FYI Diabetes

Since my son was diagnosed as a type-1 diabetic 8 years ago, I have constantly been searching for anything I could find that might assist him with managing his diabetes and keeping his outlook positive.  In an effort to help others, I have summarized a few of the more important items I have come across.  I will continue to update this list and appreciate your input on the same.

Turn-key to diabetes uncovered

Australian scientists appear to have discovered a major turn-key for type 1 diabetes while looking for a new way to safely transplant insulin-producing cells.

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Regulatory Protein Lower Blood Sugar

Researchers at the Children’s Hospital in Boston, led by Umut Ozcan, MD, have found a regulatory protein that lowers blood sugar when it is high due to either lack of insulin or a decreased sensitivity to insulin.

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News of Cure / Better Treatment

The Faustman Lab at Massachusetts General Hospital ran by Denise L. Faustman, MD, PhD, is currently working on a cure for type1 diabetes.  In 2001, her lab reversed type 1 diabetes in mice with end stage disease.  The Faustman Lab is now ready to start the Phase II BCG human clinical trial in type 1 diabetes.  However, they are in need of funds to get this done.  If you would like to help you can:

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Recently at Doctor at UT Southwestern, who has been researching diabetes for five decades, found that partial glucagon regulation may be a better way to treat diabetes than insulin.  The new findings suggest that too much glucagon, rather than not enough insulin, is the main culprit in diabetes.   Perhaps sometimes in the near future diabetics will be able to take a daily pill instead of a regimen of insulin shots.  What I really found interesting is the fact that one of the main hormones used by our bodies to regulate glucagon is leptin.  Why do I find this interesting?  Since high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) inhibits leptin production it only makes sense that it would also interfere with our glucagon regulation.  So what do you think is causing the diabetes epidemic?

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Another study showed that leptin resistance can:

  • develop by eating a lot of fructose
  • develop silently, that is, with very little indication it is happening
  • result in weight gain when paired with a high fat, calorie dense diet

They got the fact that it causes weight gain but did not make the connection with glucagon regulation and diabetes.  My theory is it’s not just the weight gain but the interference with our body’s hormones like leptin and glucagon that is causing the majority of type 2 diabetes.

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Dr. Pere Santamaria, Chair of the Julia McFarlane Diabetes ResearcherCentre in UCalgary’s Faculty of Medicine was able to reverse type 1 diabetes in mice, with a nanoparticle vaccine.  The vaccine worked by expanding the number of peptide-specific regulatory T cells that suppressed the aggressive immune attack that destroys beta cells. The expanded peptide-specific regulatory cells shut down the autoimmune attack by preventing aggressive autoimmune cells from being stimulated by either the peptide contained in the vaccine or by any other type 1 diabetes autoantigen presented simultaneously on the same antigen presenting cell.

The technology used in the study was licensed by Parvus Therapeutics, Inc., a biotechnology company.

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Ways to Stay Healthy

Vitamin D

Myriad studies have shown that vitamin D has widespread health benefits, may reduce the complications for those who have already been diagnosed with diabetes and can even prevent or delay the onset of diabetes.

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In a new study, published in the journal Science Translational Medicine, researchers showed that omega-3s promote healthy blood-vessel growth and inhibit abnormal growth. They found that a specific small molecule in omega-3s was the key to the blood-vessel stabilization.

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 Eat More Almonds

Type 2, you need to eat more almonds!  I have read dozens of studies that demonstrate how eating almonds is very healthy for you and can actually help prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes.  However, in a recent study it was found that “inclusion of almonds in the breakfast meal decreased blood glucose concentrations and increased satiety both acutely and after a second-meal in adults with impaired glucose tolerance.”

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