Diabetes: Synthetic Beta Cells Could Lead To Skin Patch Treatment

Diabetes: Synthetic beta cells could lead to skin patch treatment

Diabetes: Synthetic beta cells could lead to skin patch treatment

A team of scientists has created synthetic pancreatic beta cells that automatically release insulin when they sense high blood sugar.
In the journal Nature Chemical Biology, researchers from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and North Carolina State University in Raleigh describe how they developed and tested the synthetic cells.
Senior author Zhen Gu, a professor in biomedical engineering at both universities, and team hope that one day, the cells could be used in a noninvasive skin patch to treat diabetes.
They found that just one injection of the synthetic beta cells kept blood sugar in diabetic mice at normal levels for 5 days.
Diabetes is a disease that develops when the body has problems with using or producing insulin, a hormone that helps cells to take in and convert blood sugar, or glucose, into energy.
The body produces insulin in the pancreas, which is a glandular organ behind the stomach that houses the beta cells that make and release the right amount of the hormone, depending on glucose levels.
Need for noninvasive insulin delivery
Around 6 million of the 30 million people in the United States with diabetes manage the disease using insulin treatments, either by regular injections or with infusion pumps.
Over the years, there have been attempts to develop a pill form of insulin treatment, but they have encountered problems — including the fact that the body's strong digestive system breaks down the large molecules in the pill before they make it to the bloodstream.
It is also possible to treat some cases of diabetes with transplanted pancreatic Continue reading

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NEWSFLASH: Animas Exiting Insulin Pump Market

NEWSFLASH: Animas Exiting Insulin Pump Market

After nearly two decades, the Johnson & Johnson-owned Animas brand of insulin pumps is shutting down.
In the early morning hours on Thursday (Oct. 5), J&J issued a press release that finalized nine months of speculation on the future of its diabetes insulin pump division. Effective immediately, no more Animas pumps will be sold in the USA or Canada, and it's TBD what will happen to the brand internationally.
Pharma giant J&J has been "strategically evaluating" its three diabetes divisions since January, deciding whether to prop them up financially, sell them off, or shut them down. While many have speculated that an end was near for Animas and possibly even J&J's OneTouch and Lifescan meter brands, nothing has been official until now. The meter brands remain under evaluation, but its pump business is done and J&J has signed an agreement with competitor and market leader Medtronic to take over servicing existing Animas customers.
On the heels of Roche also shutting its insulin pump business in January, what this Animas announcement means is that for the first time since 2002, we PWDs (people with diabetes) in the U.S. will have just three choices of pumps: Medtronic Minimed, Insulet's Omnipod and the Tandem t:slim. Total bummer, given that Animas has been a staple in the industry for 17 years and was well-liked for its waterproof design and Animas Vibe system paired with the Dexcom CGM.
Animas Shutdown: Nuts and Bolts
Here are answers to some of the biggest questions:
How Many? This affects 90,000 existing Animas pump customers, according to the J&J news release (although ot Continue reading

The Right Way to Eat Grapes for Each Type of Diabetes

The Right Way to Eat Grapes for Each Type of Diabetes

Grapes are one of the most popular fruits on the planet thanks to their varieties, flavor, texture, and portability. They provide numerous health benefits most of which are supported by scientific studies.
They are related to prevention of heart disease, constipation, high blood pressure, and even cancer thanks to their rich content of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and other nutrients.
What’s more, they provide powerful anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, anti-cancer, and anti-aging properties.
However, are they good for people with diabetes? What is their effect on blood sugar and how much is safe to eat for these people?
Here’s everything you need to know about grapes and diabetes.
Grapes and Diabetes
All fruits contain fructose and glucose, but this doesn’t mean that a person with diabetes should avoid them completely. In contrary, they should consume fruits in moderate amounts as they provide numerous health benefits, but on the recommendation of a dietician or doctor.
In fact, fruits are an important part of the meal plan of people with diabetes, including grapes. Besides containing naturally occurring sugars, red grapes also have a high content of fiber which slows down the absorption of nutrients in your body.
This, in turn, prevent the occurrence of spikes in your blood glucose. Fibers don’t raise your blood sugar, unlike carbs and sugars.
How Much to Eat
Red and black grapes have highly nutritional content which is why the American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommends them for people with diabetes. You can have about 3 servings per day, which equ Continue reading

Diabetes: The World at Risk

Diabetes: The World at Risk

Diabetes is often thought of as a ‘western’ problem, one linked to the developed world’s overindulgence in fatty foods and chronic lack of physical activity. But with more than 400 million people affected globally, this disease is a global threat
Which disease causes one death globally every six seconds, or, put another way, five million deaths a year? In India, 78.3 million have the disease, in Mauritius 22 per cent of the population is affected. Yet it is far from only being a disease of the developing world – more than 24,000 people (65 people a day) die before their time from it each year in England and Wales and one in 16 people in the UK has it.
The answer is diabetes and it has emerged as one of the world’s most ubiquitous and chronic illnesses. A lifelong condition that causes a person’s blood sugar level to become too high or too low, diabetes means the body is unable to break down glucose into energy. This is because there is either not enough insulin to move the glucose, or the insulin produced doesn’t work properly (insulin is a hormone that helps to move glucose out of the blood and into cells for energy).
The scale of the problem is daunting: the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) estimated that in 2015 seven countries had more than ten million people with diabetes: China, India, the United States of America; Brazil, the Russian Federation, Mexico and Indonesia. Globally, 422 million people between the ages of 20 and 79 have it, while 47 per cent of diabetes-related deaths occur in those under 60 years of age. By 2040 one person Continue reading

Are Endurance Athletes More Susceptible to Diabetes?

Are Endurance Athletes More Susceptible to Diabetes?

The counterintuitive theory has pervaded books, studies, and Reddit threads and is something of a rally cry for LCHF converts. But while there may be some benefit to monitoring insulin levels, there's no need to cut out all carbs quite yet.
It was a hard bonk during a 16-mile race up New Zealand’s 6,000-foot Avalanche Peak in 2013 that made Felicity Thomas, an undergraduate engineering student at the nearby University of Canterbury, begin thinking about her blood sugar levels. She’d tried to follow the usual sports nutrition advice, sucking down sugary gels to replenish the carbohydrates that her muscles were burning and to keep her blood sugar levels stable, but she struggled to get the balance right and ended up crawling to the finish before throwing up in an ice-cream bucket. Surely, thought Thomas, there must be a better way of managing in-race fuel.
As it happened, Thomas was an intern that summer at the university’s Center for Bioengineering, which was researching the clinical potential of continuous glucose monitors, or tiny sensors inserted under the skin of the abdomen that track blood sugar levels in real time. She took one of the expired monitors lying around the lab. If I could spot impending blood sugar lows before they happened, she wondered, would I be able to ward them off with a well-timed gel? Could I make myself bonk-proof?
A week of self-experimentation convinced Thomas that the technique might be useful, and she soon embarked on a PhD studying the potential uses of glucose monitoring in athletes. But the outcome of her initial pilot study on ten r Continue reading

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