Researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University in collaboration with Nurses' Health Study investigators have shown that levels of certain related proteins found in blood are associated with a greatly reduced risk for developing type 2 diabetes up to a decade or more later. The findings, published in the online edition of Diabetes, could open a new front in the war against diabetes. These proteins are part of what is called the IGF axis. This axis was named for insulin-like growth factor-1, (IGF-1), so called because it has biological effects similar to those of insulin (the hormone that regulates blood glucose levels) but has a greater effect on cell growth than insulin. The researchers also looked at levels of several proteins known as IGF binding proteins, or IGFBPs, that may have strong effects independent of IGF-1.
Middle-aged and older adults with diabetes showed substantial survival rates in a new University of Michigan Health System study of retirees. Survival rates were strong even for adults living in nursing homes or who have multiple health issues like dementia and disabilities that make self-managed care for diabetes difficult. The findings were published in the Journal of Gerontology and revealed even older adults may benefit from interventions that can prevent or delay the complications of diabetes, which include poor vision, nerve damage, heart disease and kidney failure. "We went into this thinking that people in the limited health group would have substantial mortality but with the exception of patients over age 76 with the poorest health status, all showed strong survival rates, " says lead study author Christine T.
Scientists from the Monell Center report that blood glucose levels following starch ingestion are influenced by genetically-determined differences in salivary amylase, an enzyme that breaks down dietary starches. Specifically, higher salivary amylase activity is related to lower blood glucose. The findings are the first to demonstrate a significant metabolic role for salivary amylase in starch digestion, suggesting that this oral enzyme may contribute significantly to overall metabolic status. Other implications relate to calculating the glycemic index of starch-rich foods and ultimately the risk of developing diabetes. "Two individuals may have very different glycemic responses to the same starchy food, depending on their amylase levels, " said lead author Abigail Mandel, Ph.D., a nutritional scientist at Monell.
Insulin is required for the regulation of blood sugar levels. In type I diabetes, the cells that produce insulin are destroyed by the immune system. Chantal Mathieu and colleagues at the University of Leuven have attempted to circumvent this response by taking advantage of the fact that the immune system accepts foreign gut bacteria. The Mathieu group engineered gut bacteria so that they produce a form of insulin, and asked if these bacteria could retrain the immune system in mice with type I diabetes to accept insulin-producing cells. They found that these special bacteria increased the frequency of cured mice when compared to traditional methods alone, with seemingly no undesirable effects. Traditional methods suppress the immune system, which brings with it unfavorable consequences such as increased infections.
Cellular Energy May Be Depleted In Patients With Obesity And Diabetes By Increased Fructose Consumption
Obese people who consume increased amounts of fructose, a type of sugar that is found in particular in soft drinks and fruit juices, are at risk for nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NFALD) and more its more severe forms, fatty inflammation and scarring. Now researchers at Duke University Medical Center believe they better understand what mechanism may account for fructose-related liver injury. Chronic fructose consumption in a diet puts people at risk for depleting their store of critically important molecules called ATP, which provide liver cells (and other body cells) energy for important cellular processes, including metabolism. "The stores of liver ATP are decreased in obese and/or diabetic individuals who chronically consume increased amounts of fructose-containing beverages, " said lead author Manal Abdelmalek, M.