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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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Site Update - Aug 2012
25 Jul 2012
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South Sefton Diabetes Group Update - Aug 2012
25 Jul 2012
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25 Jul 2012
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Glucosamine linked with protection from diabetes by mimicking low carb diet
New research from Germany indicates that glucosamine, which is widely taken for osteoarthritis, has potential to improve glucose metabolism and extend lifespan. In the study, the researchers monitored elderly mice of 100 weeks old, equivalent to 65 year old humans. One group of mice were given glucosamine supplements whilst the other mice received the same diet but no glucosamine. The researchers found that the mice treated with glucosamine had improved metabolism of glucose and lived 10% longer than the untreated mice. The research team noted in the study that the effects of glucosamine on metabolism and protection from type 2 diabetes are similar to being on a low carb diet, yet without the need to restrict dietary carbohydrate intake. Glucosamine is readily available in pharmacies and is recognised as being safe at conventional doses. More research will be needed, however, to confirm whether glucosamine is effective at improving metabolism and prolonging life in humans. Readers should note that there has been a number of conflicting research studies over the effects of glucosamine. For example, previous research into mice has showed that taking high levels of glucosamine killed off significant numbers of the beta cells in the pancreas that produce insulin.
Artificial pancreas team wins inventor of the year award
The makers of a unique artificial pancreas have been awarded the title of British Inventor of the Year award at the Gadget Show Live. The artificial pancreas works in a unique way as it uses a polymeric gel which responds directly to changes in glucose levels by releasing greater or smaller amounts of insulin. The insulin is delivered into the peritoneum, which allows the insulin to work on reducing blood glucose quicker than insulin that is delivered into the fat under the skin, as is the case with injections and insulin pumps. The artificial pancreas has been developed by Professor Joan Taylor of De Montfort University with Bruce Renfrew and Mike Phillips of the Renfrew Group. Speaking about the technology, Prof Taylor said: "This incredible device will not only remove the need to manually inject insulin, but will also ensure that perfect doses are administrated each and every time. By controlling blood glucose so effectively, we should be able to help reduce related health problems." The artificial pancreas is a great piece of British design and engineering and is due to soon start clinical trials to test the product. You can see the clinical trials at the Gadget Show Live until Sunday 13 April at the NEC Birmingham.
Novel device may improve treatment of diabetic foot ulcers
Researchers in England are to clinically trial new technology that could improve treatment of severe foot ulcers in patients with diabetes. Foot ulcers are a relatively common complication of diabetes. Higher than normal blood sugar levels can lead to a marked loss of feeling in the feet as a result of reduced nerve function, as well as poor blood circulation. In severe cases, ulcers that become infected can cause the affected tissue to die (gangrene), increasing the risk of amputation . Quick and effective treatment is vital to stop the spread of infection and subsequent risk of gangrene and amputation. But instead of the traditional method of using a scalpel blade to surgically remove dead or infected tissue from unhealed wounds, preclinical trials suggest that novel technology known as the WoundWand Debridement Device may be more effective. An international study is now underway to evaluate the effectiveness of using a WoundWand compared with a scalpel blade in healing infected wounds. Patients taking part in the research will be followed up over 12 weeks to assess the difference in bacterial count, reduction in wound size and improved recovery time. The first patient for the clinical study has been recruited by Researchers at the Manchester Royal Infirmary’s Diabetes Centre and Vascular Surgery Department, together with microbiologists from The University of Manchester. A total of 60 patients will be recruited for the study, which will run across three European centres, including the one in Manchester, over the course of 1-2 years. The WoundWand Debridement Device is designed to reduce the risk of recurring infection by using radiofrequency energy to dissolve dead tissue from infected wounds, while leaving as much healthy tissue intact as possible. This study will mark the first time it has been used for the treatment of diabetic foot ulcers, and it is hoped that the results will lead to changes in clinical care that drastically improve quality of life for people with diabetes.
National Diabetes Audit poses questions over cholesterol targets
Figures from the National Diabetes Audit show that mortality rates are higher at the target guideline levels advised for people with diabetes by the NHS than at neighbouring higher cholesterol levels. The data has particular implications for older people. Previous research, such as a study by Columbia University in 2005, has shown that people over 65 with the lowest cholesterol levels had twice the risk of mortality as over 65s with the highest levels. The data from the National Diabetes Audit 2011-2012 shows the highest mortality rates at the lowest and highest cholesterol levels. The target total cholesterol level for people with diabetes is under 4 mmol/l and sits at a relatively low level. The Audit shows that mortality rates are at their lowest between 4.0 and 6.0 mmol/l, with mortality rates are around 10% lower in this category than in the 3.0 to 4.0 mmol/l category. The Audit also shows that having very low cholesterol levels, below 3 mmol/l, is linked with even higher mortality than having high cholesterol levels above 6 mmol/l. Whilst lower cholesterol levels earlier in life appear to have a protective effect, research indicates that the protective effect decreases the closer to old age people get. The data has significance as NICE is currently reviewing its draft recommendation on managing cholesterol (Lipid Modification), which would see a much greater number of people with diabetes offered statin treatment.
Common type 2 diabetes therapy may cause longer lasting hypos
Diabetes patients treated with GLP-1 (glucagon-like peptide 1) based drugs in combination with insulin could face increased health risks, a new study has revealed. The research, published online in the journal Diabetes Care, shows this common treatment for people with type 2 diabetes can have an effect on the body that can lead to longer-than-normal episodes of hypoglycemia. The findings come from a team of researchers at the University of Adelaide's School of Medicine in Australia who examined the impact of this standard combination therapy on how quickly the stomach empties after eating. They discovered that it delays the movement of food from the stomach to the small intestine (gastric emptying). Lead researcher Dr Mark Plummer explained: "Low blood sugar levels usually cause the stomach to empty rapidly, however in the group studied on GLP-1 therapy it emptied no more quickly than at normal blood glucose levels. "This is a concern because it means that a significant amount of food, and therefore glucose being consumed by a diabetic patient to prevent or treat hypoglycemia, is being retained in the stomach. This would have the effect of extending hypoglycemia and potentially putting the patient at risk. "A diabetic patient really doesn't want their blood sugars to go too low because the brain requires glucose for normal functioning and you run the risk of loss of consciousness, seizures and even death in extreme cases." The results were based on a relatively small sample group, but they were statistically significant, according to Dr Plummer, who added that "there were no life-threatening effects on the patients studied". The University of Adelaide PhD student concluded that the study highlights the potential safety implications for combining GLP-1 based drugs with other blood sugar-lowering (hypoglycemic) treatments "We believe there should be ongoing evaluation of this combination therapy for patients with type 2 diabetes, to better understand the risks associated with it." The (GLP-1) class of drugs includes both GLP-1 receptor agonists, also known as incretin mimetics, and DPP-4 inhibitors (gliptins).
US Government pledges USD150 million towards type 1 diabetes research
Research into type 1 diabetes has received an important boost as the United States Government has pledged to invest $150 million dollars for research into the condition. The US Senate has agreed to extend an important research programme for type 1 diabetes, the Special Diabetes Program (SDP). The programme aims to forward progress in the following areas of type 1 diabetes research: Identifying genetic and environmental causes of type 1 diabetes Preventing or reversing type 1 diabetes, such as by modifying the immune system Developing new islet cell transplantation Preventing or reversing hypoglycaemia, such as through artificial pancreas technology Preventing and reducing complications Attracting new research talent and applying new research technologies To date, the Special Diabetes Programme has lead to advances in artificial pancreas technology and therapies to reverse vision loss in people with retinopathy and prevent kidney failure. The funding has implications to more than the USA as medication, therapies and new understanding can have application worldwide. In contrast, funding for research into type 1 diabetes from the UK’s Government has been decreased and JDRF UK, the UK’s largest type 1 diabetes charity, is urging the UK Government to reverse the decrease in funding. JDRF’s #CountMeIn campaign aims to convince the Government to put research into type 1 diabetes higher up the agenda.
Almonds may offer protection from type 2 diabetes and heart disease
People at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes may be able to lower their risk by increasing their intake of almonds, according to new research. The scientific study, led by Dr. Michelle Wien, found that consuming an almond-rich diet may help improve the body's sensitivity to insulin and reduce levels of LDL (or 'bad') cholesterol in adults with prediabetes. Low insulin sensitivity, or insulin resistance, and high LDL cholesterol are known risk factors for both type 2 diabetes and heart disease. To examine the health promotion and disease prevention benefits of almond consumption, the researchers randomly assigned a group of 65 adults diagnosed with prediabetes (48 women and 17 men) to either a dietary intervention group or a control group. Those in the control group followed a nut-free, regular diet consisting of 15-20% calories from protein, 10% total energy from saturated fat, 60-70% from carbohydrate and monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) and less than 300mg/day of cholesterol, while the intervention group were put on a similar diet but with 20% of the calories coming from almonds. After 16 weeks, levels of LDL-cholesterol and measures of insulin sensitivity were significantly improved among participants in the intervention group, suggesting that a diet enriched with almonds may not contribute to heart health but also to risk reduction for certain chronic diseases. "It is promising for those with risk factors for chronic diseases, such as type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease, that dietary changes may help to improve factors that play a potential role in the disease development," principal investigator Dr. Wien said. She added: "It would be beneficial to conduct tightly controlled metabolic feeding studies and postprandial studies that feature controlled amounts of carbohydrate to confirm the findings of this study, which was performed in a free-living population." Almonds offer 3.5 grams of fibre, 13 grams of unsaturated fat and only 1 gram of saturated fat per one-ounce serving.
Takeda fined USD6 billion over bladder cancer cover up for diabetes drug Actos
Pharmaceutical firm Takeda has been fined $6 billion for covering up health risks relating to bladder cancer associated with their popular type 2 diabetes drug Actos. The firm has been ordered to pay out $6 billion after a US court found the company to be guilty of destroying and deleting thousands of documents relating to health data about the drug. Takeda's partner, the pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly, has been fined $3 billion for its part in the cover up. Actos, also known as pioglitazone, has been on the market since 1999 and has amassed over $16 billion in sales. Takeda has previously fought off a number of previous legal trials over compensation claims following bladder cancer. Previous compensation claims have been unsuccessful because of the presence of other factors existing that also raise the risk of bladder cancer, such as long term smoking. Allen vs Takeda In the latest legal trial, Terrence Allen has been awarded $1.5 million in compensatory damages. Whilst it is hard to be sure whether Actos indeed caused Allen's bladder cancer, Takeda could not defend the fact that it had destroyed thousands of documents relating to health risks associated with the drug which had emerged years before the company issued warnings about possible bladder cancer risks. The US court heard that executives at Takeda had held back informing drug regulators as Actos was vital to Takeda's survival as a competitive company. Damaging patient trust Because documents and data have been destroyed, the jury in the case cannot ascertain what risks of cancer the drug displayed and neither can regulators. When drugs are tested for safety, the research is primarily funded by the pharmaceutical companies. Whilst it seems fair for the companies to pay for the trials that prepare the ground for profit making activities, the current system has also allowed the pharmaceutical companies a certain level of choice as to what trial data is submitted to regulators. What this means is that if a clinical trial shows increased health risks, the company may choose to send results of a different trial that shows more favourable results instead, as long as they have significant alternative data. It is certainly not the first time that a pharmaceutical company has chosen to hide unfavourable data. In November, 2011, GlaxoSmithKlein were fined $3 billion for covering up data related to heart attack risks for people taking the drug Avandia. With two diabetes drug companies having been at the centre of large scale, multi-billion dollar cover ups, patient trust in diabetes medication is bound to be affected. Should I continue to take Actos (pioglitazone)? Whilst the legal trial in the US casts significant doubt around the safety of Actos with regard to bladder cancer, if bladder cancer is a side effect of the medication, it is still relatively rare. If you are taking Actos, it is important to continue taking the medication. If you have concerns about taking the medication, speak to your doctor who will be able to take your individual circumstances and medical history into account.
Swedish type 1 diabetes rates higher than previous estimates
The number of adolescents and young adults with type 1 diabetes living in Sweden may be 2-3 times greater than previously estimated. New research published in the journal Diabetologia found that while Sweden has the second highest rate of type 1 diabetes in the world, the method used to determine current incidence rates for the country may not be as accurate as first thought. Dr. Araz Rawshani of the Swedish National Diabetes Register, Gothenburg, and colleagues discovered that instead of using the Diabetes Incidence Study in Sweden (DISS), they could more accurately estimate actual figures by reviewing the country's Prescribed Drug Register (PDR) and establishing a diagnosis of type 1 diabetes through a patient's prescription medications. Men with at least one and women with at least three prescriptions for insulin who were not being treated with oral hypoglycemic drugs were included as having type 1 diabetes. Women needed three insulin prescriptions to avoid confusion with gestational diabetes. The researchers then compared the results from the PDR with incidence rates in patients aged 14 and younger in the Swedish Childhood Diabetes Register (SCDR) and by assessing diabetes type among adults aged 18-34 in the National Diabetes Register (NDR). They found that the absolute number of type 1 cases in adolescents and young adults in the PDR was nearly 3 times the figure originally estimated through the Diabetes Incidence Study (1,217 versus 435). In addition, their findings did not back previous research that prevalence of the disease is rising among children and thus declining in the rest of the population, as their analysis of the PDR found that incidence rates in adolescents and young adults were actually equal to those reported in children aged 0-4 years. Since all patients diagnosed with type 1 diabetes must be entered into the PDR, the researchers said that this should be the ongoing method to determine and monitor type 1 diabetes incidence in Sweden in any future studies.
Processed food outlets again relied upon to halt type 2 diabetes timebomb in London
A report from the London Assembly Health Committee reveals that cases of type 2 diabetes in London have risen 75% in the last 10 years. The report carries the title 'Blood Sugar Rush: Diabetes time bomb in London' and outlines how London can help to beat the rapidly rising rates of obesity and type 2 diabetes within England’s capital. The Foreword of the report, provided by the Chair, Dr Onkar Sahota, makes a number of key points in outlining the health problems faced by Londoners, which are also reflected across much of the UK. Dr Sahota points out the difficulties families have in picking out nutritional meals, noting that practices that "rationalise poor diet choices" should be brought to an end. The Chair goes on to note that the Government's responsibility deal has been "called into question". The responsibility deal is a Government initiative that is designed to address poor nutrition choices by encouraging some of the largest food producers to self-regulate the health of their produce. The report's recommendation to address this problem is to set "more ambitious pledges with clearer targets for supermarkets and manufacturers to reduce the saturated fat, sugar and salt contents of foods and drinks." The recommendation is, once again, relying on large producers and distributors to make their processed foods 'less bad' as a way to curb type 2 diabetes. It is disappointing however, that no attention has been given to making healthy foods, particularly vegetables and fresh fruits, more affordable to families. Far wider action will be needed to change UK attitudes to food, how foods are advertised and incentivise home cooking for a true impact to be made. For example, lack of time is frequently cited as a reason for reliance on processed foods instead of home cooking and yet Ofcom reports that we spend, on average, 4 hours a day watching TV.