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New Hope For Human Patients As Scientists Reverse Type 1 Diabetes In Mice

New hope for human patients as scientists reverse type 1 diabetes in mice

New hope for human patients as scientists reverse type 1 diabetes in mice

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A team of scientists from Boston Children's Hospital have reversed type 1 diabetes in mice, leading to hopes that human sufferers of the autoimmune condition may soon be treated using a similar method.
Hospital researchers said that all of the mice trialled were successfully cured of type 1 in the short term, while around one-third were cured for the duration of their lives. Previous studies have tried to cure the condition using immunotherapy.
Patients in those studies were infused with their own blood stem cells, in an attempt to reboot their immune system. However, Boston researchers discovered that a genetic defect, which causes the blood stem cells to produce less of a protein called PD-L1, contributes to so-called juvenile diabetes.
“We found that in diabetes, blood stem cells are defective, promoting inflammation and possibly leading to the onset of disease,” senior researcher Paolo Fiorina said in a statement.
To combat the defective gene, the team replaced it with healthy genes and used a harmless virus as a carrier, they found that the treated cells reversed diabetes in the tested mice. “We think resolution of PD-L1 deficiency may provide a novel therapeutic tool for the disease,” study author Ben Nasr said.
More research is now needed to determine how long the treatment would last in humans but scientists are hopeful as there weren’t any adverse effects of treatment on the mice. “The beauty of this approach is the virtual lack of any adverse effects, since it would use the patient's’ own cells,” Fiorina said.
The research was publish Continue reading

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Vaccine Information for Adults

Vaccine Information for Adults

Each year thousands of adults in the United States get sick from diseases that could be prevented by vaccines — some people are hospitalized, and some even die. People with diabetes (both type 1 and type 2) are at higher risk for serious problems from certain vaccine-preventable diseases. Getting vaccinated is an important step in staying healthy. If you have diabetes, talk with your doctor about getting your vaccinations up-to-date.
Why Vaccines are Important for You
Diabetes, even if well managed, can make it harder for your immune system to fight infections, so you may be at risk for more serious complications from an illness compared to people without diabetes.
Some illnesses, like influenza, can raise your blood glucose to dangerously high levels.
People with diabetes have higher rates of hepatitis B than the rest of the population. Outbreaks of hepatitis B associated with blood glucose monitoring procedures have happened among people with diabetes.
People with diabetes are at increased risk for death from pneumonia (lung infection), bacteremia (blood infection) and meningitis (infection of the lining of the brain and spinal cord).
Immunization provides the best protection against vaccine-preventable diseases.
Vaccines are one of the safest ways for you to protect your health, even if you are taking prescription medications. Vaccine side effects are usually mild and go away on their own. Severe side effects are very rare.
Vaccines You Need
There may be other vaccines recommended for you based on your lifestyle, travel habits, and other factors. Take the Adult Vaccine Continue reading

Study: More Black Tea, Less Diabetes

Study: More Black Tea, Less Diabetes

Green tea this, and green tea that, but black still accounts for 90 percent of tea sold in Western countries. Is it doing anything for us?
PROBLEM: Green tea has a lot of simple flavonoids called catechins. They're what's most implicated when we read about green tea improving/preventing diseases. When tea oxidizes and becomes black, the types of flavonoids change. There are fewer simple catechins and more complex theaflavins and thearubigins. (Real words, I promise. I think the people who came up with them read a lot of Tolkien.) These complex flavonoids haven't been studied as much.
METHODOLOGY: Researchers in Geneva, London, and Paris compared black tea consumption with data from the World Health Survey on respiratory and infectious diseases, cancer, cardiovascular disease, and type 2 diabetes in 50 countries.
RESULTS: "The black tea vector was negatively correlated with the diabetes vector -- and was not correlated with any of the other four health indicators."
CONCLUSION: Places where people drink more black tea have significantly lower rates of type 2 diabetes.
Is it because of the black tea? Given the biochemical effects of flavonoids on the pancreas suggested by previous research (protecting/regenerating pancreatic beta cells, which can be depleted in type 2 diabetes), it could be. Other research hasn't found flavonoids to be protective against insulin resistance, though. So, we need more info.
Black tea consumption didn't seem to be related to any of the other aforementioned badness (respiratory, cardiovascular, or infectious diseases; or cancer).
IMPLICATION: Wes Continue reading

Patient Files: Type 1 diabetes

Patient Files: Type 1 diabetes

Award-winning playwright Simon Vinnicombe’s baby son George was just six months old when he fell gravely ill with a shock diagnosis of type 1 diabetes. He talks to PharmaTimes about life with the disease and his hopes for a cure
Can you describe the events that led to George’s diagnosis?
George got a tummy bug. My wife and I had the same thing. Only George never seemed to quite shake it. He wasn’t really at one hundred percent for about two weeks, and then, finally, he woke up one morning with restricted breathing. We just thought he had a chest infection. The doctor thought the same thing, but, as a precaution, said we should go to A&E. Around five hours later I was told George was going to die.
How did he develop the condition?
It’s an autoimmune condition. He did have exactly the same virus as Tracy and I, but something caused his immune system to attack his pancreas. Now George requires insulin twenty-four hours a day.
What does a typical day caring for George involve?
His blood sugar is monitored using a CGM (Continuous blood glucose monitor), which gives us a guide to the glucose levels in his blood. This alarms when his blood sugars go too high (hyper) and when they go too low (hypo). We also need to give him blood test to ensure that data is accurate. I would say that we check his blood, administer some form of medication as many as forty times a day. We wake on average, seven times a night to treat him. George has a base level of insulin which delivers different amounts of medication every hour of the day. He also needs insulin for the times that he eats. A Continue reading

Do Vitamin D Supplements Help with Diabetes, Weight Loss, & Blood Pressure?

Do Vitamin D Supplements Help with Diabetes, Weight Loss, & Blood Pressure?

Most studies on vitamin D may not be all that useful, the body likely did not evolve to use vitamin D to help prevent diseases that we’re interested in. The whole point of using vitamin D to regulate all sorts of processes in the body has likely little to do with preventing cancer or heart disease, as cancer and heart disease were not a major driving force in our evolution. We have to consider first what is most likely the role of vitamin D and then consider what the most likely health benefits could be and then consider how to best test such ideas. It seems to me that the whole point of making gene expression depending on the amount of Sun exposure, has likely to do with fine tuning the body to the available food resources.
An animal whose calcidiol levels are dropping may have to survive a harsh winter a few months later. But at the time the calcidiol levels are dropping it may still be autumn the temperature may be high and there may still be plenty of food around. But the calcidiol levels tell the animal that harsh conditions are ahead, so it may be a good idea to save energy, invest a little less in maintaining optimal physical fitness and divert energy to build up some fat reserves. In the tropics where there s no winter, there may be prolonged drought periods; many animals burrow underground and then their calcidiol levels will also go down.
So, this suggests that high vitamin D levels will make it easier to maintain optimal physical fitness. There are some research results that are consistent with this idea, e.g.:
“Our findings suggest that vitamin D levels are Continue reading

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