Here are your Savvy Updates, 8 November 2016


The Cause of Inflammation in Diabetes Identified, according to Science News, 2 November, 2016.

Inflammation is one of the main reasons why people with diabetes experience heart attacks, strokes, kidney problems and other, related complications. Now, in a surprise finding, researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have identified a possible trigger of chronic inflammation.


fat-cells-causing-inflammationToo much fat in the diet promotes insulin resistance by spurring chronic inflammation. In the image above, immune cells (shown in green) produce fatty acids that contribute to diabetes-related inflammation. Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine have developed a way to block production of fatty acids in these immune cells in mice and protect them from diet-induced diabetes.  (Credit: Semenkovich lab/ Washington University)

Too much fat in the diet promotes insulin resistance by spurring chronic inflammation. But the researchers discovered, in mice, that when certain immune cells can’t manufacture fat, the mice don’t develop diabetes and inflammation, even when consuming a high-fat diet.

“The number of people with diabetes has quadrupled worldwide over the last 20 years,” said senior investigator Clay F. Semenkovich, the Irene E. and Michael M. Karl Professor and director of the Division of Endocrinology, Metabolism & Lipid Research at the School of Medicine. “We have made modest progress in making it less likely for some people with diabetes to have heart attacks and strokes. However, those receiving optimal therapy are still much more likely to die from complications driven by chronic inflammation that is, at least in part, generated by these immune cells.

“But by blocking the production of fat inside these cells, it may be possible to prevent inflammation in people with diabetes and even in other conditions, such as arthritis and cancer, in which chronic inflammation plays a role. This could have a profound impact on health.”

Read more: Cause of inflammation in diabetes identified


Type 1 diabetes often comes with other autoimmune diseases, as reported in Health News of Reuters, 21 October 2016 from the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism online, 27 September 2016.

autoimmunePeople with type 1 diabetes often develop other autoimmune disorders, such as thyroid and gastrointestinal diseases, and a recent study yields new information about this link.

In type 1 diabetes, the immune system attacks the pancreas and destroys its insulin-producing cells. Patients often develop other immune system diseases, too. Indeed, in the current study, 27 percent of patients had at least one other autoimmune disorder.

But the new study also held some surprises about how early and late in life these added health problems might surface, said lead author Dr. Jing Hughes of Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

“The pattern that emerged was striking: autoimmune diseases begin early in childhood, where nearly 20 percent of those under age 6 already have additional diseases other than type 1 diabetes,” Hughes said by email.

“Another surprise finding was that, while we had expected that autoimmune diseases may peak at a certain time of life, we found instead that the autoimmune burden continues to increase as patients age, to the extent that nearly 50 percent of those over age 65 have accumulated one or more additional autoimmune disease,” Hughes added.

Read more:   


Study Examines Single-hormone Compared to Dual-Hormone Artificial Pancreas, as reported in Diabetologia, 4 October 2016

j-clinical-endo-and-metabolismThe authors aimed to determine whether the dual-hormone artificial pancreas reduces hypoglycemia (dangerously low blood glucose) when compared to insulin alone during exercise.

ilet 2The authors concluded that the dual-hormone artificial pancreas out-performed insulin alone when controlling glucose levels during exercise in adults with type 1 diabetes.

INTERESTING!  All the current AP trials are single-hormone pumps.  I know that Ed Damiano has done a lot of work on the dual-hormone pump with astounding results.  Seems that the slowdown centers on the challenge of getting approval from FDA.

Read more: Efficacy of single-hormone and dual-hormone artificial pancreas

To watch for clinical trials for dual-hormone closed-loop systems:


Alere (ALR) Plunges After Its Diabetes Unit was Removed from Medicare, as reported in, 4 November 2016.

Shares of Alere Inc. (ALR) are down more than 13 percent this afternoon after a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission showed its diabetes Unit, Arriva Medical, was removed from Medicare after allegedly billing more than 200 dead people.


Alere, which recently approved a merger with Abbott Laboratories (ABT), reported in its filing that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMMS), notified the company Oct. 5 about the filing discrepancies, Reuters reported. The company filed an appeal, which was denied today, The Street said. According to the CMMS, Arriva submitted 211 claims in the name of people who had died over a five year period. However, Reuters said that Alere’s notice only identified 47 people. Over the five year period, the company filed more than 5.7 million claims, Reuters added.

Arriva provides diabetic testing supplies through the mail.

Read more: Alere (ALR) Plunges After Its Diabetes Unit Was Removed From Medicare for Allegedly Billing 211 Dead People


MGH looks to reverse diabetes with funding from Iacocca Foundation, according to the Boston Business Journal, 3 November, 2016.

Over 30 years have passed since famous Ford and Chrysler executive Lee Iacocca established his foundation focused on curing type 1 diabetes. And now, sponsoring a trial at Massachusetts General Hospital, the foundation might finally have its wish.

faustmanDr. Denise Faustman, Director of Immunobiology at Massachusetts General Hospital, Associate Professor at Harvard Medical School, and head of the MGH clinical trial, standing with one of the original Mustangs invented by Lee Iococca, the President of Ford and a major contributor to Faustman’s diabetes research.

Funded largely by the Iacocca Family Foundation — a diabetes-focused nonprofit founded by the retired auto executive — Massachusetts General Hospital researchers are testing a drug developed from a prehistoric microorganism that for decades has been used to vaccinate against tuberculosis. It’s now in mid-stage clinical trials at Massachusetts General Hospital to reverse type 1 diabetes.


Read more: MGH looks to reverse diabetes with funding from Iacocca Foundation


How Stress Hormones Raise Blood Sugar is an excerpt from “Think Like a Pancreas: A Practical Guide to Managing Diabetes With Insulin” by CDE Gary Scheiner and recently published by Insulin Nation, 26 August 2016.

gary_scheiner_150x150“Last weekend I decided to stay up late and watch a scary movie. It had something to do with super-gross vampires who get their jollies by eating the flesh of unsuspecting hotel guests.

Anyway, after the final gut-wrenching, heart-pumping scene, I decided to check my blood sugar. I’ll be darned – it had risen about 200 mg/dL (11 mmol) during the movie. With blood that sweet, I felt like the grand prize for any vampires that might happen to be lurking in my neighborhood.

As you may be aware, the liver serves as a storehouse for glucose, keeping it in a concentrated form called glycogen. The liver breaks down small amounts of glycogen all the time, releasing glucose into the bloodstream to nourish the brain, nerves, heart and other “always active” organs.

……. Growth hormone is produced in a 24-hour cycle and is responsible for the blood sugar rise that we sometimes see during the night or in the early morning. The other “stress” hormones, particularly epinephrine (adrenaline) and cortisol, are produced when our body needs a rapid influx of sugar for energy purposes. The glucose rise I experienced during the scary movie was no doubt the work of stress hormones.

……. Emotional stress (fear, anxiety, anger, excitement, tension) and physiological stress (illness, pain, infection, injury) cause the body to secrete stress hormones into the bloodstream. For those without diabetes, the stress-induced blood sugar rise is followed by an increase in insulin secretion, so the blood sugar rise is modest and temporary. For those of us with diabetes, however, stress can cause a significant and prolonged increase in the blood sugar level.”

Read more: How Stress Hormones Raise Blood Sugar


A 75-year T1 Pioneer, Thomas J. Beatson Jr Passed Away, published in ABHOW (a foundation for continuing care retirement communities), 4 November, 2016.

beatsonThomas J. Beatson Jr. defied Type 1 diabetes for nearly 75 years, determined to live a full life and devote his time, energy and money to combating the disease.

In 2005 he volunteered to participate in a study of long-term survivors of the disease at Harvard University’s Joslin Diabetes Center. Beatson became one of the center’s top five financial donors of all time, funding a playroom for children with diabetes in honor of his mother and several research programs.

Last year, Beatson helped create the Beatson-ABHOW Type 1 Diabetes Fund to provide financial assistance to ABHOW team members, their dependent children and residents diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. The grants cover costs for medical equipment and supplies that are not fully covered by insurance. So far, three ABHOW team members have received grants and another application is in the works.

Read more: What’s Your Legacy: Beatson Leads Lifelong Fight Against Diabetes


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