Diabetes News

Diabetes Action in the News

Exciting findings and results of research studies funded by Diabetes Action

Diabetes Action Named "Charity of the Week" by The Week magazine

Diabetes Action was chosen by The Week magazine as their featured "Charity of the Week" on December 21, 2012.
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Diabetes Action Research Update:
Counseling Shows Substantial Health Benefits

Dr. Alexander Turchin at Brigham and Women's Hospital has recently published several studies that were funded by Diabetes Action. Although prior studies on the role of lifestyle counseling for diabetes patients have showed benefits of counseling in a clinical trial setting, Dr. Turchin's research has demonstrated that this type of counseling can also show substantial benefits when provided as part of treatment in a primary care setting where fewer resources are available and patients may be less motivated. One study, published in Diabetes Care, found that lifestyle counseling in everyday practice was associated with faster achievement of blood glucose, cholesterol and blood pressure targets. Another study found that while blood pressure readings are important for patient care and research, cost is a limiting factor. In another study funded by Diabetes Action, Dr. Turchin found that patients who saw their doctors more frequently had better blood pressure control.


Diabetes Action Research Update:
Genetic Basis of Renal Dysfunction in Diabetes

Diabetic nephropathy is one of the most serious complications of both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. For the first time the genes involved in susceptibility to the risk factors of elevated urinary albumin excretion and decreased glomerular filtration rate (GFR) have been identified by Dr. Thameem's study at the Univ. of Texas Health Science Center. Dr. Thameem has been able to provide evidence for the first time that a specific genetic variant is associated with changes in the GFR. Additional work is needed to further identify the susceptible genes that can facilitate the prevention and improved treatment of this devastating complication of diabetes.

Diabetes Action Research Update:
Phytochemicals Found in Vegetables and Spices May Help Restore Insulin Sensitivity

A Diabetes Action funded study led by Dr. Kent Gates at the University of Missouri was just published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society. This research helped to identify and characterize specific dietary phytochemicals that inhibit the critical negative regulator of insulin signaling, an enzyme known as PTB1B. The results of this study will lay a foundation for improved dietary control of type 2 diabetes.
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Diabetes Action Research Update:
Dr. Faustman's Lab Successfully Completes Phase I and Launches Phase II

The Faustman Lab at Massachusetts General Hospital reports that the Phase I human clinical trail testing BCG vaccination as a treatment for type 1 diabetes is complete. The data from this phase showed that BCG treatment could briefly turn the pancreas "back on", even in people who have had type 1 diabetes for many years. Phase II of this trial will validate these finding with a larger study and determine the optimum dose of BCG.
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Diabetes Action Research Update:
One Week of Exercise Improves Glucose Response

Research by Dr. Thyfault at University of Missouri that was funded by Diabetes Action found that even exercising for seven days was enough to produce beneficial results. Individuals with type 2 diabetes, after seven days of treadmill or cycling exercise, experienced improvements in femoral blood flow and postprandial glucose response.
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Diabetes Action Research Update:
Naturopathic Diet Improves Glycemic Management

A Diabetes Action funded study by Dr. Erica Oberg at Bastyr University found that a naturopathic nutrition education program was an effective and feasible way to improve type 2 diabetes self-management and glycemic control. After a 12 week individualized and group dietary education program, participants improved A1C levels, ate more fruits and vegetables, reduced carbohydrate intake, and were more physically active.
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Diabetes Action Research Update:
Plant Oil May Reduce Belly Fat

A Diabetes Action funded study by Dr. James Perfield at the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources (CAFNR) found that a specific plant oil, sterculic oil from the seeds of the Sterculia foetida tree, may be a key in the fight against obesity. The oil contains unique fatty acids that suppress an enzyme associated with insulin resistance which can indirectly help reduce belly fat. Dr. Perfield found that rats who were given a diet supplemented with a small amount of sterculic oil had less abdominal fat and a decreased likelihood of developing diabetes.
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Diabetes Action Research Update:
Early Exposure to Air Pollution Increases Risk of Diabetes

Although much attention is given to obesity and lack of exercise contributing to the epidemic of diabetes, new research is showing that many environmental factors may also be responsible for this epidemic. At Ohio State University, a Diabetes Action funded study by Dr. Qinghua Sun showed that exposure to air pollution early in life increased susceptibility to type 2 diabetes later in life. Results of this study have been published in the American Heart Association Journal, Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology.


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Diabetes Action Research Update:
Dr. Faustman's Research to Reverse Type 1 Diabetes

On June 28, 2010 Massachusetts General Hospital announced the successful completion of the Phase I trial testing the generic drug Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) in people with longstanding type 1 diabetes. The goal of this trial is to use this drug to kill only the “bad” (autoreactive) T cells so that the human pancreas might spontaneously regenerate. In 2001 Dr. Faustman’s laboratory successfully used a similar approach to cure end-stage diabetes in mice. All safety reports have been submitted to the Food and Drug Administration so that Phase II human testing can now begin. The new Phase II of this trial will test higher and/or more frequent doses of the BCG drug therapy in order to determine accurate dosage of the drug and to monitor pancreas regeneration. This second phase of the study will be a significant stepping-stone to determining if this promising research will benefit the millions of people with type 1 diabetes. Diabetes Action is very excited to continue supporting this vital research project.

Diabetes Action Research Update:
Report of Dr. Moniri's study of Omega-3 fatty acids ALA and DHA

A study Diabetes Action funded by Dr. Nader Moniri at Mercer University has shown for the first time how specific Omega-3 fatty acids ALA and DHA can desensitize a newly discovered cell surface receptor called GPR120. This study can help determine which Omega-3 fatty acids will be most helpful as a complementary therapy to traditional drug regimens needed to reduce high blood sugar levels.

Omega-3 fatty acids report  Learn more (pdf)

Diabetes Action Research Update:
Report of Dr. Salton's study of the Vgf gene

At Mt. Sinai School of Medicine, Diabetes Action has been funding Dr. Stephen Salton's study of the Vgf gene. This report in the Journal BMC Physiology describes how Dr. Salton's work was able to suppress obesity, hyperinsulemia, and hyperglycemia. Human and mouse proteins encoded by this gene are extremely similar, and Dr. Salton's continuing work would be the first time that the human Vgf protein will be thoroughly studied.

Vgf gene study report link Learn more (pdf)

Important Findings on Fat Metabolism and Blood Sugar Levels

Dr. Kishore's Diabetes Action funded research on Free Fatty Acids was recently published in Science Translational Medicine abstract. This research aimed to identify the role of fat metabolism in regulating glucose effectiveness in type 2 diabetes. People with type 2 diabetes have lost the ability to lower the amount of glucose made in the liver when the blood glucose levels rise and Dr. Kishore's study was able to determine the importance of free fatty acids on the liver's ability to regulate this glucose production. Studying how to decrease this loss of glucose effectiveness will make it possible to improve clinical management of poorly controlled diabetic patients.

Diabetes Action Provides Assistance to Haiti Earthquake Victims

2/12/10 - Diabetes Action is sending $1.5 million of needed diabetes supplies, insulin syringes, wheelchairs, walkers, crutches, prosthetics, and other hospital supplies desperately needed by the Hope Hospital (Hospital Espoir) in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

Update on Dr. Faustman's Research to Reverse Type 1 Diabetes

The Faustman Lab at Massachusetts General Hospital, run by Denise L. Faustman, MD, PhD, (with help from funding by Diabetes Action) is moving rapidly through the clinical trial challenge to test and possibly establish a vaccine using a generic drug, Bacillus Calmette-Guerin(BCG) to reverse type 1 diabetes. The experiments have moved from mice to a clinical trial in humans, and the testing has passed every research milestone ahead of schedule — an astonishing feat for any clinical research project.
Diabetes News: Dr. Faustman and a possible cure for type 1 diabetes  Learn more

Hope for Potential Pharmacological Treatment for Obesity

In recent years there has been increasing interest in genetic variations being responsible for obesity. A study supported by Diabetes Action was recently published in the Journal of Cellular and Molecular Medicine. In this study Dr. Tao measured the activities of 10 mutants of the melanocortin-4 receptor (MC4R) gene which were identified from obese patients. Dr. Tao was able to restore the function of 2 of the mutant receptors with a small molecular MC4R antagonist. The development of a pharmacological response to improve the effectiveness of this gene could improve the outlook for treating obesity.
Diabetes News: diabetes and genetic obesity  Learn more

Interferon Can Delay Full Onset of Type 1 Diabetes

At the Univ. of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Dr. Staley A. Brod, Assoc. Professor of Neurology, found that children with recently diagnosed Type 1 diabetes maintained more Beta Cell Function when given low doses of oral Interferon-a than children given a placebo and this benefit was maintained one year after beginning the study. This research has important implications for treating new-onset cases of type 1 diabetes. Because the oral interferon can extend the "honeymoon phase" of type 1 diabetes, this can reduce the complications of type 1 diabetes because the body is still able to produce some insulin from the beta cells.
Diabetes News: Interferon and Type 1 Diabetes  Learn more

Cinnamon Extract Improves Brain Function

The water soluble extract of cinnamon, which had been identified in earlier research funded by Diabetes Action and found to lower blood glucose levels, completely reversed the effects of brain swelling associated with stroke or brain trauma. (reported in Experimental Neurology, April 2009).
Diabetes News: Cinnamon Extract Improves Brain Function  Learn more

In a second research study, the water soluble extract of cinnamon not only prevented the aggregation of tau, a major component of Alzheimer's Disease, but also reversed it. (reported in The Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, July 2009). This research is especially important for the millions of people with diabetes who are at high risk for developing Alzheimer's Disease. 
Diabetes News: Cinnamon Extract  Learn more

Hypoglycemia During Hospitalization Linked to Greater Risk

Alexander Turchin, MD at Brigham and Women’s Hospital studied people with diabetes who were hospitalized for non-critical illnesses. He found that those who developed hypoglycemia while in the hospital were more likely to stay hospitalized longer and had a greater risk of dying during and after hospitalization. These findings highlight the need for improved education and health policies for hospital workers to provide optimal treatment to those with diabetes.
Diabetes News: Hypoglycemia and Hospitalization  Learn more

Chronic Inflammation Accelerates the Development of Insulin Resistance

At Auburn University, Dr. Bernhard Kaltenboeck, Professor of Veterinary Microbiology, was able to show for the first time in an animal model that the release of circulating inflammatory mediators from a primary infection site is responsible for accelerating insulin resistance and metabolic disease. Dr. Kaltenboeck's research focused on the infection C.pneumoniae, which consistently correlated with metabolic syndrome and atherosclerosis. His lab is now working on formulating a vaccine to offset the harmful influence of the C.pneumoniae organism. This finding is important because of the high prevalence of human C. pneumoniae infection worldwide.
Diabetes News:Chronic Inflammation and Insulin Resistance  Learn more

Intense Exercise of Sled Dogs and Insulin Sensitivity

Find out how a Diabetes research grant is contributing to the study of fat-burning efficiency in sled dogs and how it relates to the treatment of obesity in human type 2 diabetes.
Diabetes News: Insulin Sensitivity and Exercise in Sled Dogs  Learn more






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