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Researchers May Have Found Cause of Type 2 Diabetes

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the good-start dept.

Biotech 181

ozmanjusri writes "Scientists at Sydney's Garvan Institute have identified an enzyme called PKCepsilon as the active agent that blocks the production of insulin in diabetics. Insulin injections and implants try to control levels but do not address the reasons why insulin production is failing. This discovery may allow pharmaceutical companies to develop a drug to block the enzyme, allowing cells in the pancreas to function normally, though the team's leader, Trevor Biden, says 'What we've identified is a target that we can now latch onto to get therapy, but the journey from target to tablet of course is a long one ... It's probably going to take another 10 years at least to get something that's effective in humans.'"

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Nice (5, Insightful)

rbochan (827946) | more than 6 years ago | (#20866795)

...This discovery may allow pharmaceutical companies to develop a drug to block the enzyme, allowing cells in the pancreas to function normally...

Yes, but would they actually do that? There's a hell of a lot more money to be made by treating the symptoms, rather than curing the disease.

Re:Nice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20866851)

Fortunately, you'd almost certainly have to take such a treatment continuously, not just once. "Fortunately" in the sense that I don't have to argue with your economic illiteracy about why a one-time cure would be worth developing anyway.

Re:Nice (5, Insightful)

moosehooey (953907) | more than 6 years ago | (#20866883)

This probably would be a treatment. If you stop blocking the enzyme, it probably comes back.

Also, it would be a new drug that could be patented, as opposed to insulin, which is no longer patented (if it ever was).

Re:Nice (1)

drachenstern (160456) | more than 6 years ago | (#20866923) []
What about the enzyme mentioned in this article?

Scientists at the Medical Research Council have made a discovery that could pave the way for better treatments of type II diabetes. The teams at two MRC institutes (the National Institute for Medical Research and the Clinical Sciences Centre) have determined the structure of the enzyme that regulates cellular energy levels.

The enzyme the scientists have been studying is called AMPK (AMP-activated protein kinase).

Re:Nice (2, Insightful)

techpawn (969834) | more than 6 years ago | (#20866933)

A treatment means that you can prolong it. At least street dealers give you the first one for free... Wait, don't drug reps give doctors offices free samples to hand their patients?

Maybe I'm just cynical that the medication to keep me aloft costs 2k a month so the prospect of a cure for my illness won't come till after that gravy train derails...

Re:Nice (2, Insightful)

djasbestos (1035410) | more than 6 years ago | (#20868005)

All the more reason to nationalize pharmaceuticals, or at the very least reform the drug patent system.

Shouldn't competition produce a cure? (4, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | more than 6 years ago | (#20869069)

A treatment means that you can prolong it.
A cure for the price of two years' treatment means you can keep your competitor from selling two decades of treatment.

Re:Shouldn't competition produce a cure? (1)

techpawn (969834) | more than 6 years ago | (#20869477)

But it's my understanding because of drug patents and research dubbed "trade secrets" getting the information to a competitor to create some kind of cure is near impossible. I'll try keep my tinfoil hat off and not say there is some kind of "you scratch my back, I'll scratch yours" going on between companies to keep research and patents the way they are.

Step 1 : Remove tinfoil hat. (5, Insightful)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 6 years ago | (#20867023)

You do realize that there is a lot of money to be made in preventive medicines of which this would be one. I doubt that they could cure it but removing the need for insulin would be a major benefit to both consumer and drug companies. My mom receives her insulin via overnight shipment - the packaging weighs many multiples compared to what was shipped. If its delivered improperly someone else eats the cost... meaning you and me. If the pharms could elminate medicines that require special handling it saves them money too.

Besides, giving a choice between paying for insulin, needles, blood test kits, or just a pill I know which I would take. I'd also be thankful someone is making it then going all tinfoil over their supposed real goals of keeping me sick - sick people die and don't buy more drugs - get over that

Re:Step 1 : Remove tinfoil hat. (3, Informative)

Hoi Polloi (522990) | more than 6 years ago | (#20867315)

Isn't type 2 diabetes [] basically dietary related (adult onset) and controled by monitoring blood sugar while type 1 [] is the permanent loss of pancreatic beta cells that produce insulin, which I guess is what your mom has? If so then this research wouldn't help people like your mom since they have no insulin in the first place.

Re:Step 1 : Remove tinfoil hat. (3, Informative)

redcaboodle (622288) | more than 6 years ago | (#20867623)

Isn't type 2 diabetes [] basically dietary related (adult onset) and controled by monitoring blood sugar while type 1 [] is the permanent loss of pancreatic beta cells that produce insulin, which I guess is what your mom has? If so then this research wouldn't help people like your mom since they have no insulin in the first place.

This is the current received wisdom. The article mentions research leading another way. Basically it says you need fat + a certain enzyme to develop Diabetes Type 2. This may or not be true, but it's certainly worth investigating.

From the FA

In their study, the researchers used genetically modified mice to observe the link between an oversupply of fat and type 2 diabetes.
They found mice without the enzyme did not develop diabetes, despite gaining weight on a high-fat diet.

That would at least explain why some people can be as fat as they like without ever developing Diabetes 2 and why Diabetes 2 seems to run in families.

Re:Nice (3, Insightful)

binaryspiral (784263) | more than 6 years ago | (#20867069)

Yes, but would they actually do that? There's a hell of a lot more money to be made by treating the symptoms, rather than curing the disease.

Sure they would.

The pharmaco would patent the cure and price it at about 50-70% the average cost of lifelong diabetes care today so the insurance companies would more likely pay for it.

With obesity rates climbing like they are today, there will be no lack of profit.

Re:Nice (1)

bluce (1149605) | more than 6 years ago | (#20867125)

You bring up a really good point. It reminds me of discussions on why billions of dollars are poured into creating new treatments for HIV/AIDS but precious few of those dollars actually go towards researching a cure.

Current per year cost for medicine for a single HIV patient is around $25,200. So there is a real financial incentive to continue treating the symptoms rather than finding a real cure.

new slashdot tree lacks a REPLY button (0, Offtopic)

peter303 (12292) | more than 6 years ago | (#20867131)

Cant comment on main article anymore. -Dumb.

Re:new slashdot tree lacks a REPLY button (1)

ebingo (533762) | more than 6 years ago | (#20867505)

Yes you can it's in that little floating box at the top left.

Re:Nice (1)

moosesocks (264553) | more than 6 years ago | (#20867261)

Insulin's a generic drug. It's not the most terribly profitable thing to manufacture and sell, especially given the relatively static demand for it.

In the pharmaceutical industry, margins on generic drugs tend to be razor-thin simply due to the laws of economics. Insulin is insulin -- assuming that there's no industry collusion, if one vendor lowers their price, the entire market will flock to that vendor, because his product is identical.

This results in the price bottoming out somewhere just above the mark at which it's profitable to produce the stuff.

Re:Nice (2, Informative)

VanessaE (970834) | more than 6 years ago | (#20867903)

Sorry, you're just wrong here. First of all, not all insulins are available in generic. Second of all, there are several different types of insulin, each with it's own benefits and cautions. Because some types have a different response curve than others, or different side effects, you can't always replace one with another. "Insulin is insulin" is definitely not the truth.

My husband used to take your basic 70/30 mix (generic). In order to improve his sugar control, his doctor eventually switched him to a combination of Lantus and Humalog (both still brand-name only from what I can tell). Unfortunately, we discovered some time after that that Lantus is hard on the kidneys. With his kidneys already declining in function (common in diabetics), the doctor switched out the Lantus for old-school NPH (generic) with Humalog.

Re:Nice (1)

jonadab (583620) | more than 6 years ago | (#20867537)

> Yes, but would they actually do that? There's a hell of a lot more money to be made by
> treating the symptoms, rather than curing the disease.

For all we know this may *be* a symptom. The patient has observable problems (e.g., mood swings, swolen feet, and so on and so forth) because the blood sugar is not what it should be. The blood sugar is wrong because the insulin production is wrong. Now we think the insulin production is wrong because there's too much of this enzyme, but why is there so much of the enzyme, and if we treat the patient with drugs that tie up the enzyme, will the body just produce more of the enzyme to compensate? What happens if there's too *little* of the same enzyme?

In other words, finding something like this is just the next step down a long road of trying to understand what's really going on, and for all we know we could still be figuring it out three hundred years from now.

Re:Nice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20867607)

>> Yes, but would they actually do that? There's a hell of a lot more money to be made
by treating the symptoms, rather than curing the disease.

Would you rather have 5% of a market with 5% margins forever or 95% of a market with 80% margins for 10 years?

Doctors != Evil (4, Insightful)

Cedric Tsui (890887) | more than 6 years ago | (#20868775)

Ok. So Doctors are people too. People with consciences. If a Doctor comes up with a promising cure to Diabetes, there is no corporate ethos in the world that will stop him from developing it.

One of my professors is a radiologist. One day at a banquet, he was seated next to a woman who was DEAD certain that there was a very simple cure to cancer that had already been discovered and that people like him were keeping it hidden so that they could make boatloads of money. After holding his tongue for half an hour, he replied "My mother died of Cancer."

Said one researcher to the other... (2, Insightful)

SterlingSylver (1122973) | more than 6 years ago | (#20866799)

"We need 5L of patent applications, stat! Can you imagine the dough we'll make when we lock up this discovery so that no one else can cure diabetes but us?"

Re:Said one researcher to the other... (4, Informative)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 6 years ago | (#20867173)

Can you imagine the dough we'll make when we lock up this discovery so that no one else can cure diabetes but us?

The Garvan Institute is a non-profit organisation. They do patent discoveries, but any income earned is used to fund other research projects.

Re:Said one researcher to the other... (2, Insightful)

paulpach (798828) | more than 6 years ago | (#20867245)

"We need 5L of patent applications, stat! Can you imagine the dough we'll make when we lock up this discovery so that no one else can cure diabetes but us?"
The choices are:
  1. Current patent system: Someone discovers this, protects it with patents, and locks it up for a few years
  2. No patents for medical advances: Why would anybody spend any money on research if someone can come along and reproduce the formula? Philanthropy money is very limited. You really need the big capitalist bucks to back research or nothing significant will ever be discovered. You need to provide some sort of economic incentive if you want people to invest in research, and that is why patents exist
  3. Goverment sponsored research: The problem with this system is that the government has no incentive whatsoever to be efficient. If they used the money to give away medicine rather than research, they would get more votes. Moreover, some of the most promising research like steam cell, are so controversial that most politicians would steer clear from it. This also opens the door for religion to influence research since the vast majority of voters belong to some religion.
The absolute best system is one where helping people and researching is in your best economic interest. A system where by healing someone you make a profit. This way money will naturally flow towards health care. Of the three alternatives, patents is the one that is closer to that. If you can come up with another system, I would love to hear about it.

Re:Said one researcher to the other... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20868599)

You really need the big capitalist bucks to back research or nothing significant will ever be discovered.

And thanks to those big capitalist bucks, 90-year-olds can once again pop a woody.

When it comes to production of goods, what happens when neither centralized government control of the market nor capital control of the market is capable of producing a desirable outcome?

Re:Said one researcher to the other... (1)

paulpach (798828) | more than 6 years ago | (#20868767)

what happens when neither centralized government control of the market nor capital control of the market is capable of producing a desirable outcome?
Neither centralized government control or capital can make you fly like superman either. What is your point?

Re:Said one researcher to the other... (1)

Alzheimers (467217) | more than 6 years ago | (#20868707)

Just like the X-Prize: A bounty system.

Set up an HHS/CDC commission to define for any disease a set of benchmarks with a reward then an overall payout for any company that can meet the stated goal of curing the disease. Allow seed money grants from charitable non-profits to launch the research projects, with some restrictions such as the company must prove they are capable of doing the research and have a sound plan. To be eligible for the payout, the researchers must publish all research data, including incidental or unrelated discoveries into the public domain for peer review.

This will remove the pharmaceutical companies from the research phase and make them focus on the manufacturing and testing of better, safer drugs. The manufacturing processes may be patented for a limited time (5 years) before entering the public domain but the individual components may not be protected. All drugs must still be vetted through the FDA before they can be sold. Competition will keep prices down, while opening niche markets to smaller companies. Imported drugs are allowed to be sold here if the company holds the U.S. manufacturing patent or if the process is in the public domain, with appropriate tariffs at customs.

Researchers just don't get it (1, Interesting)

benzapp (464105) | more than 6 years ago | (#20866827)

Your body constantly works to maintain equilibrium of all functions. The is a reason Type 2 diabetes almost exclusively occurs in gluttonous people, and is virtually unknown in countries where food is comparatively expensive and scarce. This is because after years of consistent overeating, your body begins to believe that elevated levels of blood sugar is "normal" and there is no need to produce more insulin. This is no different than people who drugs or alcohol. Using drugs or alcohol long term results in your body assuming that is "normal" and it stops producing similar chemicals, which drugs mimic. When you stop using drugs or alcohol, withdrawal symptoms result until your body readjusts.

This particular enzyme is the way your body controls this behavior in regards to insulin, it is not the "cause".

Re:Researchers just don't get it (0, Troll)

JamesP (688957) | more than 6 years ago | (#20866897)


Type 2 diabetes == being a lard ass

It's not that difficult

And now, look, they have a drug to fix it!!! ... NOT!

Way to go people...

Re:Researchers just don't get it (5, Informative)

Artifakt (700173) | more than 6 years ago | (#20869451)

I'm a 50 year old type 2 diabetic. I weigh 210 lbs, have a 34 inch waist, and stand 6'1", can bench press more than my body weight, and run an average of 12-14 Miles/week. Even in this condition, I have to use an oral medication (Glucophage) to fully control my blood sugar.
    When I was first diagnosed, I had let myself get out of shape, and weighed about 225. I had to use insulin for about six months until I built enough muscle and lost enough fat to go to just oral meds, and for the first year after that, I had to take several.
      I was in the army for 13 years when I was younger, and among other posts held the position of physical fitness instructor. I routinely scored on the extended scale in the APFT (Army Physical Fitness Test) every 6 Months for 8 to 10 years. (Basically, a Soldier had to score above 150 to finish basic training, extended scale starts with scoring over 100 in all three events - if you fall short in one, the high scores in the other two don't count). Getting back in shape with Diabetes was harder for me than getting to the top 2% of the Army. (And I had rank by then, so it wasn't drill sergeants pushing me, either).
      I was never an Airborne Ranger, but I know a type 2 Diabetic who was, and he says getting back in shape felt about like Hell Week in ranger training (but lasted several months in his case).
      There are several studies that show type 2 diabetes actually resets the satiation levels of the brain so that people with it get hungrier and have longer before they register fullness when their blood sugar levels are off (The disease thus impairs your judgment of one of means to fight it). There are others that show how a normal person will have extreme soreness the first few exercise sessions but if they push through it will stop feeling nearly that sore and how the average Type 2 Diabetic can expect that to continue for months or even more.
      (It was about 6 months in my case - six months of near constant fatigue and extreme muscle soreness - six months when I did 8 reps with a weight, then 2 days later did the same 8 reps, then 2 days later did the same 8 reps, only to gain a rep every 2-3 weeks, before the process started getting up to normal sorts of gains - six months of worrying I would injure a foot with all the running and they would do what frequently happens to diabetics - amputation!).

Comments like yours are every bit as untrue and abusive as telling a rape victim they deserved it because they were dressed wrong. You should be heartily ashamed. It's not the researchers who 'just don't get it' here, it's people like you.

Re:Researchers just don't get it (2, Informative)

ypps (1106881) | more than 6 years ago | (#20866951)

Let me be the first to inform you that the number of countries where food is expensive and scarce has declined to a point where you can almost count them on the fingers of your two hands. Over-eating is a major problem in the poor world. Poor people are more likely to have serious problems, which means that they are more likely to eat for comfort. Also, poor people are more likely to have less knowledge about good nutrition.

Diabetes is on its way to becoming a poor man's disease. A cheap medicine against diabetes might do miracles for people in the developing countries a couple of decades from now.

Re:Researchers just don't get it (1)

moseman (190361) | more than 6 years ago | (#20867149)

Well then. We should really ramp up corn-based ethanol production so food in the USA will be scarce and expensive too. We can then let the rest of the world starve to death thereby lowering man's demand on the environment.

Or maybe we should elect some good socialists (like Hillary) who will have the guts to force all the "gluttonous" people to go on diets of tofu and water.

Re:Researchers just don't get it (5, Insightful)

CorporalKlinger (871715) | more than 6 years ago | (#20867243)

Unfortunately, you've got this wrong. Type II Diabetes is a failure of equilibrium functionality, not a case of hyperactivity of equilibrium mechanisms in the body. The body works to maintain equilibrium by releasing insulin following consumption of a meal, which in turn tells the cells of the body (primarily skeletal muscle cells) to take up glucose from the bloodstream. Type II diabetes, at its core, is a syndrome of insulin resistance, not a syndrome in insulin insufficiency. The skeletal muscle cells become less attentive to insulin signalling and refuse to take up glucose from the bloodstream in response to normal insulin levels within the body. The pancreas attempts to compensate by up-regulating the insulin thermostat, producing more and more insulin to try to get the muscles to respond by taking up the glucose. Glucose, if not taken up rapidly by the body's cells, can be harmful as it results in glycosylation of proteins all over the body (including in hemoglobin, in the form of HbA1C, which is a useful marker for long-term diabetes management analysis). The muscles become less willing to respond to the increased doses of insulin produced by the pancreas. Eventually, if not managed carefully, the pancreas may "burn itself out" - producing sub-normal levels of insulin, causing a type II diabetic to become insulin-injection dependent.
This research is incredibly interesting since it may reverse the burn-out syndrome and alleviate the need for poorly managed type II diabetics to inject insulin. It will not, however, reverse the insulin resistance present in insulin-sensitive cells within the body.

Re:Researchers just don't get it (2, Informative)

Scubaraf (1146565) | more than 6 years ago | (#20867547)

Klinger you're right on the ball. I logged in to say exactly what you did. Type II diabetes is a failure of insulin signalling at the target tissues (liver, fat, muscle). Some people, particularly those exposed to high levels of insulin over a prolonged period (think fat or refined sugar eaters), downregulate the way their tissues respond to insulin. This means they are less effective at clearing glucose from the blood. To compensate for the elevated glucose levels, the pancreas secretes more insulin. At some point, the pancreas can no longer secrete enough insulin to lower the blood sugar and diabetes is diagnosed. In fact, the disease process had been ongoing for months to years prior to the person having high blood-sugar levels. Since islet cell shut down in the pancreas is one mechanism by which insulin levels become insufficient, an inhibitor of PKCepsilon may prevent this form happening. The diagnostic criteria of elevated blood-sugar may then not be recahed and, in that sense, a case of diabetes prevented or delayed. The underlying insulin resistance syndrome will still persist, therefore this drug does not treat the ultimate cause of Type II diabetes. As a pill, it would be a perfect drug company product. It would replace an injectable, need to be taken lifelong, used for a disease that is rapidly rising in incidence, and the drug would be patentable ($$$). The caveat is that PKC is a fairly important kinase. Off-target side effects could be prohibitive to drug development.

Re:Researchers just don't get it (2, Informative)

HikingStick (878216) | more than 6 years ago | (#20868053)

For those looking for the Cliff's Notes version of the parent:

The article got the types of diabetes wrong. Type 2 diabetes means the body can't use the insulin it has, not that it doesn't produce enough. For those who have Type 2 diabetes a long time, they may eventually need to inject insulin, and this discovery could prevent that from becoming necessray.

[Summarized by a Type 2]

Re:Researchers just don't get it (1)

CorporalKlinger (871715) | more than 6 years ago | (#20868103)

Sorry, I know I can be verbose sometimes. You got the summary right on the ball. :-) Thanks HitchingStick.

Re:Researchers just don't get it (2, Informative)

nbauman (624611) | more than 6 years ago | (#20868687)

That's right. My understanding is that diabetes type II is not a problem of the pancreas producing too little insulin, but of the muscle cells and fat cells not responding to insulin properly. But that's not what the investigators are saying. []

Interestingly, the journal Cell Metabolism [] which published the Australian paper [] has another article in the current issue [] by Chinese scientists about another protein, SIRT1, which regulates insulin resistance by the target cells.

Cell Metabolism, Vol 6, 320-328, 03 October 2007
Short Article
Inhibition of PKC? Improves Glucose-Stimulated Insulin Secretion and Reduces Insulin Clearance

Carsten Schmitz-Peiffer,1, D. Ross Laybutt,1 James G. Burchfield,1 Ebru Gurisik,1 Sakura Narasimhan,1 Christopher J. Mitchell,1 David J. Pedersen,1 Uschi Braun,2 Gregory J. Cooney,1 Michael Leitges,2 and Trevor J. Biden1,

1 Garvan Institute of Medical Research, Sydney, NSW 2010, Australia
2 Biotechnology Centre of Oslo, University of Oslo, Oslo N-0317, Norway

Corresponding author
Carsten Schmitz-Peiffer

Corresponding author
Trevor J. Biden


In type 2 diabetes, pancreatic ? cells fail to secrete sufficient insulin to overcome peripheral insulin resistance. Intracellular lipid accumulation contributes to ? cell failure through poorly defined mechanisms. Here we report a role for the lipid-regulated protein kinase C isoform PKC? in ? cell dysfunction. Deletion of PKC? augmented insulin secretion and prevented glucose intolerance in fat-fed mice. Importantly, a PKC?-inhibitory peptide improved insulin availability and glucose tolerance in db/db mice with preexisting diabetes. Functional ablation of PKC? selectively enhanced insulin release ex vivo from diabetic or lipid-pretreated islets and optimized the glucose-regulated lipid partitioning that amplifies the secretory response. Independently, PKC? deletion also augmented insulin availability by reducing both whole-body insulin clearance and insulin uptake by hepatocytes. Our findings implicate PKC? in the etiology of ? cell dysfunction and highlight that enhancement of insulin availability, through separate effects on liver and ? cells, provides a rationale for inhibiting PKC? to treat type 2 diabetes.

Cell Metabolism, Vol 6, 307-319, 03 October 2007
SIRT1 Improves Insulin Sensitivity under Insulin-Resistant Conditions by Repressing PTP1B

Cheng Sun,1 Fang Zhang,1 Xinjian Ge,1 Tingting Yan,1 Xingmiao Chen,1 Xianglin Shi,1 and Qiwei Zhai1,

1 Institute for Nutritional Sciences, Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Graduate School of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai 200031, China

Corresponding author
Qiwei Zhai


Insulin resistance is often characterized as the most critical factor contributing to the development of type 2 diabetes. SIRT1 has been reported to be involved in the processes of glucose metabolism and insulin secretion. However, whether SIRT1 is directly involved in insulin sensitivity is still largely unknown. Here we show that SIRT1 is downregulated in insulin-resistant cells and tissues and that knockdown or inhibition of SIRT1 induces insulin resistance. Furthermore, increased expression of SIRT1 improved insulin sensitivity, especially under insulin-resistant conditions. Similarly, resveratrol, a SIRT1 activator, enhanced insulin sensitivity in vitro in a SIRT1-dependent manner and attenuated high-fat-diet-induced insulin resistance in vivo at a dose of 2.5 mg/kg/day. Further studies demonstrated that the effect of SIRT1 on insulin resistance is mediated by repressing PTP1B transcription at the chromatin level. Taken together, the finding that SIRT1 improves insulin sensitivity has implications toward resolving insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.

Re:Researchers just don't get it (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 6 years ago | (#20867281)

"The is a reason Type 2 diabetes almost exclusively occurs in gluttonous people"
Notice you said ALMOST.
BTW almost exclusively is an oxymoron.
It is exclusive or it isn't
Type 2 diabetes is a genetic predisposition. There is a woman at my office that eats like a pig and just never gains weight. She is by all deffion gluttonous but will never get type 2 diabetes. That is a gentleman in my office that weighs almost 400 lbs and doesn't have type II. I do have type II and yes I do have to work at keeping my weight down. But my doctor was shocked that I had it when it was discovered. I was ridding my bike 10 miles a day, had been a vegiterain for two years and was only 35 years old.
I think you will find that people attribute type II diabetes to the sin of gluttony are exclusively arrogant and ignorant.

Re:Researchers just don't get it (1)

Hoi Polloi (522990) | more than 6 years ago | (#20867507)

It isn't just a genetic predisposition. There is a proven link between obesity and type 2. It may simply be a matter of body mass or fat cell signals or both. That said some people do have it in their families. My grandfather died of it, my mother has it (skinny, eats like a bird), and my brother has it (athletic). Fortunately I had a diabetes specialist as a primary physician who made sure I was tested and never saw signs of it so I think I dodged the genetic bullet.

Re:Researchers just don't get it (2, Interesting)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 6 years ago | (#20867711)

"It isn't just a genetic predisposition. There is a proven link between obesity and type 2. "
Did you think that you have the link backwards?
Yes people that get type 2 do often have trouble with weight. Ever think that the genetic predisposition might just cause that problem with it also contributes to that tendency to be over weight? BTW it isn't just being over weight. It is a specific body type that get is. People that tend to put on weight all over don't seem to get type 2. People that put weight on around the middle do!
Yes it is a genetic predispositions. With a very good diet and exercise if you have that disposition you may put it off until old age or maybe never. But there are many genetic issues that can helped by lifestyle changes and not just diabetes. That is why it is a predisposition. Depending on the gene load it may be treatable with just diet and exersice or it may not be.
But to blame it on gulttiony is ignorant and cruel.

Re:Researchers just don't get it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20867311)

I know people with type 2 diabetes who are not gluttonous individuals at all..
so your theory doesn't hold water,sorry.

Re:Researchers just don't get it (3, Informative)

Frankie70 (803801) | more than 6 years ago | (#20867525)

This is because after years of consistent overeating, your body begins to believe that elevated levels of blood sugar is "normal" and there is no need to produce more insulin.

This isn't true.
There are 2 components to type 2 diabetes
1) Insulin Resistance - Body isn't able to use the insulin produced efficiently.
2) Insulin Production - Body isn't able to produce enough insulin.

Here is the typical progression of type 2 diabetes.

For a normal person, when he eats carbohydrates, his blood sugar goes up. In response,
the pancreas produces insulin. The insulin pushes the blood sugar into the cells & the blood
sugar goes down.

When a person has insulin resistance, his pancreas produces insulin, but this insulin isn't
used efficiently. The insulin isn't able to push all the sugar into the cells. Hence the blood
sugar level doesn't go down immediatelly. Hence all the body parts are soaked in sugar which
is harmful to the organs. The pancreas is also an organ. The pancreas is soaked in sugar. This
causes insulin producing cells in the pancreas to die. This is a cyclic process i.e. because some
insulin producing cells die, the pancreases produces less insulin - this in turn causes blood
sugar to rise even more, which in turn causes more damage to the pancreas. This process keeps
continuing & finally when the pancreas has lost more than 50% of it's insulin producing cells,
blood sugar starts going out of control & he gets diabetes.

Typically, people who get type 2 diabetes are people who have the gene for
Insulin Resistance.

There are many people how much ever they eat, they don't get diabetes, or they
get it at a very advance age. Excess weight increases Insulin Resistance, but is
not the the cause of it.

A person with IR can delay or avoid diabetes for a long time by eating less, but
eating alone isn't the cause of type 2 diabetes.

Re:Researchers just don't get it (1)

bughunter (10093) | more than 6 years ago | (#20868477)

As a type 2 diabetic (without mod points today) who has eaten healthy (can has occasional cheezburger), I profusely thank you for your insightful and informative post. I came in here to ask a technical question about the article and was really disappointed to find all the stereotype-driven hate and disgust dominating the higher rated comments... From a (supposedly intelligent) crowd that prides itself on its four major food groups of sugar, caffeine, alcohol, and salt. The irony is not funny, just sad...

My question was: I was told I was insulin resistant, and that my body is not efficiently using the insulin it creates. I take Actos, which supposedly improves this efficiency, and glipizide during hyperglycemic episodes, to force my pancreas to overproduce insulin. How does finding an insulin production problem help an insulin resistant type 2 diabetic?

Re:Researchers just don't get it (1)

Frank T. Lofaro Jr. (142215) | more than 6 years ago | (#20869729)

Because insulin resistance alone doesn't cause type 2 diabetes. Your beta cells need to fail to produce enough insulin to overcome the resistance for it to become diabetes.

Fixing the production loss means you go back to being insulin resistant "non-diabetic" (as far as sugar levels go, once diabetic, always so, at least by current definitions).

Yeah you still have the insulin resistance, which isn't good, but you'd be way better off.

Fixing the insulin resistance would be even better, but perhaps if that is all one did; production would still not be enough or keep declining until it was too low.

Fixing both problems will be best.

Re:Researchers just don't get it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20867815)

I'm glad you said "almost". There are ways to become type-2 without being an over-eater. I, for one, was (relatively) healthy when a rogue gallstone blocked the outlet from the pancreas to the GI tract. The enzymes in the pancreas usually don't become active until they're in the tract and the constantly flowing mucous protects the walls of the intestines from it.
Unfortunately the enzymes activated within the pancreas and ate their way out (these things have a pH of 1, slightly stronger than battery acid). Destruction of a large part of your pancreas (along with most of the large intestine and the islets that produce insulin) is a quick way to type-2 that has nothing to do with being a lard-ass (or lard-arse in my country). If anyone's looking for a quick way to lose 30kg in several weeks, and isn't overly worried by intense pain, I'd suggest this is a good way to go :-).

Re:Researchers just don't get it (1)

CyberZen (97536) | more than 6 years ago | (#20868327)

Necrotizing pancreatitis? Ouch.

Re:Researchers just don't get it (1)

juniorkindergarten (662101) | more than 6 years ago | (#20868417)

The is a reason Type 2 diabetes almost exclusively occurs in gluttonous people, and is virtually unknown in countries where food is comparatively expensive and scarce.
That's a pretty big (and wrong) supposition on your part.
I probably know an equal amount of skinny people and fat people on insulin.
If you did a little research you would find that diabetes is directly proportional to the amount of refind sugar a person eats. For example, as sugared soda-pops were introduced into countries in the late 1800s adn early 1900s, it was discovered that a short time (5-10 years) later the amount of cases of diabetes increased. If you wish to check, read Dr. Atkins New Diet Revolution, the papers are cited there.

So let me correct what you said... The is a reason Type 2 diabetes almost exclusively occurs in "rich western countries" and is virtually unknown in countries where junk food is expensive.

So enjoy that Jolt Cola with your morning fruit loops!

YOU just don't get it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20869521)

While I agree with your characterization of alcohol/drug dependency, I feel that you are full of shit when it comes to understanding diabetes. And by the way, at 6 foot tall and 175 pounds, I really don't feel like my type 2 diabetes is caused by obesity -- it is obviously due more to genetic factors. Also, even women from countries where food is scare may suffer from gestational diabetes, it just usually goes undiagnosed.

Hmm... (5, Insightful)

DiannaoChong (1167929) | more than 6 years ago | (#20866831)

Seems like whenever the thought of "a Cure" or extremely important treatment comes up, its always 10 years away. When I first got type 1 diabetes they estimated that a cure would be ready in 10 years (This is 10 years ago), and my doctor also promptly told me that that is what they had said 10 years earlier. Every year now or so if I bother to try and keep up on whats new with diabetes, all I see is "d00dz 10 years till we got us a cure!". Diabetes, keeping funding and grants in pockets of people 10 years at a time, for the past 40 years.

Re:Hmm... (1)

obergfellja (947995) | more than 6 years ago | (#20866929)

that is true for not just diabetics but other body related issues. The pharmacy companies are not going to jump up and onto something that could cut their cash cow. That is why you see companies like Lilly Co. pressing to keep a certain drug in their grasp. (ie. prozac).

I know that example is not with diabetics but that is one of the many examples of these drug companies trying to make money. Sure, there is the select few within each company who solely do it for the benefit of mankind, but not the overall corporations. I know that I am flaming the corps here, but the truth is out there, and the facts are there for your eyes to view. Take it or leave it.

Re:Hmm... (1)

moseman (190361) | more than 6 years ago | (#20867015)

A corporation's sole function is to make money for it's share holders, and to do it within the law. Compare the number of drugs made by corporations to those made by the public sector. Yes the public sector does a lot of research which benefits the drug companies, but R&D, drug studies, manufacturing, and lawsuit "taxes" COST A LOT.

Actually, the costs are self inflicted (1)

mollog (841386) | more than 6 years ago | (#20867477)

Drug companies are in the business of making money for their stockholders. If they have a billion dollars to invest in research and they have to choose between a treatment for a disease that will make them ten billion dollars, and a cure for a disease that will make them 2 billion dollars, they have a moral obligation to their stockholders not to cure disease, but to treat disease.

The "lawsuit taxes" are an direct result of the constant development of treatments instead of cures. When you cure a disease, there might be risk during the course of the therapy, but the therapy will end when the disease is cured and the risk of side-effect also ends. When, instead, you are simply treating the symptoms of the disease, the risk of side-effect does not end; as long as you are undergoing therapy, you are exposed to its side effect. In fact, the risk of side-effect can be shown to increase with the longevity of the therapy.

So, your implication that lawsuits related to the effects of drugs are some sort of random externality being exploited by cynical lawyers is stupid. If they actually cured a disease, their risk to lawsuits would be much lower. Since the motivation is to produce therapies that don't cure, they're going to be making treatments, not cures. If they're in business to make money for their stockholders, they're going to be exposed to risk. Attempting to protect business from risk is never a good idea. Ask Adam Smith.

And, you ought to try doing your own thinking instead of repeating the ideas of the radical right wing. They'll be the first ones to clamor for 'open markets', 'free trade', yet they'll also ask for government regulation to help them with their supposedly 'free markets'.

Re:Hmm... (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 6 years ago | (#20867071)

There are huge incentives for cures. Millions of people multiplied by thousands of dollars for a one time cure is billions of dollars. Some money somewhere will chase after opportunities like that, entrenched "pharmacy" companies be damned.

Re:Hmm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20868445)

Cure: Thousands of dollars, say $5000 for sake of argument.
Treatment: Fair amount each month, say $50.
If they live with treatment for 10-20-30 years, the treatment will be many times that.

Re:Hmm... (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 6 years ago | (#20868615)

And if you aren't the company with the treatment, one of the things you can do to get hold of the money people are using to pay for the treatment is to develop an outright cure. It isn't some stupid zero sum game where the existence of a treatment excludes other players from developing a cure, and the greed of the potential cure developers is just as reliable as the greed of the 'bastard' treatment developers.

Huh. (2, Interesting)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 6 years ago | (#20866847)

I guess "being overweight and unhealthy" wasn't scientific enough.

On the one hand, I always like to see things cured. On the other hand, my fear of type II diabetes is one of those things that gets my ass out of bed in the morning, makes me walk to lunch, makes me have an apple instead of a twinky.

It like if they came up with a wonder pill that fixed all the bad cardiovascular problems you get from eating all the wrong stuff, a diet pill that keeps you from gaining any weight, and a cure for type II diabetes...I'm just not sure that would really be good for anyone. You should ahve to have some consequences.

I understand that there are those who get Type II through no fault of their own, and this makes me happy for them...But they're the minority, and I don't have as much sympathy for the rest.

Re:Huh. (1)

failedlogic (627314) | more than 6 years ago | (#20866931)

You didn't mention if you have to use testing strips. I think the only people benefitting from Diabetes are the drug companies. They give away the meters for free and price gouge the testing strips. I can't be convinced that the cost to develop, manufacture and test these strips is anywhere near what they cost.

I don't disagree with making a profit, but they're doing it on the backs of people with a -so far- incurable disease and because most can't afford strips long term, skip or reuse strips which can lead to diabetic seizures.

Re:Huh. (1)

Hoi Polloi (522990) | more than 6 years ago | (#20867411)

Finally, a medical cure for self discipline! Is there a pill I can take that'll give me a trust fund so I don't have to work too?

Re:Huh. (1)

jejones (115979) | more than 6 years ago | (#20867465)

Ah, the same way bluenoses want to prevent girls from getting vaccinated against HPV, so that, by golly, sex will have consequences!

Eh. (1)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 6 years ago | (#20868133)

Vaccinations are out of control these days; it's not that they're available, it's that they're required, and for fricking EVERYTHING.

When I was young, the Hepatitis-B vaccine was got it before you went to college, if you felt like you needed it. Now they're trying to run the whole course of hep B AND A on kids before they're 18 months old. The chicken pox vaccine, which DOESN'T provide a lifetime immunity is required for daycares and preschools...Having had chicken pox when I was 15, rather than 5, you want it over with EARLY. You don't want to forget your 15 year booster at 45 and get hit with it at the worst time in life.

HPV is a vaccine which I think is pretty useful. But I guarantee you the drug companies are going to start lobbying that all girls outta get it by like age 2, THINK OF THE PROFITS! UH, I MEAN CHILDREN!

Re:Huh. (1)

sheehaje (240093) | more than 6 years ago | (#20868475)

Every time I see comments like this I think of my uncle. He was always athletic, fit, and ate well. He was a moderate drinker, maybe having 1 or 2 light beers while watching football, and sometimes a little more on special occasions. He dispised smoking of any kind. He ended up with Diabetes. So, while I don't discount that eating and drinking to excess will make it more likely that Diabetes will occur later in life, I do discount that this is the only group of people that is effected by Diabetes. So I cringe when I see people so misinformed.

Btw, my uncle did very well living with Diabetes, probably because of his healthy lifestyle. In the end though, he ended up dying of leukemia at the age of 68. I felt really bad for him, especially seeing I am a bit overweight, smoke and drink, and spend way too much sentinet time on the computer posting on places like slashdot. I always figured he would live into his 80's.

Link please... (1)

gillbates (106458) | more than 6 years ago | (#20868859)

I know you're being unscientific, but I'd at least like some sources for your statements about unhealthy and overweight.

Because, you know, correlation does not always imply causation. Did it ever occur to you that diabetes might cause the weight gain, rather than the other way around? I know of several people who have developed diabetes in spite of the fact that their jobs involved rigorous physical activity, and in spite of the fact that they ate diets no different from the rest of the general population.

One of the problems in this country is that people assume overweight people are overweight simply because they eat too much food, when in reality, a person's size has a lot more to do with heredity than with their diet (assuming the diet is not nutritionally deficient). And some diseases, like heart disease and diabetes, heredity plays a much larger role than diet and exercise. For example, I know of physically fit people who had their first heart attack in their late thirties. I also know of a recent heart attack victim - at 58, who had eaten essentially a vegetarian diet for 15 years prior to the attack.

Sure, I suppose if one wanted to have a heart attack, eating nothing but lard and sugar would be a good start. But I have always been told that heredity plays the largest factor in determining heart disease and diabetes, with lifestyle and diet coming in second.

Incidentally, studies have shown that having two servings of alcohol a day are more effective at reducing the risk of heart attack than exercise (60% reduction, versus 42% for cardio exercise, and 23% for weight lifting). So it makes you wonder if those beer-swilling couch potatoes aren't actually doing themselves a favor.

Re:Huh. (2, Interesting)

Roxton (73137) | more than 6 years ago | (#20868953)

Unhealthy lifestyle choices are only really frowned on because they result in poor health. Isn't it perverse to perpetuate that moralistic norm if the poor health consequence goes away? (There are some cases where poor health isn't the only negative consequence, but I'm not referring to those.)

Re:Huh. (2, Insightful)

Guidii (686867) | more than 6 years ago | (#20869835)

I understand that there are those who get Type II through no fault of their own, and this makes me happy for them...But they're the minority, and I don't have as much sympathy for the rest.


You're happy for some diabetics, and unsympathetic to the rest?

Although I really, really, really hope you're just trolling, I suspect you honestly feel this way. This kind of opinion (bias, prejudice) seems to run pretty rampant these days, and it's one of the reasons that I rarely feel comfortable telling people I'm diabetic.

prevention may be better ... ? (1)

weighn (578357) | more than 6 years ago | (#20866899)

perhaps stop feeding your pancreas so much freaking glucose?

This is a serious health issue. When you consider that some forms of diabetes and obesity can be classed this way, it is clear to see that several billion people could die of malnutrition this century unless we begin some serious educational effort. Some scientific breakthroughs may save the climate, but your health is yours.

The cause is... (3, Interesting)

svendsen (1029716) | more than 6 years ago | (#20866905)

people eat like shit and don't exercise. That's it. Pretty simple huh? Fiances father got diagnose with type 2 diabetes. Effecting him pretty badly for a year. Decides to eat healthy, drop weight, and exercise. Guess what happened? He is healthy now, no issues. You read tons of studies saying the same thing.

But that isn't profitable to companies....

Re:The cause is... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20867093)

It can be hard to eat healthily when your food source is packaged produce. Have you ever really looked at the contents of food? Almost everything has multiple forms of sugar in it these days. It really is no wonder the western world is catching up to the US in lard-ass terms. It's becoming harder and harder to get food, other than raw stuff, that isn't loaded up with crap we don't need in out diet.

Re:The cause is... (1)

skeptictank (841287) | more than 6 years ago | (#20867467)

"It's becoming harder and harder to get food, other than raw stuff, that isn't loaded up with crap we don't need in out diet."

That's why you get the raw stuff and prepare it yourself. Lack of exercise and convenience food will kill you. Almost all cases of T2D are curable by a lifestyle change.

Re:The cause is... (4, Informative)

Frankie70 (803801) | more than 6 years ago | (#20867763)

Almost all cases of T2D are curable by a lifestyle change.

It's controllable by a lifestyle change.
Not curable.

Re:The cause is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20867807)

Don't buy junk, then. That's like saying it's hard to eat healthy food when you do all of your shopping at a candy store.

Re:The cause is... (1)

the_humeister (922869) | more than 6 years ago | (#20867289)

It's profitable precisely because people aren't willing or aren't able to lose weight to become healthy. Why do you think there are so many overweight/obese people in this country?

Re:The cause is... (2, Interesting)

Hoi Polloi (522990) | more than 6 years ago | (#20867373)

My brother is athletic and in good shape, he just ignored the signs of it (inherited type 2) and ended up needing an emergency heart bypass in his 40s. He sure watches his blood sugar now.

Slashdot Ignorance (1)

Grym (725290) | more than 6 years ago | (#20867809)

The quality of the scientific articles and comments on slashdot are absolutely atrocious lately.

First of all, the article is factually incorrect on the basics of diabetes. Type 2 (NON insulin-dependent) diabetics do produce adequate levels of insulin! The problem is that adipose (fat) and muscle tissue, for unknown reasons, do NOT increase glucose transport in response, leaving an excess of the glucose in the blood. This effect is called "insulin resistance," because these cells are resistant to the effects of insulin. Insulin injections are used for Type 2 diabetics as a way of overwhelming the resistant transporters, but that should not be misconstrued as a failure of the insulin-producing beta cells of the liver. In fact, there's good evidence to believe that when these cells become overactive other pathologies can result.

Secondly, the cause of Type 2 diabetes is not so clear-cut. Of course, diet plays a role. Of course, exercise plays a role. But that is not mean that every person with type 2 diabetes is a lazy glutton or that diet and exercise are effective treatments for those who already have diabetes.


Re:Slashdot Ignorance (1)

svendsen (1029716) | more than 6 years ago | (#20868251)

No but it means most of T2D is caused by lack of exercise and bad eating. They are always exception to every medical rule. However please note the rise of T2D over the past few decades. Could there be something else causing it and not the poor eating and exercise? Maybe...but as of right now the medical studies (which I have read a lot) say bad food and lack of excercise.

Does that mean every single person with T2D is fat/lazy of course not, just the high percentage of them. But at least science (and my opinions) can change with new evidence and studies. Heck 5 years from now maybe it is found out to be a gene or something else.

But it seems really weird that those with T2D with poor eating and exercise, can begin to eat health and exercise and see the issues associated with T2D go away. You can get T2D under so much control you need no medication.

Slashdot Is Right [Was: Slashdot Ignorance] (1)

MauriceV (455290) | more than 6 years ago | (#20868309)

No, it's really true. Type 2 diabetics NOT produce enough insulin. This is apparently an effect that occurs later in the disease progression and hence ordinary science articles only mention the insulin resistance aspect.

Here is a link to the real article, []

Re:Slashdot Is Right [Was: Slashdot Ignorance] (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20868941)

T2 diabetics SOMETIMES produce normal levels of insulin, other T2 patents may not produce enough, however insulin resistance is always present to some degree, even in healthy non-diabetic people. You become type 2 when you don't produce enough insulin to overcome your resistance, even if the amount you produce is normal.

Re:The cause is... (1)

stoicfaux (466273) | more than 6 years ago | (#20868017)

people eat like shit

After reading the ingredients on a frozen pizza box, I would have to agree. The biggest thing I noticed was that the meat only contained 11% meat... The salt was an insanely high percentage (40% or so?) of the FDA recommended daily allowance. There were several brands of pepperoni pizza that stated that the pepperoni was partially made from chicken.

And does anyone else consider Domino's Oreo Dessert Pizza to be an abomination against humanity? (Funny commercials though.)

Needless to say, I've learned to cook.

Re:The cause is... (1)

Hoi Polloi (522990) | more than 6 years ago | (#20868085)

I'd rank Domino's Oreo Dessert Pizza right up there on the food abomination scale with Kentucky Fried Chicken's "Famous Bowls". I have never had one but they look like bowls of slop and they must be extra special when they have cooled off and congealed.

Re:The cause is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20868681)

At the age of 46 I found I had Addison's disease (had to nearly die from it before it was diagnosed). Now I take prednisone and aldesterone tablets and I'm okay as far as that's concerned, however my weight jumped 30 lbs within six months of treatment, in the course of which I developed type II diabetes. Prednisone unfortunately makes control of it complicated, since it's a glucosteroid, and elevates blood sugar all by itself.

Though I could stand to lose 15lbs, I'm not exactly obese.

don't be so hard on people (1)

cinnamon colbert (732724) | more than 6 years ago | (#20868723)

I was recently diagnosed with type 2
I went on a crash diet exercise program; it is hlping, don't know if it will cure me yet, but hoping
I talked to my doctor, and he said, you would be amazed at how many 300+ pound people get your diagnosis and ask for a pill

Now if it is true, as pointed out, that type II diabetes is unkown in "poorer" countrys,You could say people in the USA are lazy gluttinous slobs who just want a pill,
people are human: many of us really cna't handle the surfiet of food available in the us

Today I got donuts for the group (friday) at dunkin donuts here in boston you can get 12 dountus - virtually all fat and sugar, enoiugh calorys for a week, for less then 6 bucks !!! Many of us just have a lot of problems with this.
If you look around at suff like aircraft, or medical devices, or any industry where safety is thought about, the number 1 rule is
design so it can't happen
applying this, what is most important is increasing the cost or decreasing the availability of junk food and getting people out of their automobiles and walking

Yep that's what we need (0, Troll)

KiwiCanuck (1075767) | more than 6 years ago | (#20866963)

Pump more money into big Pharma. Let's not spend money on health education and disease prevention, because that doesn't benefit big buissness. It only benefits the enitre population.

Re:Yep that's what we need (1)

Billosaur (927319) | more than 6 years ago | (#20867155)

The money certainly doesn't have to go to big Pharma. Endow you local university with some cash, especially if they have a top-notch biological/medical research facility. Give your money to organizations that promote healthier living. The pharmaceutical industry makes its own money -- private-sector research is dependent on government funding and private grants.

Re:Yep that's what we need (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20868415)

"Your local university" probably isn't the best place to send your money if you want it to fund breakthrough research. It requires a tremendous investment in the newest instruments and reagents and salaries to make efficient scientific progress. The best places to put your money are some of the major research universities or national centers which have the resources and amassed brainpower to tackle these huge scientific challenges. Unless you're a multi-millionaire and can endow a chair or a building, your donation won't matter too much. Labs require millions of dollars per year to run and need to have stable, long-term funding to address any problem of significance. Your best efforts would be spent on lobbying the government to invest more heavily in research. The US certainly is the leader in research investment and the NIH's annual budget at around $30 billion is huge, but you will never find a scientist whose lab had "too much money." Its budget is almost a pittance compared with the expenses of many other programs that this country funds (Medicare, at $2.7 trillion and Iraq War, nearing $2 trillion) and the long-term gains that we derive from such research more than justify the investment.

No No No... (2, Insightful)

LaRoach (968977) | more than 6 years ago | (#20867001)

It's not from being a fat-ass, it's from being a victim of food! The food is leaping off the plate...

There is a bit of insightfulness in your comment. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20867593)

It's not from being a fat-ass, it's from being a victim of food!

You may think you were only being funny there... but the sad truth is that the producers of fast food, processed foods, and the way they overwhelm American society with their marketing tactics -- we are indeed "victims" of food (from the makers of such "foods") to at least some degree.

(How fitting also, is that the captcha I had to type to post this is "humorous")

Re:There is a bit of insightfulness in your commen (1)

LaRoach (968977) | more than 6 years ago | (#20868715)

I was being half ironic, half serious. The more I read food labels the more I aim for basic whole foods that are as unprocessed as possible. A lot of people I know survive off of "health" food that is heavily processed. Many of them have trouble controlling their weight (which is why they aim for the "health" bars and supplements to begin with). OTOH, I knew someone who is giant huge, fat fat fat. The standard breakfast? Donuts nuked in the microwave and buttered. They then complain about their weight (over 300 lb, 5 feet, 4 inches tall) bleating about being a victim of their metabolism...

Re:No No No... (1)

svendsen (1029716) | more than 6 years ago | (#20868577)

Damn it I wish I had mod points for you...funny!

Even Better! (1)

thatskinnyguy (1129515) | more than 6 years ago | (#20867033)

I found a cure for Type 2 diabetes (Oblig. [voice=Wilford Brimley]Di-a-bee-tus). My aunt had type 2 diabetes for most of her life. Then she started exercising, eating right and lost 120lbs. She hasn't been on the needle for over a year. She still checks her blood sugar regularly just in case.

What are they trying to do now that they found the cause? Call me insensitive, but if they do find a medicinal cure it would only serve to enable some people to keep living unhealthy lifestyles. I think now that they have found what causes type 2, they should see what causes juvenile diabetes and cure that.

No we only need a cure for..... (1) (741064) | more than 6 years ago | (#20867039)

Some forms of Cancer, Heart Disease, High Blood Pressure, Strokes, and Oseoarthritis. Then we can all eat fast food 24 hours a day until we look like Jabba without any consequences.

Re:No we only need a cure for..... (1)

19thNervousBreakdown (768619) | more than 6 years ago | (#20867775)

Yeah. Strike the Jabba thing too and I'd be cramming french fries and double bacon quarter pounders down my throat every chance I got. They're fucking delicious. I used to eat them damn near every meal from 17 to 25 without gaining a pound, then my metabolism changed on me. Now, I have to eat 300 kcal a meal and exercise every day. I haven't had a quarter pounder in probably a year, but if there were no consequences I'd go back in a second.

not a "single cause" disease (1)

peter303 (12292) | more than 6 years ago | (#20867251)

The insulin metabolic pathway is very old in terms of evolution and very pervasive. Dozens of genes have been identified regulating such. I dont thing there will be single-point cures.

Pfuck a nigga (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20867355)

dim. IF *BSD is []

Possible Forms of the Cure (1)

Polemicist (1166967) | more than 6 years ago | (#20867377)

The one thing that seemed to be missing in this article was an explanation of some of the possible forms the cure may take. Recent advances in other areas of medicine offer some new tricks for combating this disease. Of course, as mentioned often throughout this discussion, diet and exercise are the best ways to prevent it in the first place, and is ultimately the best solution for the individual. While the cure would enable people to continue living unhealthy lifestyles, it would also reduce the risks of death while the people who will change alter their lifestyles to eliminate the problem.

As for the possible forms of the cure, it would most likely come as either a signaling molecule or a RNAi treatment.

The signaling molecule will work similarly to aspirin, as it would bind to the cells, but unlike aspirin, it would cause gene regulation to change, reducing the insulin inhibiting protein's rate of production. This has the benefit to the drug companies of requiring long term dosing requirements (hopefully to be used by the customer as a risk reducer until they change their own lifestyle), which would make it a profitable path that companies are likely to pursue. The main disadvantage of this approach is that it would require the identification of receptor sites that would trigger this effect (which may not exist) and then, if they did exist, the signal molecule would have to be determined, and a synthetic pathway found before it be produced on the needed scale.

The second alternative of RNAi treatment is showing real promise as a more permanent solution, as it would be able to eliminate or severely reduce production of the inhibitor protein. In a recent advance, David Bumcrot and Daniel Anderson of MIT announced that they had found away around reported toxic effects of RNAi, a major hurdle to this emerging technique. The use of a different type of RNAi made the difference, as Reuters [] recently explained. This would also be profitable to drug companies even thought it would consist of only one, or at most a few, treatments, as it would likely be an expensive procedure. It would likely be applicable only to the most life-threatening cases due to the cost, but it does provide another possibility for a cure.

Slashdot Comment of the Day Award (1)

Gary W. Longsine (124661) | more than 6 years ago | (#20868349)

The day isn't even over and the Slashdot Comment of the Day Award has been granted, to you. Congratulations! Comments like yours, rational, informative, interesting, well written and maybe even checked for spelling and grammar, are a reason to keep reading Slashdot. Thank you for contributing to Signal amidst the growing crap flood of Noise. I will make you a Friend, regardless of how many times your insightful comments have been flagged as Troll or Flamebait.

There is no reason (1)

ultraparanoid (1121539) | more than 6 years ago | (#20867403)

"Researchers May Have Found Cause of Type 2 Diabetes"

There is no reason, and looking for one is futile and unpatriotic! Type 2 Diabetes simply hate our freedom!

Diabeetus? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20867651)

You disappoint me Slashdot, no "diabeetus" in the tags list?

No, actually, the cat does not "got my tongue." (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | more than 6 years ago | (#20868213)

> It's probably going to take another 10 years at least to get something that's effective in humans

This is where good old-fashioned capitalist greed comes in, and why socialized medicine is murderous.

I'll take a loan out for $100,000 to buy this drug. Let's get the show on the road, shall we? There's tens of billions of dollars to be made in fat old sedentary USA.

What is wrong with Slashdot/rendering? (1)

B5_geek (638928) | more than 6 years ago | (#20868565)

In the last couple of days Slashdot has looked horrible. "Reply" buttons are missing (except for this weird floating comment box on the left hand-side of the screen.

The look of the comments reminded me of edlin or a really bad ncurses setup. Odd blocks of inverted text all over the place and very few actual comments are visible.

I have been reading Slash for a long time, and I am not a newb; but I can't figure out why it looks so wrong/broken. I'm tempted to use lynx just to read the site.

I am using Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux i686; en-US; rv: Gecko/20061201 Firefox/ (Ubuntu-feisty). With the usual scripts: NoScript/Adblock.

think of the implications... (1)

ch0ad (1127549) | more than 6 years ago | (#20868635)

[scrubs geek] turk might be cured! [] about 35 seconds in... [/scrubs geek]

Great news but... (1)

localman (111171) | more than 6 years ago | (#20869397)

This is not the cause of type 2 diabetes. It's just a slightly earlier item in the chain of effects. The cause would explain why type 2 diabetics have more of this enzyme, or why they respond to it differently. I'd be willing to bet dollars to doughnuts that when the true cause is discovered, it will be a lifestyle change and not a drug.

I have several type 2 diabetics in my family and so any drug developed from this discovery could be helpful, but I still feel medical science is a bit off track with this whole "make a drug to block a symptom" methodology.

My mother recently got her early-stage diabetes completely under control: blood glucose was floating from 180-200. Now with dietary changes that almost completely contradict the ADA's recommendations, she's always between 90-110. Thankfully we figured things out ourselves before putting her on meds, where the only path seems to be higher and higher insulin resistance over time. I'm not saying we understand why she has diabetes; why foods that are okay for me, and used to be okay for her, now cause her trouble. But we have kept it under control for months now.

I don't know... I just feel some disappointment with medical research in many areas.


What causes the PKCepsilon overproduction?!? (2, Interesting)

Theovon (109752) | more than 6 years ago | (#20869623)

I'd say that, far more than people realize, health problems can be nailed down to nutritional issues. I don't mean "too much fat" or that sort of thing. People suffer weird symptoms from specific vitamin deficiencies and the like.

For instance, I know one person who suffered from "hypothyroidism" for a long time and had to take T4 supplements. It turned out that her real problem was an iodine deficiency, that itself was likely caused by being on the birth control pill. Taking high doses of an iodine supplement cleared up the problem very quickly, and her thyroid began functioning properly again.

I know another patient who was inexplicably ill for many years. After an IgG panel blood test, it was determined that she had a food alergy to casein, the principal protein in milk and other dairy derivatives. This isn't the sort of IgE alergy that causes itching or anaphalaxis, but the IgG kind that takes days to set in, and the symptoms are less severe and can be flu-like. Part of the reason she never considered cutting out dairy was that she is not, in fact, lactose intolerant, so lactase ensyme didn't help. Eliminating dairy entirely solved her problem.

Just like the preceding case, I have an IgG reaction to soy protein. Imagine trying to avoid soy in the U.S. Soybean oil is the default "vegetable oil," soya lecithin is used as an emusifier in lots of foods, and soy protein isolate (not considered to be a food by the FDA) is added to lots of things that want to report having high protein content. Oh, and don't forget the estrogen analogues found in soy. Anyhow, challenging as it was, eliminating soy products resulted in a huge improvement to my energy level. (I suffer from chronic fatigue syndrome, and my nutritionist believes that it was caused by the soy alergy compromising my immune system.)

I know lots of people who have suffered from prolonged illness that was completely blown off by MDs that was then remedied very quickly by a nutritionist. And it frustrates me to no end how ignorant MDs are about nutritional effects and that they never refer people to nutritionists!

Ok, so what's my point? That in a lot of cases, I would not be surprised of there was some kind of food that people are sensitive to or which is eaten to excess that has compromised part of their metabolism. Taking insulin shots was a bandaid for diabetics. Taking something to inhibit PKCepsilon production is a BETTER bandaid, but it's still a bandaid. Someone's got to figure out the root cause.

Oh, did you know that a significant number of autism cases, when caught early enough, show remarkable improvement when wheat and dairy are removed from their diets? Many neurologists will tell you otherwise, but that's because they just don't study nutrition in school. The nutritionists know otherwise.

Oh, and BTW, I'm not against MDs. I just know their limitations. Got a broken bone, lyme disease, or a structural organ failure? Better go to an MD. But many of the little things that affect people's health are not in the "take this pill" or "let me operate" categories but rather in the "don't eat this" and "eat this instead" categories. The effect of environment and intake has a HUGE impact on the human body!

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