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Diabetic Digest - October 29, 2014

Readers:


Here's a very nice reader comments that made it's way to me.

I find when I get too much sugary things if I get out and exercise it brings my sugars down rather quickly. it doesn't have to be exercise it could be simple chore type things like raking the leaves, getting yard winterized, tilling leaves into the garden, mixing the compost pile. it may seem strenuous but it works. --Cassandra

Cassandra, exercise does seem to help lower blood sugar for most people, but in my case, since I was a kid, for some reason exercising while my blood sugar was high just raised it even higher.

I remember bringing this up to my doctor years ago and he even said that was rather unusual. Story of my life.

Thanks for writing in, Cassandra. I do enjoy receiving comments, questions, and concerns from my readers.

Regards,
Steve


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Comments? Questions? Email Steve


*-- Diabetic News --*

Stem cell breakthrough could help fight against diabetes
By BROOKS HAYS

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (UPI) - Patients with type 1 diabetes lack the insulin-producing cells that keep blood glucose levels in check. Currently, these patients must use insulin pumps or daily hormone injections to keep levels stable.

But in a recent breakthrough in laboratories at Harvard University, researchers came upon a new technique for transforming stem cells into pancreatic beta cells that respond to glucose levels and produce insulin when necessary. The breakthrough could lead to new less invasive, more hands-off treatment for diabetes.

Remarkably, the new technique -- a complex process which involves turning on and off specific genes and takes about 40 days and six precise steps to complete -- was replicated not only on embryonic stem cells but also on human skin cells reprogrammed to act in a stem-cell-like manner. This revelation allows scientists to produce millions of insulin-producing cells while avoiding the ethical dilemmas attached to traditional stem cell research.

Previous attempts to convert stem cells into insulin-producers have proven moderately successful, but these cells mostly produced insulin at will, unable to adjust their output on the fly. The latest techniques -- developed by Douglas Melton, co-director of the Harvard Stem Cell Institute, and his research colleagues -- produce insulin cells that react to glucose spikes by upping production, and lowering insulin output when there's not excess sugar to break down.

The breakthrough has already shown significant promise when used on lab mice. Diabetic mice who received a transplant of the stem cell beta cells had improved blood sugar levels, and were shown to be capable of breaking down sugar.

"We can cure their diabetes right away -- in less than 10 days," Melton told NPR. "This finding provides a kind of unprecedented cell source that could be used for cell transplantation therapy in diabetes."

But there's still one major issue. For reasons doctors still don't understand, the beta cells in humans with diabetes are attacked by the body's immune system. Researchers like Melton still have to figure out a way to protect the new beta cells from being killed -- otherwise the breakthrough won't become anything more than another short-term solution.

"It's taken me 10 to 15 years to get to this point, and I consider this a major step forward," Melton told TIME. "But the longer term plan includes finding ways to protect these cells, and we haven't solved that problem yet."


*- Diabetic Recipe -*

Pumpkin Muffins

Servings: 5
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 45 minutes
Total: 55 minutes

Ingredients
cooking spray
1/2 cup canned solid-pack pumpkin
1 small ripe banana
1/2 cup 1% milk
1 tablespoon granulated brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 large egg yolk
2 tablespoons raisins

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Lightly spray 5 cups of a standard muffin tin with cooking spray. Fill the 6th cup halfway with water (the other muffins will burn faster if you leave an empty cup. This is a good baking tip to keep in mind).
2. In a food processor or blender, combine all ingredients except raisins until mixture is smooth. (if you don't have a food processor or blender, you can also use your handmixer.)
3. Stir in the raisins.
4. Spoon the mixture into the 5 prepared muffin cups.
5. Bake for 45 minutes.
6. Unmold and serve when cool enough to eat by hand or refrigerate for up to 1 week and serve cold.

Nutrition Information
Per serving: 75 calories (17% calories from fat), 2 g protein, 2 g total fat (0.5 g saturated fat), 15 g carbohydrate, 1 g dietary fiber, 44 g cholesterol, 133 g sodium
Exchanges: 1 carbohydrate (1 fruit)

Original Recipe: Pumpkin Muffins

***

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