D H
Nov 2, 2018 · Last update 1 mo. ago.

What are the latest breakthroughs in diabetes research?

The number of people worldwide suffering from some form of diabetes is thought to have doubled since the 1980’s. What breakthroughs have been made in the prevention, treatment, or care of diabetic people?
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High Carb, low processed food diet
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Sernova Cell Pouch
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Drugs
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Low carbohydrate diets
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Genetic clues
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High Carb, low processed food diet

There has recently been some pushback on the low carbohydrate, high fat diet typically recommended to diabetics, a high carbohydrate, low fat, low processed food diet, which happens to be high in fibre, seems to be more effective at addressing the root causes of diabetes. One proponent of this diet is Dr Cyrus Khambatta, a type-1 diabetic himself, who advocates for an extremely low fat intake of 20 grams a day, eating plant-based whole foods to improve insulin sensitivity and insulin resistance. Various studies have demonstrated this improvement, the Adventist Health Study 2 demonstrated that vegans, people whose diet is typically high in carbohydrate-rich foods, had half the rate of diabetes, while eating meat or processed foods, even rarely, actually increased diabetes risk. Other large studies have found that fruit consumption lowers rates of type-2 diabetes, despite most diabetics being advised to avoid fruits and other sugar and carbohydrate-rich foods.

The traditional low carb, high fat diet is just concerned with the quick fix of addressing the easily measurable blood sugar levels without taking into account the mechanism by which cells in the body have difficulty in absorbing sugar from the blood. At a cellular level diabetes is much more complex than just an inability to process sugar or unexplained insulin resistance, with inflammation and excess fat and calories causing a build up of fats in liver and muscles cells which directly affect insulin resistance. Avoiding carbohydrates simply masks the real issue, whereas high carb, high fibre diets seem to decrease inflammation while increasing the bodies insulin sensitivity and can actually reverse insulin resistance. The diet angle of diabetes seems an issue of managing versus actually preventing it, it seems that a high carb low processed food diet is actually resolving some of the nutritional foundational issues from which diabetes stems, whereas low carb high fat solely reduces the blood sugar level alone.

forksoverknives.com/wellness/recommend-a-high-carb-diet-for-patients-with-diabetes medpagetoday.com/columns/at-large/31400 masteringdiabetes.org/high-carb-foods-reverse-insulin-resistance pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19351712

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D H
Dec 16
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DH edited this paragraph
There has recently been some pushback on the low carbohydrate, high fat diet typically recommended to diabetics, a high carbohydrate, low fat, low processed food diet, which happens to be high in fibre, seems to be more effective at addressing the root causes of diabetes. One proponent of this diet is Dr Cyrus Khambatta, a type-1 diabetic himself, who advocates for an extremely low fat intake of 20 grams a day, eating plant-based whole foods to improve insulin sensitivity and insulin resistance. Various studies have demonstrated this improvement, the Adventist Health Study 2 demonstrated that vegans, people whose diet is typically high in carbohydrate-rich foods, had half the rate of diabetes, while eating meat or processed foods, even rarely, actually increased diabetes risk. Other large studies have found that fruit consumption lowers rates of type-2 diabetes, despite most diabetics being advised to avoid fruits and other sugar and carbohydrate-rich foods.

Sernova Cell Pouch

Trials are currently underway in which researchers from the University of Chicago are testing a Cell Pouch system that could be transplanted into diabetes patients who require daily insulin injections. The perforated pouch is filled with insulin producing cells after it is transplanted into the patient's body, and essentially becomes an artificial insulin-producing organ similar to the body's own islet cells. While formerly healthy insulin producing cells could similarly be harvested from deceased donors and injected into a patients liver, the patient would then have to take immunosuppressant drugs for the rest of their lives, to stop their body attacking the donor cells.

This new procedure utilises a special polymer material that has caused no immune response in previous trials and could be revolutionary in treating a multitude of deficiency diseases. This new material essentially takes the older technology of the ‘artificial pancreas’, a fully automated blood-glucose monitoring and insulin injecting system, and integrates it into the patient's body in a more analogue form, closer to the bodies own mechanism for regulating blood sugar. This innovative new technology is currently in phase two trials and could be the first step in the future of in-body smart drug tech, such ideas were once limited to the world of science fiction, but we may be witnessing the birth of such technology with the Sernova Cell Pouch.

sernova.com/technology dailymail.co.uk/health/article-5983571/Is-breakthrough-soon-end-diabetes-New-implant-tackle-cause-disease.html stockhouse.com/news/press-releases/2020/11/18/sernova-provides-clinical-update-on-u-s-phase-i-ii-cell-pouch-tm-trial-for-type

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D H
Dec 16
Approved
DH edited this paragraph
This new procedure utilises a special polymer material that has caused no immune response in previous trials and could be revolutionary in treating a multitude of deficiency diseases. This new material essentially takes the older technology of the ‘artificial pancreas’, a fully automated blood-glucose monitoring and insulin injecting system, and integrates it into the patient's body in a more analogue form, closer to the bodies own mechanism for regulating blood sugar. This innovative new technology is currently in phase two trials and could be the first step in the future of in-body smart drug tech, such ideas were once limited to the world of science fiction, but we may be witnessing the birth of such technology with the Sernova Cell Pouch.

Drugs

For type-1 diabetes insulin or synthetic insulin compounds have to be used as drug treatment, but there are a range of drugs used to fight type-2 diabetes, which work by lowering blood sugar levels. Metformin is the most common drug that decreases the liver's glucose production rate, but tests are underway on drugs that combine man-made insulin with Glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) a hormone that the human body naturally secretes to lower bloody sugar. Drugs containing GLP-1 or working on the body’s GLP-1 metabolism (the breaking down of GLP-1) have demonstrated a positive effect on insulin levels, plus a long list of positive physiological benefits, both in the patient’s blood and a range of other tissues.

Many pharmaceutical companies now produce GLP-1 receptor agonists, but French company Poxel are approaching type-2 differently, targeting the pancreas, the liver and the muscles to reduce blood sugar. However type-2 diabetes often goes hand in hand with other health risk factors such as high blood pressure and obesity, Swedish companies Betagenon and Baltic Bio are working on a new class of drugs that control sugar levels while reducing blood pressure. A German company, Morphosys, have gone one step further and are developing an antibody treatment that is designed to reduce fat, and control hunger, while preventing insulin resistance.

drugs.com/article/new-diabetes-treatments.html sciencedirect.com/topics/biochemistry-genetics-and-molecular-biology/glucagon-like-peptide-1 en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glucagon-like_peptide-1#Physiological_functions labiotech.eu/in-depth/diabetes-treatment-cure-review

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D H
Dec 16
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DH edited this paragraph
Many pharmaceutical companies now produce GLP-1 receptor agonists, but French company Poxel are approaching type-2 differently, targeting the pancreas, the liver and the muscles to reduce blood sugar. However type-2 diabetes often goes hand in hand with other health risk factors such as high blood pressure and obesity, Swedish companies Betagenon and Baltic Bio are working on a new class of drugs that control sugar levels while reducing blood pressure. A German company, Morphosys, have gone one step further and are developing an antibody treatment that is designed to reduce fat, and control hunger, while preventing insulin resistance.

Low carbohydrate diets

While it may not be the biggest breakthrough a low carbohydrate diet does have surprising efficacy with a range of biological problems and diseases. Dietary treatment of diabetes is probably the oldest technique for controlling the disease with numerous methods being suggested before the discovery of insulin in 1922. As the body of a diabetic struggles to cope with food, doctors have often prescribed controlling the types of food entering the body to ease the stress of digestion, many diets have been suggested but the pattern that runs through them all is low carbohydrate intake.

While the subject remains controversial, diets such as vegan, vegetarian, ketogenic, glycemic index, low carb, and high fibre diets all involve lowering carbohydrate intake while increasing dietary-fibre. This leads to patients feeling fuller for longer, while needing less insulin to process the sugar and carbohydrates present in the food. These diets have effectively reversed the disease for many sufferers of diabetes and remain the first course of treatment to pre-diabetics.

healthline.com/health/diabetes/why-i-tried-keto-diet#1 diabetesstrong.com/ketogenic-diet-and-diabetes/#Conclusion_Is_a_keto_diet_good_for_people_with_diabetes

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D H
Dec 16
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DH edited this paragraph
While it may not be the biggest breakthrough a low carbohydrate diet does have surprising efficacy with a range of biological problems and diseases. Dietary treatment of diabetes is probably the oldest technique for controlling the disease with numerous methods being suggested before the discovery of insulin in 1922. As the body of a diabetic struggles to cope with food, doctors have often prescribed controlling the types of food entering the body to ease the stress of digestion, many diets have been suggested but the pattern that runs through them all is low carbohydrate intake.

Genetic clues

In 2018 Researchers at the University of Stirling in Scotland announced the discovery of a new genetic signature in people who develop type-2 diabetes but fail to eliminate their risk through lifestyle alone. The study involved the analysis of 1000 muscle tissue samples from patients undergoing five different treatment approaches. They isolated 16 genes that disturb insulin sensitivity further following standard diabetic lifestyle treatments. This is the first reliable genetic signature related to insulin sensitivity, and is thought to be potentially groundbreaking in regards to future diabetes research.

According to Dr. Iain J Gallagher his team discovered a "potential explanation for why not all people eliminate their type-2 diabetes risk by following a lifestyle and exercise training programme" [1]. As well as shedding light on the lack of results for some type-2 diabetics, this discovery is likely to lead to further research as these genes could now be studied in isolation to further understand there response and role in various treatment approaches. This discovery is also set to unlock the genetic mysteries of the biochemistry behind diabetes and will likely lead to greater understanding and more effective treatment in the future.

[1] medicalxpress.com/news/2018-07-breakthrough-diabetes.html

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Latest conversation
D H
Dec 16
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DH edited this paragraph
In 2018 Researchers at the University of Stirling in Scotland announced the discovery of a new genetic signature in people who develop type-2 diabetes but fail to eliminate their risk through lifestyle alone. The study involved the analysis of 1000 muscle tissue samples from patients undergoing five different treatment approaches. They isolated 16 genes that disturb insulin sensitivity further following standard diabetic lifestyle treatments. This is the first reliable genetic signature related to insulin sensitivity, and is thought to be potentially groundbreaking in regards to future diabetes research.
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