High-profile Claim For Potential Diabetes Cure Refuted By UC Davis Paper

High-profile claim for potential diabetes cure refuted by UC Davis paper

High-profile claim for potential diabetes cure refuted by UC Davis paper

UC Davis study discredits paper’s claims of simple path to diabetes cure
A key tenet in the scientific method is showing that an experiment, holding all other variables equal, will yield the same result every time. Any paper published in a peer-reviewed journal will come under scrutiny from the scientific community, even more so if the article comes from a world-renowned publication like Cell.
When Cell first published an article in January stating that a commonly available treatment for malaria could reverse the effects of Type 1 diabetes, Mark Huising, an associate professor in the Department of Neurobiology, Physiology and Behavior, expressed a mixture of excitement and skepticism.
“My first reaction was ‘wow, this would be great if this was true’,” Huising said. “What this paper suggested you could do is that they could tap into a process that had been described by a couple of different labs, ours included, where alpha cells in the pancreas can turn into beta cells.”
Diabetes is a disease in which the body cannot produce insulin, the hormone that signals the body to uptake sugar from the bloodstream. Insulin is produced in the pancreas by beta cells. In the case of Type 1 diabetes, the immune system attacks beta cells, so the body can no longer regulate blood sugar levels. The challenge in restoring beta cell mass is that they are difficult to grow in lab, so researchers have attempted, instead, to convert alpha cells, the counterpart to beta cells and unaffected by diabetes, to beta cells.
The Cell paper, published by a consortium of European and American Continue reading

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ViaCyte tries again with potential diabetes cure

ViaCyte tries again with potential diabetes cure

After receiving an additional $20 million funding, San Diego’s ViaCyte is testing a new version of its stem cell-based diabetes therapy.
With the funding from California’s stem cell agency, or CIRM, ViaCyte plans to get strong evidence within about 18 months to determine whether its implant can restore an internally generated supply of insulin to diabetics. That would produce what ViaCyte calls a functional cure for the disease.
The first version of the implant showed mixed results in early human testing, said Paul Laikind, president and chief executive. The second version is designed to better support the insulin-generating cells that substitute for those destroyed in type 1 diabetes.
The grant was awarded Sept. 28, bringing ViaCyte’s total from CIRM to more than $51 million. Previous grants were for research and development. The new grant is exclusively for clinical testing.
Earlier this month, Laikind discussed plans for privately held ViaCyte at the Cell & Gene Meeting on the Mesa in La Jolla.
ViaCyte has to solve two major problems, Laikind said. One is to produce cells that generate insulin and survive in the body for an extended time. The second is to keep the body’s immune system from destroying the cells, derived from human embryonic stem cells.
The first version, called PEC-Encap, addressed the problem by shielding the cells inside a semi-permeable membrane. The membrane keeps immune cells out, but allowing nutrients to flow in and insulin to flow out.
In some of those tested, the device produced the hoped-for results. When the implants were removed for ex Continue reading

Why You Might Need More Magnesium if You Have Type 2 Diabetes

Why You Might Need More Magnesium if You Have Type 2 Diabetes

You already know that managing type 2 diabetes well means you need to make certain dietary changes, but did you know the disease can also lead to nutrient deficiencies that in turn make it harder to stabilize your blood sugar?
In particular, people with diabetes tend to be deficient in magnesium, which is a mineral that plays a role in nearly 300 biochemical or enzymatic reactions in the body, says Vandana Sheth, RDN, CDE, a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics based in Torrance, California.
Magnesium is involved in protein synthesis, muscle and nerve function, and — key for people who are managing diabetes — blood pressure and glucose control, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Sounds important, right? It is. So it’s easy to see how being deficient can negatively affect the way your body performs.
The Relationship Between Risk of Diabetes and Magnesium Deficiency
Magnesium deficiency has been linked to insulin resistance, which is central to the development of type 2 diabetes, research shows. On the flip side, increasing your intake of magnesium has been shown to possibly lower your risk of developing the chronic disease. Research suggests consuming 100 milligrams (mg) of magnesium through eating foods rich in the mineral may decrease the risk of diabetes by 15 percent. Researchers noted more study would be needed before recommending a magnesium supplement to prevent diabetes.
Not as many studies have looked into the relationship between type 2 diabetes and magnesium once you have already been diagnosed, though one study publishe Continue reading

Tim Noakes: Fat Myths, Reversing Diabetes & The Real Meal Revolution

Tim Noakes: Fat Myths, Reversing Diabetes & The Real Meal Revolution

Watch the full interview below or listen to the full episode on your iPhone HERE.
Guy: This week welcome to the show Tim Noakes. Prof Noakes was born in Harare, Zimbabwe in 1949. As a youngster, he had a keen interest in sport and attended Diocesan College in Cape Town. Following this, he studied at the University of Cape Town (UCT) and obtained an MBChB degree in 1974, an MD in 1981 and a DSc (Med) in Exercise Science in 2002.
In the early 90s, Noakes teamed up with Morné du Plessis to drive the founding of the Sports Science Institute of South Africa (SSISA). The Institute was built to provide a facility that would primarily fund research in sports performance. The application of this research would provide sports personnel of all disciplines with the means to improve. Noakes and du Plessis also wanted to use it as a platform to build public interest in the country’s top sports people and build state pride.
Prof Noakes has published more than 750 scientific books and articles. He has been cited more than 16 000 times in scientific literature, has an H-index of 71 and has been rated an A1 scientist by the National Research Foundation of South Africa for a second 5-year term. He has won numerous awards over the years and made himself available on many editorial boards.
He has a passion for running and is still active, running half marathons when he can. He is a devoted husband, father and grandfather and now, in his retirement, is enjoying spending more time with his family.
Audio Version
Questions we ask in this episode:
You’ve been a huge voice in making changes with Continue reading

Powerful new cancer drugs are saving lives, but can also ignite diabetes or other autoimmune conditions

Powerful new cancer drugs are saving lives, but can also ignite diabetes or other autoimmune conditions

Last week, Yale University immunologist Kevan Herold spoke about a few of his newest diabetes patients to an unlikely audience: oncologists and cancer researchers. At the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer’s annual meeting in Oxon Hill, Maryland, Herold and other speakers described how a novel class of promising cancer drugs is causing type 1 diabetes and other autoimmune diseases in some of those treated.
Known as checkpoint inhibitors, these medicines rev up the immune system and are rescuing people from deadly cancers. Physicians such as Herold, however, are now seeing a nasty, if treatable, side effect: the rapid onset of conditions such as thyroid disease, colitis, and type 1 diabetes, which all result from an immune attack on the body’s own tissues. As cases mount, researchers across specialties are intensifying efforts to figure out whether certain cancer patients on checkpoint inhibitors are at higher risk—and to learn from this unusual side effect how autoimmune attacks erupt. “These [patients] are human experiments” of the autoimmune process, Herold says.
The first case walked into Herold’s office a few years ago. She was 55 years old and had suddenly developed type 1 diabetes, which occurs when the body destroys cells in the pancreas that make insulin. Though the more common form of diabetes, type 2, is often diagnosed in middle age, type 1 is not. Herold learned that she had melanoma, and weeks earlier had received the checkpoint inhibitor nivolumab, an antibody that blocks the activity of a receptor called PD-1 on T cells.
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