Living with diabetes is a lot harder than most people realize. While there are two types of diabetes, both types are chronic diseases that affect the entire body.
For those who do not know, people with type 1 diabetes have to take daily insulin shots for the most part as their bodies do not produce the amount of insulin that they need. This is both inconvenient and quite terrifying when you consider the things that would occur should they be unable to obtain their insulin. Now, back in 2017 quite the study was published but most people don’t even know it,
This study was published in the journal Current Pharmaceutical Biotechnology and found a correlation between serum levels of vitamin D3 and the incidence of type 1 diabetes itself. Through increasing the types of pancreatic cells that secrete insulin, the production of insulin within the body can be increased. While not yet clinically trialed this has proven to be far more than effective in the world of mice.
Dr. Doiron assistant professor of medicine at UT Health told UTSCSA as follows in regards:
“It worked perfectly,”
“We cured mice for one year without any side effects. But it’s a mouse model, so caution is needed. We want to bring this to large animals that are closer to humans in physiology of the large endocrine system.”
“A major problem we have in the field of type 1 diabetes is hypoglycemia (low blood sugar),”
“The gene transfer we propose is remarkable because the altered cells match the characteristics of beta cells. Insulin is only released in response to glucose.”
You see, through gene transferring those beta cells that are being destroyed by a person’s immune system can be replaced. This form of therapy worked wonders on mice and could be a much more advanced form of treatment in the future. Researchers who worked on this study were from the University of Texas Health Science Center and hope to bring this into clinical trials within the next three years.
Considering type 1 diabetes alone is estimated to effect one million Americans, you could only imagine the number of people across the globe with this health issue. With 400,000 people diagnosed each year here in the US numbers are growing at quite the rate. Diabetes, on any level, is not something you or anyone else wants to have to deal with.
With no ‘cure’ this could be our best bet/only hope depending on how things play out. It is also important to note that this means could also prove beneficial to those with type 2 diabetes as time passes. While more research needs to be done we are making real head space right now.
The abstract of this study goes as follows:
Insulin replacement therapy is essential in type 1 diabetic individuals and is required in ~40- 50% of type 2 diabetics during their lifetime. Prior attempts at beta cell regeneration have relied upon pancreatic injury to induce beta cell proliferation, dedifferentiation, and activation of the embryonic pathway, or stem cell replacement. We report an alternative method to transform adult non-stem (somatic) cells into pancreatic beta cells. The Cellular Networking, Integration and Processing (CNIP) approach targets cellular mechanisms involved in pancreatic function in the organ’s adult state and utilizes a synergistic mechanism that integrates three important levels of cellular regulation to induce beta cell formation: (i) glucose metabolism, (ii) membrane receptor function, and (iii) gene transcription. The aim of the present study was to induce pancreatic beta-cell formation in vivo in adult animals without stem cells and without dedifferentiating cells to recapitulate the embryonic pathway as previously published (1-3). Our results employing CNIP demonstrate that: (i) insulin-secreting cells can be generated in adult pancreatic tissue in vivo and circumvent the problem of generating endocrine (glucagon and somatostatin) cells that exert deleterious effects on glucose homeostasis, and (ii) long-term normalization of glucose tolerance and insulin secretion can be achieved in a wild type diabetic mouse model. The CNIP cocktail has the potential to be used as a preventative or therapeutic treatment or cure for both type 1 and type 2 diabetes.
While we do not know much just yet, as time passes more will be uncovered. I for one cannot wait to see how this unfolds.