First Successful Creation of Pancreatic Cells
February, 2016 - When you have diabetes your pancreas can't produce enough insulin to help keep your blood sugars within a healthy range. That's a basic explanation of type 2 diabetes. If you have type 1 diabetes, you pancreas doesn't produce any insulin.
Whether you have type 1 or type 2, managing this disease requires following specific dietary guidelines, like avoiding foods that can cause rapid changes in blood sugar levels. It's important, because diabetes can lead to heart disease, vision loss, poor circulation, high blood pressure, and other problems.
Regular exercise can help. So can losing weight or maintaining a healthy weight. And in some cases medication is also recommended to help control blood sugar levels.
But what if there was a way to get your pancreas to produce adequate insulin? It could change the way diabetes is treated for millions of people. And that's exactly what a group of California-based researchers hope to do.
In a new study published in the journal Nature Communications, researchers detail the results of a lab-controlled study where they did just that. They were able to use human skin cells to grow pancreatic cells that produce insulin and help control blood sugar levels.
While the process needs to undergo additional research before it can be used to treat diabetes in humans, the results are promising. One day, treating diabetes may be managed by creating insulin-producing pancreatic cells from your own skin. Pretty amazing.
It's going to be a while before this science is perfected. So until then, you'll need to continue to manage your diabetes as instructed by your doctor, which should include eating a healthy diet.
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