June 3, 2013

May Diabetes-Related News Snippets

Here are the diabetes news items posted during May, 2013 that may have some lasting value:


Jenny said...

Finally, some research that really does sound like it might go a long way to controlling Type 1 diabetes in a more physiological way.

Science Daily: Injectible Nano Network Controls Blood Sugar in Diabetics for Days at a Time

A subcutaneous network of nanoparticles releases insulin only when blood sugars rise. And yes, the "Diabetics" in this report turn out to be rodents, but I don't see any reason why the concept would work in people too, since it it the chemistry between blood sugar and the network that controls the release of insulin, not anything particularly rodent-specific.

The only challenge that leaps to mind is that humans use a lot more insulin than tiny mice, so could you inject a large enough network to provide the needed insulin?

Let's hope this isn't one of the many promising research avenues that gets bought up and buried by the drug companies who would lose a lot of money if effective treatments for diabetes were to be created.

OTOH, ten days translates into a lot of treatments, and given the obscene amounts that get charged for any truly lifesaving treatment, this one might end up too expensive to be widely deployed.

It's not clear to me from the little I have read about this whether it would be of use to people with Type 2 who are insulin resistant, probably because the amounts of insulin needed with Type 2 can be as much as 10 times higher than those needed to control Type 1. (Or at times even higher.)

Jenny said...

Yet another contributing cause to the increase in diabetes: Arsenic compounds fed chickens which turn into pure arsenic when the meat is cooked and eaten.

"Arsenic-based drugs have been used in poultry production for decades. Arsenical drugs are approved to make poultry grow faster and improve the pigmentation of the meat. ...the researchers were able to identify residual roxarsone in the meat they studied; in the meat where roxarsone was detected, levels of inorganic arsenic were four times higher than the levels in USDA Organic chicken (in which roxarsone and other arsenicals are prohibited from use)."

The FDA as is so often the case, doesn't care. You should. Besides causing cancer, arsenic has been shown to raise the incidence of diabetes.

Between the high level of phosphates in most chicken sold today which promote heart disease and the high concentration of antibiotics--and arsenic--in the meat, I think we can safely dismiss the idea that chicken is health food.

Science Daily: Poultry Drug Increases Levels of Toxic Arsenic in Chicken Meat

Jenny said...

Doctors may dismiss patient reports that statins damage their ability to think, but the effect is real. A set of studies documents disturbing changes in the neurons following statin use: "unusual swellings within neurons," described as "beads on a string."

This is research on cultured neurons in petri dishes not living people, but it seems significant, given how many people report thinking problems after taking stains.

In the petri dish, removing the statin will reverse the neurological damage. The reports from people are mixed.

Science Daily: Possible Reason for Cholesterol-Drug Side Effects Such as Memory Loss

Jenny said...

Measuring the calories in common restaurant meals shows just how out of control portion size has gotten.

"On average, the meals studied contained 1,327 calories, which significantly exceeds the estimated energy needs of an individual adult at a single meal,"

"Nearly three-quarters (73%) of the meals analyzed contained more than half of the FDA's daily energy recommendation of 2,000 calories,"

"Among the meal categories studied, the Italian (1,755 calories), American (1,494 calories) and Chinese (1,474 calories) meals had the highest average calorie levels. Vietnamese meals had the lowest calorie levels as measured by gross energy, with an average of 922 calories. The Japanese meals had the second lowest calories, with an average of 1,027 calories."

Considering that a middle aged woman of normal size can eat no more than 1800 calories a day without gaining weight, it's not surprising how easily we become. That 2,000 calorie a day intake recommendation only works for YOUNG people. With each decade your caloric needs drop, and you would have to exercise for several hours every day to make up for the change age induces.

Science Daily: Individual and Small-Chain Restaurant Meals Exceed Recommended Daily Calorie Needs

Jenny said...

Yet another well-documented cause of insulin resistance: The kinds of air pollution given off by motor vehicles. A new study documents its effect on children:

"levels of insulin resistance were greater in children with higher exposure to air pollution. Insulin resistance increased by 17% for every 10.6 µg/m3 (2 standard deviations [SDs] from the mean) increase in ambient nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and 19% for every 6 µg/m3 (2 SDs) increase in particulate matter of up to 10 μm in diameter. Proximity to the nearest major road increased insulin resistance by 7% per 500 metres. All the findings were statistically significant."

Air Pollution Increases Risk of Insulin Resistance in Children

Jenny said...

A hormone, aP2, secreted by (mouse) fat cells helps regulate the release of glucose by the liver. Suppressing the secretion of this hormone lowers blood sugar in mice.

Worthy of follow up in people to see if it holds up. Much mouse research doesn't.

Science Daily" Discovery of New Hormone Opens Doors to New Type 2 Diabetes Treatments

Jenny said...

Several recent studies have shed light on why it is blood sugar, not a diagnosis of the underlying condition that causes high blood sugar, that damages the body.

Rising blood glucose, it turns out, raises the level of various inflammatory proteins. Inflammation in turn damages the blood vessels including the arteries causing heart disease and those involved in other diabetic complications.

Lowering blood sugar prevents these changes.

Injecting Insulin also decreases inflammation.

University of Buffalo: Study: Insulin fights inflammation and even small amounts of glucose trigger it in Type 1 diabetics Note: the study also documents these effects in people with Type 2 diabetes.

Science Daily: Protecting the Heart Health of Diabetic Patients

Jenny said...

A careful study casts doubt on the theory that viral infections are what trigger the development of Type 1 diabetes in children.

Diabetes Daily: No Link Found Between Viral Infection and Rapidly Developing Type 1 Diabetes in Young Children

Jenny said...

Marijuana users have better blood sugar control

NHANES data. Is this effect from smoking dope, or do people with normal blood sugar self-select ad habitual users, since they don't get overpowering munchies when they smoke and thus find it more enjoyable?

Jenny said...

Yet another large, long population study finds that taking high potency statins raises the risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes.

Conclusion: "Compared with pravastatin, treatment with higher potency statins, especially atorvastatin and simvastatin, might be associated with an increased risk of new onset diabetes."

22% higher risk with Lipitor (atorvastatin) and 18 percent higher with Crestor (rosuvastatin).

In mainstream press coverage, Drug company shills,, a.k.a. well known cardiologists, bend over backward to ignore this latest confirmation of a phenomenon that has been public knowledge for more than a year.

The reason that statins cause diabetes may have to do with the fact that they impair the operation mitochondria--the part of the cell that burns glucose, which is why you are supposed to take Coenzyme Q10 with them

Risk of incident diabetes among patients treated with statins: population based study BMJ 2013; 346 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.f2610 (Published 23 May 2013)

In press coverage

Jenny said...

As I have been writing for years, the condition called "Type 2 Diabetes" is actually many different conditions with different genetic causes. Ethnicity plays a huge role in the kind of diabetes a person might have. The degree to which the problem is lack of insulin secretion or high insulin resistance varies greatly too.

Science Daily: Diabetes Genetic Underpinnings Can Vary Based On Ethnic Background.

This points out just how stupid most rodent research is, as the "Type 2 Diabetes" that lab rodents get is caused by completely different genes than the ones that affect humans. Even in the rare cases when they insert a human gene in a rodent, it is one that causes diabetes in only a small subset of humans.

But mouse research is a lot cheaper than research in humans and there are too many people who have built careers and got inside tracks on grant money using rodents for the situation to change.

Bottom line, remember that eating fat does not cause diabetes in anything but rodents selected as "Models" of diabetes because they get diabetes when they eat fat. Humans get diabetes when they eat more carbs than their genetically weak bodies can tolerate.