Diabetes Research: Latest Discoveries And Treatments

Posted: Mar 23 2017, 1:41pm 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:

Researchers discover way to expand and preserve potent regulatory cells as a potential treatment for type 1 diabetes

There are homeostatic functions in diabetes that may prove worthy of conquering the disease in the future. The umbilical cords of babies may be preserved to provide blood cells later on for usage against type 1 diabetes. These thymic regulatory cells or “Tregs” are ideal in this regard. They are kept intact at low temperatures and then multiplied in the lab. Their number shoots up from 500,000 to 1.26 billion. The cells provide immunity and hence may be the very nostrum against autoimmune diseases such as type 1 diabetes in the future.

Climate Change Raises Diabetes Risk

Global warming may increase the incidence of type 2 diabetes. The reasons are myriad. For one thing, higher temperatures mean less shivering and less calorie burning. The association between diabetes and higher temperatures is an intriguing one. Brown fat burns calories while white fat stores them. Cold weather triggers brown fat.

However, when it is hot, insulin production goes into overdrive. This leads to a great many cases of type 2 diabetes. It may be due to less activity during the hot weather. Also people may change their diets during heat waves. Scientists are looking into ways to increase brown fat via certain medications.

Open Your Bedroom Window at Night to Prevent Diabetes

Scientists are saying that people ought to open the bedroom window at night to let in the cool breeze. This way the temperature of the home would be colder and rates of such diseases as obesity and type 2 diabetes would be slashed. It is a fact that most people in cold climate countries live in homes and go to offices with heaters in them. Thus their bodies never get to burn very many calories.

By turning down the thermostat, fat burning occurs thanks to the shivering and build-up of brown fat. While white fat is inert, brown fat burns a ton of calories and is metabolically active. Sleep also enters the equation. To sleep in cool surroundings with the bedroom window open would lead to an amelioration of the symptoms of diabetes and obesity.

Intensive Medical Treatment Reverses Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes was reversed temporarily in patients using medications, insulin shots and lifestyle modifications. The clinical trials which took place had three groups. Two of these were given a reduced-calorie diet and exercise regimen. The third was a control group of patients who had type 2 diabetes.

After using drugs which included metformin, acarbose and basal insulin glargine on these patients, at least 40% of them came close to reversing their type 2 diabetes. They were stable as far as their blood glucose levels were concerned even 3 months after going off their medications. This is nothing short of a modern-day scientific miracle.

Whole Body Vibration Helps Fight Diabetes

Vibrating platforms are good for obese and diabetic patients. If these patients spend 20 minutes on these platforms for a period of three months they will see reductions in their body fat levels and insulin resistance. The experiment took place in a lab setting and employed rodents as test animals.

Apparently, there is more to obesity than mere weight and calories in and calories out. Inflammation and movement are very important components of the equation. Whether morbidly obese and diabetic patients ran on a treadmill, walked on it or stood on a vibrating platform, they reaped the benefits. The body thus thrives on activity even if it is vicarious and passive in nature.

Cholesterol-Lowering Statins Raise the Risk of Diabetes

Elderly females that were prescribed statins tended to contract diabetes as a side effect of these drugs. Statins, as everybody knows, lower cholesterol. They also reduce incidences of CV disease such as heart attack and stroke. The research had been carried out on males in their senescent years up until now.

Now that older females have also been studied, we know that a high dosage of statins leads to diabetes and several other complications. Thus physicians and their female patients ought to be very careful regarding the prescription and intake of statins respectively.

New Tool in Diabetes Research Developed

A 3D imaging of the pancreas will enable diabetes research and a possible cure in the near future. The pancreas contains a large number of spots known as the Islets of Langerhans. These secrete insulin which is a very important hormone. It regulates blood sugar. When insulin levels are out of whack or the tissues are resistant to them, the individual contracts diabetes.

Up until now, 2D imaging was the norm but now 3D images of the pancreas are possible thanks to a new tool. This is termed OPT or optical projection tomography. It is like a CT scan but it uses light rays instead of X-rays. This methodology will allow the non-invasive treatment and analysis of diabetes in the times to come.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/20" rel="author">Sumayah Aamir</a>
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