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Gene Therapy Restores Normal Blood Glucose Levels In Mice With Type 1 Diabetes

Gene therapy restores normal blood glucose levels in mice with type 1 diabetes

Gene therapy restores normal blood glucose levels in mice with type 1 diabetes

Type 1 diabetes is a chronic disease in which the immune system attacks and destroys insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas, resulting in high blood levels of glucose. A study published January 4th in Cell Stem Cell demonstrates that a gene therapy approach can lead to the long-term survival of functional beta cells as well as normal blood glucose levels for an extended period of time in mice with diabetes. The researchers used an adeno-associated viral (AAV) vector to deliver to the mouse pancreas two proteins, Pdx1 and MafA, which reprogrammed plentiful alpha cells into functional, insulin-producing beta cells.
"This study is essentially the first description of a clinically translatable, simple single intervention in autoimmune diabetes that leads to normal blood sugars, and importantly with no immunosuppression," says senior study author George Gittes of the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. "A clinical trial in both type 1 and type 2 diabetics in the immediate foreseeable future is quite realistic, given the impressive nature of the reversal of the diabetes, along with the feasibility in patients to do AAV gene therapy."
Approximately 9% of the world's adult population has diabetes, which can cause serious health problems such as heart disease, nerve damage, eye problems, and kidney disease. One fundamental goal of diabetes treatment is to preserve and restore functional beta cells, thereby replenishing levels of a hormone called insulin, which moves blood glucose into cells to fuel their energy needs. But in patients with type 1 diabetes, beta-cell re Continue reading

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The Best Diabetes Blogs of the Year

The Best Diabetes Blogs of the Year

We’ve carefully selected these blogs because they are actively working to educate, inspire, and empower their readers with frequent updates and high-quality information. If you would like to tell us about a blog, nominate them by emailing us at [email protected]!
Diabetes is one of the largest health issues facing Americans today. More than 29 million adults in the U.S. have diabetes — and almost one quarter of them don’t know they have it. A further 86 million adults in the U.S. have prediabetes, a condition which increases your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. A whopping 90 percent of these people are unaware of that, too.
Both forms of diabetes — type 1 and type 2 — are chronic conditions, meaning they require a lifetime of careful treatment to be properly managed. If left untreated or improperly managed, diabetes can cause serious health complications.
For those living with diabetes, the condition can be isolating and take up a significant amount of time as well as mental and emotional energy. Staying on top of your treatments can also be challenging, as everyday things can make a big impact on blood glucose readings, and treatment options are always changing. That’s why we’ve rounded up the best diabetes blogs out there. Whether you’re looking for recipes, resources, treatment options, or simple tips for living well, you’re sure to find something here for you.
Diabetes Self-Management Blog
Diabetes Self-Management has provided health information to the diabetes community for over 35 years. Their companion blog rounds up tips and info from bo Continue reading

I'm slim so why am I at risk of diabetes?

I'm slim so why am I at risk of diabetes?

Diabetes is on the rise around the world, and nowhere more rapidly than in developing countries that are adopting the sugary, starchy diet that has plagued the richer world for years. And it turns out that Asians, and especially South Asians, are particularly vulnerable.
The nutritionist runs a white measuring tape around my waist. I defy the urge to suck in my stomach.
I'm 42 years old, a mother of two and a journalist based in India's capital, Delhi, currently one of the world's most polluted cities. I eat organic food, rarely snack, and consider myself pretty slim and active, especially compared to my American friends, whom I can see on Facebook are generally twice my girth.
"It's 87cm (34.25in)," says Chaya Ranasinghe, nutritionist at Sri Lanka's National Diabetes Centre. I'm here to find out why slim-looking Indians and Sri Lankans are increasingly falling victim to type 2 diabetes - a disease we tend to associate with people who anyone could see were obese.
"Not bad," I say. "That's pretty honourable for my age."
"Yes, but it should be 80cm (31.5in) maximum," she replies. "You are 7cm (2.75in) over."
"Should have sucked in my waist," I fume belatedly.
Chaya is helping me assess my risk for diabetes and the waist measurement is key for people of Asian origin. That's because Asian genes dictate that fat is laid down in the abdominal area.
It's this "visceral" or belly fat, as well as fat inside the liver, that puts us at risk.
"Imaging technology that measures fat in humans has shown that Asians of a healthy BMI have more fat around organs and in the belly area than Eur Continue reading

Home Pet Glucose Meters 101

Home Pet Glucose Meters 101

I sometimes get emails questioning the accuracy of home pet glucose meters. Some folks get upset if their meter is 20 points off from what their vet’s lab work reveals. I think some people have unrealistic expectations about how accurate a meter can be. I can tell you first-hand that pet glucose meters are actually quite reliable, particularly the meters that are calibrated for pets.
If veterinarians say home glucose testing with handheld glucose meters isn’t as accurate as fancier blood analyzers they may be correct. But, I think they may forget that when glucose testing is run at home we remove the chance of stress hyperglycemia. Stress from being anxious in the vet clinic, commonly known as “white coat syndrome”, can significantly elevate a pet’s blood glucose levels. I personally have seen a couple of non-diabetic cats and small dogs have blood glucose levels up in the low 200’s just from anxiety in a clinic over the years. Even though the diagnostic lab equipment at your vet clinic is likely a bit more accurate than a handheld glucose meter, by taking your pet to the clinic you then introduce error from stress hyperglycemia in most pets. Unless your pet is cool as a cucumber in a vet clinic, the risk of stress hyperglycemia is high. Additionally, having a home glucose meter yields information at that moment in time that can affect our actions even in the middle of the night rather than waiting until you can get your pet to the vet. If your pet is acting goofy, you could check to see if the blood glucose is low. I can’t imagine having a diabetic pet withou Continue reading

Aloe vera should be investigated as diabetes treatment, study says

Aloe vera should be investigated as diabetes treatment, study says

Diabetes is a global epidemic and a leading cause of disease and death. The fact fewer than half of patients with type 2 diabetes have their disease well controlled highlights the need for new, affordable, effective medications that are not limited by unfavorable side effects. Now, a pooled analysis of nine studies that examined the effect of oral aloe vera in people with diabetes and pre-diabetes suggests the medicinal plant should be further investigated as an antidiabetic compound.
The analysis is the work of researchers at the David Grant USAF Medical Center at Travis Air Force Base in Fairfield, CA, who report their findings in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine.
The analysis shows people with diabetes whose fasting blood glucose (FBG) is above 200 mg/dl may benefit the most from treatment with oral aloe vera.
Diabetes is a lifelong condition where blood sugar is too high, resulting in damage to organs if not treated. There are 382 million people worldwide living with diabetes, with type 2 diabetes accounting for the vast majority of cases.
The authors note that in the United States - where some 21 million people have the disease - the cost of treatment and loss of productivity in 2012 due to diabetes was $245 billion. The global cost is expected to "exceed a staggering $490 billion" by 2030.
People with diabetes are more likely to seek complementary and alternative medicines than people without diabetes. A popular remedy is aloe vera (Aloe barbadensis), a plant used medicinally by the Chinese, Egyptians, Greeks, Indians, Japanese, and Mexicans for t Continue reading

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