New diabetes cases linked to covid-19 was reported by Erin Blakemore for, 1 February 2021.  Researchers don’t understand exactly how the disease might trigger Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, or whether the cases are temporary or permanent. But 14 percent of those with severe covid-19 developed a form of the disorder, one analysis found.

Mihail Zilbermint is used to treating diabetes — he heads a special team that cares for patients with the metabolic disorder at Suburban Hospital in Bethesda, Md. But as the hospital admitted increasing numbers of patients with covid-19, his caseload ballooned.  “Before, we used to manage maybe 18 patients per day,” he said. Now his team cares for as many as 30 daily.

Many of those patients had no prior history of diabetes. Some who developed elevated blood sugar while they had covid-19, the illness caused by the novel coronavirus, returned to normal by the time they left the hospital. Others went home with a diagnosis of full-blown diabetes. “We’ve definitely seen an uptick in patients who are newly diagnosed,” Zilbermint said.

Researchers say new-onset diabetes may soon be added to those complications — both Type 1, in which people cannot make the insulin needed to regulate their blood sugar, and Type 2, in which they make too little insulin or become resistant to their insulin, causing their blood sugar levels to rise. But scientists do not know whether covid-19 might hasten already developing problems or actually cause them — or both.

Read more:  New diabetes cases linked to covid-19

Insulin May Not Need Refrigeration, Freeing Up Its Use in Poorer Nations was posted by, 4 February 2021.  

Researchers report that insulin can be stored at less-cold temperatures than previously known, potentially simplifying diabetes care for people in warmer regions that have fewer resources.

Researchers from Doctors Without Borders and the University of Geneva tested insulin storage in real conditions ranging from 77 to 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit for four weeks — the time it typically takes to use a vial.

They found that the stability of insulin stored under these conditions was the same as that of cold-stored insulin, with no impact on its effectiveness.

“These results can serve as a basis for changing diabetes management practices in low-resource settings, since patients won’t have to go to hospital every day for their insulin injections,” said study author Philippa Boulle, a non-communicable diseases adviser at Doctors Without Borders.

Read more:  Insulin May Not Need Refrigeration

Vertex Moves Full Steam Ahead on Type 1 Diabetes Drug Trial With FDA’s OK was reported by Brandon May for, 29 January 2021.  

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has cleared an Investigational New Drug application that will allow Boston-based Vertex Pharmaceuticals to proceed with a clinical trial of its investigational stem cell-derived, fully differentiated pancreatic islet cell treatment for type 1 diabetes (T1D).

The therapy, now dubbed VX-880, is described by the company as being “an investigational allogeneic human stem cell-derived islet cell therapy” which holds the potential to restore the body’s ability to normalize glycemic levels via restoration of pancreatic islet cell function.

As a side note, Vertex was also in the news for mounting pressure to boost and broaden their research pipeline:  Vertex CEO faces growing pressure for pipeline

Read more:  Vertex Moves Full Steam Ahead on Type 1 Diabetes Drug Trial

New chewing gum helps you resist sugary foods was reported by Abigail Klein Leichman for, 28 January 2021. Sweet Victory gum contains a small amount of extract of an Indian plant known for millennia to help control glucose metabolism.

Sweet Victory, a patented mint-flavored chewing gum, takes just two minutes to block the sugar receptors on your tongue for up to two hours.  Anything sweet reportedly tastes terrible enough that you probably won’t want to try it again later.

“We want people to have more control over their nutrition because we both went through times when we had no control,” says Gitit Lahav, an Israeli psychologist who started the company with her friend Shimrit Lev, a Chinese medicine practitioner.  “We noticed that for most people, especially women, the biggest issue is around sweets,” says Lahav. 

The Gymnema Sylvestre plant is an Indian ayurvedic remedy to stabilize blood-sugar levels. (The Hindi word gurmar means “sugar destroyer.”)  Studies over the past 50 years in several countries have deemed it safe, Lahav says.  She and Lev tried chewing gymnema leaves. “It was crazy how much we did not want sweets after that,” she reports.

Further clinical research is planned to measure the effect of Sweet Victory on the sugar cravings of people with diabetes, under the auspices of the endocrinology department of Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center.

Read more:  New chewing gum helps you resist sugary foods

Can You Smell Burnout on Someone? Science Says Yes was reported by Loukia Papadopoulos for, 6 February 2021.  A small wearable device tracks a patient’s cortisol levels in sweat.

We have all experienced stress at one point or another and many of us have actually gone so far as to experience a burnout. This is partially because under duress, we don’t always notice the signs that indicate that we are suffering from extreme stress and should slow down or take a break. 

Engineers at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland have now developed a small wearable sensor that can continually measure a patient’s concentration of cortisol, the main stress biomarker, in their sweat.  “Cortisol can be secreted on impulse — you feel fine and suddenly something happens that puts you under stress, and your body starts producing more of the hormone,” said in a statement Adrian Ionescu, head of Nanolab.

Cortisol is meant to help us respond to stressful situations and is usually secreted throughout the day according to a circadian rhythm. “But in people who suffer from stress-related diseases, this circadian rhythm is completely thrown off,” explained Ionescu. “And if the body makes too much or not enough cortisol, that can seriously damage an individual’s health, potentially leading to obesity, cardiovascular disease, depression or burnout.”

EPFL’s device is revolutionary because, for the time being, no other method exists for monitoring cortisol concentrations continuously throughout the circadian cycle. “That’s the key advantage and innovative feature of our device. Because it can be worn, scientists can collect quantitative, objective data on certain stress-related diseases. And they can do so in a non-invasive, precise and instantaneous manner over the full range of cortisol concentrations in human sweat,” concluded Ionescu.

Read more:  Can You Smell Burnout on Someone?

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