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Obesity, Diabetes, And Epigenetic Inheritance

Obesity, Diabetes, and Epigenetic Inheritance

Obesity, Diabetes, and Epigenetic Inheritance

Disease risk can be transmitted epigenetically via egg and sperm cells, a mouse study shows.
While scientists have identified several genetic risk factors for diabetes and obesity, some have proposed epigenetic alterations in gametes as another potential mechanism of disease risk inheritance. Now, a mouse study by researchers in Germany provides new evidence in support of this epigenetic inheritance theory, showing that different diets in otherwise identical mice can determine glucose intolerance and obesity risk in offspring via egg and sperm cells. The team’s findings were published today (March 14) in Nature Genetics.
“The view so far was that [risk] is all determined by genes—it’s fate,” said study coauthor Johannes Beckers of the Helmholtz Zentrum München. “But our findings give back a certain responsibility to the parents. They really have the possibility to affect what offspring inherit in their epigenome.”
Approximately 90 percent of nearly 350 million cases of diabetes worldwide are classified as type 2. In addition to environmental factors often cited to explain the high prevalence of the disease—including poor diets and sedentary lifestyles—several epidemiological and mouse studies have hinted that diet-induced susceptibility to obesity and diabetes, acquired during parents’ lifetimes, can be inherited.
However, previous analyses of the phenomenon have relied on in vivo fertilization to produce offspring, explained Beckers, making it difficult to distinguish heritable, epigenetic determinants in the gametes from other factors that can influen Continue reading

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Researchers identify key mechanism by which obesity causes type 2 diabetes

Researchers identify key mechanism by which obesity causes type 2 diabetes

UT Southwestern researchers have identified a major mechanism by which obesity causes type 2 diabetes, which is a common complication of being overweight that afflicts more than 30 million Americans and over 400 million people worldwide.
Researchers found that in obesity, insulin released into the blood by the pancreas is unable to pass through the cells that form the inner lining of blood vessels. As a result, insulin is not delivered to the muscles, where it usually stimulates most of the body's glucose to be metabolized. Blood glucose levels rise, leading to diabetes and its related cardiovascular, kidney and vision problems, said Dr. Philip Shaul, Director of the Center for Pulmonary and Vascular Biology in the Department of Pediatrics at UT Southwestern.
"It was totally unpredicted that a major problem in obesity is the delivery of circulating insulin to your muscle. It was even more surprising that this problem involves immunoglobulins, which are the proteins that make up circulating antibodies," said Dr. Chieko Mineo, Associate Professor of Pediatrics, who is a co-senior author on the report with Dr. Shaul.
The researchers found that obese mice have an unexpected chemical change in their immunoglobulins. "The abnormal immunoglobulins then act on cells lining blood vessels to inhibit an enzyme needed to transfer insulin from the bloodstream into the muscle," said Dr. Shaul, who holds the Associates First Capital Corporation Distinguished Chair in Pediatrics. "Type 2 diabetes patients have the same chemical change, and if we give a mouse immunoglobulins from a type 2 d Continue reading

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• Our Diabetes Testing measures your A1C levels. Your A1C is a measure of your average blood sugar over the previous 3 months. This test requires only a small amount of blood and no fasting.
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For people with diabetes, pre-diabetes, heart disease and their families
For people with diabetes, pre-diabetes, heart disease and their families Continue reading

Why I Told My Diabetes Doctor to Back Off

Why I Told My Diabetes Doctor to Back Off

Let me just say it. I hate diabetes. I hate it. Oh, I know that it can be managed (I do) and that you can live a good, long life (I am — 27 years with Type 1 diabetes). But still, I hate it. And one of the reasons I hate it is that, for me, it has been so difficult to find a good doctor who’s not going to judge me and make me feel bad when my numbers are not in range. Not wanting to be judged, hassled, scolded or embarrassed for my diabetes self care, literally keeps me from going to the doctor as often as I should. Period. And I’m willing to bet that many of my fellow people with diabetes agree with me. So trust me when I say that rarely ever does chastisement motivate. Not for me anyway.
And to complicate my personal diabetes management even further, I work in the diabetes industry, and because I know many of the big players in the field, it impacts my career as well. Would they look at me differently if they knew that for the last week I’ve been struggling with my blood glucose levels and I’ve been averaging around 220? Would I be viewed as any less credible or talented or capable? Would they scoff and say, “She should know better”? Well, I’ve got news for you, diabetes is its own wild animal, and just like being in the wild, it is often unpredictable and random. Diabetes shifts day to day, even moment by moment. If I was confident that every time I took one unit of insulin, my blood sugars would come down in the same exact manner, this condition would be a whole different dynamic. But it’s rarely ever the same. So I struggle on, trying to catch the wav Continue reading

Blood glucose testing offers little value to some Type 2 diabetes patients: study

Blood glucose testing offers little value to some Type 2 diabetes patients: study

When Margaret DeNobrega was first diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, she meticulously monitored her eating habits and blood sugar levels.
The 68-year-old would write down what she ate for breakfast, lunch and dinner, pricking her finger to test her glucose levels before and after each meal.
"I used to test before my meals, so I would know what my blood sugar was at, and then I would test two hours after," she says. "I did that for quite a while.
"I guess maybe I did … obsess a little about it because I didn't want to go on medication."
It's a daily ritual for many with Type 2 diabetes, aimed at helping them keep their blood sugar levels in check. But according to a new U.S. study, that common finger-prick test may have little impact on managing the chronic condition.
Type 2 diabetes is one of the fastest-growing diseases in Canada, with about 60,000 new cases diagnosed each year.
Complications associated with the disease — including kidney disease, heart disease, blindness and stroke — can range from serious to life-threatening, making proper management of blood sugar levels important.
Insulin-dependent patients will frequently test their blood sugar before delivering a shot of the hormone.
But the majority of Type 2 patients aren't treated with insulin, and can instead regulate their glucose levels through diet, exercise and sometimes medication.
Rejecting routine testing
In a paper published this week in JAMA Internal Medicine, researchers found that self-monitoring of blood sugar for non-insulin Type 2 patients offers virtually no benefit.
"From the study, what we fin Continue reading

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