Insulin can boost your immune system, here’s how

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE HINDUSTAN TIMES OF INDIA)

 

Insulin can boost your immune system, here’s how

Insulin, a hormone produced by beta cells of the pancreatic islets, can boost your immune health, says a new study.

HEALTH Updated: Aug 31, 2018 11:35 IST

Asian News International
Insulin,Health,Immune system
A lot of research has been done on the role of insulin in organs such as the liver, muscle and in fat to understand the regulation of glucose or blood sugar.(Shutterstock)

Insulin, a peptide hormone produced by beta cells of the pancreatic islets, boosts immune health, according to a new study. Toronto General Hospital Research Institute (TGHRI) scientists have identified a specific insulin signalling pathway that, when activated, revs up the response of T cells in the immune system to divide rapidly and secrete cytokines, chemical messenger proteins that activate the rest of the immune system.

A fast and effective immune response protects us against disease and life-threatening infections by destroying infected cells or microbes, while a wrong or inefficient one can cause immune system disorders or diseases to develop. “We have identified one of metabolism’s most popular hormones, specifically the insulin signalling pathway, as a novel ‘co-stimulatory’ driver of immune system function,” said Assistant Professor Dr Dan Winer.

Although much work has been done on the role of insulin in organs such as the liver, muscle and in fat to understand the regulation of glucose or blood sugar and how the body metabolises or turns it into energy, little is known about how insulin impacts the immune system.

The goal of this research was to study how insulin regulates T cell function and what causes T cells to stop responding to insulin, Dr Tsai says, adding that T cells were chosen because they play a pivotal role in self-defense against infections. Using genetically engineered mice, the research team designed mice with T cells that did not have an insulin receptor on them, mimicking insulin resistance. They then observed what happened to the T cells in the mice under different stressors, such as the H1N1 flu virus.

Without the added boost or kickstart provided by the insulin receptor to help “re-energize” the T cells to mount an effective immune response, the T cells failed to destroy viruses such as H1N1 influenza. First author Dr Sue Tsai said, “In the future, we could harness this insulin signalling pathway to either boost the immune response to create vaccines, for example, or dampen it to heal inflammatory illnesses such as arthritis, ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease.” The full findings are present in the journal Cell Metabolism.

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First Published: Aug 31, 2018 11:34 IST

Air Pollution Contributes Significantly to Diabetes Worldwide

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE SAUDI NEWS AGENCY ASHARQ AL-AWSAT)

 

Study: Air Pollution Contributes Significantly to Diabetes Worldwide

Saturday, 30 June, 2018 – 07:15
via GETTY IMAGES
Asharq Al-Awsat
A study from the Washington University School of Medicine in St Louis suggested that there are strong links between outdoor air pollution and an increased risk of diabetes worldwide.

According to the study, air pollution caused one in seven new cases of diabetes in 2016, adding that even low levels raised the chances of developing the chronic disease.

The study estimated that pollution contributed to 3.2 million new diabetes cases globally in 2016 — or around 14 percent of all new diabetes cases globally that year, AFP reported.

“Our research shows a significant link between air pollution and diabetes globally,” said Ziyad Al-Aly, the study’s senior author.

Pollution is believed to affect the production of insulin in the body, “preventing the body from converting blood glucose into energy that the body needs to maintain health,” the research elaborated.

Al-Aly said the research, published in the Lancet Planetary Health, proved a higher risk even with levels of air pollution currently considered safe by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the World Health Organization (WHO).

“This is important because many industry lobbying groups argue that current levels are too stringent and should be relaxed. Evidence shows that current levels are still not sufficiently safe and need to be tightened,” he added.

According to AFP, diabetes affects more than 420 million people globally and is one of the world’s fastest growing diseases.

Researchers Identify Five Different Types of Diabetes

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF TIME NEWS)

 

Getty Images

By AMANDA MACMILLAN

March 2, 2018
TIME Health
For more, visit TIME Health.

For many years, diabetes cases have largely been classified as either type 1 or type 2. But a new study suggests that there may actually be five different types of the disease—some of which may be more dangerous than others. A new classification system could help doctors identify the people most at risk for complications, the study authors say, and could pave the way for more personalized and effective treatments.

The research article, published in The Lancet: Diabetes & Endocrinology, calls attention to the need for an updated diabetes classification system. The current system “has not been much updated during the past 20 years,” the authors wrote in their paper, “and very few attempts have been made to explore heterogeneity of type 2 diabetes”—despite calls from expert groups over the years to do so.

Meanwhile, they wrote, diabetes is the fastest-increasing disease worldwide, and existing treatments have been unable to stem the tide or prevent the development of chronic complications in many patients. One explanation, they say, is that diabetes diagnosis is based on only one measurement—how the body metabolizes glucose—when the disease is actually much more complex, and much more individual.

Currently, diabetes is classified based mainly on age of diagnosis (younger people often have type 1) and on the presence or absence of antibodies that attack beta cells, which release insulin. People with type 1 diabetes have these antibodies—and therefore cannot make insulin on their own—while people with type 2 do not. Their bodies make insulin but don’t use it the right way.

Based on these criteria, between 75% and 85% of people with diabetes are classified with type 2, the authors wrote in their paper. A third subgroup of diabetes, known as latent autoimmune diabetes in adults (LADA), has also been discussed in recent research.

But the study authors, from the University of Gothenberg and Lund University in Sweden, say additional subgroups are needed. To demonstrate their argument, they analyzed health data from nearly 15,000 Swedish people with type 2 diabetes, focusing on six variables that had been measured and recorded at the time of their diagnosis: age, body mass index, the presence of beta-cell antibodies, level of metabolic control and measures of beta-cell function and insulin resistance.

From that analysis, they identified five “clusters” of disease with significantly different characteristics. Severe Insulin-Resistant Diabetes (SIRD) involved the highest levels of insulin resistance and the highest risk of diabetic kidney disease. Severe Insulin-Deficient Diabetes (SIDD) was made up of relatively young adults with especially poor metabolic control. Severe Autoimmune Diabetes largely overlapped with the current Type 1 diagnosis. And two other clusters, Mild Age-Related Diabetes (MARD) and Mild Obesity-Related Diabetes (MOD) seemed to be more benign forms of diabetes.

The study results suggest that a new classification system could help identify people at high risk of complications and better guide doctors in their choice of treatments, the authors wrote. They’re currently working on a web-based tool that could assign patients to specific clusters.

Specifically, they wrote, SIDD and SIRD are two new, severe forms of the disease that were “previously masked within type 2 diabetes.” They found that the risk of kidney complications was substantially increased in patients with SIRD, while the risk of diabetic retinopathy was highest in those with SIDD. “It would be reasonable to target individuals in these clusters with intensified treatment,” they wrote.

The researchers say their classification system could be helpful for both newly diagnosed patients as well as those who have had type 2 diabetes for many years. However, it’s not yet clear whether patients can move between clusters over time, and the authors say they can’t yet claim that their clustering method is the best classification system for diabetes subtypes. Larger studies, that include additional variables and more diverse populations, are still needed.

But overall, the authors say that combining several different measurements to form a more specific diabetes diagnosis appears to be more useful than using just one—glucose levels—to simply diagnose type 1 or type 2. “This new substratification could change the way we think about type 2 diabetes and help to tailor and target early treatment to patients who would benefit most,” they wrote, “thereby representing a first step towards precision medicine in diabetes.”

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Battle Of The Bulge

Of  yesterday and today the meaning is not the same

Both are war, both are hell, neither a game for the meek to play

Not now a tank we do stare down, nor goon squads dancing upon our throats

Tis a battle where once proud chests we did hold high

The enemy now our mirrors showing them resting upon our thighs

This battle of the bulge of which I now speak

Is today the weight of our bellies, butts, and thighs

Today we only exercise our thumbs

Upon the latest store bought game we play

Today if we walk at all, it’s just to the fridge to reload

We can now even buy the bulge within our pants

Just break your piggy and give the Drug Store man your change

Our modern world is built upon luxury

As our ever falling bellies do profess

Is it any wonder why our frames are in distress

We buy our garments way to big

We hide our flab in the way we dress

Will we even fit in the box when they lay us down to rest

When we all die at thirty-five

Of diabetes and heart disease?