An Ounce Of Prevention Is Worth A Pound Of Cure!

Archive for June, 2014

Fat Cells Play Key Role in Development of Type 2 Diabetes

Cellular changes in fat tissue, not the immune system, lead 
to the “hyper-inflammation” characteristic of obesity-related 
glucose intolerance and type 2 diabetes, according to new 
research from the University of Cincinnati (UC).

Cancer and cell biology experts say this new discovery about the 
cellular mechanisms behind glucose intolerance may provide a
different target for drugs to treat type 2 diabetes as well as insights
into how aggressive cancers form.

The study is reported in the July 7, 2010, issue of the scientific
journal Cell Metabolism.

For this study, the research team looked at the role of a specific
gene known as protein kinase C (PKC)-zeta, which has been
implicated as a key cellular contributor to malignant tumor growth.
Using a preclinical animal model, they found that PKC-zeta had
a dual role in the molecular signaling that leads to inflammation,
switching from acting as a regulator of inflammation to a 
pro-inflammation agent in different circumstances.

“This finding is quite novel because current drug development
efforts target immune cells (macrophages, T-cells) to eliminate 
this hyper-inflammation. Our research suggests obesity-related 
glucose intolerance has nothing to do with the immune system. 
It may be more effective to target adipocytes (fat cells),” 
explained the investigators from the University of Cincinnati’s 
cancer and cell biology department.

In normal cells, they explain, PKC-zeta regulates the balance
between cellular inflammatory responses to maintain glucose
control. During obesity-induced inflammation, however, the 
function of PKC-zeta changes and the molecule begins to promote
inflammation by causing adipocytes to secrete a substance (IL-6)
that travels in large quantities to the liver to cause insulin resistance.
”We believe a similar mechanism of action is at play in malignant 
tumor development.

Now we are trying to understand how PKC-zeta regulates IL6 to
better determine how we can manipulate the protein to help prevent 
diabetes and cancer,” they add.

This University of Cincinnati team is working with investigators at
UC’s Drug Discovery Center to screen compounds that will inhibit 
PKC-zeta to be used in further research.

Funding for this research was provided by grants from the National 
Institutes of Health, American Diabetes Association, UMass Diabetes 
Endocrinology Research Center and Marie Curie Foundation.
Scientists from the University of Massachusetts also participated
in the study.

Story Source:
University of Cincinnati Academic Health Center (2010, July 12).
Fat cells play key role in development of type 2 diabetes. 

Cinnamon Extracts May Reduce Risk of Diabetes and Heart Disease, New Study Suggests

A study led by U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)
suggests that a water soluble extract of cinnamon,
which contains anti-oxidative compounds, could help
reduce risk factors associated with diabetes…

For the study, conducted in Ohio, at the Center for Applied
Health Sciences based in Fairlawn, Ohio, enrolled volunteers
and collected samples.

Twenty-two obese participants with impaired blood glucose
values, a condition classified as “prediabetes” volunteered for
the 12- week experimental research study. Prediabetes occurs
when cells are resistant to the higher-than-normal levels of 
insulin produced by the pancreas (in an attempt to help remove 
elevated glucose levels from blood).

The volunteers were divided randomly into two groups and given
either a placebo or 250 milligrams (mgs) of a dried water-soluble
cinnamon extract twice daily along with their usual diets. Blood
was collected after an overnight fast at the beginning of the
study, after six weeks, and after 12 weeks to measure the
changes in blood glucose and antioxidants.

The study demonstrated that the water-soluble cinnamon
extract improved a number of antioxidant variables by as 
much as 13 to 23 percent, and improvement in antioxidant 
status was correlated with decreases in fasting glucose.

Only more research will tell whether the investigational study
supports the idea that people who are overweight or obese
could reduce oxidative stress and blood glucose by consuming
cinnamon extracts that have been proven safe and effective.
In the meantime, weight loss remains the primary factor in
improving these numbers, according to ARS scientists.

Story Source:
USDA/Agricultural Research Service
Journal Reference:
“Antioxidant Effects of a Cinnamon Extract in People with
Impaired Fasting Glucose That Are Overweight or Obese.”
Journal of the American College of Nutrition, 2009
 
The work is of cooperative agreements between the Beltsville Human
Nutrition Research Center (BHNRC) operated by USDA’s Agricultural
Research Service (ARS) at Beltsville, Md.; Integrity Nutraceuticals
International of Spring Hill, Tenn., and the Joseph Fourier University
in Grenoble, France. Anderson works in the Diet, Genomics and
Immunology Laboratory of BHNRC. ARS is USDA’s principal
intramural scientific research agency.

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