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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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25 Jul 2012
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Insulin sensitivity balanced by beta cell function after hyperglycemia
A dose of glucose (known as a hyperglycaemic load) results in beta cell function that compensates for insulin sensitivity normally lost in older men with kidney dysfunction. Researchers at Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden, investigated insulin release and glucose tolerance across levels of kidney function. 1,015 Swedish men aged between 70 and 71 were investigated from the Uppsala Longitudinal Study of Adult Men. None of the men had diabetes. Insulin sensitivity, beta cell function and glucose tolerance were determined using two tests; a standardised oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT), and euglycaemic hyperinsulinemic clamp (HEGC) tests. The OGTT test measures the body's response to glucose, while the HEGC test assesses either how well an individual metabolizes glucose or their insulin sensitivity. 46 per cent (466 men) were observed as having moderate-advanced kidney disease, with insulin sensitivity reduced across decreasing kidney function quartiles. After the OGTT test and following a hyperglycemic load, beta cell function was higher, while a two-hour post-load glucose tolerance did not differ across kidney function levels. Insulin release during OGTT was inversely related to kidney function, with insulin sensitivity corrected for. The researchers concluded that the loss of insulin sensitivity that occurs in the early stages of kidney disease is compensated for by beta cell function. "Whether beta cell function is preserved also in individuals with more advanced stages of chronic kidney disease cannot be derived from this analysis and needs verification in future studies," the researchers wrote.
First ever artificial pancreas fitted into boy with type 1 diabetes
A four-year-old boy from Perth has become the first person in the world to have an insulin pump-like artificial pancreas fitted to manage his type 1 diabetes. Xavier Hames' new pancreas-like insulin pump can identify when his blood sugar levels are low and regulate them, mimicking how the pancreas can predict low glucose levels and prevent the delivery of insulin. Specialists at Princess Margaret Hospital for Children, Australia, researched and tested the insulin pump through clinical trials across a network of Australian hospitals. The clinical trials lasted five years and the device is now available commercially for $10,000, but the pump is reportedly scheduled to become easily accessible and more affordable. Professor Tim Jones at Princess Margaret Hospital believes the lives of type 1 diabetics will become much easier with the pump, especially during night-time. "The majority of hypoglycemic attacks occur at night when a person is asleep and they might not be able to react or recognize the attack. This device can predict hypoglycemia before it happens and stop insulin delivery before a predicted event," Jones said. Researchers at the hospital are now aiming to develop a fully automatic device which can monitor blood sugar levels consistently and adjust insulin levels accordingly. This would alleviate the need for people with type 1 diabetes to continually prick their fingers to test blood sugar and inject insulin daily.
Type 1 diabetes prevented in animal model by targeting TH17 cell
Researchers at Saint Louis University (SLU) have successfully prevented the development of type 1 diabetes in an animal model. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease, characterised by the destruction of insulin-producing beta cells by the immune system. Current treatment for type 1 diabetes consists of controlling blood glucose using insulin injections and carefully-planned diet. The study, published in Endocrinology, focused on countering the process by which the immune system attacks insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas, thereby triggering the development of type 1 diabetes. Previous research revealed that the development of type 1 diabetes was connected to at least two kinds of immune t-cells. Researchers wanted to know the exact nature of the role of a third type of T-cell: TH17. They discovered that two nuclear receptors play an important part in the production of TH17 cells. By targeting the nuclear receptors, the researchers halted the development of autoimmunity and the destruction of beta cells in mouse models, thus preventing the onset of type 1 diabetes. The receptors are known as ROR alpha and gamma t. When the researchers block them with a selective ROR alpha and gamma t inverse agonist called SR1001, the development of type 1 diabetes in mouse models was significantly reduced. The results suggest that TH17 cells are central to the onset of type 1 diabetes. Developing drugs and medication that target TH17 cells may be a productive method of treating type 1 diabetes, potentially even offering an alternative to insulin injections. Thomas Burris, PhD, chair of pharmacological and physiological science at Saint Louis University said, "None of the animals on the treatment developed diabetes even when we started treatment after significant beta cell damage had already occurred. We believe this type of treatment would slow the progression of type 1 diabetes in people or potentially even eliminate the need for insulin therapy."
FDA approves obesity-countering implant device
The US Food and Drug Administration has approved an implanted device to combat obesity, potentially reducing the development of type 2 diabetes and other weight-related conditions, such as cardiovascular disease, stroke, and some types of cancer. What is the device? The device, called the Maestro Rechargeable System, is implanted under the skin of the torso. The leads wrap around the vagus nerve, which is responsible for connecting the brain to the stomach. Intermittent bursts of electricity emitted by the device blocks nerve traffic between the brain and the stomach for a while, inhibiting feelings of hunger. To qualify for the device, patients must be 18 or older, have failed to lose weight in a weight-loss programme, and have a body mass index (BMI) between 35 and 45. In addition, patients must have at least one medical condition related to obesity, such as type 2 diabetes. The trial Trials were conducted on 233 patients with a BMI greater than 35. Some patients received the actual device, while others were given a sham device, the equivalent of a placebo. The group that was given the device lost 8.5 per cent more weight than the group that received the sham device. 52.5 per cent of patients given the device lost at least 20 per cent of their excess weight, and 38.3 per cent lost at least 25 per cent, potentially lowering their risk of a number of weight-related diseases, such as type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. The FDA claims that the exact weight loss methods used by the device are unknown. The trial did not assess food intake or other factors that may have induced weight loss irrespective of the device. The device's significance The Maestro Rechargeable System is the first weight loss device approved by the FDA since 2007. It potentially offers a safer, less invasive alternative to weight loss surgery, should weight-loss programmes fail to reduce BMI. William Maisel, deputy for science and chief scientist at FDA's Centre for Devices and Radiological Health, said: "Medical devices can help physicians and patients develop comprehensive obesity treatment plans."
Too much sitting could increase the risk of type 2 diabetes, regardless of exercise
Too much sitting increases the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and cancer, regardless of how much a person exercises, according to new research. The study, a systematic literature review published in Annals of Internal Medicine, aims to answer some of the questions regarding the relationship between prolonged sitting and health issues after adjusting for physical activity. Previous studies have failed to determine the exact nature of the relationship. Researchers examined 47 studies, and found that, amongst people who sit for prolonged periods of time, even those who exercised regularly experienced worse health outcomes than people who didn't spend a lot of time sitting down. One of the studies reviewed indicates that people who spend less than eight hours sitting per day lowered their risk of hospitalisation by 14 per cent. The World Health Organisation (WHO) suggests that 3.2 million people die every year as a result of inactivity. The biggest sitting-related health risk revealed by the review was a 90 per cent increase in the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Important links were also observed between inactivity and several types of cancer, including colon, uterine, breast, and ovarian. Aviroop Biswas, of the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute-University Health Network, said: "We found the association relatively consistent across all diseases. A pretty strong case can be made that sedentary behaviour and sitting is probably linked with these diseases. "When we're standing, certain muscles in our body are working very hard to keep us upright. Once we sit for a long time ... our metabolism is not as functional, and the inactivity is associated with a lot of negative effects. "We found that exercise is very good, but it's what we do across our day," he explained. "Exercise is just one hour in our day, if we're diligent: we need to do something when we're not otherwise exercising, like finding excuses to move around, take the stairs, or carry groceries rather than use the [shopping trolley] at the supermarket." Dr. Joshua Septimus, a clinical associate professor of internal medicine at Houston Methodist Hospital in Texas, was full of praise for the new research, noting that it "gives us more data to help counsel our patients." "The idea that we could exercise for 15 to 20 minutes a day and that could completely erase any harms of a sedentary lifestyle for the other 23 hours a day is just too hopeful. This showed us that yes, there is some benefit to physical activity ... but it's not enough."
Five Scottish children diagnosed with type 2 diabetes
Five children in Scotland aged four and under were diagnosed with type 2 diabetes during 2014, with experts blaming a "tragic" obesity crisis. Type 2 diabetes is linked to obesity, but there were no cases of children developing the disease 15 years ago. Nearly 70 under-18s were diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in 2014 - five of those aged 0-4. The Scottish Government have been urged to make drastic changes by health campaigners, who are attributing the results to a lack of exercise and unhealthy diet. Disaster Professor Naveed Sattar, clinician and professor of metabolic medicine at Glasgow University reports diagnosis of type 2 diabetes, at such a young age appears to result in a poorer prognosis than with older adults, on average, and a more aggressive illness with an increased risk of serious complications. Sattar described young children being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes as a "disaster". He said: "Studies have shown that developing type 2 diabetes at a young age increases the chance of complications developing, including kidney disease, heart disease and even premature death." The findings were also called a "tragedy" by Tam Fry, patron of the Child Growth Foundation and chairman of National Obesity Forum. "We now have children being treated for obesity by their first birthday in this country, and children with type 2 diabetes can suffer heart problems by their 20s – and that’s tragic," Fry added. Public health minister Maureen Watt said: "Diabetes is a key priority for the Scottish Government. We are determined to deliver world-class diabetes healthcare and our Diabetes Improvement Plan sets out ambitious improvement steps to ensure that diabetes services in Scotland are second to none."
Supplements can help vitamin D deficient type 2 diabetes patients
Supplementation of vitamin D could lower the levels of fasting blood glucose and insulin in type 2 diabetes patients with insufficient vitamin D levels. An Iranian study aimed to investigate how therapeutic vitamin D doses would affect adiponectin (a protein that helps regulate glucose levels), which is inversely associated with insulin resistance in type 2 diabetics with low vitamin D levels. In a study supported by the Diabetes Research Centre, Endocrinology and Metabolism Research Centre, Tehran University of Medical Science, Iran, researchers conducted a double-blind, randomised clinical trial on 81 patients with type 2 diabetes. All patients had vitamin D levels of 10-30 ng/mL. They received 50,000 IU’s (International Units) of vitamin D or placebo once a week for a duration of eight weeks. Blood samples were collected following 12 hours of fasting at the beginning and the end of the study. Vitamin D supplementation was found to increase vitamin D levels significantly to a normal rate, while the levels of fasting blood glucose and insulin were also decreased. This eight-week period was not sufficient, however, to display any possible effects of vitamin D on adiponectin levels, which are related directly to insulin sensitivity. These levels did not change during the study.
Bariatric surgery leads to insulin cessation in type 2 diabetes
Scientists have found that bariatric surgery on insulin-treated type 2 diabetics can lead to diabetes remission and insulin cessation. The impact of bariatric surgery was evaluated by Ali Tavakkoli, MD, co-director of Centre for Weight Management and Metabolic Surgery at Brigham and Women's Hospital, and colleagues. Previous studies have assessed how bariatric surgery affected diabetic patients, but Tavakkoli’s team investigated the surgery on type 2 diabetics who require insulin. Over 5,000 patients with insulin-treated type 2 diabetes were involved in the study, with weight loss determining whether they would receive Roux-en Y gastric bypass surgery (RYGB) or a laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding (LAGB). 62 per cent of patients who underwent RYGB were off insulin after 12 months, compared to 34 per cent who experienced insulin cessation following a LAGB. Clinical remission of diabetes was identified in 50.3 per cent of the RYGB group, and 19.2 per cent in the LAGB group. The researchers concluded that insulin-dependent type 2 diabetics are more likely to not need insulin after RYGB, with weight-independent effects in the early months following surgery. Insulin cessation after LAGB was more linked to weight loss. "The present data lead to several important conclusions: that advanced type 2 diabetes is amenable to remission by bariatric surgery, that many of those who do not achieve remission no longer require insulin postoperatively and that that RYGB appears to be superior to LAGB for its ability to improve metabolic parameters in this patient subset," the authors wrote. The results were published in Diabetes Care.
Healthy diet particularly effective for reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes in minority women, study suggests
Consuming a healthy diet reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes more significantly in Asian, Hispanic, and black women, according to new research. The study, conducted by researchers at the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health and Brigham Women’s Hospital and published in Diabetes Care, focuses on the relationship between diet and the development of type 2 diabetes in minority women; previous studies of this kind have focused on white populations. The study The researchers analysed the data of over 150,000 women: 156,030 non-Hispanic white women; 2,026 Asian women, 2,053 Hispanic women; and 2,307 black women. The women were followed for as long as 28 years, filling out a diet questionnaire every four. Based on the questionnaire responses, the researchers developed a type 2 diabetes risk reduction score, assessing how each woman’s diet affected her risk of type 2 diabetes. Higher scores suggested "healthier" diets: that is, diets with lower consumptions of saturated fats, trans fats, sugar-sweetened beverages, red and processed meats, and generally lower glycaemic index foods. In addition, "healthier" diets included greater consumption of cereal fibre, polyunsaturated fats, coffee, and nuts. The results Across the ethnic groups, women with healthier diets had a similar risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Healthy diet was associated with 48 per cent risk reduction in white women, 42 in Asian, 55 in Hispanic, and 32 in black women. But previous studies have indicated that non-white women have a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes in the first place, so the results suggest that healthy diet has a greater benefit for non-white women: the analysis of the study indicates that a healthy diet can prevent 5.3 cases of type 2 diabetes per 1,000 white women per year, compared with eight cases per 1,000 non-white women per year. The significance of the findings Jinnie Rhee, a postdoctoral fellow in the Division of Nephrology and lead author of the study, said: "The study suggests that a healthy diet can play a vital role in preventing type 2 diabetes particularly in minority women who have elevated risks of the disease. "As the incidence of type 2 diabetes continues to rise at an alarming rate worldwide, these findings can have global importance for what may be the largest public health threat of this century." Walter Willett, Fredrick John Stare Professor of Epidemiology and Nutrition and chair, Department of Nutrition at Harvard Chan, said: "The finding confirms that we are all in the same boat when it comes to preventing type 2 diabetes by diet. Our next challenge is to put this knowledge into practice so everyone can benefit."
Diabetic tattoo monitoring glucose could be released in a few years
Scientists have developed a non-invasive way for diabetic patients to test blood glucose levels in the form of a temporary tattoo. Developed at the University of California, San Diego, US, the thin, flexible patch that resembles a temporary tattoo can extract and measure glucose levels in the fluid between skin cells. This is done without puncturing or irritating the skin. How does the tattoo work? The tattoo involves a mild electrical current being applied to the skin, with sodium ions forced into the fluid between skin cells after 10 minutes of application. They then migrate towards the electrodes of the tattoo. Glucose molecules are found in these ions, as well as the fluid, with a sensor built into the tattoo measuring how strong the electrical charge is produced by the glucose. Someone with diabetes can continually determine their overall glucose levels. The tattoo was tested on seven men and women aged between 20 and 40. None of the participants had any history of diabetes. Only a few of the subjects reported a mild tingling sensation during the 10-minute application, but no other discomfort was recorded by the volunteers. Amy Bandodkar, one of the researchers on the team, believes the tattoo could be available to purchase within a few years, and will appeal to others aside from those with type 1 diabetes. The researchers are now working on extending the life of the tattoo sensor, with the aim of keeping the financial cost down for consumers. "Presently, the tattoo sensor can easily survive for a day. These are extremely inexpensive and can be replaced without much financial burden on the patient," Bandodkar added.