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Experimental Device Could Be Life-changing For Those With Type 1 Diabetes

Experimental device could be life-changing for those with Type 1 diabetes

Experimental device could be life-changing for those with Type 1 diabetes

An experimental new device currently being tested in humans could vastly change the lives of those with Type 1 diabetes, potentially freeing them up from daily insulin injections and monitoring.
Type 1 -- or juvenile diabetes as it used to be called -- is the less common form of the disease that's often diagnosed in childhood. In Type 1, the pancreas no longer produces adequate insulin, so patients must rely on daily injections of the hormone to manage their blood sugar.
The promising new device now being studied is called the Encaptra drug delivery system. It’s a capsule about the width of a credit card that is implanted under the skin near the pancreas. Inside are stem cells that have been programmed to develop into pancreatic islet cells, which are the cells that help regulate blood sugar.
The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation is helping to fund research into the device. Dave Prowten, the president of JDRF Canada, says the cells are designed to mature once inside the body and begin producing insulin on their own.
“The hope is that this will provide people with an alternate source of insulin,” he told CTV’s Canada AM Thursday from Calgary.
Because Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease in which the body mistakenly attacks and kills pancreatic cells, the device is also designed to shield the cells from an autoimmune attack.
So far, clinical testing in mice shows the device performs well, with the stem cells continuously assessing blood glucose and then releasing the appropriate amount of insulin.
Now the device is being tested in humans. The device was implan Continue reading

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Four Decades of the Wrong Dietary Advice Has Paved the Way for the Diabetes Epidemic: Time to Change Course

Four Decades of the Wrong Dietary Advice Has Paved the Way for the Diabetes Epidemic: Time to Change Course

In 1977, the McGovern Commission, chaired by then-Senator George McGovern, issued dietary guidelines that we follow to this day. The commission recommended that Americans receive no more than 30 percent of their energy requirements from fat and that we consume no more that 10 percent of our calories as saturated fat.
Dr. Robert Olson, professor of medicine and chairman of the Biochemistry Department at St. Louis University and an expert on nutrition science argued that the recommendations were not supported by the available science. In Dr. Olson's words:
"I pleaded in my report and will plead again orally here for more research on the problem before we make announcements to the American public."
Senator McGovern, speaking for the commission stated that:
"Senators don't have the luxury the research scientist does of waiting until every last shred of evidence is in."
Senator McGovern's comment concerning "every last shred of evidence" was widely off the mark. It was never a question of having supportive, but incomplete, evidence. There simply was no convincing scientific evidence at all in support of the commission's recommendations. There still isn't.
At the time that the commission issued its dietary guidelines, only 2,500 men had been studied in randomized control trials, the gold standard in clinical research. No study included women. No study showed that a low-fat diet was superior to a diet higher in fat content in any measure of health outcome. In fact, in the one study that compared a 10 percent saturated fat intake to a diet with unrestricted saturated fat, the low-f Continue reading

Artificial sweeteners may promote diabetes, claim scientists

Artificial sweeteners may promote diabetes, claim scientists

Artificial sweeteners may contribute to soaring levels of diabetes, according to a controversial study that suggests the additives could exacerbate the problem they are meant to tackle.
Researchers in Israel found that artificial sweeteners used in diet drinks and other foods can disrupt healthy microbes that live in the gut, leading to higher blood sugar levels – an early sign of diabetes.
Sweeteners such as saccharin, aspartame and sucralose are widespread in western diets and are often used to cut calories or prevent tooth decay. The additives are so common that scientists behind the latest study called for a reassessment of the “massive usage” of the chemicals.
“Our findings suggest that non-caloric artificial sweeteners may have directly contributed to enhancing the exact epidemic that they themselves were intended to fight,” the authors write in the journal Nature.
Eran Elinav, a senior author on the study at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, said that while the evidence against the sweeteners was too weak to change health policies, he had decided to give them up.
But the study has left many experts unconvinced. The findings draw largely on tests of just one sweetener in mice, raising doubts about their relevance for people, and to other sweeteners. Large studies in humans have found that sugar substitutes can help people maintain a healthy weight and protect against diabetes.
“This new report must be viewed very cautiously,” said Stephen O’Rahilly, director of the Metabolic Diseases Unit at Cambridge University, “as it mostly reports fin Continue reading

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Two meals a day 'effective' to treat type 2 diabetes

Two meals a day 'effective' to treat type 2 diabetes

Only eating breakfast and lunch may be more effective at managing type 2 diabetes than eating smaller, more regular meals, scientists say.
Researchers in Prague fed two groups of 27 people the same calorie diet spread over two or six meals a day.
They found volunteers who ate two meals a day lost more weight than those who ate six, and their blood sugar dropped.
Experts said the study supported "existing evidence" that fewer, larger meals were the way forward.
Timing important?
Type 2 diabetes occurs when the body does not produce enough of the hormone insulin to function properly, or the body's cells don't react to insulin.
Since insulin controls the amount of sugar in the blood, this means blood sugar levels become too high.
Larger studies over longer periods of time will be needed to back up these findings before we would change adviceDr Richard Elliott, Diabetes UK
If untreated, it can lead to heart disease and stroke, nerve damage, light-sensitive eyes and kidney disease.
About 2.9 million people in the UK are affected by diabetes, 90% of whom have the type 2 form of the disease.
Current advice in the UK recommends three meals a day, with healthy snacks.
Scientists at the Institute for Clinical and Experimental Medicine in Prague divided a group of 54 volunteers aged 30 to 70 with type 2 diabetes into two groups of 27 people.
Volunteers were then given either a six-meal-a-day diet (A6) for 12 weeks followed by a two-meal day diet (B2), or vice versa.
The study compared two meals with six meals - as the latter accorded with current practice advice in the Czech Republic, Continue reading

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