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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Obesity and Diabetes? Prevent Onset By Blocking Fat Deposits in Tissues

Obesity and diabetes were the focus of the pathologists from the University of Cincinnati. They have recognized a new molecular target that may help researchers develop drugs to decrease fat transport to fat cells. This will prevent these evil twins from developing. This, I've got to know!

The Journal of Clinical Investigation reports the findings about a specific cell receptor that will supply significant clues regarding the mechanisms that regulate the transport of fat in the body. Wouldn't everyone like to know this to avoid both obesity and diabetes?

David Hui, PhD, et al showed that "knocking out" the LRP1 in the fat cells of mice that were genetically altered directly influenced the number of fats and fat-like substances transported to the fat cells. The mice put on less weight, piled up less fat, showed better glucose tolerance and had more energy than the control group because of improved muscle activity.

Professor of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology at the University of Cincinnati, Dr. Hui said that the results of the study showed the impact of the molecule to the rate of transport of fat. As the corresponding author of this research, Hui said that further study could target new drugs that could control getting fat and developing the condition that is linked to it. Oh, no, drugs again!

Two independent groups of LPR1-knockout mice were used for this study. Hui et al studied one group while the other group was monitored by Joachin Herz, PhD, of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. Dr. Herz is the co-author of this research that may add knowledge on how to prevent diabetes. .

Researchers found out that if the LRP1 receptor was active, more fat was absorbed and this made the body increase storage of fat. Both groups of mice were fed the same low-fat diet, yet one group stored more fat. Which one stored less fat? The LRP1 knockout mice stored less fat and therefore gained less weight than their counterpart.

The above discovery made the researchers conclude that LRP1 is a significant regulator of lipid absorption in fat cells. Pathology research instructor at UC, Susanna Hofmann said that a functional disturbance led to fewer fat absorption into the cells. This prevented the onset of obesity and diabetes.

Hui added that perhaps the smaller fat stores in the genetically altered mice that provide heat, made the mice increase their muscular activity to raise body temperature. This may have led to lack of weight gain. Naturally when intake is more than the energy expenditure, extra calories are stored as fat and this makes people gain weight. Dietary factors like eating triglyceride-rich foods such as fried foods can lead to obesity and diabetes .

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Growth Hormone Helps Heal Diabetes Wound

One complication of diabetes is slow healing process in the wounds so a research group led by Doctor Juan Manuel Bellon and Doctor Julia Bujan worked to develop a model that releases growth hormone directly over the wound. They did this in a controlled and gradual way. What did they find? They found the healing process improves.

This type of therapy was successfully tested with the use of diabetic lab rats. They published their findings in the Journal of Biomedical Materials. They found that applying the growth hormone directly over the wound helps in the regeneration of tissues and skin.

They said that after an average of 15 days, the healing of a sample wound in normal rats is complete. When this was done to diabetic rats, the healing was complete after 30 days. The team that investigated this is composed of histologists, surgeons, chemists, biologists and pharmacists from the Surgery Department. The groups dedicated itself for more than twenty years in investigating tissue repair.

Scientists found that protein could help restore the tissues that are starved of oxygen. This way the wounds are healed. They tried to find this so they could lay out a strategy to treat the tissues like those damaged by diabetes. They tried to generate the production of blood vessels that are healthy but found the capillaries leaky.

Then the researchers tried it again with mice that are genetically engineered. This time the capillaries in the skin of the mice increased to almost 7o%. There was no swelling or inflammation and more significantly there was no leakage.

I don’t know where they are going with this and I tried to follow them up but I didn’t find any. I was surprised because they were so excited with the result of their research and of course I was awaiting what they will do for the diabetics who have problem with wounds and their diabetic foot ulcer.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Metabolic Syndrome and Some Treatment Options

The Methodist Hospital and the University of Houston are doing a joint research on the use of a portable tool to check metabolism to fight obesity and the related complications. John Miller, Physics professor at the University of Houston received a three-year grant to the amount of $623,425.00 from the National Institutes of Health to explore biosensors for obesity and energy balance.

Miller is particularly focusing on metabolic syndrome, a destructive obesity complication that affects 20% of obese people. This increases the likelihood for these people to develop heart disease, obesity and cancer. He wants to develop technologies to sense metabolic activity.

There are drug treatments for this condition but the cost is exorbitant. There is therefore a need to acquire technologies that can help with early diagnosis. This will make the treatment more cost-effective. I am keeping a close eye on the result of this research but I have not seen any report yet.

So meantime it is good to know what are the available treatment options. The first line of defense is lifestyle change. This means to lose weigh when needed and so will involve a diet of healthy food and increased and regular physical exercise.

The next line of treatment are the medicines. The different conditions that comprise the metabolic syndrome are treated differently. But they are all used to control the high blood pressure, blood glucose and triglyceride levels. Sometimes aspirin is recommended in order to avoid blood clots.

To reduce the risk for cardiovascular events is the main purpose of treating the metabolic syndrome. If diabetes has not developed yet, the other purpose of treatment is to delay or prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes. This way the diabetes complications can be avoided.

Some of the risk factors can easily be controlled like being overweight, inactivity and eating the wrong kinds of food. Well, perhaps not easily but with determination, it can be done. And when compared to dealing with complications, give me these controllable risk factors anytime and I will be more than glad to deal with them. They can even be fun like dancing and eating different kinds of food.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

European Medicine Agency Assessment of Avandia

A professional group of doctors (The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine) says that the warning label on Avandia should mention that a vegan diet that is low in fat is safer than the drug itself and so should be touted as a more effective way to lower the blood glucose level.

The same diet they say is also good to lower the cholesterol and blood pressure levels. On top of these other benefits, the diet can be beneficial for weight loss and in preventing and even stopping heart disease. This fact should also be made clear to Avandia users.

This request came when the FDA decided to make Avandia show a warning to alert the users about the risk of increasing heart attacks. They say there were 13,000 cases of heart failure and heart attack that can be attributed to the use of the Avandia which is the brand name of rosiglitazone used to keep the blood sugar under control.

EMEA's Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use has just completed its assessment of Thiazolidinediones (TZD). They have reached the conclusion that the benefits derived from these drugs outweigh the risks. Dr. Alaistair Benbow, European Medical Director and Vice-president of GSK, said it is important in the treatment of type 2 diabetes.

GlascoSmithKline is a research based health care and pharmaceutical company which commits itself to improve the life by making people able to do more and live longer. They said they will continue working with physicians to provide the best treatment for patients.

Rosiglitazone is of the same class of drugs that help improve blood glucose control in Type 2 diabetes. Some patients cannot take metformin and so may have to take this alone or in combination with sulphonylurea or with metformin or with both.

Rosiglitazone cannot be taken in combination with insulin. Remember also that Rosiglitazone is not good for patients with cardiac failure. It may lead to fluid retention. If you suddenly experience a rapid weight increase, shortness of breath and increasing edema, please consult your doctor. Patients with liver problem should not be taking rosiglitazone. They should undergo blood tests to rule out liver problems before taking it.