[ Diabetes Solutions ]

Researchers Find Hormone That Grows Insulin-Producing Cells

This month, guest blogger Michelle Matte, CSCS has been discussing diabetes in recognition of American Diabetes Month. The World Health Organisation has called for governments around the world to act to ensure people can make healthier food choices. Diabetes affects 26 million people in the USA (about 8% of the population). My French doctor spotted the danger and ran another test a few months later that confirmed the diagnosis. Some people are more at risk of developing diabetes than others: those who have a family history of diabetes; are overweight or have a large waist size; are not physically active; and people who are south Asian or African Caribbean. Type 1 is when the body does not produce any insulin to convert the sugars into energy, and type 2 is when not enough insulin is produced, or when the body is unable to use what is produced well enough. People who are identified as being at high risk of developing Type 2 diabetes have been referred to an intensive lifestyle change programme (ILCP).

Initiated at the Wareham facility, Midwood said the program started out with ten participants. Prediabetes is not “pre-problem.” Rather, it is a sign of a long-term insulin resistance. Type I Diabetes is when the pancreas produces little or no insulin itself and needs to be controlled by insulin injections. When your stomach is stretched, secretion stops and you feel satiated. Until there is a cure Simpson said JDRF is committed to making living with the disease easier. Electronic activity trackers are upgraded pedometers with lots of added features. Mick has now lost 18kgs and is no longer taking insulin morning and night; his plantar fasciitis has been relieved; he is able to wear old clothes; he halved his blood pressure medication (BP 105/80) and halved his cholesterol medication.

“What popped out near the top of the list of the most abundantly activated genes was this gene that no one had really studied, that we called betatrophin,” Melton says. Refined grains like white flour, rice and corn are broken down quickly, creating a spike of blood sugar. And it doesn’t seem to do anything else. That’s important because it lowers the risk that betatrophin would cause unwanted side effects or even, in the worst case, promote cancer. The hormone is secreted into the bloodstream to signal beta cells in the pancreas to reproduce. But excessive cortisol can break down collagen, the protein that keeps skin smooth and supple. My uncle also has Type II diabetes and is on insulin.

They hope that giving such animals betatrophin will not only normalize their blood sugars, but also prevent the heart, blood vessel, nerve and immune system complications that shorten the lives of people with diabetes. Only that would be a true cure. It also has a relatively high GI value which means that the carbs are digested quickly and thus can give rise to a rapid spike in blood glucose levels. I also KNOW that once that happens, you’re going to tell your friends and family about me and the “Reversing Diabetes Naturally Program” — right? “On the positive side, betatrophin is very robust in its activity, it’s very specific to beta cells, it improves animals’ handling of blood sugar, and the human gene for it is virtually identical to the mouse gene,” Melton says. There are enough positives at this point that betatrophin has already been licensed by Janssen Pharmaceuticals, a division of Johnson & Johnson, and a German biotech firm called Evotec, which already has 15 scientists working on betatrophin.

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