Stem cell transplant as a possible cure for type 1 diabetes has been under investigation for a few years. I try to follow the evolution of these treatments closely, and just today I read a story that made my day. A study by scientists from the universities of Chicago and Brazil has shown that auto-transplant of stem cells freed 20 of the 23 patients enrolled in the study from having to inject insulin. These scientists showed that stem cell transplants from the bone marrow of the patient (auto-transplant) can help to keep blood sugar levels controlled for years in people with type 1 diabetes without using insulin (according to an article in the Journal of the American Medical Association). The study was carried out in Brazil from 2004 to 2008, involving 23 people with type 1 diabetes, aged between 13 and 31 years old. 20 participants are still without insulin […]

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By Charlie G ❘ 2009

Hi, everyone. Due to other personal projects I have been neglecting this blog a little. I will take today, World Health Day, to write a few lines. Just today I read some news that comes in handy to reflect on the current status of the health care system. The news can be summarized as follows: “The costs of care for this disease (diabetes), should appropriate interventions not be established, could bankrupt the health system of the country in the next decade.” The article refers to Mexico, but I think it is a situation that is affecting most countries and cities around the world, especially the “developed” world. It seems unbelievable, but the more money governments spend on treating some disease, the more cases of the disease (like diabetes) appear. According to the news I read, “In the last three years about 17 billion pesos have been invested in the construction […]

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By Charlie G ❘ 2009

A few weeks ago I read an interesting story that was again hopeful for many diabetics who are waiting for a scientific cure for type 1 diabetes. The journal Cell published a new Canadian study with animals, where mice were injected with capsaicin, the substance that makes chili peppers spicy, and they were quickly cured of type 1 diabetes. Researchers from the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto believe that Type 1 diabetes — the most serious form of the disease that usually appears in childhood — is caused by malfunctioning pain nerves that surround cells in the pancreas. In patients suffering from Type 1 diabetes, the pancreas fails to produce sufficient levels of insulin, causing inflammation and death of insulin-producing islet cells in the pancreas. Experts have long believed that the condition was caused by the body’s immune system turning against itself, but the Toronto researchers — immunologist Dr. […]

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Today I want to share with you some of the plants or foods that I have recently learned help improve the health of diabetics, or even help cure diabetes. Yacon (Peruvian ground apple) Yacon is a root vegetable grown in Peru that has some fabulous properties for diabetics. Yacon root is the edible part of the tuber and is composed mostly of water and fructo-oligosaccharides (carbohydrates metabolized by the digestive system). That means it has a sweet taste but in doesn’t cause blood sugar to rise due to the type of carbohydrates it contains. Its hypoglycemic action makes it an ideal food for diabetics. In addition, fructo-oligosaccharides act as probiotics to improve gastrointestinal health, the immune system and to prevent the development of various diseases. Thanks to the bifidobacteria stimulated by the consumption of yacon, fewer toxin are created and therefore there is a lower risk of colon cancer. Yacon […]

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Dr. Mercola, an American physician who I have been following for more than a year, has posted another entry on his website (the most visited website about natural health, with more than one million hits a month) on type 2 diabetes. Dr. Mercola is a licensed physician who realized how ineffective many conventional medical treatments to cure chronic diseases are. Now he practices his medicine in a more natural way, taking into consideration what helps and what harms the body. Anyway, here is the article: The Glaring Diabetes Error That Even Most Doctors Don’t Recognize The concept that is being overlooked by conventional medicine is that diabetes is not a disease of blood sugar. Yes, blood sugar becomes elevated in people with diabetes, but this is a symptom of the real problem, and it is an attempt by your body to keep things in balance. The real problem in diabetes […]

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By Charlie G ❘ 2008

Tomorrow, November 14, 2008, we will “celebrate” World Diabetes Day. For another year the opportunity has come to announce with fanfare that it’s a special day, dedicated to diabetes. I wrote “celebrate” in quotes because I do not think it is an occasion to celebrate. It is a very sad thing that there are more and more people with diabetes, and especially that the number of cases of children with diabetes is dramatically increasing. For me, personally, and with all due respect to those who strive to change things, this seems like a failure on the parts of our health system and government. Why else, since we have a technology thousands of times more advanced than 50 years ago, would the number of people suffering from diabetes increase exponentially? Isn’t it supposed to be the opposite: improving technology and science = improving health? Apparently not. In this case the technology […]

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By Charlie G ❘ 2008

Today I read an interesting story: An experimental drug for diabetes dispenses insulin in response to glucose levels. SmartCells biotechnology company in the U.S. is developing a drug that could do most of the work in the control of diabetes. The injectable drug, called SmartInsulin, detects elevated glucose levels and automatically dispenses insulin as needed. As glucose levels fall, the medicine is stabilized, retaining the insulin until the next sugar rush. A drug like this could reduce the number of required insulin injections per day. Todd Zion, SmartCells founder and president, says that a drug that is self-regulated like this can also reduce the risk of hypoglycemia, a potential danger associated with current therapies for diabetes. The company has tested the drug on hundreds of rodents and has recently been experimenting with pigs that do not produce enough insulin – models that are more similar to human diabetes. So far, […]

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By Charlie G ❘ 2008

It seems that finally we can buy and take stevia as it is: a natural sweetener with beneficial properties, not something labeled as a dietary supplement or an additive for the bath (which was required by producers or distributors of stevia so far, since authorities did not allow it to be sold as a sweetener). I just read a story in an spanish online newspaper entitled “The ka’a he’ê is a drug that can fight diabetes and hypertension,” which in fact is an interview with medical researcher Dr. Luis A. Barriocanal Perasso. To date, stevia or ka’a he’ê (its original name) was only allowed for sale as a sweetener in a few countries, while in others like the U.S. and Europe could only be sold as a dietary supplement (many believe that this was due to multinational companies’ that produce artificial sweeteners, who feared for their business). Some institutions allowed […]

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By Charlie G ❘ 2008

For the last few weeks some news is appearing about the risks of the compound Bisphenol A (BPA) contained in many plastic bottles, feeding bottles, cans… It seems that finally some countries are moving forward by declaring Bisphenol A a toxic substance. We’ll see how long it takes for producers of packaged foods and feeding bottles to replace this compound. The more pressure they receive from consumers the earlier they will do it. So let’s start demanding products free of Bisphenol A. Here are the links to the news that I found about this subject: Canada moves to ban bisphenol A in baby bottles BPA – The Danger Lurking in Baby Bottles, Formula Cans, and Sippy Cups

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By Charlie G ❘ 2008

Who knew that microbes can protect us from disease? This is the conclusion reached after a group of scientists experimented with mice by exposing to common stomach bacteria. The result was that these mice were protected against the development of type 1 diabetes. These findings support the “hygiene hypothesis,” which refers to the lack of exposure to parasites, bacteria and viruses in developed countries leading to an increased risk of diseases like allergies, asthma and other immune system problems. Many people don’t know that type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease that occurs because the immune system cells mistakenly attack the pancreas that produces insulin. In type 1 diabetes the pancreas does not fail, but the immune system does. One wouldn’t think that symptoms such as allergies or asthma have anything to do with diabetes. In fact, all are linked with immune system problems (I myself have both diabetes and […]

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By Charlie G ❘ 2008

Today I’ll touch on something that everyone knows should do, but few put into practice: exercise. In particular, this time I write for type 2 diabetics, who are increasingly suffering the consequences of this disease, knowing that the cure for diabetes is in their hands, or rather, in their mouths and their legs. Anyone who has doubts about the judgments of “incurable” and “life-long disease” offered by insensitive doctors when they tell us that we have diabetes, may have noticed that type 2 diabetes cure is possible. And the two pillars to sustain the cure naturally are starting a healthy diet (to cure the disease, instead of keeping it) and physical exercise / sport. It is crystal clear: allopathic doctors are telling us, natural therapists recommend it to us, and any blog or website related to diabetes also suggests it. For a diabetic, exercising or practicing sports should be as […]

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By Charlie G ❘ 2008

Perhaps some of you are familiar with the name Denise Faustman. For those of you who have no idea who she is, Dr. Denise Faustman is director of the Immunobiology Laboratory at Massachusetts General Hospital. In 2001 her exciting research in BCG therapy in mice resulted in the first totally natural cure of type 1 diabetes, without needing anti-rejection drugs. This healing therapy has been successfully replicated in 7 other laboratories in other parts of the globe, reaching the same results. Seven years later, they started to move on to clinical trial in humans. You can’t imagine the amount of money needed to carry out such research. As this potential cure uses medicines already approved and patent-free, pharmaceutical companies do not fund this project. Although the first phase of the project was fully funded, Dr. Faustman needs 25 million dollars to complete Phase 2. Therefore, we are talking about scientific […]

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By Charlie G ❘ 2008

I just read some news today that left me puzzled. It turns out that these days the Annual Meeting of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD, its acronym in English) is being held in Rome. In this event the results of the study “Instigate,” a study that collects data from 1,153 patients with type 2 diabetes from five European countries (UK, France, Germany, Greece and Spain), were presented. The goal of this study was to analyze the monthly cost of care for diabetes before and after six months of starting treatment with insulin. Check this out: in Spain, the average monthly cost is 515 Euros per patient using pills as the only drug, and 699 Euros per month for each patient after 6 months of treatment with insulin. Incredible, right? Apparently, the monthly cost increase after starting treatment with insulin was due to more consultations with specialists, […]

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By Charlie G ❘ 2008

That’s the question many people have been asking for quite some time, including myself. For those who do not know what stevia is, here’s a link to an article I wrote about this natural sweetener. Besides being totally natural (unlike the sweeteners we buy in grocery stores which are loaded with chemicals), stevia has a feature that makes it very desirable for diabetics: it sweetens in a higher proportion than sugar but contains no calories, and, as a matter of fact, some studies show that it lowers blood sugar levels. With these qualities you would think that stevia is a very appropriate way to sweeten desserts, yogurts, teas and coffees (whoever likes them). Maybe because of these qualities, it has become a threat to the sugar and artificial sweeteners industry, and without further notice, has vanished from the market. At least in the area where I live, it has been […]

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This time I am going to talk about broccoli as an ally against the consequences of diabetes. Eating broccoli could reverse the damage that diabetes inflicts on heart blood vessels. The key is most likely a compound in the vegetable called sulforaphane. Sulforaphane encourages production of enzymes that protect the blood vessels, and reduces the number of molecules that cause cell damage by up to 73%. People with diabetes are up to five times more likely to develop cardiovascular diseases such as heart attacks and strokes, both of which are linked to damaged blood vessels. Keeping your heart healthy is extremely important if you have diabetes. Heart disease is actually the most common side effect of the condition, and 65 percent of people with diabetes die from heart attack or stroke. If diabetes is not controlled, it can damage blood vessels, including those leading to the brain and heart. This […]

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