Thursday, November 26, 2015

End of daily injections for diabetes as scientists restore insulin production

End of daily injections for diabetes as scientists restore insulin production

Injecting billions of immune cells back into the body boosts insulin production, preventing the need for daily injections

A woman injects herself with insulin
In future people with diabetes may not need to inject themselves on a daily basis Photo: Alamy
The end of daily injections for diabetes sufferers could be in sight after scientists showed it is possible to restore insulin production for up to a year by boosting the immune system.
Hundreds of thousands of people in Britain suffer from Type 1 diabetes and need to inject themselves daily to keep blood sugar levels under control.
The disease attacks insulin-secreting cells in the pancreas. Healthy people have billions of ‘peacekeeping’ cells called ‘T-regs’ which protect insulin-making cells from the immune system but people suffering Type 1 diabetes do not have enough.
"The T-reg intervention frees people like me from the daily grind of insulin therapy and lifelong fear of complication"
Mary Rooney, Type 1 diabetes patient
Now researchers at the University of California and Yale have shown that the ‘T-regs’ can be removed from the body, increased by 1,500x in the laboratory and infused back into the bloodstream to restore normal function.
An initial trial of 14 people has shown that the therapy is safe, and can last up to a year.
"This could be a game-changer," said Dr Jeffrey Bluestone, Professor in Metabolism and Endocrinology at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF).
“By using T-regs to 're-educate' the immune system, we may be able to really change the course of this disease.
"We expect T-regs to be an important part of diabetes therapy in the future."
Sufferes of type 1 and type 2 diabetes may have to inject insulin daily
Sufferes of type 1 and type 2 diabetes may have to inject insulin daily  Photo: Alamy
Not only does the treatment stop the need for regular insulin injections, but it prevents the disease progressing which could save sufferers from blindness and amputation in later life.
Diabetes is an autoimmune disease. The immune system usually defends against infections, but in Type 1 diabetes the process goes awry and as well as fighting foreign invaders, it also targets the body’s own cells.
In the new procedure, doctors removed around two cups of blood containing around two to four million ‘T-reg’ cells from 14 patients aged between 18 and 43 who had been recently diagnosed with diabetes. Their ‘T-reg’ cells were separated from other cells and replicated in a growth medium, before being infused back into the blood.
Child psychologist Mary Rooney, 39, who was diagnosed with type diabetes in 2011, was the first trial participant, and said the therapy had ‘freed her from the daily grind’ of injections.
Speaking of her diagnosis she said: “After weeks of losing weight, always being thirsty, having blurry vision that would come and go, and generally feeling run-down, I knew something wasn't right. Type 1 diabetes was the furthest from my mind, though.
“Initially, I was in a state of shock. I didn't realize that you could be diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes as an adult
“My first thoughts were "This sucks" and "This can't possibly be happening," but I knew I couldn't just stay in a state of denial and disappointment forever.”
Miss Rooney, who worked as a researcher at the University of California soon learned that the institution was looking for patients for the T-reg trial, and asked to be enrolled.
“By being that first patient, I knew I was taking a chance. And I have to be honest: I was scared,” she added.
“But I liked the fact that this experimental treatment involved using my own regulatory T-cells, which would be expanded in a lab and then re-infused. The theory behind this study really made sense to me.
"The T-reg intervention frees people like me from the daily grind of insulin therapy and lifelong fear of complication.”
The team say that T-Reg treatments also hold promise as treatments for other autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus, and even as therapies for cardiovascular disease, neurological diseases and obesity.
The research was published in the journal Science Translational Medicine.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

ញ័រដើមទ្រូងអាចជារឿងភ័យខ្លាចមួយ ប៉ុន្តែជានិច្ចជាកាលវាមិនជាសញ្ញានៃបញ្ហា (នៃជម្ងឹបេះដូងនោះទឿយ)​ ។ (Heart Palpitations Can Be Scary, But Don’t Always Signal a Problem)

Excerpt from the Cleveland Clinic  

ញ័រដើមទ្រូងអាចជារឿងភ័យខ្លាចមួយ ប៉ុន្តែជានិច្ចជាកាលវាមិនជាសញ្ញានៃបញ្ហា (នៃជម្ងឹបេះដូងនោះទឿយ)​ ។

ជួលកាលភាពតានតឹងក្នុង/ផ្លូវចិត្ត (Stress) ការទទួលទានសារធាតុកាហ្វេអីុន (Caffeine) នីកូទីន (Nicotine) និង សុរា (Alcohol) អាចបង្ករនូវអារម្នណ៏មួយដែលយើងតែងតែគិតថា បេះដូងរបស់យើង ហាក់បីដូចជាត្រូវបានកន្រា្កក់យ៉ាងលំបាក (Beating too hard) ឬ ល្បឿនជីពច័ចង្វាក់/បេះ ដូងកន្រ្កាក់រំលង / មិនប្រក្រតី (Sipping beat) ឬ ជីពច័រ / ចង្វាក់បេះដូងមានលឿនពេក (fluttering) ដែលយើងគឹតថាជាបទពិសោធគួរឱ្យខ្លាច។ ទោះបីយ៉ាងណាក្តីអារម្មណ៍ទាំងនេះមិនបានផ្តល់សញ្ញាស្វ័យប្រវត្តិធ្ងន់ធ្ងរអ្វីមួយ ឬ ជាញឹកញាប់សញ្ញាទាំងនោះ នឹងរំសាយបាត់ទៅវិញដោយខ្លួន ឯង ។


Contributor: Peter Aziz, MD 
If you’ve ever felt as though your heart is beating too hard or fast, skipping a beat, or fluttering, you know it can be a scary experience. However, these sensations don’t automatically signal something  serious or harmful, and often they go away on their own. Most of the time, they’re related to stress or too many stimulants such as caffeine,nicotine or alcohol.

Why your heart- beat goes off-tempo

Pulse being taking on a middle aged man's wristPalpitation refers to the sensation that the heart beat is faster than normal. Although some palpitations are considered benign, a carefully taken patient history typically exposes important clues that an abnormal heart rhythm, or arrhythmia, might be the culprit. Palpitations that appear and disappear abruptly are an important clue that an arrhythmia is occurring.
Much like an orchestra maestro synchronizes complex sounds into symphony, electrical signals in the heart synchronize muscle contractions, which result in heart beats. The electrical system has to perform in a regulated fashion for the heart to function effectively and efficiently.
The electrical system runs on the equivalent of railroad tracks – a very specialized tissue that allows for efficient electrical conduction. Patients with arrhythmias often have extra electrical connections, and arrhythmias can occur when the electrical system uses these accessory connections.
Instead of the heart beating at a normal rate, these extra electrical connections can cause the heart rate to abruptly race at rates that exceed the normal capacity of the heart. When this occurs, patients will sense a rapid and uncomfortable increase in their heart rate referred to as palpitations.

Pulse problem-solving

Not all palpitations are considered abnormal. It’s common for the heart to skip for single beats, causing an unusual sensation. With rare exception, these single-skipped beats are considered normal.
In contrast, a patient who experiences an abrupt change in heart rate requires further investigation. Palpitations in these scenarios can often be accompanied by discomfort, chest pain, dizziness or even passing-out spells. These important clues serve as red flags that the patient’s palpitations represent an arrhythmia, and further evaluation is warranted.
During an evaluation, your physician will obtain a detailed history with particular attention to symptoms such as discomfort, chest pain, dizziness and fainting. An electrocardiogram (ECG) – a non-invasive study that assesses the electrical conduction of the heart in its resting state –  likely will be performed during the initial evaluation. Occasionally, even at rest, the ECG can show subtle clues that an extra electrical connection exists.
If the ECG is normal and the details of the history suggest an arrhythmia, ambulatory monitoring may be employed. Ambulatory monitors are wearable devices that serve to capture the electrical activity in the heart during an episode. Your doctor will instruct you to record any symptomatic events with your device. This strategy provides a definitive diagnosis if an arrhythmia is in fact captured.

Prognosis and treatment

Depending on the underlying electrical problem, the prognosis and treatment of arrhythmias can vary. Most often, arrhythmias that occur in otherwise healthy children are referred to as supraventricular tachycardia(SVT). The prognosis for SVT is excellent and luckily, SVT is not considered a life-threatening condition.
Management for SVT is largely based on symptoms but can include observation, medical therapy or catheter ablation. Catheter ablation involves a procedure in which an electrophysiology doctor will use electrical wires placed inside the heart through the groin. These wires provide a map of the patient’s electrical system and can identify accessory electrical connections.
Typically, once the accessory tissue is identified, a special catheter called an ablation catheter can be used to deliver energy to the accessory tissue and destroy the electrical activity in that small area. Catheter ablation for SVT is considered quite safe and has outstanding success rates.
With the right prognosis and treatment, patients with arrhythmias are able to get their heart beat back on track and live normal, healthy lives.
More information

This post is based on one of a series of articles produced by U.S. News & World Report in association with the medical experts at Cleveland Clinic. 

Cooking with vegetable oils releases toxic cancer-causing chemicals, say experts

From The Telegraph 

Cooking with vegetable oils releases toxic cancer-causing chemicals, say experts

Scientists warn against the dangers of frying food in sunflower oil and corn oil over claims they release toxic chemicals linked to cancer


Cooking with vegetable oils releases toxic chemicals linked to cancer and other diseases, according to leading scientists, who are now recommending food be fried in olive oil, coconut oil, butter or even lard.
The results of a series of experiments threaten to turn on its head official advice that oils rich in polyunsaturated fats – such as corn oil and sunflower oil – are better for the health than the saturated fats in animal products.
Scientists found that heating up vegetable oils led to the release of high concentrations of chemicals called aldehydes, which have been linked to illnesses including cancer, heart disease and dementia.
Martin Grootveld, a professor of bioanalytical chemistry and chemical pathology, said that his research showed “a typical meal of fish and chips”, fried in vegetable oil, contained as much as 100 to 200 times more toxic aldehydes than the safe daily limit set by the World Health Organisation.
“The human brain is changing in a way that is as serious as climate change threatens to be"
Professor John Stein, Oxford University’s emeritus professor of neuroscience
In contrast, heating up butter, olive oil and lard in tests produced much lower levels of aldehydes. Coconut oil produced the lowest levels of the harmful chemicals.
Concerns over toxic chemicals in heated oils are backed up by separate research from a University of Oxford professor, who claims that the fatty acids in vegetable oils are contributing to other health problems.
Professor John Stein, Oxford’s emeritus professor of neuroscience, said that partly as a result of corn and sunflower oils, “the human brain is changing in a way that is as serious as climate change threatens to be”.

Because vegetable oils are rich in omega 6 acids, they are contributing to a reduction in critical omega 3 fatty acids in the brain by replacing them, he believes.
“If you eat too much corn oil or sunflower oil, the brain is absorbing too much omega 6, and that effectively forces out omega 3,” said Prof Stein. “I believe the lack of omega 3 is a powerful contributory factor to such problems as increasing mental health issues and other problems such as dyslexia.”
He said sunflower oil and corn oil were now banished from his own kitchen, replaced by olive oil and butter.
NHS advice is to replace “foods high in saturated fat with lower-fat versions” and warns against frying food in butter or lard, recommending instead corn oil, sunflower oil and rapeseed oil. Saturated fats raise cholesterol levels, increasing the risk of heart disease.

But Prof Grootveld, of De Montfort University in Leicester, who carried out a series of experiments, said: “For decades, the authorities have been warning us how bad butter and lard was. But we have found butter is very, very good for frying purposes and so is lard.
“People have been telling us how healthy polyunsaturates are in corn oil and sunflower oil. But when you start messing around with them, subjecting them to high amounts of energy in the frying pan or the oven, they undergo a complex series of chemical reactions which results in the accumulation of large amounts of toxic compounds.”
The findings are contained in research papers. Prof Grootveld’s team measured levels of “aldehydic lipid oxidation products” (LOPs), produced when oils were heated to varying temperatures. The tests suggested coconut oil produces the lowest levels of aldehydes, and three times more aldehydes were produced when heating corn oil and sunflower oil than butter.
The team concluded in one paper last year: “The most obvious solution to the generation of LOPs in culinary oils during frying is to avoid consuming foods fried in PUFA [polyunsaturated fatty acid]-rich oils as much as possible.”
Prof Grootveld said: “This major problem has received scant or limited attention from the food industry and health researchers.” Evidence of high levels of toxicity from heating oils has been available for many years, he said.
Health concerns linked to the toxic by-products include heart disease; cancer; “malformations” during pregnancy; inflammation; risk of ulcers and a rise in blood pressure.
He said the oils when “completely pure [and] authentic … offer no threats to human health” but that “LOPs arising from the frequent and common use of polyunsaturated fats” for frying “certainly do so”.
Public Health England says saturated fats, including butter and coconut oil “can be eaten occasionally in small amounts as part of a healthy balanced diet”.