Sunday August 19, 2018

New Approach for Treating Diseases Like Diabetes and Cancer

Enhanced activation of Vitamin D by protecting beta cells may be a potential new approach for treating diabetes as well as other diseases, including cancer, researchers have suggested.

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The researchers found that Vitamin D in cells and mouse models can be beneficial in treating these damaged beta cells.
Representational image, pixabay
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Enhanced activation of Vitamin D by protecting beta cells may be a potential new approach for treating diabetes as well as other diseases, including cancer, researchers have suggested.

When beta cells — the cells in the pancreas that produce, store and release the hormone insulin — become dysfunctional, the body cannot make insulin to control blood sugar (glucose) and levels of glucose can rise to dangerous and even fatal levels.

The researchers found that Vitamin D in cells and mouse models can be beneficial in treating these damaged beta cells.

They also provided new insights about gene regulation that could be applied to developing treatments for other diseases, including cancer.

“We know that diabetes is a disease caused by inflammation. We identified the Vitamin D receptor as an important modulator of both inflammation and beta cell survival,” said Ronald Evans, from Salk Institute for Biological Studies in California, US.

Combining the new compound with vitamin D allowed certain protective genes to be expressed at much higher levels than they are in diseased cells.
Representational image, pixabay

Using beta cells created from embryonic stem cells, the team was able to identify a compound — iBRD9 — that appeared to enhance the activation of the Vitamin D receptor when it was combined with Vitamin D to improve the survival of beta cells.

In the paper, published in the journal Cell, the team conducted a screening test to look for compounds that improved the survival of beta cells in a dish. They then tested the combination in a mouse model of diabetes and showed that it could bring glucose back to normal levels in the animals.

Combining the new compound with vitamin D allowed certain protective genes to be expressed at much higher levels than they are in diseased cells.

“Activating the vitamin D receptor can trigger the anti-inflammatory function of genes to help cells survive under stressed conditions,” explained Michael Downes, from the institute.

Also Read: A Drug That Can Potentially Cure Hair Loss

The researchers noted that although the new compound did not appear to cause any side effects in the mice, further testing is needed before clinical trials can begin. (IANS)

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Here’s How Mushrooms can Help in the Treatment of Diabetes

Managing glucose better has implications for diabetes, as well as other metabolic diseases

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Mushrooms
How mushrooms can aid in diabetes treatment, Find out here. Pixabay

Eating white button mushrooms daily can act as a prebiotic by improving microbial community in the gut, which could then improve the regulation of glucose in the liver, a finding that could one day pave way for new diabetes treatments, say researchers.

In the study, feeding white button mushrooms to mice changed the composition of gut microbes — microbiota — to produce more short chain fatty acids, specifically propionate from succinate, according to Margherita T. Cantorna, Professor at Pennsylvania State University in the US.

Previous research has shown that succinate and propionate can change the expression of genes needed to manage glucose production, she said.

“Managing glucose better has implications for diabetes, as well as other metabolic diseases,” Cantorna noted.

The study, reported in the Journal of Functional Foods, used two types of mice who were fed about a daily serving size of the mushrooms. One group had microbiota, the other were germ-free.

Mushrooms
Mushrooms. Pixabay

Consuming the mushrooms set off a chain reaction among the gut bacteria, expanding the population of Prevotella — a bacteria that produces propionate and succinate.

These acids can change the expression of genes that are key to the pathway between the brain and the gut that helps manage the production of glucose, or gluconeogenesis.

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The mushrooms, in this case, serve as a prebiotic, which is a substance that feeds beneficial bacteria that are already existing in the gut. Probiotics are live beneficial bacteria that are introduced into the digestive system.

Beyond the possible beneficial benefits of mushrooms as a prebiotic, Cantorna said that this study also shows more evidence that there is a tight connection between diet and microbiota.

“It’s pretty clear that almost any change you make to the diet, changes the microbiota,” Cantorna added. (IANS)