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

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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How to Manage Your Diabetes in Extreme Summer Heat

How to Manage Your Diabetes in Extreme Summer Heat

We often look forward to changes of season, but if you have diabetes, you need to be extra careful when temperatures climb dramatically. Extreme heat can affect your blood sugar control.
If you use insulin or if your treatment of blood sugars is inadequate, this can put you at higher risk. Often, worsening blood sugar control is the main concern. Depending on the situation and your level of physical activity, low blood sugars are also possible.
Extreme temperatures can also damage your medications and testing equipment. I always remind my patients to take precautions to protect themselves and their supplies during both winter and summer.
If a patient’s blood sugars are mostly higher than 250 mg/dl, I recommend improving blood sugar control before engaging in heavy physical activity — regardless of the climate and the temperature, as recommended by the American Diabetes Association.
How heat can affect you
The extreme heat of summer affects blood sugar levels. How the heat affects your levels depends on what you’ve eaten, whether you’re well-hydrated and your activity level.
If the heat and your activity make you sweat profusely, you may become dehydrated, leading to a rise in glucose levels.
If you become dehydrated, your blood glucose levels will rise. This can lead to frequent urination, which then leads to further dehydration and even higher blood sugar levels — a kind of vicious cycle.
Further, if the treatment includes insulin, dehydration reduces blood supply to the skin and, therefore, less absorption of injected insulin dosage.
Adjusting your insulin dosag Continue reading

Diabetes may lead to greater risk of Alzheimer's, memory loss | Miami Herald

Diabetes may lead to greater risk of Alzheimer's, memory loss | Miami Herald

For people with Type 2 diabetes, there is an additional incentive for keeping the disease under management. Research shows a possible link between diabetes and cognitive decline, including increased risk for Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia.
The scientific reason behind the link between diabetes and brain health is complex. Some scientists believe people with diabetes may also have insulin resistance or insulin deficiency that could damage brain cells enough to cause memory loss. Studies are underway to understand why 80 percent of people with Alzheimer’s disease also have some form of diabetes or disturbed glucose metabolism. However, so far, longitudinal research has not produced a consensus view regarding the link between blood glucose levels and cognitive impairment.
Meanwhile, in South Florida, medical professionals are working with diabetic patients to minimize the risk of cognitive decline through a variety of methods that include lifestyle, medical and mental-health components.
“Our message to diabetics is that the better people can control their diabetes, the more they can reduce risk of other conditions,” said Dr. Marc Agronin, director of the memory center and clinical research program at Miami Jewish Health. “Of course, that requires a lot of education and close attention.”
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On the lifestyle front, Agronin urges diabetics to exercise, maintain a healthy diet, lose weight if necessary and avoid being sedentary. “They need to adopt Continue reading

8 Everyday Tips To Reverse Diabetes Naturally

8 Everyday Tips To Reverse Diabetes Naturally

A diagnosis of diabetes or prediabetes can come as a shock, but it is possible to reclaim your life, get healthy, and keep the condition in check. If you are among the 29 million American adults with diabetes or the 86 million who have prediabetes, here’s how you can stop this condition in its track.1
Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune condition. The body produces hardly any insulin to help use up glucose.
Type 2 diabetes is caused by insufficient insulin or the body’s resistance to use insulin.
If you are prediabetic, making lifestyle modifications can reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes by up to 58%. Remember, this will need to be practiced as a permanent lifestyle change to reverse diabetes and maintain results. There is no miracle short-term cure.
If you are diabetic, these tips – strict diet control, weight loss, and exercise – can help you reach a stage where your blood sugar is in control, with minimal fluctuations, and you are not dependent on medication. This is as close to a perceived “reversal” as you will get. However, if you stop managing your diet or give up exercise, the problems will likely come right back again.
1. Take A Holistic Long-Term Approach
Ayurveda recommends a holistic approach to diabetes, combining a modified diet with physical activity. In fact, according to this ancient form, an inactive lifestyle is partly to blame for the increased incidence of this condition. And mainstream research backs this up.
As one study found, test subjects with type 2 diabetes who underwent an intensive lifestyle-based weight loss intervention Continue reading

Statin use and risk of diabetes mellitus

Statin use and risk of diabetes mellitus

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Statins are used for primary and secondary prevention of cardiovascular diseases. Other benefits due to statins are not mediated by their lipid lowering properties[8] but due to its pleiotropic effects. In conditions like heart failure, cardiac arrhythmias, vascular disease and hypertension the non-lipid lowering pleotropic benefits of statins have been observed[9]. These pleiotropic effects mediated by statins can be due to inhibition of isoprenoid synthesis which in turn inhibits intracellular signaling molecules Rho, Rac and Cdc42. The predominant mechanism that has been postulated is inhibition of Rho and its activation to Rho kinase[10].
Type 2 diabetes is characterized by hyperglycemia, insulin resistance and insulin deficiency. The insulin resistance contributes to the abnormal lipid profile associated with type 2 diabetes[11]. Dyslipidemia contributes to increased cardiovascular events in patients with type 2 diabetes[12]. A linear relationship exists between cholesterol levels and cardiovascular diseases in diabetics even if we ignore the baseline LDL[13]. By predominantly lowering LDL-Cholesterol and due to minor effects on other lipoproteins, statins appear to be beneficial[12]. In Heart Protection Study which was done in diabetics, the decrease in cardiovascular events like first major coronary event, stroke were to the tune of 22% as compared to placebo[14]. It was recommended by American Diabetes Association that statin therapy should be initiated in individuals with diabetes and other cardiovascular risk factors with target LDL chol Continue reading

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