women

From the gut

In a surprise finding, cells in mouse intestines started producing insulin after researchers turned off a gene. This unexpected result has the potential to someday spur the development of new treatments for type 1 diabetes. The gut cells began to act like insulin-producing pancreatic cells when researchers blocked the Foxo1 gene, which controls the maturation of stem cells into adult cells. The cells deprived of Foxo1 produced enough insulin to nearly normalize blood glucose levels in diabetic mice. The researchers say these findings suggest that medications targeting Foxo1 genes could turn the guts of people with type 1 into insulin factories, though Foxo1 studies in people are still far off.

Description: Description:  The gut cells began to act like insulin-producing pancreatic cells when researchers blocked the Foxo1 gene, which controls the maturation of stem cells into adult cells.

The gut cells began to act like insulin-producing pancreatic cells when researchers blocked the Foxo1 gene, which controls the maturation of stem cells into adult cells.

A costly prescription

Some doctors don’t follow expert advice on how to treat people with newly diagnosed type2 diabetes, a study found. The American Diabetes Association generally recommends using metformin first, along with lifestyle changes. Researchers analyzed a mountain of data from pharmacies and discovered that a third of people with 2 don’t start with metformin. While 18 percent initiated treatment with a sulfonylurea, also a time-tested and inexpensive type2 medication, 1 in 5 people was prescribed newer and far more expensive medications, including thiazolidinediones (glitazones) and DPP-4 inhibitors. Insurers and patients together paid an average of $677 over six months for these medications while metformin cost just $116. The researchers acknowledge that in some cases metformin isn’t a good choice, such as for people with kidney disease or heart failure.

Description: Description: Some doctors don’t follow expert advice on how to treat people with newly diagnosed type2 diabetes

Some doctors don’t follow expert advice on how to treat people with newly diagnosed type2 diabetes

Pregnancy under pressure

Women with high blood pressure (hypertension) during pregnancy are at risk of developing type2 diabetes later on, a study found. Researchers looked at the medical records of almost 6,000 women; those who’d had hypertension during pregnancy were five times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes over the next eight years than those without high blood pressure. The risk rose even higher for women who were obese or had high LDL (“bad”) cholesterol. Researchers say that doctors should target women who develop hypertension during pregnancy for diabetes prevention.

Description: Description: Women with high blood pressure during pregnancy are at risk of developing type2 diabetes later on

Women with high blood pressure during pregnancy are at risk of developing type2 diabetes later on

Formula and type 1

Is the bovine insulin in cow’s milk formula a trigger for type 1 diabetes? Babies at genetic risk for type 1 diabetes who drank cow’s milk formula during the first six months of life (when breast milk was unavailable) appeared, at age 3, to be more likely to go on to develop the disease than those weaned on an insulin-free formula, a Finnish study found. Researchers hypothesized that cow insulin could trigger the infant immune system to misfire, paving the road to type 1 diabetes. They did blood tests to detect autoantibodies – markers of a dysfunctional immune system – and found fewer autoantibodies in the children on insulin-free formula.

Description: Description: Cow’s milk

Cow’s milk

Promising type 2 drug

A novel drug successfully lowered blood glucose levels in people with type 2 diabetes, researchers reported, without increasing the risk for low blood glucose (hypoglycemia). People taking the experimental drug TAK-875 once daily for three months lowered their A1Cs (average blood glucose over the previous two to three months) an average of 1.1 percentage points. TAK-875 activates a protein called the free fatty acid receptor that is found in the pancreas.

When it interacts with fats in the body, the protein can trigger the release of insulin, but only if glucose levels are rising. This glucose dependence helps TAK-875 control blood glucose without causing hypoglycemia, the researchers say. Longer and larger studies are needed to determine whether the drug is safe and effective.

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