Experimental techniques in the treatment of diabetes are being done in many areas.

Experimental techniques in the treatment of diabetes are being done in many areas. These include stem cell research, research with herbs as well as other research including ingredients in cocoa.

Diabetes is a disease where the body is not able to metabolize glucose in the blood. Type-1 diabetes is caused by the damage of Beta islet cells located in the pancreas. When working properly these cells usually secretes insulin but for people with Type-1 diabetes these cells are not working. Type-1 diabetics will need to be on insulin therapy for the rest of their lives. Type-2 diabetes is cause by the destruction of insulin receptors on cell surfaces which causes the cells to be resistant to insulin. Type-2 diabetes can be managed with lifestyle changes and medication and in some cases with lifestyle changes alone.

At The University of Pennsylvania they are doing clinical trials on an experimental surgery called Islet Cell Transplantation. In this surgery doctors are transplanting islet cells from a matching donor. Islet cells are the cells that produce insulin. The technique is for Type-1 diabetics whose islet cells have been destroyed and no insulin is produced. These patients need to be on insulin medication for the rest of their lives. Since the cells are transplanted into the liver, many patients report that the body after the first transplant gives warning signs when the blood sugar is too low. Many Type-1 diabetics have no warning and often just black out which can be dangerous when driving or performing other critical tasks.

Islet cell transplantation can not treat most cases of Type-2 diabetes but is a possible cure for the over 700,000 people in the United States who have Type-1 diabetes. Unfortunately there are not enough donors to go around with only about 3,500 donor organs available last year. Most diabetics need 2 transplantations to get completely off insulin therapy.

The answer to this problem is to make islets in the lab using stems cells. There is currently research going on using controversial embryonic stem cells as well as stem cells taken from adults. But because of the ethical and political debate concerning embryonic stem cells this pathway to a cure is moving slowly.

There is also research being done with several Amazon jungle root herbs with reported abilities to lower blood glucose levels, normalize the frequency of urination, and eradicate glucose in the urine of diabetic patients. In Brazil, the Pfaffia root is being used to treat symptoms of diabetes. Pata-de-vaca is another herbal treatment used in Brazil for the diabetes treatment.

In order to provide new medications in the treatment of diabetes, researchers must find what substances are in these two herbs and in the lab perhaps are able to reconstitute these ingredients. Some of these new medications may be able to help people with few symptoms of diabetes, control their disease.

According to the doctors of cardiology and vascular fields of medicine, cocoa can help blood vessels function better. The narrowing of blood vessels is a complication of diabetes and can lead to foot problems, eye problems and problems with gums and mouth.

A study was conducted in Germany to see whether cocoa with high flavanol improves cardiovascular health or not. The study was specifically to test the effectiveness of the cocoa with long term use. 41 stable Type-2 diabetics were given cocoa with high dose flavanol in comparison with low flavanol dosage cocoa. Subjects were given cocoa with either 321 mg of flavanols per serving or only 25 mg of flavanols per serving three times daily for 30 days. This research do show improved blood vessel functioning with high levels of flavanol. This can lead to new medications to help with this complication or changes in the diets that diabetics must be continuously self-monitoring.

Experimental techniques in the treatment of diabetes are being done in many areas. These include stem cell research, research with herbs as well as other research including ingredients in cocoa.

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