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‘Hidden History’: Legacy Of Diabetes Care At City Of Hope

‘Hidden History’: Legacy of Diabetes Care at City of Hope

‘Hidden History’: Legacy of Diabetes Care at City of Hope

City of Hope’s Diabetes & Metabolism Research Institute is committed to developing a cure for type 1 diabetes within six years, fueled by a $50 million funding program led by the Wanek family.
But it's natural to wonder: Why would a cancer center be the recipient of such a transformative gift? Believe it or not, City of Hope — widely known as a center for cancer care and research — is the home of one of the most influential diabetes research programs in the world.
“There is a hidden history of diabetes at City of Hope that needs to be told,” said Fouad Kandeel, M.D., Ph.D., chair of the departments of Translational Research and Cellular Therapeutics, and Clinical Diabetes, Endocrinology & Metabolism, director of the Islet Cell Transplant Program and associate director of the Diabetes & Metabolism Research Institute at City of Hope. “We’re a powerhouse that is not as well-known as we should be.”
According to Arthur Riggs, Ph.D., the Samuel Rahbar Chair in Diabetes & Drug Discovery, director of the Diabetes & Metabolism Research Institute at City of Hope and director emeritus of Beckman Research Institute of City of Hope, the organization has been a major player in diabetes research since it first established a Division of Diabetes in the early 1970s.
He should know — back in 1978, Riggs, along with Keiichi Itakura, Ph.D., professor in the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, conducted research that led to the development of synthetic human insulin.
“We’ve made tremendous advances in the field of diabetes research, starting with the work of Rach Continue reading

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A vegan diet could prevent, treat and even reverse type 2 diabetes, say leading experts this Diabetes Week (12-18 June).

A vegan diet could prevent, treat and even reverse type 2 diabetes, say leading experts this Diabetes Week (12-18 June).

Diet and lifestyle have long been regarded as the main causes of type 2 diabetes. Now research suggests that vegans reduce their risk of diabetes by 78% compared with people who eat meat on a daily basis.
“Type 2 diabetes is almost always preventable, often treatable, and sometimes reversible through diet and lifestyle changes,” wrote Dr Michael Greger, internationally-renowned physician, in his best-selling book How Not To Die.
“People who eat a plant-based diet have just a small fraction of the rates of diabetes seen in those who regularly eat meat. By switching to a healthy diet, you can start improving your health within a matter of hours.”
This is partly because vegans are better able to control their weight. Carrying excess body fat is the number one risk factor of type 2 diabetes, with around 90% of those who develop the disease being overweight. Vegans, however, have lower levels of obesity on average than any other dietary group.
It is also because, Dr Greger explains, the saturated fats found in animal products contribute to insulin resistance – the cause of type 2 diabetes – whereas monosaturated fats found in nuts and avocados may actually protect against the detrimental effects of saturated fats.
As a result, people eating plant-based diets appear to have better insulin sensitivity, better blood sugar levels and better levels of insulin, which enables blood sugar to enter your cells.
Type 2 diabetes is spreading fast. Over 21 million people have been diagnosed with the disease in the United States, a number that has roughly tripled since 1990, with Continue reading

Diabetes and Endurance Sports

Diabetes and Endurance Sports

Regular, moderate exercise can help prevent Type 2 diabetes and reduce or slow complications from Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes. But what about more intense physical activity such as endurance sports including marathons and triathlons? With healthy training and nutrition management to meet individualized goals, people with diabetes can achieve improved blood glucose control and fewer hypoglycemic (low blood sugar) episodes while participating in endurance sports.
Before You Begin
When it comes to sports, diabetes management always is the first priority. First, talk to your diabetes doctor about an insulin pump, continuous glucose monitor and pre-training medical testing. Determine your safe blood glucose range for training and competing. Once you've gotten the go-ahead from your doctor, consult a registered dietitian nutritionist specializing in sports and diabetes care.
When You Start
Avoiding hypoglycemia is important before, during and after endurance training. If blood sugar is 70 to 100 mg/dl before exercise, then a snack that includes 15 grams of carbohydrate is recommended. For exercise that lasts longer than 60 minutes, additional carbohydrate may be needed to keep blood sugar within a safe range. When starting an endurance sport, follow these five tips:
Check your blood sugar frequently, and stay in the blood glucose range that you and your physician decide upon.
Always carry a quickly absorbable form of glucose — glucose tablets, sports drinks, gels or energy bars — when training.
Train with a partner until you are skilled at avoiding hypoglycemia.
Wear a medical Continue reading

Diabetes Drug Might Also Help Treat Heart Disease

Diabetes Drug Might Also Help Treat Heart Disease

Researchers say the drug trodusquemine has the potential to reduce arterial fat and perhaps reverse atherosclerosis.
Can an experimental diabetes drug change how we treat heart disease?
In a new study, researchers tout the drug trodusquemine’s ability to “melt away” arterial fat in preclinical trials involving mice.
The research, conducted at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland, is the first of its kind to demonstrate the drug’s ability to reverse atherosclerosis — in some cases with as little as one dose.
“We could show that using the drug chronically, once a week for five weeks or just once toward the end of the study, both resulted in significantly lower atherosclerotic plaque area. It also lowered serum lipids (triglycerides and cholesterol),” Mirela Delibegovic, a study author and a professor in diabetic medicine at the University of Aberdeen, told Healthline.
Mice in the study were treated with either saline (for the control group), a single trodusquemine dose, or multiple doses.
For mice receiving single or multiple doses, there was a decrease in the measured plaque formation while the control group remained unchanged.
The study at Aberdeen is exciting because, in Delibegovic's words, “[The drug] seemed to completely reverse the effects of” atherosclerosis.
Tackling a major killer
Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
An estimated 610,000 people die per year from heart disease in the United States, accounting for roughly 25 percen Continue reading

How Machine Learning Is Helping Us Predict Heart Disease and Diabetes

How Machine Learning Is Helping Us Predict Heart Disease and Diabetes

While debate drags on about legislation, regulations, and other measures to improve the U.S. health care system, a new wave of analytics and technology could help dramatically cut costly and unnecessary hospitalizations while improving outcomes for patients. For example, by preventing hospitalizations in cases of just two widespread chronic illnesses — heart disease and diabetes — the United States could save billions of dollars a year.
Toward this end, my colleagues and I at Boston University’s Center for Information and Systems Engineering have been striving to bring the power of machine-learning algorithms to this critical problem. In an ongoing effort with Boston-area hospitals, including the Boston Medical Center and the Brigham and Women’s Hospital, we found that we could predict hospitalizations due to these two chronic diseases about a year in advance with an accuracy rate of as much as 82%. This will give care providers the chance to intervene much earlier and head off hospitalizations. Our team is also working with the Department of Surgery at the Boston Medical Center and can predict readmissions within 30 days of general surgery; the hope is to guide postoperative care in order to prevent them.
The hospitals provide patients’ anonymized electronic health records (EHRs) that contain all of the information the hospital has about each patient, including demographics, diagnoses, admissions, procedures, vital signs taken at doctor visits, medications prescribed, and lab results. We then unleash our algorithms to predict who might have to be hospitalized. Th Continue reading

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