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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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25 Jul 2012
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25 Jul 2012
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Weight discrimination leads to weight gain not weight loss
A new study has found evidence to suggest that making overweight or obese individuals feel ashamed about their excess weight could lead to them putting on more pounds instead of shedding them. The research, published in the journal Obesity, comes from academics at University College London who examined previous study data from nearly 3,000 middle-aged adults ranging from normal body weight to obese (body mass index of 30 to 39.9). Participants were questioned on whether they had experienced any form of day-to-day discrimination they felt was linked to their weight, from being treated disrespectfully and receiving poor service in shops to being harassed. One in 20, or 5%, reported weight discrimination, but this rose significantly to 1 in 3 among the severely obese (BMI of 40 or above). During the four-year study, the researchers found people in all weight groups who experienced weight discrimination gained almost 1kg, or just over 2lb, on average, while no weight gain was noted among those who did not. In fact, adults who reported no discrimination typically lost 0.7kg in weight. While there was no evidence discrimination caused weight gain, the findings suggest it is counterproductive and could further raise the risk of developing obesity-related disorders such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Instead of blaming and shaming people for being overweight, the researchers said it is better for both health professionals and the general public to be supportive and encouraging. Lead author Dr Sarah Jackson, from the department of epidemiology and public health at UCL, said: "There is no justification for discriminating against people because of their weight. "Previous studies have found that people who experience discrimination report comfort eating. Stress responses to discrimination can increase appetite, particularly for unhealthy, energy-dense food. "Weight discrimination has also been shown to make people feel less confident about taking part in physical activity, so they tend to avoid it." Prof Jane Wardle, director of the Cancer Research UK Health Behaviour Centre at UCL, added: "Everyone, including doctors, should stop blaming and shaming people for their weight and offer support, and where appropriate, treatment."
Bio artificial pancreas begins human trials to treat type 1 diabetes
A new form of artificial pancreas, which reacts directly to glucose levels in the body, is set to be tested in humans with type 1 diabetes. The move to human trials has been made possible thanks to a funding grant from the type 1 diabetes charity the JDRF. Human clinical trials are set to go ahead in eight patients with type 1 diabetes in Sweden. The BetaAir is a device which has enclosed live pancreatic islet cells which are able to secrete either insulin or glucagon when glucose levels go respectively too high or too low. The fact that the BetaAir uses live islet cells has two key consequences. One consequence is that it needn’t be refilled with insulin, as is the case with other artificial pancreas systems. However, the live cells require regular feeding with oxygen. Once a day, a specialist device is pushed into the skin and injects air into the device. This explains why the system bears the name BetaAir. Beta-O2, the company behind the bio-artificial pancreas is a company based in Rosh-HaAyin, Israel. The makers state that replenishing the system with air is not difficult and takes around 2 minutes. Should the procedure not be carried out properly, an alarm will sound. This year has seen a host of new technologies competing to become the next wave of type 1 diabetes treatment. The recent progression in technology has aimed to reduce the complexity out of type 1 diabetes control.
Novel device scans feet to prevent amputation
A new device, not dissimilar in appearance to bathroom scales, has been developed that scans the foot for early signs of foot damage, helping to prevent amputation . Around 6,000 lower limb amputations are carried out on people with diabetes in the UK each year. Amputation is nearly always preventable if damage is spotted early and treatment received promptly. The new technology is called the Peripheral Sensory Neuropathy Test, or PerSeNT for short. It has been developed by researchers at London South Bank University (LSBU). When a foot is placed on the machine, the device scans the surface of the foot to identify skin damage. Evidence of ulceration and neuropathy can also be spotted through pressure mapping. The research team state that the device is significantly more accurate than the subjective tests used by GPs. The machine could be used in a number of key locations including GPs surgeries as well as in pharmacies and care homes. Diabetes foot care costs the NHS around 650 million each year, with treatment for foot ulcers and amputation estimated at around 200 million a year. If the device can be shown to reduce amputation rates and save money, the machine could become a common feature of diabetes care.
30 minute daily walk helps prevent diabetes and age related diseases
Going for a 30 minute walk each day can protect against obesity and type 2 diabetes, reduce the risk of some cancers, and combat depression, a British scientist has revealed. While it may be one of the most basic forms of exercise, walking is known to have a wide range of health benefits, including helping to reduce type 2 diabetes risk and improve blood sugar control in those diagnosed with the disorder. In fact, walking for at least half an hour a day is equivalent to taking a "magic pill" that tackles ageing by maintaining healthy living and improving quality of life, according to Dr James Brown, from the School of Life and Health Sciences at Aston University. Speaking at the British Science Festival in Birmingham, Dr Brown surprised visitors by presenting a pill which he claimed could help lower the risk for obesity, type 2 diabetes and cancer, ease anxiety, tackle depression, improve mobility and reduce the chance of hip fractures by 40% among older adults. The pill was also said to slow the progression of Alzheimers disease and protect cognitive function, cut arthritic pain by half, boost energy levels, and slash the risk of dying by 23%. Then came the surprise, "This isn't a pill, its exercise," the scientist revealed. "All of these changes are not seen in people who run marathons; they are not seen in people who lift weights in the gym, or spend four hours running on the treadmill. These are seen in people who walk and who walk for half an hour a day." He added: "You can get all of these health benefits, you can get a reduction in all of these diseases that are associated with ageing, by just keeping active, by walking for half an hour a day. If there is one take home message it would be that." During his lecture at the University of Birmingham, Dr Brown stressed that remaining inactive for too long could cause a significant amount of muscle loss in older adults, which may never be recovered. This in turn could have a major impact on quality of life by increasing inactivity and leading to something called the 'stairway to dependence'.
Prediabetes linked with 15 per cent higher risks of cancer
A meta-analysis of 16 different clinical studies has shown that prediabetes is linked with 15 per cent greater risks of cancer overall and even higher risks of specific cancers. Prediabetes, also known impaired glucose regulation (IGR) is a condition in which blood glucose levels are higher than normal, but not high enough to be diagnosed as type 2 diabetes. Recent analysis of statistics estimates that 1 in 3 adults have prediabetes in England. Researchers from Sun Yat-sen University in China reviewed the results of 16 different studies which included 891,426 individuals. The researchers found that overall cancer risks were 15% higher for people with prediabetes than people without the condition. The forms of cancer that were significantly higher in people with prediabetes included: Breast cancer Stomach cancer Colorectal cancer Liver cancer Pancreatic cancer Endometrial cancer Of these, the effects of prediabetes had the greatest effects on risks of liver, stomach/colorectal and endometrial cancers. Not all forms of cancer, however, were higher in people with prediabetes. Those that were not associated with an increased in people with prediabetes included lung, kidney, prostate, ovarian and bladder cancers. Greater risks of cancer were apparent in people with fasting plasma glucose levels as low as 5.6 mmol/l. The researchers regard this as justification of the American Diabetes Association's decision to use an HbA1c of 5.7-6.4% (39-47 mmol/mol) as the diagnosis window for prediabetes. By contrast, the UK guidelines define prediabetes as being 6.0-6.4% (42 to 47 mmol/mol).
Statins could help prevent microvascular complications of diabetes
Statin medications may help protect people with diabetes from developing certain microvascular complications, a new study has found. The cholesterol-lowering drugs are already known to reduce the risk for heart disease and stroke (macrovascular disease) among type 2 diabetes patients, but researchers in Denmark believe they also have the ability to prevent diabetes-related damage to small blood vessels in the body (microvascular disease), particularly among newly diagnosed diabetics. The subject of statins and diabetes is a controversial one. While many studies have shown the drugs to be beneficial for individuals with type 2 diabetes, others have linked their use to increased glucose levels and higher risk of diabetes and associated complications. "Since high levels of blood glucose, the hallmark of diabetes, are linked with microvascular disease, and since statins are suspected of raising glucose levels, we tested the hypothesis that individuals taking a statin before a diagnosis of diabetes might be at increased risk of developing microvascular complications," explained study author Borge Nordestgaard, chief physician in clinical biochemistry at Copenhagen University Hospital. Nordestgaard and colleagues analysed data on more than 60,000 people aged 40 or older who were diagnosed with diabetes between January 1996 and December 2009. Of those, more than 15,500 patients were taking statins and their outcomes were compared to more than 47,000 diabetic patients who were not prescribed the drugs. The results surprisingly showed that compared with non-statin users, those taking the cholesterol medications were 40% less likely to be diagnosed with diabetic retinopathy (diabetes-related retinal damage), 34% less likely to have diabetic neuropathy (nerve damage) and 12% less likely to develop gangrene. Risk of diabetic nephropathy (kidney disease) remained the same for both groups. "We found no evidence that statin use is associated with an increased risk of microvascular disease," said study co-author Dr. Sune Nielsen. She added: "Whether or not statins are protective against some forms of microvascular disease - a possibility raised by these data - and by which mechanism, will need to be addressed in studies similar to ours." The findings were published online in the journal Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology.
Pharmaceutical company ends type 1 diabetes drug program
Development of an experimental diabetes drug has been stopped by manufacturer Hyperion Therapeutics after it was revealed that trial data for the drug was manipulated. The biopharmaceutical company announced that it is terminating development of the type 1 diabetes drug, DiaPep277, following the discovery that certain employees in its recently acquired subsidiary, Israel-based Andromeda Biotech, had engaged in serious misconduct. Evidence was uncovered that showed staff members of the Israeli drug developer acted unlawfully by receiving un-blinded data from the DIA-AID 1 clinical trial and manipulating it to obtain a favourable result. Hyperion said there is also additional evidence to suggest the biostatistics firm and certain Andromeda employees continued to share and analyse un-blinded data from the ongoing DIA-AID 2 trial. The Andromeda employees involved have been suspended by Hyperion and the company is continuing its investigation, but in the meantime, it has taken the decision to end development of DiaPep277. "This new information leaves us with no viable regulatory path forward," said Donald Santel, president and chief executive of Hyperion. "We're shocked and disheartened at the serious misconduct and deceit by the implicated Andromeda employees, both before and after the close of our transaction. Patients and clinical investigators invested years of their lives in the expectation of an honest result. "We will be engaging with clinical investigators and are prepared to complete the DIA-AID 2 trial because the data may still yield useful insights into the natural history of type 1 diabetes. However, we will not invest further in DiaPep277 beyond completing the DIA-AID 2 trial and meeting our obligations to close out the investigational program as a whole."
New basal insulin peglispro achieves improved HbA1c and weight loss
Lilly's new long acting (basal) insulin, peglispro, has outperformed Sanofi's Lantus in two clinical trials but questions remain about effects on liver and heart health. The new insulin achieved unusually strong results in achieving significantly lower HbA1c results than the current market leading insulin Lantus (insulin glargine). In addition, Lilly's peglispro also scored lower rates of hypoglycemia and achieved weight loss, whereas trial participants on Lantus experienced weight gain. The trial named IMAGINE-1 was an un-blinded trial, whereby participants knew which medication they were taking and IMAGINE-3 was a blinded trial whereby the medications being taken was not known by participants. Improved HbA1c in patients taking peglispro (also known as BIL) was observed in participants with type 1 diabetes and those with type 2 diabetes. Lilly is hoping to secure approval for the drug in the US within 18 months. However, clinical trials have shown some disadvantages which will need to considered carefully before approval is met. Participants taking peglispro were observed to experience small increases in blood pressure and triglyceride levels, indicating possible raised risks of heart disease and microvascular complications such as retinopathy, kidney disease and neuropathy. In addition, the participants who took peglispro experienced statistically significant increases in liver fat and much higher than normal levels of the liver enzyme alanine aminotransferase (ALT). Raised levels of ALT can indicate increased risks of liver damage and fat accumulation in the liver could potentially result in insulin resistance and liver disease after a number of years. For these reasons, the effects on the liver of the drug will need to be analysed carefully before approval is reached.
Sanofi releases fun, educational app for kids with type 1 diabetes
A new mobile gaming app designed for children, parents and carers of kids with type 1 diabetes in the UK has been launched by global healthcare company Sanofi Diabetes. The free application, Mission T1D, aims to improve the understanding of type 1 diabetes amongst young sufferers by allowing them to share knowledge and discuss about how best to live with the condition. Available for Apple iOS and Google Android mobile devices, as well as PCs, the game is set in a school and each level provides a short, practical and illustrated message about coping with type 1 diabetes at school. Educational videos are also provided at the end of each stage, which highlight and explain key topics such as what type 1 diabetes is, what is hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia, and what constitutes a healthy diet. Two versions of the Mission T1D game have been produced - the first an interactive one and the second a downloadable version that can be used offline, for example, in school classrooms. To encourage take-up within schools, Sanofi will offer teachers an educational pack that includes the game, as well as a video and quiz, for use in lessons. Rebecca Reeve, head of professional relations at Sanofi Diabetes, said: "As a company, we have entered the diabetes gaming arena to improve health outcomes for children with type 1 diabetes. We hope that the teachers, parents and carers for whom this game was developed will make it their mission to make this game a success." Karen Addington, chief executive of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF), added: "Type 1 diabetes is a complex and serious condition. Furthermore, when the facts about Type 1 diabetes are not appreciated and understood, extra pressure is placed upon those living with it. "Thankfully, technology can play a big role in broadening awareness and understanding among people of all ages."
All riders of one Tour of Britain cycling team has type 1 diabetes
Showing that diabetes is no barrier to demanding athletic sports, Team Novo Nordisk is a professional cycling team in which all its members have type 1 diabetes. The Tour of Britain is Britain's premier professional cycling event. 20 teams, including Team Novo Nordisk, will take place in the tour, which involves 8 days of racing. Two of the stages cover over 200 km (125 miles) and can involve up to 6 hours in the saddle. This unique and inspirational cycling team, formerly known as Team Type 1, was founded in 2005 by two competitive cyclists with type 1 diabetes, Phil Southerland and Joe Eldridge. Phil Southerland is CEO of the team whilst Joe Eldridge continues to be a core rider in the team. Team Novo Nordisk's professional team has 18 riders all with type 1 diabetes and hailing from a variety of countries and continents. Type 1 diabetes requires insulin administration and a high amount of care taken to ensure blood glucose levels do not go too low or high whilst competing. Each of the riders use a continuous glucose monitor to keep track of their blood sugar levels whilst they race but even with state of the art technology, controlling blood glucose levels is by no means straight forward. Whereas riders without diabetes just need to ensure they get enough nutrition to remain competitive, members of Team Novo Nordisk need to balance their nutrition intake with how much insulin they are running on. Some of the riders need to find time to take 3 to 4 insulin injections per race. Having sufficient insulin is important for the riders as without enough insulin, the muscles cannot access glucose for fuel from the blood, which can therefore affect performance. Even though injections can lose time in the short term, by the end of the race, through taking injections, the riders can remain just as competitive as the non-diabetic members of the other teams.