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New Measure Of Insulin-making Cells Could Gauge Diabetes Progression, Treatment

New measure of insulin-making cells could gauge diabetes progression, treatment

New measure of insulin-making cells could gauge diabetes progression, treatment

Researchers at the University of Wisconsin–Madison have developed a new measurement for the volume and activity of beta cells, the source of the sugar-regulating hormone insulin.
In a study published in the August edition of the journal Diabetes, Weibo Cai, Matthew J. Merrins and colleagues used a PET scanner to detect minute levels of a radioactive chemical in the mouse pancreas. Cai, the senior author of the study and an associate professor of radiology, says that unlike previous methods for measuring the quantity of beta cells, the new test also measures how actively these cells are making insulin.
PET scanning, or positron emission tomography, is used to detect minute quantities of tracers, commonly for finding cancer and metastases. This area is a specialty of Cai. Cai says the test may be used to evaluate treatments or cell transplants intended to slow or reverse diabetes.
With a provisional patent filed through the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation, Cai has begun planning a series of human trials that could lead to Food and Drug Administration clearance for a new method to determine the quantity and condition of the beta cells. The first step in these trials would look at the distribution and potential toxicity of the radioactive manganese chloride used as a tracer.
A shortage of insulin, due to the death or inactivity of the beta cells, causes type I (formerly “juvenile“) diabetes. The same problem can also cause type II diabetes. But this condition, once called “adult onset” diabetes, can also result from insufficient response to insulin. “In some co Continue reading

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Whey protein could help control type 2 diabetes

Whey protein could help control type 2 diabetes

Eating whey protein before breakfast could help prevent or control type 2 diabetes, two separate studies by Newcastle University have shown.
The findings, which were unveiled at the Diabetes UK Professional Conference, found obese men and males with type 2 diabetes had better blood sugar levels after eating the protein first thing. One of the studies also showed it helped stifle appetite.
The first study looked at how 20 grams of the whey protein affected 12 obese men, before they took part in 30 minutes of light walking and then ate a carbohydrate heavy breakfast. The researchers said the combination of the protein and exercise helped control blood sugars.
A total of 11 men with type 2 diabetes participated in the second study. They were given 15 grams of whey protein before breakfast and again, their blood sugars remained stable.
Lead researcher Dr Daniel West from Newcastle University said: “We know that high blood glucose levels after eating can contribute to poor blood glucose management and can also be detrimental to cardiovascular health.
“We’ve shown that consuming small amount of whey protein before a meal could help people avoid those high blood glucose levels and may help them to feel more satisfied after mealtimes.”
Diabetes UK’s director of research Dr Elizabeth Robertson said: “Finding ways to keep blood glucose levels as stable as possible after eating is an important area of scientific research, to help people manage their diabetes well. This new research adds to other small scale studies that have promising results.
“However, larger scale stud Continue reading

Throwdown: plant vs. animal protein for type 2 diabetes

Throwdown: plant vs. animal protein for type 2 diabetes

Comparison of the effects of diets high in animal or plant protein on metabolic and cardiovascular markers in type 2 diabetes: A randomized clinical trial
The optimal diet for treating metabolic diseases like obesity and type 2 diabetes remains controversial, with evidence suggesting a variety of nutritional strategies that can be effective so long as people adhere to them. However, some interventions may be more effective than others. One strategy that’s gaining steam involves eating more protein.
Even though the term “high-protein diet” varies in definition from study to study, evidence to date supports the idea that eating more protein than the recommended daily allowance of 0.8 grams per kilogram bodyweight results in less hunger and a reduced appetite, increased energy expenditure, and a preservation or increase of lean body mass. A recent meta-analysis of 74 randomized controlled trials showed that eating a higher protein diet (27% vs. 18% of calories on average) significantly reduced several cardiometabolic risk factors, including body weight, BMI, waist circumference, blood pressure, triglycerides, and fasting insulin, while also significantly increasing HDL-cholesterol and satiety. A strong body of evidence supports the claim that a high-protein diet can facilitate dietary adherence, health improvement, and long-term fat loss.
But it’s possible that not all protein is the same when it comes to health. A meta-analysis of observational research totaling over half a million people suggests that animal protein is associated with an increased risk of developing Continue reading

Should Patients with Type 2 Diabetes Take Aspirin to Prevent Stroke and Coronary Events?

Should Patients with Type 2 Diabetes Take Aspirin to Prevent Stroke and Coronary Events?

What is the role of aspirin in primary prevention — preventing the first cardiovascular event in our patients? This has been an area of changing recommendations leading to considerable uncertainty among practitioners.
Aspirin is an effective antiplatelet agent that acts by inhibiting cyclooxygenase-1 (COX-1) which leads to reduced levels of thromboxane A2, a potent promoter of platelet aggregation. It is therefore widely used in high-risk individuals to prevent myocardial infarction and stroke. It may also reduce the risk of colorectal cancer. However, aspirin use is not without risks — the reduced platelet action increases the risk of gastrointestinal bleeding and hemorrhagic strokes. When aspirin is used for secondary prevention — to reduce the risk of recurrent myocardial infarction or ischemic stroke in patients with established cardiovascular disease — the risk of a recurrent cardiovascular event is so high that the benefits of aspirin greatly outweigh the risks.
But what about aspirin in primary prevention? Many patients who present with myocardial infarction or ischemic stroke have no previous history of cardiovascular disease but may have been at high risk for such disease due to risk factors such as type 2 diabetes.
NEJM Knowledge+ Internal Medicine Board Review includes the following question on this very topic; we have heard from many learners that they are uncertain about the current recommendations.
The Case & Question
A 44-year-old man with hypertension, hyperlipidemia, obesity, type 2 diabetes, and paroxysmal atrial fibrillation presents for a new-pat Continue reading

Skin patch shows promise for pain-free diabetes testing

Skin patch shows promise for pain-free diabetes testing

An experimental device might one day literally take the pain out of managing diabetes, Korean researchers say.
The new invention uses a patch to monitor blood sugar levels via sweat, and delivers the diabetes drug metformin through the skin with microneedles.
"Diabetics are reluctant to monitor their blood glucose levels because of the painful blood-gathering process," said study author Hyunjae Lee, from Seoul National University in the Republic of Korea. "We highly focused on a noninvasive monitoring and therapy system for diabetics."
The findings were published online March 21 in the journal Nature Nanotechnology. The study team was led by Dae-Hyeong Kim, at Seoul National University. Funding for the study was provided by the Institute for Basic Science in the Republic of Korea.
Currently, people with diabetes have two options for monitoring blood sugar (glucose) levels, said Richard Guy, who wrote an accompanying editorial in the journal. He's a professor of pharmaceutical sciences at the University of Bath in the United Kingdom.
One option is a blood glucose meter that requires a finger stick to draw out a drop of blood for testing. The other option is continuous glucose monitoring, which requires that a sensor be placed underneath the skin and worn constantly. Both of these options are invasive and can be painful.
Previously, a less invasive product called GlucoWatch pulled fluid through the skin to the device to measure blood sugar levels. However, that device was never commercially successful and was taken off the market, Guy said.
The Korean research team used a sub Continue reading

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