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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review

Researcher reports ‘intriguing’ diabetes breakthrough

By Jeffrey Weiss


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | (MCT) A Dallas-based researcher says he's pulled off a medical first: successfully treating mice and rats dying of insulin-dependent diabetes without using insulin.

Dr. Roger Unger, chair of diabetes research at University of Texas Southwestern Medical School, is quick to warn that practical applications, if any, are years away. But the research team he headed used high levels of leptin, a substance naturally produced by fat cells, to somehow reverse the otherwise fatal effects of diabetes.

If the experiment is repeated in other labs, and then if leptin can be adapted to treat humans, it might offer the first alternate to the multiple insulin injections used by millions of people who have type 1 diabetes, Unger said.

How surprising was the result of the experiment?

"It would be like finding aliens landing in your backyard," Unger said.

It's not easy for diabetes to surprise Unger. He's been a top researcher for decades with a long list of honors from many major diabetes-related organizations. At 84, he's still someone that others in the field pay attention to.

His latest findings were published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The paper, titled "Making insulin-deficient type 1 diabetic rodents thrive without insulin," will get plenty of attention, said Dr. Rohit N. Kulkarni, a researcher at the Joslin Diabetes Center and professor at Harvard Medical School who is also investigating the effects of leptin.

"I think it's very interesting and intriguing - with an emphasis on the latter," he said. "It's quite unexpected."

Leptin may blunt the short-term impact of Type 1 diabetes - the rapid weight loss and altered blood chemistry that make the untreated disease fatal. It may also help control the longer-term effects of the disease caused by abnormally high levels of sugar in the bloodstream.

But the results reported in this new paper offer almost as many questions as they do answers, Unger said. And he figures the initial reaction to the results from many other researchers will be negative, "just like mine was," he said.

Why is it such a surprise? Ever since 1921, when researchers first linked what is now known as type 1 diabetes to a lack of insulin, doctors have assumed that the only successful treatment replaced insulin, usually through multiple daily injections. This new experiment rejuvenated mice and rats without using insulin.

"There's not a human being who knows anything about diabetes who would have said they would get better without insulin," Unger said.

Specialized cells in the pancreas called beta cells respond to the level of sugar in the bloodstream by producing insulin. The hormone has at least two functions:

It acts like a key to a locking gas cap, letting many kinds of cells absorb sugar from the blood to use for fuel.

Insulin also sits on the opposite side of a biochemical teeter-totter from a hormone called glucagon. Glucagon tells liver cells to dump storage supplies of sugar into the bloodstream, providing more fuel as needed. At higher levels, it signals cells to convert amino acids and fats into fuel - basically telling the body to "burn" muscle and fat.

In Type 1 diabetes, which affects about a million people in the United States, the body's immune system mistakenly kills the beta cells - and the ability of the body to produce insulin.

Without insulin on the other side of the teeter-totter, excess glucagon over-triggers the consumption of muscle and fat, which produces the wasting and rapidly fatal symptoms associated with untreated type 1 diabetes, Unger said.

In the experiment reported in the new paper, Unger's team injected genetically modified viruses that infected the rodents' liver cells and turned them into leptin-producers.

In a matter of days, the wasting effects of excess glucagon stopped and blood sugar levels dropped near normal. After a few weeks, the leptin levels went down and the blood sugar levels went back up - but not nearly as high as for untreated mice. And the otherwise fatal high-glucagon symptoms never returned, even after almost a year.

A few scientists have thought that leptin was involved with the balance between insulin and glucagon and a few earlier experiments had used leptin along with insulin on rodents, but this is the first to show results without insulin, Unger said.

"Leptin seems to do everything that insulin does - and with a more prolonged effect," Unger said.

Among the many questions left for researchers:

  • Will the leptin work without the potentially risky modified viruses? The next planned rodent experiment would use simple leptin injections.

  • Will the effects fade over time? Some of the rodents from the earlier tests are still alive and the researchers are watching.

  • Does the leptin control blood sugars enough to stave off the long-term effects of diabetes? If not, Unger says there are other possible adjunct treatments to consider.

But there are no promises that this work will ever produce practical treatments, Unger said. He has been disappointed before. In the 1970s, he worked with another protein called somatostatin that seemed to offer a new treatment for diabetes, but the effect was too short-lived.

The bottom line for Unger is that this research provides new choices for others searching for ways to treat type 1 diabetes.

"Over the years we all began to believe it was insulin or nothing," he said. "We hope this will open a door that was previously closed and inspire exploration for new and effective alternatives."

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© 2008, The Dallas Morning News. Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services

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