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How To Activate Beta Cells Of Pancreas

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Scientists Find Molecular Switch To Regenerate Insulin-producing Cells

There may be a type 1 diabetes treatment one day that doesn’t involve injections, or a bulky external device, or even a transplant. Fred Levine, M.D., Ph.D., professor and director of the Sanford Children’s Health Research Center, and his lab have discovered how the body regenerates beta cells, the cells that produce insulin. Future drugs acting by the same mechanism could eliminate—or greatly reduce—patients’ need for additional therapies to regulate their blood sugar. Publishing in Cell Death and Disease, the team shows that using a drug to switch on a specific receptor causes certain cells in the pancreas to transform into the type that secretes insulin. “The receptor we identified, protease-activated receptor 2 (PAR2), is a very promising drug target,” said Levine. “Although this study was done in mice, we found evidence for the same phenomenon in humans. Thus, we think drugs that activate PAR2 would free diabetic patients of their reliance on insulin for as long as those beta cells survive.” In type 1 diabetes, beta cells are destroyed by the immune system. Without insulin, the rest of the body’s cells don’t take up glucose after a meal, so glucose levels Continue reading >>

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Popular Questions

  1. bev

    I was going to ask what the hba1c of a non-diabetic is supposed to be - and i googled it and found this link. I am surprised that we are aiming at 6.5% for a diabetic when a non-diabetic is between 3.5 and 5.5!
    http://medweb.bham.ac.uk/easdec/prevention/what_is_the_hba1c.htm
    Quite an interesting link i thought.Bev

  2. insulinaddict09

    Good point Bev !! thanks for the link

  3. Northerner

    bev said: ↑
    I was going to ask what the hba1c of a non-diabetic is supposed to be - and i googled it and found this link. I am surprised that we are aiming at 6.5% for a diabetic when a non-diabetic is between 3.5 and 5.5!
    http://medweb.bham.ac.uk/easdec/prevention/what_is_the_hba1c.htm
    Quite an interesting link i thought.Bev The way a fully-functioning pancreas works is truly astonishing (like everything we have that has evolved naturally!). Our methods of mimicking it - even the pump - are incredibly crude in comparison. I think the DCCT study showed that the problems are marginal below 6.5, so this is the best area to aim for as diabetics, to avoid the associated problems of hypos. This is why I regard 3.5 as 'low' not 'hypo' too, as a lot of 'normal' people are quite able to function at 3.5.

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