Glucagon: People with Type 1 Diabetes Produce MORE of This Hormone that Raises Blood Sugar was described by Ginger Vieira for InsulinNation.com, 18 October 2019. Ginger calls this: “A cruel irony of T1D: We don’t produce insulin and we overproduce glucagon, which releases stored glucose and makes BG control more difficult.”

In a person with type 1 diabetes, your immune system is constantly attacking and destroying your body’s beta-cells. Glucagon, on the other hand, is a hormone secreted by alpha-cells, also produced by your pancreas. This hormone tells your liver to release glycogen — which is basically stored sugar. Your liver then releases glycogen, it’s converted into glucose, enters your bloodstream, and raises your blood sugar.

In a person with type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes, there is alpha-cell dysfunction. “Patients with diabetes frequently have a deficient glucagon response to hypoglycemia and exhibit an inappropriately high glucagon response to a meal,” explains research from the American Diabetes Association.  In layman’s terms: Your body produces too little glucagon when you do need it (like when your blood sugar is dropping) and too much glucagon when you don’t need it (like after eating). 

The explanation for why this happens is still a bit of a mystery. The alpha-cells are not being attacked and destroyed by your immune system like it does with beta-cells. One proposed theory is that because of the dysfunctional (or non-existant) insulin production, glucagon production isn’t able to accurately determine when it should or shouldn’t increase its production.

Read more: Glucagon: People with Type 1 Diabetes Produce MORE


Closed-loop artificial pancreas from Tandem, Dexcom aces Type 1 diabetes study was reported by Conor Hale for FierceBiotech.com, 16 October 2019. 

A clinical trial of an artificial pancreas system showed it was able to outperform current treatments for people with Type 1 diabetes and help maintain blood sugar levels throughout the day as well as overnight.

By linking Tandem Diabetes Care’s T:slim X2 alternate controller-enabled insulin pump with Dexcom’s G6 continuous glucose monitor (CGM), the closed-loop system automatically delivers the hormone based on blood sugar readings and other data without the need for fingerstick draws or daily injections.

The six-month trial—part of a series within the National Institutes of Health (NIH)-funded International Diabetes Closed-Loop study—enrolled 168 participants age 14 and older and followed them in real-world settings. They received either the artificial pancreas system, dubbed Control-IQ, or a sensor-augmented pump and CGM combination that did not automatically adjust insulin delivery.

Read more: Closed-loop artificial pancreas from Tandem, Dexcom aces Type 1 diabetes study


Is the microbiome about to change medicine for good? was published by Abigail Klein Leichman for Israel21c.org, 15 October 2019.  The answer is YES! Israeli microbiome research will help in predicting, diagnosing and treating a wide range of conditions and diseases.

Your body is composed of about 10 million human cells. It’s also home to about 100 trillion tiny microbes, mainly bacteria, that wield astonishing power over your health. Many influences, from genetics, to diet and stress, contribute to the makeup of your microbiome — the collective community of microbes as personal as a fingerprint.  Understanding, manipulating and balancing the microbiome could play an increasing role in preventing and curing diseases.

In 2018, about 2,400 clinical trials tested therapies based on microbiome science. Israel is one of the countries experiencing rapid growth in microbiome research and entrepreneurship. Head of the Weizmann Institute of Science’s Host-Microbiome Interaction Research Group, Elinav and Weizmann colleague Prof. Eran Segal made headlines in November 2015 with results of the first phase of their groundbreaking Personalized Nutrition Project.

The main takeaway message: Because of that very individualized gut microbiome, the same foods affect each person’s blood-sugar levels differently. Several large studies, including at the Mayo Clinic, later validated the Israeli findings.

Read more: Is the microbiome about to change medicine for good?


Each of us has a chronological age, the number we commemorate on birthdays. But some 50-, 60- and 70-year-olds look and feel youthful, while others do not. Scientists can measure these differences by looking at age-related biomarkers — things like skin elasticity, blood pressure, lung capacity and grip strength. People with a healthy lifestyle and living conditions and a fortunate genetic inheritance tend to score “younger” on these assessments and are said to have a lower “biological age.”

But there’s a much easier way to determine the shape people are in. It’s called “subjective age.”

When scientists ask: “How old do you feel, most of the time?” the answer tends to reflect the state of people’s physical and mental health. “This simple question seems to be particularly powerful,” says Antonio Terracciano, a professor of geriatrics at Florida State University College of Medicine in Tallahassee.

Scientists are finding that people who feel younger than their chronological age are typically healthier and more psychologically resilient than those who feel older. They perform better on memory tasks and are at lower risk of cognitive decline. In a study published in 2018, a team of South Korean researchers scanned the brains of 68 healthy older adults and found that those who felt younger than their age had thicker brain matter and had endured less age-related deterioration. By contrast, people who feel older than their chronological age are more at risk for hospitalization, dementia and death.

Read more:  You’re Only as Old as You Feel


And speaking of age … and salt … for fun … What happens if you soak a tutu in the Dead Sea? was reported by Abigail Klein Leichman for Israel21C.org, 13 October 2019.  THIS IS SO COOL! New book, Salt Years, showcases Israeli artist Sigalit Landau’s 15 years of submerging objects from bikes to shoes in the salty lake, crystallizing them forever.

Called the “Salt Sea” in Hebrew, and actually a lake, the Dead Sea is the lowest continental surface on Earth. It is hailed for its healing powers and mined for cosmetics and industrial products.  Renowned Israeli artist Sigalit Landau and her team submerged objects ranging from a tutu to a cello in the mineral-rich lake and documented their crystallizing transformation.  Salt Years is a newly published pictorial and prose salute to Landau’s unique artistic genre.

“Her art pieces are cultivated with salt crystals, like an oyster farm, using an organic process to transform mundane, everyday, usually useless artifacts into objects of mesmerizing, haunting beauty,” writes editor David Goss in his introduction.

“Magical moments happen under the water, so my co-creator Yotam From followed the process through underwater photography,” Landau explains.

ENJOY!

 

READ MORE: Inside the fertile mind of Sigalit Landau

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