Is HbA1c Glucose Monitoring About to Become Old News?

June 1st, 2011

The gold standard hemoglobin HbA1c glucose monitoring test may soon lose ground to an alternative test recently developed in Tokyo. The new glycated albumin (GA) assay test measures blood sugar over 17 days, as opposed to over 3 months for HbA1c testing. This enables the GA to give a more accurate picture of diabetes control in patients with rapid changes in blood sugar levels.

HbA1c testing, which averages blood glucose levels over three months, has long been the most widespread and trusted form of blood sugar monitoring in diabetes. While it has proved a valuable tool in both diagnosing and monitoring diabetes, recent studies have questioned its effectiveness in children, and in diabetics with kidney failure.A recent study published in the Journal of Pediatrics advised physicians that HbA1c results can be misleading in children, possibly because of changing hormone levels. The researchers discovered the 8-hour fasting plasma glucose test provided more accurate results, and recommended the glucose tolerance test remain the "gold standard" to detect diabetes in children.

Another study of diabetics with advanced kidney failure discovered that HbA1c testing did not always give accurate results. "Most organs don't function properly in severe kidney failure," explained lead investigator Dr. Barry Freedman from the Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, "For example, most dialysis patients have anemia with fewer red blood cells than they should, which has a dramatic impact on the accuracy of the HbA1c reading."

This is because blood sugar reacts with the hemoglobin in red blood cells to give HbA1c values. The results are accurate with red blood cells with a normal life span, but the red blood cells in dialysis patients have a shorter life span, resulting in lower HbA1c values.

"Dialysis patients and their doctors get a false sense of security," warns Freedman," because their lower HbA1c actually relates to shorter red cell survival, yet suggests diabetes control is better than it really is." The researchers determined that the newer glycated albumin assay test proved much more accurate in diabetic patients with impaired kidney function.

The new test's ability to monitor frequent changes in blood sugar levels should also prove beneficial in the treatment of gestational diabetes, unstable plasma glucose levels and conditions that cause changes in or shorten the lifespan of hemoglobin.

Diabetes is a leading cause of kidney failure, and almost 50 percent of dialysis patients are diabetics. Accurate blood sugar monitoring is essential in the management of diabetes, including determining when to implement insulin therapy and the dosages and effectiveness of diabetes medication such as insulin injections.

The new GA test, developed by the Asahi Kasei Pharma Corporation, is available in Japan, China and South Korea, but is not yet FDA approved in the United States. Freedman is recommending that doctors of diabetic dialysis patients monitor their blood sugar levels with multiple daily readings until the GA test is available in the US.

For more information on the GA test, visit Asahi Kasei Pharma.

Lipid Profiling Can Predict Diabetes Risk Better than Current Methods

June 2nd, 2011

Studying the genetic make-up of lipids, or fatty molecules, in the blood (lipidomic profiling) can lead to improved and earlier prediction of the risk of developing diabetes, atherosclerosis and heart disease.

A ten-year study of about 1100 Mexican Americans - a group at high risk of diabetes - discovered that a single predictor, a lipid component called dihydroceramide (dhCer), was substantially increased in people with diabetes.

Dihydroceramide is genetic, and appears to be an independent risk factor with no connection to blood sugar and insulin levels. In the future, measurement of dhCer levels may become part of routine screenings for diabetes, allowing health care providers to identify those at risk long before existing screening procedures.

Those identified as being at risk could then make lifestyle changes such as losing weight, becoming more physically active and improving their diet to avoid becoming diabetic.

Currently, the most commonly used predictors are measurements of blood glucose and insulin levels, which do not provide useful information until the patient is close to developing or has already developed insulin resistance or diabetes.

The discovery of the link between dhCer and diabetes could also lead to new and more effective means of diabetes control. To read more about lipid genetics on ScienceDaily, >CLICK HERE.<

Ten Common Myths About Diabetes and Diet

June 3rd, 2011

Many diabetics, and those caring for diabetics, are confused and concerned about the best diet for diabetes control. The issue is of concern to both insulin dependent diabetics (many of whom balance a combination of mealtime and long acting insulin to maintain blood sugar control) and to type 2 diabetics who are able to manage their diabetes with diet, or a combination of diet and oral diabetes medication.

WebMD has explored ten common beliefs and myths about diabetes and diet. Is diabetes caused by eating too much sugar? Does having diabetes mean that you can never eat another dessert? Should diabetics avoid all carbohydrates? Can you adjust your insulin dosage to allow you to "cheat" on a diabetes diet?

What's the deal on artificial sweeteners? Is there such a thing as too much protein? For the answers to these and other commonly asked questions about diabetes and diet, visit Ten Common Diet Myths at WebMD.com.

Substance in Frog Skin May Play Role in Diabetes Control

June 7th, 2011

Award-winning research has uncovered two substances in frog's skin with the potential to treat diabetes, cancer, stroke, organ transplants and many other conditions. The substances are proteins, or peptides, that could be used in a controlled and targeted way to regulate the growth of blood vessels.

The proteins are excreted in waxy substances on the frog's outer skin, and can be extracted without harming the frogs, which can then be released. One of the proteins, extracted from the Waxy Monkey Frog, has the potential to kill cancer tumors.

A different protein from the Giant Firebellied Toad switches on a process called angiogenesis, the growth of new blood vessels from pre-existing ones. This process could be used to repair stubborn wounds like diabetic ulcers; help repair damage to blood vessels caused by high blood sugar, heart attacks and strokes, and aid in organ transplants.

"We are absolutely convinced that the natural world holds the solutions to many of our problems," says Queen's University Belfast Professor Chris Shaw, who led the research, "We just need to pose the right questions to find them."

Scientists and drug companies all over the world have spent billions of dollars over the years trying to develop a drug that can target, control and grow blood vessels. To read more about the ground breaking Queen's University angiogenesis research on ScienceDaily.com, >CLICK HERE.<

Type 1 Diabetics Respond Well to New Type 2 Diabetes Medication

June 8th, 2011

Type 1 diabetics given a recently approved type 2 diabetes medication in addition to their insulin therapy experienced a "dramatic change" in their health. They had more stable blood sugar levels, needed less insulin, and even lost an average ten pounds over six months.

The FDA approved Victoza as a once-daily injection to treat type 2 non insulin dependent diabetes in adults in early 2010. Although it is injected, Victoza is not a type of insulin. Victoza (generic name liraglutide) belongs to a new class of medications called glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonists.

GLP-1 receptor agonists mimic the action of a natural peptide which helps the pancreas to make more insulin after a meal. They also slow the absorption of sugar in the stomach, act as an appetite suppressant, and lower levels of glucagon, a hormone which counteracts the effect of insulin.

Researchers at the State University of New York conducted a clinical study with 14 type 1 diabetics whose blood sugar was well controlled using an insulin pump. Although their insulin therapy was effective, all the study participants showed unpredictable peaks and dips in their blood sugar levels.

When Victoza was added to their insulin therapy, all 14 saw their blood sugar quickly stabilize. Within a week, their fasting and blood sugar levels fell an average 15 percent. The longer they took Victoza, the less insulin they required. Both their mealtime and all-day insulin dosing lowered about 30 percent. Those that continued in the study for six months experienced even less need for insulin.

Lowering the levels of insulin suppressing glucagon appears to be of much more benefit to type 1 diabetics than had been anticipated. "Over a protracted period of time, as their diabetes continues to be well controlled, there is delightful improvement in patients' well being," says study leader Dr. Paresh Dandona.

Prescription Byetta (generic name exenatide) is a similar GLP-1 receptor agonist also recently approved by the FDA. Exenatide mimics the action of incretin hormones to lower blood sugar. Byetta is injected twice daily. Byetta has not yet been tested in type 1 diabetes, but the researchers believe both type 2 diabetes drugs would have the same effects.

Both liraglutide and exenatide are normally prescribed in combination with diet, exercise, and other diabetes medication. Neither Victoza or Byetta are FDA approved for use in type 1 diabetes, and Dandona advises that they should only be prescribed off-label by an endocrinologist specializing in diabetes treatment. Dandona is pursuing funding for a larger study.

Insulin has Direct Effects On the Brain

June 9th, 2011

Researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Neurological Research (MPINR) claim to have proven that insulin has direct effects on the reward centers of the brain. In a recent article in Cell Metabolism outlining their work the MPINR team explained that they set out to better understand the "reward" aspects of food and how insulin influences brain function.

Unlike earlier studies that had focused on insulin's effect on the feeding behavior related hypothalamus, the team focused on neurons in the brain that release dopamine, a brain chemical that plays a role in reward and motivation. They found that insulin causes the dopamine-releasing neurons to fire more frequently.

Mice whose insulin receptors were inactivated to no longer respond to insulin overate and became obese. They also showed an altered response to sugar and cocaine when their food supply was limited, further suggesting that the brain's reward centers require insulin to function normally.

The findings suggest that insulin resistance may help to explain why many obese individuals find it so difficult to resist food and lose weight. "Insulin resistance may drive a vicious cycle," explains MPINR's Jens Bruning, "There is no evidence that this is the beginning of the road to obesity, but it may be an important contributor to obesity and to the difficulty we have in dealing with it.

The next step is to conduct functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans in human subjects who have had insulin artificially delivered to the brain to observe its effects on their reward centers.

To read the article in Cell Metabolism, >CLICK HERE.<

Medalists Survive 50 Years without Diabetes Complications

June 10th, 2011

The Joslin Diabetes Center's 50-Year Medal Program honors the accomplishments of those who have survived 50 years or more with diabetes. The Boston-based Center has been following insulin dependent diabetics who have successfully managed their condition over many years.

The Center's 50-year medalists, almost half of which have managed to avoid serious complications such as eye or kidney damage, are being studied in an attempt to determine genetic, physical, psychological and environmental factors that contribute to successful long-term management of the condition.

Years of analyzing data from over 500 long-term diabetes patients have revealed some interesting, and occasionally surprising, information. Perhaps most striking is the fact that almost 70 percent of the medalists still produce some insulin, indicating they may have some defense against beta cell destruction.

Joslin researchers studying the medalists hope to uncover ways to preserve and create insulin-producing beta cells in other insulin dependent diabetics, to develop more effective diabetes medications, or even to find a cure for diabetes.

For some personal survival secrets from two of the medalists who have lived long and healthy lives with diabetes, and some interesting observations on how diabetes control has changed over the years, visit diabeticlifestyle.com.

Poor Sleep in Diabetics Leads to 82% Higher Insulin Resistance

June 13th, 2011

man in bed

There are complex cause and effect relationships between sleep and diabetes. Poor sleep is considered a risk factor for diabetes, while diabetes is considered a contributor to poor sleep.

Sleep disorders such as insomnia, excessive snoring and obstructive sleep apnea are more common in people with type 2 diabetes. As a result, many diabetics don't sleep as well as people without the disease.

Recently, researchers conducting a study titled Cross-Sectional Associations Between Measure Of Sleep And Markers Of Glucose Metabolism Among Persons With And Without Diabetes" monitored the sleep patterns of 40 type 2 diabetics over six nights. They were first interviewed about their normal sleeping patterns, and blood samples were taken to measure their glucose and insulin levels.

Participants wore activity monitors on their wrists to measure their movements through the night. A poor sleep was defined by both the data from the wrist monitors, and the patient's description of how long it took them to fall asleep and how many times they woke up through the night.

The poor sleepers had significantly higher blood glucose levels in the morning - 23 percent higher than those who got a restful sleep. Even more striking, their blood insulin levels were 48 percent higher. The researchers crunched the two numbers to calculate that poor sleepers with diabetes had 82% higher insulin resistance than diabetics who were able to get a good sleep.

"Poor sleep quality in people with diabetes was associated with worse control of their blood sugar levels," said the study's lead author, Kristen Knutson, PhD, an assistant professor of medicine, "people who have a hard time controlling their blood glucose levels have a higher risk of complications. They have a reduced quality of life. And they have a reduced life expectancy."

The logical next step, according to the researchers, is to see if improving the quality of sleep in diabetics can help them lower insulin resistance give them better long term diabetes control and improve their quality of life.

"This suggests that improving sleep quality in diabetics would have a similar beneficial effect as the most commonly used anti- diabetes drugs," said Eve Van Cauter, PhD, professor of medicine and co-author of the study, which was recently published in Diabetes Care.

The researchers also want to solve the "chicken and egg" aspect of chronic poor sleep and chronic insulin resistance, and determine which leads to the other. In the meantime, they're suggesting that diabetics with insomnia add sleep treatment to their diabetes medication.

"Super Mice" Suggest Promising New Approach to Diabetes Medication

June 14th, 2011

lab mice

Scientists at the prestigious Mayo Clinic are excited about a promising prospective treatment for type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is a result of the body losing sensitivity to insulin and no longer being able to respond to it. Current diabetes treatments concentrate on increasing insulin levels - either by administering insulin injections, or by stimulating the pancreas to produce more insulin.

A Mayo Clinic Department of Neuroscience research team, led by Malcolm Leissring, Ph.D, took a different approach - blocking the breakdown of insulin after it was released by the pancreas. Conducting studies in mice, the researchers genetically deleted an insulin-degrading enzyme, or IDE, which breaks insulin down into smaller pieces to help control insulin levels in the blood.

The IDE-less rodents were "super mice" in regards to their ability to lower their blood sugar after a meal (a problem for many diabetics). They also had higher insulin levels, weighed less, and had better overall blood sugar control.

"Insulin levels in the blood reflect the balance between how much is secreted and how fast it is broken down," explains Leissring, "Blocking the breakdown of insulin is simply an alternative method for achieving the same goals as existing diabetes therapies."

Unfortunately, IDE inhibitors will need some work before they can be used in humans. The "super mice" eventually overdosed on the trial diabetes drug, becoming insulin resistant and developing classic type 2 diabetes. "It's an example of too much of a good thing becoming bad for you, explains researcher Samer Abdul-Hay, Ph.D, "Deleting all IDE is overkill". He believes that drugs that only partially or temporarily inhibit IDE could be effective long-term diabetes medications.

The study also raises some interesting questions about how diabetes starts. Diabetes is usually believed to cause hyperinsulinemia, or excess insulin levels in the blood. But as the "super mice" with IDE-elevated insulin levels aged, it worked the other way around - the mice lost insulin receptors, became insulin resistant, and developed type 2 diabetes.

Dr. Leissring and his team are currently working on developing more IDE inhibitors, stressing that they in the "early, but exciting days" of their research, and are still unsure if the results will apply to humans. The American Diabetes Association recently awarded them a five-year development grant - a solid indication of its interest in and support for this new avenue of diabetes research.

Oil Refining Expertise Being Applied to Closed Loop Artificial Pancreas

June 15th, 2011

Engineers from the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute are building on automation techniques used in oil refining to create a closed-loop artificial pancreas for type 1 diabetics. The Institute's Professor B. Wayne Bequette, whose sister developed diabetes early in life, has been fine tuning an increasingly advanced diabetes control system for six years.

The pancreas of a type 1 diabetic produces little or no insulin, leaving them dependent on insulin injections. Blood sugar and insulin levels rise and fall normally during the day, responding to factors like meals, the type of food eaten, stress and exercise. Diabetics must monitor their blood sugar levels frequently, and adjust their insulin dose accordingly.

Bequette's artificial pancreas marries an insulin pump with a continuous glucose monitoring system. The combination quickly and accurately identifies and responds to rapid variations in blood sugar and insulin levels, eliminating the need for frequent testing and guesswork.

To read more about Bequette and his fellow researcher's work on theEngineer >CLICK HERE.<

FDA: Long-Term Use of Actos May Be Associated With Bladder Cancer

June 17th, 2011

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is informing the public that use of the diabetes medication Actos (pioglitazone) for more than one year may be associated with an increased risk of bladder cancer. Information about this risk will be added to the Warnings and Precautions section of the label for pioglitazone-containing medicines. The patient Medication Guide for these medicines will also be revised to include information on the risk of bladder cancer.

This safety information is based on FDA's review of data from a planned five-year interim analysis of an ongoing, ten-year epidemiological study1, described in FDA's September 2010 ongoing safety review and in the Data Summary. The five-year results showed that although there was no overall increased risk of bladder cancer with pioglitazone use, an increased risk of bladder cancer was noted among patients with the longest exposure to pioglitazone, and in those exposed to the highest cumulative dose of pioglitazone.

To read the Safety Announcement on the FDA website, >CLICK HERE.<

Online Diabetes Community Invited to Contribute to Video Project

June 17th, 2011

Kim Vlasnik, an insulin dependent type 1 diabetic since the age of six, found welcome support through the online diabetes community. She has been writing the cheeky diabetes blog Texting My Pancreas (a name inspired by her insulin pump) since 2010. "Living with diabetes feels much more bearable when I think of it as a team sport," she writes on her About Me page.

Now the ambitious Vlasnik has launched a companion video project to strengthen the online community and to lessen the isolation, depression, anxiety and frustration often caused by diabetes. The project, called You Can Do This, invites diabetics to create and share videos of their personal challenges to show others they can get through the tough times.

Vlasnik believes that everyone with diabetes struggles at one time or another, and that validation and community can lighten the emotional load. "Tell us your stories," she invites her readers, "Show others what living with diabetes is really like - no sugar-coating. Talk about the tough stuff. Show us how you've dealt with it. Let others see their own struggles and feeling through your words."

Launched June 15th, 2010, the site had almost fifty videos uploaded in its first two days, and numerous positive comments posted by grateful fans. Texting My Pancreas and the You Can Do This Project can be found at www.textingmypancreas.com.

Caffeine Increases Insulin Resistance

June 20th, 2011

Add your daily cup of java to the list of things that can makeit more difficult to control your diabetes. A growing body of research indicates that caffeine disrupts glucose metabolism and increases insulin resistance, even in people that don't have diabetes.

The findings raise concerns that caffeine's tendency to increase insulin resistance could increase the risk of developing diabetes, or lead to poor control of the disease in those that already have it.

In people with type 2 diabetes, the expected rise in blood sugar after eating carbohydrates is exaggerated if they also drink a caffeinated beverage. This larger than anticipated rise in blood glucose could throw off diabetics' calculations of the required dosage of diabetes medication, including insulin injections.

This is further complicated by the fact that people metabolize coffee at different speeds, and that both slow and fast metabolizers are common in the general population.

Caffeine is not only found in coffee, but also in tea, soft drinks and in energy drinks. Caffeine's impact on glucose metabolism was reported on in the inaugural issue of the Journal of Caffeine Research: The International Multidisciplinary Journal of Caffeine Science.

"The links that have been revealed between diabetes and the consumption of caffeine beverages - especially coffee - are of monumental importance when it is acknowledged that more than 80 percent of the world's population consumes caffeine daily," says the new journal's editor in chief, Jack E. James.

American Idol Stars Warn Against Neglecting Diabetes

June 21st, 2011

American Idol runner-up singer/songwriter Crystal Bowersox has revealed that she was hospitalized for two days with diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) during last year's finals. Bowersox now admits to neglecting her disease, sometimes going an entire day without testing her blood sugar.

With her diabetes now under control, she currently checks her blood glucose levels at least 10 times a day. "When you know what your reading is, you know what to do," says Bowersox, who now strives to be a good role model for fellow insulin dependent diabetics, "The only way you can live your life is by monitoring your diabetes."

Bowersox, a type 1 diabetic since age 6, is now an advocate for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and the Diabetes Research Institute. Fellow Idol contestant Kevin Covais, also a type 1 diabetic, has joined Bowersox in her advocacy for both diabetes organizations.

DKA usually results from not monitoring and controlling blood sugar and insulin levels, especially around mealtimes. Insulin dependent diabetics also need to take into consideration their stress and activity levels when calculating the correct insulin dosage.

To read more about Bowersox's and Covais's experiences and their advice for fellow diabetics, visit Yahoo News

Nicotine Raises Blood Sugar

June 22nd, 2011

The Department of Chemistry at California State Polytechnic University has some important news about smoking and blood sugar levels, especially for diabetics:

  • Nicotine is now known to raise blood sugar levels.
  • The more you smoke, the higher your blood sugar rises.
  • In laboratory testing, two days of nicotine dosing (the equivalent of one or two packs a day) increased HbA1c levels (average blood sugar readings over a period of time) in blood samples by up to 34.5 percent.
  • An increase in HbA1c levels of just 1 percent equals a 40 percent increase in the risk of diabetes complications.
  • Nicotine replacement products such as gum and patches have the same effect on blood sugar as smoking.

Increases in blood sugar and poor diabetes control have already been clearly linked to diabetes complications such as heart attack and stroke, eye and kidney disease and nerve damage, and it was known that diabetics who smoke have higher levels of complications than diabetics who don't smoke.

What wasn't clear was which of the thousands of chemicals in cigarettes were responsible. It's now believed that nicotine may impact glucose metabolism by interfering with the way glucose attaches to proteins, possibly changing their structure and function.

The American Cancer Society has developed a useful guide to help both diabetics and non-diabetics quit smoking. Download the PDF >HERE<.

Diabetic Cookie Recipe

June 23rd, 2011

diabetic cookies

1 1/2 cups unsweetened applesauce

3/4 cup margarine

2 eggs

1 tbsp. vanilla

1/3 cup brown sugar substitute, suitable for baking

2 cups oatmeal

1 tbsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp. allspice

1 1/2 cup flour

1 1/2 tsp. soda

1/2 tsp. salt

1 cup raisins

1/4 cup nuts

Mix applesauce, margarine, eggs, vanilla and brown sugar substitute well; add the remaining ingredients. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto a cookie sheet and bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes.

Healthy eating is crucial to diabetes control. But being diabetic doesn't mean you can never enjoy something sweet. The above recipe is courtesy of Sugar-Free.org Diabetic Recipes. Visit the site for an entire library of diabetic recipes, along with helpful tips, news and advice for diabetics.

Weird Warning for Diabetics With Pets

June 24th, 2011

Jack Russell terrier

The Director of the Amputation Prevention Center at the Valley Presbyterian Hospital in Van Nuys, Dr. Lee C. Rogers, has a warning for diabetic pet owners who have suffered a loss of feeling due to nerve damage.

The warning stems from an incident in which a two-year-old Jack Russell terrier chewed off the infected big toe of its owner while she slept. The 48-year-old Des Moines woman woke in the morning to find part of her toe missing, and blood on her bed and her pet's face.

"She didn't feel it at all," said Rogers, a podiatrist who treated the woman, "When she woke up, there was blood all over the place." Rogers eventually had to amputate the woman's leg after she developed an infection - leaving her a double amputee.

Rogers is now cautioning diabetics who have lost feeling in their limbs to cover their feet and any wounds while sleeping. "Pets have a tendency to lick wounds, and that simple lick can turn into a bite if there is no response from its owner," warns Rogers, adding that there has also been cases of dog's saliva infecting their owners with dangerous bacteria.

About 60 to 70 percent of diabetics have some sort of nerve damage, or diabetic neuropathy, due to poor diabetes control. Diabetic neuropathy results from years of high blood glucose levels, and often begins with a loss of sensation in the feet.

Diabetic neuropathy is a leading cause of amputation, although staff at the Amputation Prevention Center have achieved a limb salvage rate of 96 percent since opening its doors in January of 2010. The Center uses cutting-edge technology and a unique team approach. It recorded an average healing rate of 52 days in its 350 patients the first year, less than half the national average of 120 days.

Oddly, this is not the first known incident of this type. Last year a Michigan man with type 2 diabetes lost part of his big toe when his Jack Russell bit it off after the man passed out from a night of drinking. Doctors who treated him after the incident said they would have had to amputate the toe anyway.

Diabetic neuropathy is not an inevitable part of having diabetes. It can be avoided, or at the very least, minimized with proper diabetes control. Both type 1 and type 2 diabetics can control their condition with lifestyle changes like diet and exercise, careful blood glucose monitoring, and oral diabetes medication insulin injections if needed.

Dramatic Increase in Life Expectancy for Type 1 Diabetics

June 27th, 2011

ScienceDaily (2011-06-25) -- The life expectancy of people diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes between 1965 and 1980 dramatically increased, compared to people diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes between 1950 and 1964, according to a new study. ... > http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110624182309.htm read full article

Inexpensive TB Vaccine could be a Revolutionary Diabetes Drug

June 28th, 2011

An inexpensive vaccine that's been used for over 90 years to combat tuberculosis may have the ability to reverse type 1 diabetes. Although the early results were met with skepticism, seven studies in mice over the last ten years have established that the generic drug BCG (bacillus Calmette-Guerin) can prevent immune system T cells from destroying insulin-producing cells, allowing the pancreas to regenerate and once again produce insulin.

A research team from the Massachusetts General Hospital Immunobiology Laboratory led by Dr. Denise Faustman, PhD, successfully reproduced the results in a small group of human subjects, using very small doses of the vaccine. Those diabetics receiving the vaccine, all of whom had been Type 1 for an average 15 years, showed both a decrease in pancreas cell-destroying T cells, and an increase in the insulin precursor C-peptide - an indicator of insulin production.

The results were temporary, and it is likely that the vaccination would have to be repeated on a regular basis. The team believed using higher doses would have led to a more positive effect, but trial dosages were limited by the FDA. They are now negotiating with the FDA to use higher concentrations in a larger trial.

Type 1 diabetes is an auto-immune condition in which the body attacks its own insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas. The body needs insulin to fuel itself and regulate blood sugar, so type 1 diabetics must take daily insulin injections to manage their blood sugar levels.

BCG works by increasing the levels of an immune system protein called tumor necrosis factor, or TNF. High levels of TNF block other parts of the immune system from attacking the body, especially the pancreas. This is a major shift in direction in diabetes treatment, as it was not previously believed possible to restore pancreas function in insulin dependent diabetics.

Doctors and researchers are surprised and excited at the unanticipated prospect of controlling the immune system to restore the body' ability to produce normal insulin levels. "If this is reproducible and correct, it could be a phenomenal finding," enthuses Dr. Robert Henry of the University of California, San Diego.

The research was largely funded by the Iacocca Foundation, founded in 1984 by auto manufacturer magnate Lee Iacocca and his daughters after his wife died from diabetes complications at age 57. The Foundation has committed to continued financial assistance for phase II clinical testing of the potentially revolutionary diabetes medication.

Diabetes Discoveries Could Lead to Better Blood Glucose Control

June 30th, 2011

New discoveries in diabetes suggest novel ways to treat, delay the disease

ScienceDaily (2011-06-22) -- A new signal pathway that renders the insulin-releasing beta cell more sensitive to high levels of blood glucose has been discovered by researchers in Sweden. A second new study reveals a possible way to delay the disease by inhibiting a lipoprotein.

A new joint study published in Nature Medicine and conducted by researchers at Karolinska Institutet's Department of Molecular Medicine and Surgery and their American colleagues provides new insights into how beta cells react to raised concentrations of blood sugar, which occur, for example, after a meal.

... > read full article

Consider an Online Canadian Pharmacy When You Buy Lantus

June 30th, 2011

Lantus is a popular basal, or long acting, insulin used in the treatment of both type 1 and type 1 diabetes mellitus. The diabetes medication is suitable for both adult and pediatric patients with Type 1 diabetes, and for adults with Type 2 diabetes who require long-acting insulin injections to control hyperglycemia.

Lantus long acting insulin has some key benefits: it is used only once daily, it has no pronounced peak; it lowers basal glucose levels for a full 24 hours; and it can be used with oral diabetes medications and/or short-acting insulin for better diabetes control. One of the biggest advantages of Lantus is that, due to its lack of peak, it decreases the risk of nocturnal hypoglycemia.

Lantus (insulin glargine), marketed by Sanofi-Aventis, currently leads the long acting insulin market, generating sales of almost $4 billion a year globally. Lantus is available in both conventional vials and the discreet and convenient pre-filled Lantus SoloSTAR insulin pen.

Many diabetics help manage the cost of daily insulin injections by buying their diabetes medication from a Canadian online pharmacy. The Canadian government regulates prescription drug prices, and does not allow pharmaceutical companies to engage in expensive direct to consumer marketing, helping to keep drug prices lower.

The Canadian government also allows drug companies to manufacturer cheaper (but chemically identical) generic versions of brand name drugs sooner than in the States. Canadian pharmacies are anticipating they will be able to provide their customers with affordable generic Lantus in the near future, so revisit longactinginsulin.com for updates.

It is not uncommon for a prescription purchased through a Canadian online pharmacy to be 50% cheaper than one purchased in the US, and not unheard of for it to be up to 90% cheaper. To buy Janumet online from a Canadian pharmacy, you must have a current valid prescription.

Be sure you are dealing with a reputable online Canada pharmacy by ensuring it does not offer drugs without a prescription, does not sell controlled substances such as narcotics, has clear contact information including a physical address, has a licensed pharmacist available to answer questions, and is accredited by the Canadian International Pharmacy Association.

Like all types of insulin, Lantus is only part of a complete program of diabetes treatment that may also include diet, exercise, weight control, and regular blood sugar monitoring. Any decisions about your diabetes medication should be made together with your doctor or another health care professional.