Health and Fitness

Insulin Regulates Beta Cell Function In Healthy Humans

In type 2 diabetes, which is occurring at alarming rates, the hormone insulin does not work effectively to lower blood sugars and patients also do not make enough insulin. These two processes have been widely considered as separate. However, a surprising discovery was made by Joslin Diabetes Center researchers in animal models of diabetes: insulin is important in regulating its own production. Confirming this discovery, Joslin clinical scientists have now gone on to show that when blood sugar levels rise in healthy people, insulin signals the cells that make insulin to increase their production. Our bodies absorb sugar when we eat carbohydrates, and insulin acts as a "key" for the sugar to get into cells, where it provides energy for the cells to function. Sugar (also called glucose) acts as the main signal that tells insulin-producing "beta" cells, located in the pancreas, to boost their production of insulin. But insulin itself plays a role in signaling for this ramp-up, as the Joslin scientists have just confirmed in humans.

NHS Diabetes Care Continues To Improve, UK

Care for people with diabetes has continued to improve according to a report published today by the Department of Health. The sixth annual update on progress with diabetes care recognises key achievements made in the last year including completion of the first survey to establish how many children and young people have diabetes in England. Six Years On: Delivering the Diabetes National Service Framework updates progress made since the NSF for Diabetes was developed in 2001, setting out national standards of care for people with diabetes. The survey of children and young people with diabetes undertaken last year was an important project carried out in partnership with the Royal College of Paediatric and Child Health, NHS Diabetes Information Service and many other stakeholders. The survey for the first time provided an accurate figure of 22, 947 people under the age of 18 living with diabetes in England, the vast majority of cases being Type 1 diabetes. This data is now being used to inform the NHS on how to provide the best services for young people with diabetes.

NICE Appraisal Of Liraglutide For Type 2 Diabetes

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) is currently appraising the use of liraglutide for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. Liraglutide works by stimulating the release of insulin; it also reduces the appetite and therefore food intake by slowing gastric emptying. In preliminary recommendations published today (15 February 2010), NICE has recommended liraglutide 1.2 mg daily as part of triple therapy regimens (in combination with metformin and sulfonylurea, or metformin and a thiazolidinedione) as an option for the treatment of type 2 diabetes, when control of blood glucose remains or becomes inadequate (HbA1c в 7.5%, or other higher level agreed with the individual). The patient being treated must have a body mass index of в 35kg/m2 (in those of European descent, and appropriate adjustments made for other ethnic groups), and specific psychological or medical problems associated with high body weight. Liraglutide is also recommended for patients with a BMI в 35 kg/m2, where insulin therapy would have significant occupational implications, or weight loss would benefit other significant obesity-related comorbidities[1].

New Research Uncovers Molecular Firing Squad Through Which Overeating Destroys Normal Metabolism And Sets Stage For Diabetes

Overeating in mice triggers a molecule once considered to be only involved in detecting and fighting viruses to also destroy normal metabolism, leading to insulin resistance and setting the stage for diabetes. The new study, led by researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH), specifically links together the immune system and metabolism, a pairing increasingly suspected in diseases that include - in addition to diabetes - heart disease, fatty liver, cancer, and stroke. Understanding how to regulate the molecule through targeted drugs or nutrients could eventually change the way these diseases are prevented and treated in humans. The study will publish in the February 5, 2010, issue of Cell. "When mice eat a normal diet, this molecule called PKR is silent, " said senior author GГ khan Hotamisligil, chair of the HSPH Department of Genetics and Complex Diseases. "However, if a cell containing PKR is bombarded with too many nutrients, PKR grabs other immune system molecules that respond to this food attack and organizes a firing squad to shoot down normal processes, leading to insulin resistance and metabolic dysfunction.

Role Of Protein Pair In Obesity Regulation Highlighted By Research

New research by University of Cincinnati (UC) scientists implicates a new protein in obesity development and highlights a protein pair's "team effort" in regulating obesity and insulin resistance. Jorge Moscat, PhD, chair of UC's cancer and cell biology department, says that proteins p62 and ERK are involved in adipogeneis, (the development of adipocytes, or fat cells). His new study shows precisely how this duo works together. The study is published online in advance of print Friday, Feb. 12, 2010, in the journal EMBO Reports, and will appear in print in the March 1, 2010, edition. Earlier research led by Moscat showed that removing or "knocking out" p62 in mice led to the development of obesity and insulin resistance in adulthood. These mice used less energy and created more fat cells than the control group, even with the same diet and activity levels. Targeting p62 mutations or deficiencies seemed to be a logical next step for potential obesity treatments; however, Moscat says, p62 is not an easy target due to its lack of enzymatic action.

Major Cause Of Infertility And Obesity Often Missed By Doctors

Gail Donnelly's classmates nicknamed her "Knobby" because she was so skinny all her bones seemed to poke out from under her skin. But when Donnelly turned 27, that once knobby frame disappeared under mysteriously ballooning weight. Her diet hadn't changed, she was still walking several miles a day, but she gained 50 pounds in just six months. Her doctor thought the cause was ovarian cysts. It took ten years and two surgeries before a new doctor accurately diagnosed her with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). It's a serious metabolic disorder and one of the major causes of hormonally related infertility, yet the disorder remains largely undiagnosed and unknown. About 5 million women in the U.S. are affected by it. "Women are told they are too fat and aren't taken seriously for a long time, " said Andrea Dunaif, M.D., the Charles F. Kettering Professor of Medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and a physician at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. "They go to an average of four doctors before they are diagnosed.

Eye Damage From Diabetes Remains The Leading Cause Of Blindness In Adults; 5.3 Million In U.S. Suffer From Diabetic Retinopathy

Despite major progress in diagnosis and treatment, diabetic retinopathy remains the major cause of blindness in adults under 60 in the U.S., said Thomas C. Lee, director, Retina Institute in The Vision Center at Childrens Hospital Los Angeles, associate professor of clinical ophthalmology at the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California and attending physician at Doheny Eye Institute. Diabetic retinopathy affects 5.3 million adults in the U.S. and some 24, 000 of them go blind each year. Nearly sixty percent of all diabetes patients are expected to develop diabetic retinopathy within ten years of their diagnosis. Diabetic retinopathy is the abnormal growth of blood vessels on the surface of the retina and is caused by fluctuations in glucose levels. The retina is the light-sensitive tissue, about the thickness of a postage stamp, at the back of the eye. If diagnosed early and treated properly, much of the damage can be contained. Unfortunately, many diabetics suffer major vision loss unnecessarily, noted Dr.

Biodel To Present Results From VIAject R Phase 3 Studies At Advanced Technologies And Treatments For Diabetes Conference In Basel

Biodel, Inc. (Nasdaq: BIOD) announced today that its chief executive officer, Dr. Sol Steiner, will present results from the company's two Phase 3 studies with VIAject® ultra-rapid-acting recombinant human insulin in a platform presentation at the 3rd International Conference on Advanced Technologies and Treatments for Diabetes in Basel, Switzerland, on Friday, February 12, 2010, at 1pm central European time. The presentation, entitled "Clinical Findings for Patients Treated with VIAject® , An Ultra-Rapid Acting Formulation of Recombinant Human Insulin, " will review and update key data from the VIAject® clinical development program. Dr. Steiner's presentation will be available on the company's website,, after the presentation. Source Biodel Inc.

Is 2 Years Old A Childhood Obesity Tipping Point?

While many adults consider a chubby baby healthy, too many plump infants grow up to be obese teens, saddling them with Type-2 diabetes, elevated cholesterol and high blood pressure, according to an article published this month in the journal Clinical Pediatrics (published by SAGE). The research suggests that the "tipping point" in obesity often occurs before two years of age, and sometimes as early as three months, when the child is learning how much and what to eat. "I really think this should be a wake up call for doctors, " said principal investigator Dr. John Harrington, a pediatrician at Children's Hospital of The King's Daughters and an assistant professor at Eastern Virginia Medical School. "Too often, doctors wait until medical complications arise before they begin treatment. What this study suggests is that prevention of obesity should begin far, far earlier." This study comes in the midst of alarming rates of childhood obesity, which now ranks as one of the most prominent health concerns in the United States today.

Young Adults With Type 2 Diabetes Could Benefit From New Research

New research on Type 2 diabetes by Trinity College Dublin researchers could benefit young adults (aged 18-25 years) with the condition. The research led by Professor John Nolan of Trinity College Dublin and St James's Hospital, Dublin, has just been published online in the leading international journal, Diabetes CareВ. The study findings demonstrate new mechanisms in muscle cells that may explain severe insulin resistance which is the body's decreased ability to respond to the effects of insulin, and a reduced response to aerobic exercise in young obese patients with Type 2 diabetes. These important findings will contribute in the longterm to the development of more specific treatments for young people with Type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes. It occurs because the body produces too little insulin and is unable to properly use the insulin that is secreted. It usually occurs in older people although it is becoming more common among younger people, partly due to lifestyle factors such as diet, lack of physical activity and obesity.

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