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Seared tuna with butter beans and roasted tomatoes

Preheat the oven to 180ºC / 350ºF / gas mark 4. Mix together the cumin, coriander seeds and chilli flakes, press into both sides of the tuna and set aside for 30 minutes to allow the flavours to develop. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a small pan and fry the onion and garlic for 2-3 minutes. Transfer to an ovenproof dish with the butter beans and tomatoes, place in the oven for 30 minutes until the tomatoes begin to char. Heat a griddle pan until smoking and sear the tuna for about 1 m ...

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OneDrop app launched to enhance diabetes management among users
A new app called OneDrop that launched this month allows people with diabetes to track medication, food intake, insulin levels and exercise. The app was created by Jeff Dachis, co-founder of digital marketing agency Razorfish, who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 47. After failing to find an existing app that handled glucose testing, insulin medication and activity logging, Dachis set about creating OneDrop. The app allows people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes to either publicly, or anonymously, share information with other users. As well as assisting the diabetes community and helping them learn from one another, OneDrop logs information such as the effectiveness of their medication and how recent activities, and food, might affect their blood sugar levels. This information can therefore help the person with diabetes, and their healthcare team, determine a treatment plan that may be more effective. Users can "like" certain activities on another’s profile, while stickers can also be sent to encourage users. A support component called "We" is also available. The app is currently free, but Dachis is planning a monthly subscription later in 2016 that would include a Bluetooth-enabled glucose monitor and test strips. "I’m wildly supportive of anyone looking to tackle the problem of diabetes," Dachis told TechCrunch. "There’s a potential for half a billion people coming online with diabetes in the world. We spend half a trillion on complications related to diabetes."
CBD compound in cannabis could treat diabetes, researchers suggest
A chemical compound from the cannabis plant, known as cannabidiol, could be used to treat diabetes, according to Israeli scientists. Treating different diseases Researchers at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, led by Dr. Raphael Mechoulam, who is known for discovering cannabidol (CBD), observed CBD receptors in other bodily tissues. The findings suggest that the therapeutic effects of CBD, a non-psychoactive compound, could be modified to fit different receptors. Different illness such as diabetes, atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease could therefore be treated. A study was conducted on rats with infarcts (areas of dead tissue) due to a failure of blood supply. When pretreated with CBD, these infarcts were 30 per cent smaller. Chronic inflammation has long been known to play a key role in the development of insulin resistance and therefore type 2 diabetes. The researchers believe that the anti-inflammatory properties of CBD could treat this inflammation and therefore improve the body's metabolism. In addition, the immune system, cell growth, sugar metabolism and heart function all also appear to prospectively benefit from CBD’s anti-inflammatory properties. ISA Scientific, an Israeli company, recently signed a worldwide collaboration and licensing deal to establish therapies containing CBD. In a statement, ISA Scientific Chief Executive Officer Mark J. Rosenfeld said: "The licensing agreement is very well timed because our Phase 1 clinical trials on dosing and safety are now underway in Israel, and arrangements for Phase 2 trials on treating diabetes and chronic pain are in process." "Unlike insulin and other existing medications for diabetes, CBD may actually suppress, reverse and perhaps cure the disease," Rosenfeld added. Are there side effects? There are no major side effects of CBD, according to Rosenfield, which will not affect patients with diabetes doing everyday activities such as work, driving or exercise. While CBD can be obtained from marijuana, it is also abundant in hemp, a plant with no psychoactive properties and no potential for abuse.
Heart disease risk lowered within five years of quitting smoking, study suggests
The risk of heart attack and stroke is significantly reduced within five years of quitting smoking, according to new research. The study, conducted at the German Cancer Research Centre in Heidelberg, suggest that quitting smoking is beneficial no matter what your age, because the benefits develop so quickly. The researchers analysed the data of more than half a million people across Europe and the US, and found that smokers who die from heart disease are on average five and a half years younger than non-smokers who die from heart disease. "To our knowledge, the present work is currently the largest and most comprehensive study on the association of smoking with cardiovascular disease and mortality in older adults," said Dr Ute Mons, of the German Cancer Research Centre. "Our results show that in people aged 60 years and older, smoking strongly contributes to acute coronary events, stroke, and cardiovascular deaths." People with diabetes are at a much greater risk of heart disease than people without diabetes, with some studies suggesting that as many as 80 per cent of people with diabetes will die from a heart-related health problem. Heart disease is one of the most common diabetic complications. Over time, prolonged exposure to high blood glucose levels can damage the arteries, restricting blood flow. Because of their already heightened risk of developing heart disease, people with diabetes are strongly urged not to smoke. But smoking with diabetes also carries an independent risk, rather than just increasing the likelihood of heart disease. Smoking significantly heightens the risk of all diabetic complications, which include retinopathy (eyesight damage), neuropathy (nerve damage, which can lead to amputation) and Alzheimers disease. Smoking more than doubles the risk of some complications, such as kidney disease and erectile dysfunction. "Smokers had two-fold hazards of cardiovascular mortality compared with never smokers, which, in terms of risk advancement periods, advanced the risk of dying from cardiovascular disease by 5.5 years," said Dr. Mons. "Among smokers, the excess risk increased with higher levels of cigarette consumption. The increased excess risk among former smokers declined with time after smoking cessation in dose-response manner. "To conclude, our results corroborate and expand existing evidence that smoking is a strong independent risk factor of cardiovascular events and mortality even at older age, advancing cardiovascular mortality by more than five years."
Psoriasis medicine could treat type 1 diabetes
A drug used to treat psoriasis and arthritis could potentially curb insulin dependence in people with type 1 diabetes. Researchers from the University of British Columbia are recruiting 20 participants between the ages of 18 and 35 to test the drug - ustekinumab, sold as Stelara in the UK. A molecule used in the drug may be able to protect the body's insulin-producing beta cells well enough to delay or even remove the dependence on insulin injections for people with type 1 diabetes. The upcoming trial, known as UST1D, is a 12-month study, and one of the first to target the immune cells that are responsible for the development of type 1 diabetes. The researchers aim to find out whether ustekinumab can reduce the number of insulin doses in people with recently diagnosed type 1 diabetes, or even remove the need altogether. Stelara is currently approved for the treatment of psoriasis and arthritis. It has not yet been approved safe for people with type 1 diabetes. There have been a number of studies examining the treatment of immune system-regulating drugs on other autoimmune conditions. Those focusing on the treatment of type 1 diabetes have been largely unsuccessful, but they have been more or less free of dangerous side effects. Even if the study is not successful in reducing the dependence on insulin in people with type 1 diabetes, however, it will still be useful. By revealing something about the response of type 1 patients to immune system-regulating therapy, the trial could significantly inform future research on the subject. "As one of the first clinical trials to target the immune cells that cause type 1 diabetes, we are hopeful that this treatment will be a step towards finding a way to stop or slow the destruction of the body's own insulin-producing cells." Dr. Tom Elliot, endocrinologist and diabetes specialist at Vancouver General Hospital, said: "The study of ustekinumab to treat recently diagnosed type 1 diabetes is among the most important we've conducted to date. If it [...] eliminates the need for insulin injections, the lives of type 1 diabetes patients will dramatically improve. "My research team has identified a molecule that's been used very successfully for treating a form of arthritis, that looks like a very good candidate to stop the destruction of insulin-secreting cells that is the cause of type 1 diabetes." The trial is being funded by JDRF Canada. Dave Prowten, the organisation's president, said: "The trial is extremely important since it will help us understand how patients respond to a therapy that alters the immune system, and could create new treatment approaches."
Sugar and bad diet, not lack of exercise, responsible for obesity crisis
Poor diets are to blame for the obesity crisis, rather than a lack of exercise, health experts claim. According to the research, unhealthy diets - particularly diets containing a lot of sugar - are responsible for more disease than alcohol, smoking, and physical inactivity combined. The authors suggest that the common perception of exercise as being more important than diet is incorrect, stemming from aggressive marketing by the food industry. The study pointed out the example of Coca-Cola associating the sugary drink with sport and exercise. The idea being, according to the researchers, that consumers will feel that it is okay to buy more of the product as long as they exercise afterwards. This kind of marketing, the study suggests, echoes the efforts of the tobacco industry to downplay the health risks associated with its product. According to the study, unhealthy diets increase the risk of several diseases, and are largely responsible for the increase in obesity levels in recent years. Obesity is a key risk factor in the development of several related health conditions, including type 2 diabetes, stroke, heart disease, and some forms of cancer. The research also found that an excessively sugary diet directly increases the risk of type 2 diabetes. For every excess 150 calories of sugar in an individual's diet, the prevalence of type 2 diabetes increased 11-fold compared to 150 calories from fat or protein. The study also identified carbohydrate reduction as being key to type 2 diabetes prevention and treatment. Even without weight loss, the authors suggest, a low-carb diet reduces all the characteristics of metabolic syndrome, and should be the first step in managing diabetes. The researchers emphasised that exercise was not enough to offset the effects of a bad diet; one has to eat well, regardless of physical activity. In fact, their research suggests that exercise levels have not significantly changed over the past 30 years. They may even be on the rise. They expressed concerns that athletes who eat high-carb diets may still develop insulin resistance despite their exercise, and increase their risk of type 2 diabetes as a result. "This places the blame for our expanding waistlines directly on the type and amount of calories consumed," the authors wrote. "Celebrity endorsements of sugary drinks and the association of junk food and sport must end. The 'health halo' legitimisation of nutritionally deficient products is misleading and unscientific. "It is time to wind back the harms caused by the junk food industry's public relations machinery. "Let us bust the myth of physical inactivity and obesity. You cannot outrun a bad diet." The research was published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.
Increased mortality risk for type 1 diabetes patients after CABG surgery
The risk of death appears to be doubled for patients with type 1 diabetes after undergoing CABG (coronary artery bypass graft) surgery. Type 2 diabetes patients, however, had only a slightly worse mortality prognosis following CABG surgery. This research was conducted by Swedish researchers, who analysed 39,235 individuals that had enrolled in the SWEDEHEART registry – a national registry of coronary artery disease care and valvular interventions. The patients underwent CABG surgery between 2003 and 2013. 725 patients had type 1 diabetes, while 8,208 had type 2 diabetes. The mean age of the patients was 67 years old. 6,765 patients died during a follow-up period of 5.9 years, which included 21 per cent of the 725 patients with type 1 diabetes and 19 per cent of those with type 2 diabetes. Double the risk The risk of death for patients with type 1 diabetes was increased more than twofold compared to those without diabetes. This risk was increased by 11 per cent for type 2 patients. The correlation between type 1 diabetes and non cardiovascular mortality was stronger than with cardiovascular-related mortality. Type 2 diabetes was not associated significantly with cardiovascular-related death. Lead researcher Dr Martin Holzmann, Karolinska University Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden stated: "Our data indicate that patients with type 1 diabetes mellitus are at high risk for adverse outcomes after CABG and should be closely followed up and that all possible measures to mitigate their risk of death or recurrent cardiovascular events should be instituted." David P. Taggart, MD, PhD of the department of cardiac surgery, Oxford University Hospitals Trust in Oxford, wrote in an editorial: "The results could be confidently applied to patients with [diabetes] undergoing CABG in similar developed health care systems. "The main message of the study is that the 'low-hanging fruit' is the need to focus on both the increased incidence of CV and non-CV deaths in patients with type 1 diabetes."
Powdered oral insulin could prevent type 1 diabetes
A small group study finds that taking a small dose of oral insulin could prevent type 1 diabetes from developing, acting as a vaccine against the disease. High risk of type 1 diabetes Lead author of the study, Ezio Bonifacio, PhD, a professor of diabetes at the Centre for Regenerative Therapies in Dresden, Germany enrolled 25 children at high risk of getting type 1 diabetes. The children, aged between two and seven, had a strong family history and genes linked to type 1 diabetes, but had not yet suffered the immune attack that characterises type 1. 15 children ate a powdered dose of oral insulin on their food, while 10 children took a placebo. This treatment lasted between three and 18 months, depending on the child, while insulin doses ranged between 2.5 mg to 67.5 mg. The children given increasing doses of insulin every day, at an average of six months, displayed an immune response that could protect them from type 1 diabetes. "This is the first time we are seeing any sort of response by the immune system to orally administered insulin in children," said Bonifacio. Five of six children who were on the highest dose of oral insulin had an immune response which suggested the protein (insulin) was being tolerated by the immune system, rather than attacked. None of the children experienced dangerously low blood sugar, a fear of the research team prior to the study, with Bonifacio reporting "less than 1 per cent of the insulin is absorbed into the bloodstream." Additional research While this was only a small study, Julia Greenstein, vice president of discovery research at the JDRF, who helped fund the study, said: "This is a significant finding, and given JDRF’s mission to achieve a world without type 1 diabetes, these study results are exciting." The researchers now plan to trial the highest doses of insulin and expect to have results by 2017, while a prevention trial on larger groups of children will take eight or nine years, according to Bonifacio.
Insulin patch-pen launch planned for after 2016
Johnson and Johnson are set to increase the manufacturing scale of their wearable insulin patch-pen with the aim of launching the product after 2016. What is the insulin patch-pen? In 2012, the pharmaceutical company acquired Calibra Medical, who are working on the insulin patch-pen for people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Calibra began developing a three-day patch as an alternative to daily injections of insulin for mealtimes, which was approved in 2010 by the FDA. The Finesse insulin patch pen is very small and is worn on the body. It is smaller than an insulin pump and entirely mechanical, with no handheld controller, display screen or batteries. The patch-pen is designed to deliver bolus insulin doses when two buttons on the device are simultaneously pushed. These can be pushed repeatedly when more insulin is needed than the preset dose. Basal doses are not delivered by the device, and would need to be administered separately, but the patch-pen would alleviate the pain of daily injections of quick-acting insulin for patients. The patch-pen has a 200 unit reservoir and can be worn for up to three days, with Johnson and Johnson confident the device will make mealtimes less of a hassle for people with diabetes. "In terms of the wearable patch pump, that's probably a couple of years out still, obviously we need to scale up manufacturing complete some additional work on that," said Dominic Caruso, Chief Financial Offer, during a Q&A session on Johnson and Johnson’s first quarter sales results. "A few of us were just there recently visiting our diabetes business and all plans are in shape there, they are moving forward with all the manufacturing that needs to be done."
Diabetes drug Liraglutide could reverse damage caused by Alzheimers disease
Researchers from Imperial College London are recruiting people with early Alzheimers disease for a trial of a diabetes drug. If successful, the drug could reverse the damage caused by Alzheimer's disease. The study, which will cost £5million, could lead to the biggest breakthrough in the treatment of dementia for over decades. Liraglutide and Alzheimer's disease Last year, researchers discovered that the diabetes drug Liraglutide reduced the damage caused by dementia in mice. Now Liraglutide's restorative effects are being trialled on over 200 men and women in their 50s. Alzheimer's disease and diabetes Alzheimer's disease is the most common form of dementia in the UK, and one that has close links with type 2 diabetes. People over the age of 60 with type 2 diabetes are considered twice as likely to develop Alzheimer's. In fact, it has been proposed that Alzheimer's disease could be known as type 3 diabetes, because insulin resistance in the brain is a key part of its progression. Nobody knows exactly why type 2 diabetes increases the risk of Alzheimer's disease. Some research indicates that it is due to damage to the small blood vessels that feed cells and nerves caused by diabetes. Diabetes is also linked to memory loss more generally. Over time, the prolonged exposure to high blood glucose levels - caused by a lack of insulin production or ineffective insulin - can damage the hippocampus, which is the part of the brain that deals with concentration, attention, memory, and information processing. Liraglutide: could a common type 2 diabetes drug treat Alzheimer's? Liraglutide (or Victoza) is a relatively new GLP-1 analogue used to treat type 2 diabetes. Liraglutide functions in two ways: it stimulates insulin production and suppresses glucagon production. Liraglutide, which is injected once a day, lowers blood glucose levels both after meals and while fasting, making it easier for people with type 2 diabetes to manage their diabetes. Liraglutide also improves weight loss. Could Liraglutide treat Alzheimer's disease? "We're hoping this will improve their memory function in people and their quality of life and that their memory will improve," said Dr. Paul Edison, Clinical Senior Lecturer at Imperial College London and Consultant Physician at Hammersmith Hospital, and leader of the study. "We're hoping we will be able to delay the progression of the disease." Dr. Simon Ridley, head of research at Alzheimer's Research UK, called the developments "encouraging." However, he stressed that it is too early to tell whether the memory-restorative effects of Liraglutide will translate to humans. "Earlier research in mice has suggested that Liraglutide may be able to act against Alzheimer's disease, but positive results from animal studies - a vital first step in research - do not always translate into benefits for people. Clinical trials are crucial to understand whether a treatment could help people with Alzheimer's disease, so it's encouraging to see this drug taken forward for human trials."
Six types of obesity identified by researchers could change obesity treatment
There are six different kinds of obesity, and they should be treated separately, according to new research. The study, carried out by researchers from the University of Sheffield and the Harvard School of Public Health in the US, could inform the development of new kinds of obesity treatment. The six types of obesity According to researchers, the six types are: Young healthy females: this group tended to experience few obesity-related complications (such as type 2 diabetes) Heavy-drinking males: they experienced a similar exposure to obesity-related complications to young healthy females, but with a lot more alcohol consumption Unhappy and anxious middle-aged: the researchers defined this group as being predominantly female, with mental health and emotional wellbeing issues Affluent and healthy elderly: this group is considered generally healthy, but with too much alcohol consumption and unhealthily high blood pressure Physically unhealthy but mentally healthy elderly people: this group tended to have arthritis and obesity-related health complications, but they were happy; they experienced fewer mental health issues than other groups Poorest health: this group is economically deprived and suffers from more chronic diseases than the other groups It is worth pointing out that this is a theory - there are no scientific distinctions between the groups. Rather, the study suggests that identifying broad "subcategories" of obesity will help develop new ways of treating the condition that may be more effective than a "one size fits all" approach. How could the research affect obesity treatment? Because each group is socially distinct from the others, the causes of their obesity are likely to be different; they all have separate root causes that need to be addressed. Treating the "unhappy and middle-aged" group will differ greatly from treating the "poorest health" group, for example: the former needs to have their mental health issues addressed, while the latter needs to have their economic deprivation addressed so that they can afford to eat healthily. Developing new treatments for obesity is vital. It is a significant health problem - one that is only expected to get worse unless treatment improves - and can play a key part in the development of other conditions, including type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and some kinds of cancer. How was the study conducted? The researchers sent questionnaires to 27,806 participants, 4,144 of whom were obese. 16 per cent of the 27,806 responded. The questionnaire examined lifestyle factors, such as smoking status, alcohol consumption, physical activity, and weight management. New treatments influenced by the hypothesis would focus on treating these groups more specifically, finding out what they respond to and applying it. However, it is currently unknown whether or not this would be effective, so more research is needed. Six types of obesity: could this improve obesity treatment? "Those in the groups that we identified are likely to need very different services, and will respond very differently to different health promotion policies," said Dr. Mark Green, Sheffield University's School of Health and Related Research (ScHARR), and lead author of the study. "Policies designed to tackle obesity and encourage healthier lifestyles often target individuals just because they obese. But a focus on just the group as a whole is not very efficient. We are all different and different health promotion approaches work for different people. "In the future, we hope that GPs will keep in mind these six groups when offering advice to their patients."