In Diabetes Fight, Lifestyle Changes Prove Hard To Come By In Mexico

In Diabetes Fight, Lifestyle Changes Prove Hard To Come By In Mexico

In Diabetes Fight, Lifestyle Changes Prove Hard To Come By In Mexico

Let's say you'd like to go for a run in Mexico City.
Dr. Tonatiuh Barrientos, an epidemiologist with Mexico's National Institute of Public Health, thinks that's a good idea — in theory. An expert on diabetes, he'd like to see more people in the Mexican capital get out and exercise to combat the disease.
But as a runner himself, he knows that Mexico City isn't an easy place to jog. In a metropolis of 22 million, there are only a handful of parks where people can run.
"Look, this is a fairly crowded street. It's a pretty noisy street. It's polluted," Barrientos says walking through the Tlalpan neighborhood that lies between his office and his home. "Now just imagine trying to convince yourself to get out there and run."
It's a tough sell. "I mean the only place for you to really run is on the sidewalk. You can't run on the street because you'll probably get run over," he says.
The sidewalk is an uneven mix of broken cement slabs and cobblestones. Street vendors have set up little tables and carts to sell everything from electrical supplies to fried pork cracklings.
There are so many people that it's hard to even walk at a fast clip.
And if you do manage to find a stretch of sidewalk, the elevation in Mexico City combined with the smog and the chances of getting mugged make running a hard thing to get excited about.
"There are a lot of obstacles," Barrientos says as he dodges his way past low-hanging awnings. "And you need to deal with that if you wanted to try to run here."
Professionally, Barrientos has tracked the slow, steady rise in Type 2 diabetes in Mexico. Roughly 14 Continue reading

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There’s Now More Evidence That Type 2 Diabetes Can Actually Be Reversed

There’s Now More Evidence That Type 2 Diabetes Can Actually Be Reversed

A new study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism is sweetening the pot when it comes to the potential of reversing type 2 diabetes and adds to the growing body of evidence that intensive lifestyle changes can go a long way in managing the disease.
Researchers found that when diabetes patients received a combination of oral medication, insulin, and a personalized exercise and diet plan for two to four months (and then stopped all diabetes medication), up to 40 percent were able to keep their blood glucose numbers at remission levels for three months without meds. (Find out the silent signs you might have diabetes.)
“The idea of reversing the disease is very appealing to individuals with diabetes. It motivates them to make significant lifestyle changes and to achieve normal glucose levels,” said study author Natalia McInnes, MD, MSc, FRCPC, of McMaster University in Canada in a news release. (Typical treatment for the roughly 29 million Americans with type 2 diabetes is regular blood glucose testing, insulin, and medication.)
For the study, 83 individuals with type 2 diabetes were split into three groups. Two received oral medication, insulin, and a personalized exercise and diet plan that cut their daily caloric intake by 500 to 750 a day (one group followed the intervention for eight weeks, the other was treated for 16 weeks); both groups stopped taking diabetes medications at the end of the intervention and were encouraged to continue the lifestyle changes on their own. A control group received standard blood sugar management advice.
Three mo Continue reading

Reversing Diabetes Through Weight Loss: How Much Should You Lose?

Reversing Diabetes Through Weight Loss: How Much Should You Lose?

Your doctor probably preaches healthy eating habits and exercise to manage type 2 diabetes, and while both of those things work to help keep your blood sugar in check, they can also help you lose weight. And weight loss may be the key to reversing type 2 diabetes, according to an analysis published in September 2017 in the journal BMJ.
The authors noted that losing 33 pounds (lbs) often helps put diabetes into remission. Yes, that sounds pretty specific, but it makes more sense if you consider that the data is based off of losing 15 kilograms, which equals 33 lbs. It's a bold statement, considering many people think type 2 diabetes is a chronic, lifelong condition.
The specific figure is taken from previous research: A study published in May 2016 in the journal Diabetes Care found that 40 percent of people who lost about 33 lbs and kept it off for six months through a low-calorie diet were able to send the diabetes into remission.
In that study, the authors concluded that type 2 diabetes “is a potentially reversible condition.” That said, it doesn’t mean that you should aim to lose 33 lbs specifically. “Further work on this is ongoing, regarding the actual weight loss needed,” says study coauthor Louise McCombie, RD, research associate at the University of Glasgow in Scotland.
Indeed, this is part of a larger body of research that will be presented at the International Diabetes Federation in December 2017. And while 40 percent of people sending diabetes into remission is an impressive figure, it also suggests that this is possible for some people but not everyone. Continue reading

5 Sugar Substitutes for Type 2 Diabetes

5 Sugar Substitutes for Type 2 Diabetes

1 / 6 A Small Amount of Real Sugar Is Best, but Sugar Substitutes Can Help
If you think that people with diabetes should always avoid sugar, think again — they can enjoy the sweet stuff, in moderation. "The best bet is to use a very minimal amount of real sugar as part of a balanced diabetic diet," says Keri Glassman, MS, RD, CDN, of Nutritious Life, a nutrition practice based in New York City. That being said, sugar substitutes offer sweetness while controlling carbohydrate intake and blood glucose. There are many sugar substitutes to choose from, but they’re not all calorie-free and they vary in terms of their impact on blood sugar. "The major difference between the sugar substitutes is whether they are nutritive or non-nutritive sweeteners," says Melissa Mullins, MS, RD, a certified diabetes educator with Johnston Memorial Hospital in Abingdon, Va. "Non-nutritive sweeteners provide no calories and no changes in blood glucose levels, which is perfect for people with diabetes.” Here are six sweet options to consider. Continue reading

Looking to cure Type 1 diabetes, investors front $114M to launch a pioneering human study at Semma

Looking to cure Type 1 diabetes, investors front $114M to launch a pioneering human study at Semma

Three years ago, Harvard’s Doug Melton published a landmark study outlining how he had successfully used stem cells to create insulin-producing pancreatic beta cells that were inserted in bulk into mice and successfully protected from an immune response — a breakthrough in regenerative medicine that bore real promise to provide a curative approach for Type 1 diabetes that could conceivably end a lifetime of insulin shots.
It was the culmination of 23 years of lab work, launched when his son was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. And that achievement marked the beginning of something new in biotech.
That same year Semma Therapeutics would be launched — with a $44 million A round landing in 2015 — in pursuit of a mission to complete one of the most ambitious preclinical programs in the regenerative med field. And after working on all the nitty gritty research needed to see if this tech could be scaled up to human size, an expanded syndicate of venture investors have put together a whopping $114 million round with plans to take this into humans for a first-of-its-kind proof-of-concept study.
One of the big challenges Semma faced in scaling up, Melton tells me, was to create a membrane specifically designed with pores that were large enough for molecules to pass through but too small for immune cells to penetrate. Using some calculations from the lab, Melton and his colleagues estimated that they would need some 150 million cells — possibly ranging up to three times that amount — in order to provide the natural insulin needed to eliminate the shots.
Melton compares the Continue reading

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