vegetables rather than animal based diet like red meat or pastries. Evidences show that plant based food is good for health and doesn’t much affect the environment.

The researchers found that there is a relationship between type 2 diabetes and animal fat and foods rich in saturated fatty acids. The research team included researchers from the Unit of Human Nutrition of the Universitat Rovira i Virgili (Tarragona-Spain), and from the PREDIMED Study and Harvard University. Main part of the study shows that the participants who took more saturated fatty acids in food and animal fat had double the risk of type 2 diabetes than those who had lower intake of saturated and animal fat.

Read more here.

Apple-Shaped People at Higher Risk of Diabetes

It is a hard fact of science that apple-like fat on the belly and chest could increase chances of becoming a diabetic for many individuals. Research proves that having an apple-shaped body (instead of a pear-shaped one) could predispose people to cardiac disease and type 2 diabetes. Thus one’s genetic code may determine the onset of such degenerative diseases of civilization.

The areas on the human body where fat is stored may include the belly or the hips and thighs. The risk for apple-shaped individuals was definitely there as far as type 2 diabetes and heart disease were concerned.

Read more here.

Fasting Diet may Reverse Diabetes

Fasting-like diet promotes the growth of new insulin-producing pancreatic cells that can replace dysfunctional ones and stabilize blood glucose. In the latest study, researchers have discovered that a scientifically designed fasting diet can trigger the growth of healthy pancreas to replace the damaged ones. Thus, restore the pancreas function and stabilize blood glucose. This fasting-like diet has been tested on mice and it has shown some promising results.

“Our conclusion is that by pushing the mice into an extreme state and then bringing them back--by starving them and then feeding them again--the cells in the pancreas are triggered to use some kind of developmental reprogramming that rebuilds the part of the organ that's no longer functioning.” Co author of the study Valter Longo from University of Southern California said in a statement.

Read more here.

Schizophrenia Increases Diabetes Risk

People who have a case of early schizophrenia are at a risk of contracting diabetes. Even when the contributing factors of medicine, nutrition and exertion are subtracted, this fact remains constant. Schizophrenia causes a low quality of life and most patients normally live uptil 30 years of age. This is due to the physical ailments that afflict them after their bout with schizophrenia.

Cardiac disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes are common fare after the diagnosis. People who are schizophrenics for the long haul tend to have a three times greater risk of contracting diabetes than the general population. After the factors of antipsychotics and poor diet and a sedentary lifestyle were taken out of the puzzle, the chances of contracting diabetes still remained pretty high.

Read more here.

Harvard and MIT may Soon have a Cure

A cure for type 1 diabetes may be closer than we think. Scientists have shown that they could switch off the disease in animals for a period of half a year. This is a miracle. In case of human beings, this may extend to far more years.

Insulin-making cells were manufactured in the lab by scientists in 2014. When these were transplanted in mice, the miracle spoken of before took place.

This research effort has truly bore fruit and it could mean that daily insulin injections will go into the dustbin of history soon. Instead transfusions of the special cells will be all that is required, according to Telegraph.

Diabetics can now have a virtual novel pancreas. 10% of all diabetics are type 1 and life for them is tough on a day to day basis. Yet with this strategy, their aches and pains can be alleviated in a jiffy.  

Instead of being insulin-dependent, people can now be insulin-independent in the true sense of the word. 

Miraculous Treatment for Diabetes

A bacteria-killing protein is present in an area of the body that hardly has anything to do with bacteria. This could be the pancreas, for example. Researchers were confused over this question for awhile.

Then they found that the protein was acting in a certain manner that was hardly expected. It was helping the pancreas regenerate insulin. The study was published in a journal.

Over 400 million people have diabetes on a global level. They ride the blood sugar rollercoaster on a daily basis and have to control this disease via drugs or regular injections.

Sometimes, if the disease is mild, lifestyle choices such as diet and exercise can allay the symptoms. Type 1 diabetes has to do with the immune system which goes awry.

A bacteria-killing protein called CAMP plays a role in this disease. Yet its exact role remains uncertain. The highest levels of the bacteria were found in the gut tissue. However it was also found in the pancreas where it was least expected.

It is apparently produced by the same tissues which makes insulin. Pancreatic function was thus liable to the influence of this bacteria. This points towards the possibility of novel treatments for type 1 and 2 diabetes.  

Drug for Leukemia may Cure Type 2 Diabetes

Imatinib is a drug used to cure cancer. It is specifically used for the treatment of leukemia. However, it also treats type 2 diabetes. A team of scientists have found this side effect of the drug.

It also reduces any chances of hyperglyemia or obesity. Although TZD-based medicines are effective at improving glucose uptake, they have adverse effects and thus have been taken off the shelves of pharmacies.

This new type of medication shows promise for future times. TZD drugs are selective agonists for PPARy. This plays a role in the metabolism of glucose, storage of fat, control of the immune system and inflammation.  

The phosphorylation of PPARy leads to diabetes. The removal of phosphoric acid also leads to anti-diabetic effects. The drug for cancer had the most salubrious effect in reducing diabetes symptoms via this methodology. When tested in mice, it proved to be a good prophylactic. 

Way to Treat Type 2 Diabetes at a Nascent Stage

A novel target for drugs has been found and this strategy can treat type 2 diabetes. Blocking a cellular glucose sensor in the muscles may help prevent the disease in the first place.

Insulin response took a turn for the better after this procedure. A protein called MondoA was the key agent in obesity-related diabetes. 8% of Americans have type 2 diabetes. 25% of Americans are also at a risk for obesity.

Type 2 diabetes may destroy the kidneys, peripheral nerves and the retina. It all begins in insulin resistance. Skeletal muscle was concentrated on since it was the sort which was insulin-responsive.

The research ultimately led the experts to MondoA. MondoA tied up all the phenomena that were observed in the genesis of type 2 diabetes. Directly enhancing glucose uptake by muscles may lead to a possible cure for type 2 diabetes in the times to come. 

Contact Lens to Monitor Bloob Sugar Levels

Contact lenses that can monitor blood sugar are the latest thing to hit the market. This invention was created by dedicated engineers. It could produce a revolution in diabetes research.

The lenses are not invasive and they analyze the sugar in the tears of the patients. They are ultimately connected to a small device that transmits data to the user’s smartphone.

Furthermore, they can be worn in the morning and taken off at night just like any other contact lenses. This is a very cool method of blood sugar testing which is a vast improvement over the finger pricking method. 

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/20" rel="author">Sumayah Aamir</a>
Sumayah Aamir (Google+) has deep experience in analyzing the latest trends.

 

 

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