There’s More to How We Taste Sweetness Than We Thought

Scientists assumed there is just a single type of taste receptor on the tongue responsible for our perception of sweetness. Now researchers from Monell Chemical Senses Center have found that those cells also contain gut enzymes, which contribute to sweet tastes. They describe their findings in a new paper published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Source: There’s More to How We Taste Sweetness Than We Thought

Stem Cell Breakthrough Could Put an End to Daily Insulin Injections for Diabetics

People with type 1 diabetes have to inject insulin daily, and it often results in pain, redness, swelling, and itching at the injection site. But this could soon be a thing of the past, thanks to a new breakthrough that takes us one step closer to a functional cure for type 1 diabetes.

Source: Stem Cell Breakthrough Could Put an End to Daily Insulin Injections for Diabetics

Sounds promising. However, type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease, wherein one’s immune system attacks and kills the insulin producing cells in one’s pancreas. I wonder what will keep the immune system from going haywire a second time. I am guessing they are on that too.

Diabetic Woman Becomes First in the World to Receive Pancreas Transplant Because of Needlephobia

A British woman has become the first person in the world to have a pancreas transplant because of a severe needle phobia, her doctors have said.

Sue York – who has had type-1 diabetes since she was seven – would shake uncontrollably and vomit when injecting herself with insulin.

Source: Needle-phobic pancreas transplant ‘world first’

I’m glad she was able to get the surgery and end her suffering.

The article doesn’t mention it, but I thought most transplants required the patient to take anti-rejection drugs for the rest of their lives. These drugs are generally oral, but require regular blood testing to ensure correct levels. That doesn’t seem to be the case here, or she would just be swapping one kind of needle for another (albeit less frequent), somewhat defeating the purpose of the surgery.  A blood test once or twice a month isn’t really comparable to the daily contact diabetics have with needles.

I was recently waiting for my turn to test my INR, listening to someone’s child who was freaking out about getting a needle for some reason.  That would have been me until I was put on warfarin/coumadin.  Weekly testing eradicated the issue for me, but I clearly did not suffer like this woman.  For me, testing weekly meant alternating arms.  Daily testing is awful, but I find it odd that she managed for so long.

8 Things That Happen When You Finally Stop Drinking Diet Soda

You’ve decided to give up diet soda—good idea! Maybe you weren’t hitting your weight-loss goals or couldn’t stomach that long list of ingredients anymore. Or perhaps you heard one too many times that it’s just not good for you.

Whatever the reason, eliminating diet soda from your diet will improve your health from head to toe. Research on diet soda is still in its infancy, but there’s enough out there to identify what you can look forward to when you put down the can and cool down with an unsweetened iced tea instead.

Source: 8 Things That Happen When You Finally Stop Drinking Diet Soda

Sorry, but soda/pop is one place I will not consider the diet alternative.  Simply due to taste – most just prompted me to drink water instead (for the best anyway, but not for Big Soda/Pop).

The aspect of weight loss because of coming off diet soda/pop isn’t that surprising.  It’s often suggested that we consume more because we’re under the impression the food/beverage is healthier so we can consume more. As the joke goes: I’ll have the extra large burger, extra large fries, and …a diet soft drink.

How The First Bite Of Food Sets The Body’s Clock

Researchers are starting to learn why, when we cross time zones or pull an all-nighter, our bodies get out of sync.

Source: How The First Bite Of Food Sets The Body’s Clock

It’s a transcription of an interview.  It touches on how different organs have their own clock, though I’ve read that bacteria helping you digest food can also play with your rhythms.

Young, Fit…and Diabetic

Thirty-seven percent of Americans have prediabetes, fasting blood sugar levels considered higher than desirable.

…Many people think of Type 2s as overweight folks who messed themselves up after decades on the couch guzzling chips and soda. At 5 feet, 7 inches, Natalie weighed 122 pounds, ate the occasional cookie and spent her days with small children. Keeping her weight up was her challenge: She tended to drop pounds fast when she worked out at gyms, so instead she walked several miles daily. “I felt fine,” she says.

Source: Young, Fit…and Diabetic

Check with your doctor.

Human Clinical Trials for Verapamil: Reverses Type I Diabetes In Animal Models

A study at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) has shown that verapamil, a drug widely used to treat high blood pressure, irregular heartbeat and migraine headaches, is able to completely reverse diabetes in animal models. The UAB team will now move onto clinical trials to see if the same results are repeated in humans.

Following years of research, the UAB researchers have shown that high blood sugar causes the body to overproduce a protein called TXNIP. Too much of this protein in specialized cells in the pancreas called beta cells contributes to the progression of diabetes by leading to the death of the cells and countering the body’s efforts to produce insulin.

Source: Human clinical trials to begin on drug that reverses diabetes in animal models

There are more than 2 types of diabetes.  A lot of what is considered Type I diabetes is a constellation of diseases that have a complicated relationship with blood sugar levels, beta cell death and the immune system.