Singapore researchers recently developed what they have deemed a successful, tumor-free number of "pure insulin-producing cells from mouse embryonic stem cells (ESCs)," according to November news reports from Science Daily.
The cells have been produced to provide diabetic patients with pure insulin producing cells in order for blood glucose levels of diabetics to be regulated naturally. The researchers, from the Institute of Medical Biology (IMB), are still experimenting with use on mice and have not achieved a level of safeness for use on humans yet, but have noted that "none of the diabetic mice involved in the transplant developed teratoma, which are a type of tumor associated with ESCs," according to the news report. The results of the study were also published in Stem Cell Research.
According to MedicineNet, which is an online healthcare site utilizing information and resources from the authors of Webster's New World Medical Dictionary, describe diabetes mellitus as a "group of metabolic diseases characterized by high blood sugar levels, that result from defects in insulin secretion or action, or both." Approximately 23.6 million Americans currently suffer from some form of diabetes, according to the American Diabetes Association (ADA). The New York Times also reported that diabetes was currently the fifth leading killer of U.S. citizens.
Diabetes can affect anyone, but there are several risk factors that may increase an individuals potential for developing a type of diabetes. The National Library of Medicine (NLM) reported the following risk factors:
* 45 years of age and over
* genetic predisposition, family members with diabetes
* heart disease
* high blood cholesterol
* gestational diabetes, when a baby weighing more than 9 pounds is delivered
* lack of exercise
* previously impaired glucose tolerance
* polycystic ovary disease
What is Insulin?
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) explains that there are 20 different types of insulin products produced within the body that are "available in four basic forms, each with a different time of onset and duration of action."
Insulin is produced when an individual consumes food that is then broken down into glucose within the pancreas and enters the bloodstream to provide the body with energy. Insulin is created by cells known as beta and are developed in the islets of Langerhans within the pancreas.
Individuals who are diabetic often produce either no insulin, which is common in type 1 diabetics, or produce varied amounts, and not always enough, which occurs in type 2 diabetics, according to the FDA. Those who use injectable forms of insulin to regulate their blood glucose levels often use insulin derived from animals such as pigs or cows. However, there are also medications such as Avandia and Actos that do not utilize outside insulin, but instead regulate the body's natural insulin levels.
An additional type of drug, known as Byetta, is the first kind of a new type of drugs known as incretin mimetics, in which injectable medicine is administered into the body and "mimics the effects of naturally occurring hormones from the intestines and can help the body make more of its own insulin," according to the drug's manufacturers Amylin Pharmaceuticals and Eli Lilly.
Prescription Drug Dangers
There are several varieties of type 2 diabetes medications that are available, however, several of the newer prescription drugs have also been linked to severe side effects among patients. For example, Avandia has been linked to the development of heart disease and bone fractures among patients.
Byetta (exenatide) is also one such drug that has been associated with serious side effects including the development of acute pancreatitis and inflammation of the pancreas among patients. Individuals who have consumed Byetta and who feel they may be victim to the drug's dangerous side effects should consider speaking with their physician immediately as well as contacting a pharmaceutical attorney who can offer insightful perspective into participating in a Byetta class action lawsuit.