Inflammation damages retina of diabetics: Study

Diabetic retinopathy has been classified into two types. Non-proliferative diabetic retinopathy and proliferative diabetic retinopathy.

 Keeping blood sugar blood pressure levels in check, adhering to the prescribed diet and medications, physical activity, etc. can help prevent or slow the development of diabetic retinopathy.
Keeping blood sugar blood pressure levels in check, adhering to the prescribed diet and medications, physical activity, etc. can help prevent or slow the development of diabetic retinopathy.

Visakhapatnam: A growing body of evidence supports the prime role of inflammation and ‘angiogenesis’ in inducing progressive damage to the retina in diabetes patients, leading to diabetic retinopathy (DR).

Now, the findings of a recent study, carried out by the researchers at Andhra University College of Pharmaceutical Sciences and LV Prasad Eye Institute, Visakhapatnam, concurred with the same.

The study revealed higher levels of circulating inflammatory cytokines and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in patients with DR compared to the patients without the ocular condition. Cytokines are regulators of host responses to infection, immune responses, inflammation, and trauma. The pro-inflammatory cytokines act to make a medical condition worse.

On the other hand, the vascular endothelial growth factor is a major regulator of new blood vessel growth and an important inducer of vascular permeability, playing a role in diabetic retinopathy. Vascular permeability characterises the capacity of a blood vessel wall to allow for the…

Eating clean is a lifestyle – learn how

Joyce Abady, owner of The Juice Theory in Long Branch, walks us through her process of making fresh almond milk.

Brian Johnston

Too many of us accept too low a quality of life as normal.

We deal with headaches, exhaustion, weight gain and more, but what many people do not realize is that these symptoms are not normal.

Our bodies were built to feel amazing every day, and the majority of us accept feeling tired, bloated and foggy brained on a daily basis.

Throughout the last 10 years, I’ve suffered from over a dozen chronic health issues including Lyme disease, PCOS, hypothyroidism, candida, C-diff colitis, leaky gut and more.

After spending many years without relief from Western medicine on a cocktail of drugs, I chose a different path with functional and integrative medicine.

I soon realized I wasn’t the only one suffering, and through my website, I started receiving thousands of emails from people who also were suffering and not finding answers to help them get to the root cause of their symptoms.


That’s when I turned my life around and learned how to address the underlying imbalances in my body instead of treating my symptoms with a Band-Aid approach. I never want anyone to go through what I went through for 10 very painful, exhausting years trying to figure out how to be healthy in a real way.

I want to hand over the keys to you to shortcut your journey to wellness and save you time, money and suffering in your journey to wellness with my cookbook, “Eating Clean: The 21-Day Plan to Detox, Fight Inflammation, and Reset Your Body.”

Your important role

During my journey to wellness it dawned on me that if more people understood what an important role they play in their own health, they could change the quality of their life forever.

We have so much more control than we realize, and it starts with fighting inflammation by eating clean, whole and nourishing foods.

Detox is not what you think. It’s not a juice fast, it’s not about deprivation, and it’s not about starving yourself to be thin. Detox is about living a clean life and removing the toxins in your environment and foods that are causing silent inflammation in our bodies.

In my book, I outline how you can detox and fight inflammation on a daily basis starting with eating organic. When we eat organic we’re not pumping in growth hormones, antibiotics, pesticides and herbicides into our bodies, which is what happens when we eat conventional (non-organic foods).

These toxins in conventional foods that we ingest are one of the main causes of inflammation in our bodies. The goal of detox is…

Autoimmune Attack Vs Insulin-Producing Cells: Discovery In The Treatment Of Type 1 Diabetes

GlucoWatch Biographer
(Photo : Cygnus/Getty Images) The GlucoWatch Biographer, the only FDA-approved product for adults with diabetes designed to measure glucose levels frequently, automatically and non-invasively, is on display in an undated photo. The GlucoWatch Biographer was released on the U.S. market April 15, 2002 from Cygnus, Inc.

Almost 29 million cases of diabetes were reported in the United States. Although Type 1 diabetes covers a lesser population from the total of diabetic patients, there is no known cure for the metabolic condition.

According to Diabetes And Environment, in the case of Type 1 Diabetes, the beta cells does not produce enough insulin because of the death of beta cells. Beta cells secrete insulin which is essential in human metabolism. Insulin converts sugar to energy, without insulin the blood sugar level increases causing diabetes.

Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease wherein the body’s immune system attacks and kills its own beta cells. Inflammation makes the beta cells as targets of the T cell to further…

Fat discovery could ease inflammation for diabetics

Fat discovery could ease inflammation for diabetics

Inflammation is one of the main reasons why people with diabetes experience heart attacks, strokes, kidney problems, and other, related complications. Now a surprise finding identifies a possible trigger of chronic inflammation.

Too much fat in the diet promotes insulin resistance by spurring chronic inflammation.

But the researchers discovered, in mice, that when certain immune cells can’t manufacture fat, the mice don’t develop diabetes and inflammation, even when consuming a high-fat diet.

“The number of people with diabetes has quadrupled worldwide over the last 20 years,” says senior investigator Clay F. Semenkovich, professor and director of the division of endocrinology, metabolism, and lipid research at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

“We have made modest progress in making it less likely for some people with diabetes to have heart attacks and strokes.

However, those receiving optimal therapy are still much more likely to die from complications driven by chronic inflammation that is, at least in part, generated by these immune cells.

“But by blocking the production of fat inside these cells, it may be possible to prevent inflammation in people with diabetes and even in other conditions, such as arthritis and cancer, in which chronic inflammation plays a role. This could have a profound impact on health.”

Semenkovich’s team made genetically altered mice that could not make the enzyme for fatty acid synthase (FAS) in immune cells called macrophages.

Without the enzyme, it…

A Breathalyzer to Detect Inflammatory Signs of Influenza Infection

Detecting diseases non-invasively by sampling exhaled breath is a growing field. Previously, we featured Owlstone Medical, who have developed breath sampling devices to store breath samples for later analysis along with an integrated unit for the detection of lung cancer biomarkers. Recent research on breath testing has suggested that viral infections, such as influenza, might be also be diagnosable using breath samples. Researchers at the University of Texas at Arlington have developed a prototype breathalyzer that could detect signs of influenza infection on a patient’s breath.

Influenza epidemics are a worry, with the continued mutation of the virus and the emergence of new strains. Confirming influenza infections rapidly and accurately would be very useful to prevent the spread of flu epidemics, but current testing…

New Technique Improves Electric Vagus Nerve Stimulation to Treat Chronic Inflammation

Robert Butera and Yogi Patel work on electrical blocking of nerve pathways
Robert Butera and Yogi Patel work on electrical blocking of nerve pathways

Electric stimulation of the vagus nerve stimulation is a powerful emerging technique for managing a number of conditions, including chronic inflammatory diseases. Yet, while targeting biophysical mechanisms involved in inflammation, one can stimulate others that manifest in unpredictable side effects.

Researchers at Georgia Tech have invented a way of delivering electrical stimulation in a more targeted way, using an additional electrode that prevents some nerve activity while…

Powerful version of anti-inflammatory molecule may help protect vision in diabetic retinopathy

A more powerful version of an anti-inflammatory molecule already circulating in our blood may help protect our vision in the face of diabetes.

Diabetic retinopathy resulting from high circulating levels of glucose is the leading cause of blindness in adults. Now scientists have evidence that a man-made version of soluble gp130, or sgp130, that is 10 times more powerful than the natural one, may help avoid high levels of inflammation in the eye that occur in diabetes and avert the retinal destruction that typically follows.

“What we are trying to do is inhibit this pathway so there will be no more signaling,” said Dr. Shruti Sharma, vascular and endothelial biologist in the Center for Biotechnology and Genomic Medicine at the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University.

Sharma is talking about the pro-inflammatory cascade that can result when high levels of glucose in the blood prompt high circulating levels of the immune-system driver IL-6. High circulating IL-6 has been found in the blood as well as the fluid portion of the eyes of patients with diabetic retinopathy. When circulating levels of IL-6 increase, so do levels of its receptor, IL-6R, which is required for IL-6 to be active.

These floating inflammation drivers enable something called trans-signaling – where receptors aren’t directly found on the affected cells themselves – and there is emerging evidence from Sharma’s lab and others that it’s a major player in inflammation-driven diseases like diabetic retinopathy, inflammatory bowel disease, even atherosclerosis.

In this case, the body appears to have a check system: Sgp130 also is traveling in the bloodstream where it can essentially trap the IL-6/IL-6 receptor complex and keep it from crossing cell membranes to promote inflammation. However, in the altered face of diabetes, apparently its action is not always sufficient.

That’s why Sharma’s new $1.5 million grant from the National Eye Institute is enabling the first attempt to target IL-6 trans-signaling in diabetic retinopathy with this synthetic, more powerful version of…

IUPUI scientists develop new synthetic method to shorten drug discovery and development process

Synthesizing useful new compounds is what pharmaceutical discovery and development is all about. Researchers at the School of Science at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis have devised a method to substantially speed up the process.

The IUPUI chemists have developed and tested a new molecular binding technique that could shorten or abridge the human and animal drug discovery and development process. The new method also is potentially more economical and ecologically friendly than that currently used.

The new synthetic method is used in the production of compounds containing nitrogen. Approximately 75 percent of compounds with medicinal uses have a nitrogen atom. Such drugs are used to treat a wide range of conditions including cancers, bacterial and inflammatory diseases, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, Alzheimer’s disease, epilepsy, asthma, and diabetes.

Drugs are chemical compounds with differing arrangements of atoms. The new drug-synthesis method is an organic chemical process taking fewer steps than older methods. It has potential usefulness in the development of a second generation of existing drugs as well as contributing to the discovery of new pharmaceutical treatments.

“Site-selective C-H arylation of primary aliphatic amines enabled by a catalytic transient directing group” is published online…

With creativity you can ‘eat clean’ for the holidays

Health officials say people should eat less sugar, but that may be easier said than done. Sugar can be hidden in lots of common packaged foods. Take for example, salad dressing. The amount of sugar in them though, can vary. Wish-Bone’s Deluxe French

Eating clean is all the buzz these days and surprisingly it’s not a diet – it’s a lifestyle, which means there is no deprivation or calorie counting.

Classic holiday foods can be a recipe for disaster when you’re trying to eat clean or have food intolerances and sensitivities. Everywhere you turn, you see pesticide-stuffed turkeys and hams; gluten-filled stuffing; refined sugar-laden cakes, cookies, pies and soy-laced canned gravy.

But with a little creativity, you can tweak your traditional holiday menu into a clean-eating and anti-inflammatory spread. There’s no need to give up eating clean just because it’s the holidays – there are plenty of healthy foods that are perfect for your holiday table.

I’ve compiled a few tips and strategies for you so you can navigate your way through the new year healthy and vibrant instead of stuffed, lethargic and foggy-brained.

What is clean eating?

Hunger and appetite together drive you to eat. When you feel that pang of hunger, you know what you need to do.

But eating is about more than just quieting your appetite. You do not subsist on calories alone – you need a spectrum of nutrients and vitamins to feed your body.

Foods have so much more to them than calories, and yet many people think caloric intake is the bottom line. Au contraire! The number of calories a food has is merely information, and as with any other kind of information, less isn’t necessarily better, just as more isn’t necessarily bad.

A 100-calorie snack pack is in no way equal to 100 calories of walnuts. The calorie pack is highly inflammatory, full of too many ingredients you cannot pronounce, and the walnut is an anti-inflammatory whole food.

Counting calories is the last thing you should worry about when you’re trying to eat clean. A handful of walnuts may be calorically dense, but there’s a lot of nutrients packed in there.

Another clean eating tip is to steer clear of fat-free and low-fat foods, which are highly processed.

What many people don’t realize is that when food manufacturers remove fat, they add other inflammatory ingredients such as refined sugar and salt.

The goal is to choose foods based on how they nourish your body, rather than by how many calories you believe they will glue to your waistline. When you’re eating clean, believe it or not, those calories don’t add up to love handles.

Why choose organic for the holidays?

The point of eating organic is not to reap more nutrients, it’s to avoid toxins like pesticides, growth hormones, antibiotics and herbicides found in conventional foods.

Every time we pick up a fork, we choose whether we put chemicals in our bodies or not.

Your food makes the biggest difference: You can live a healthy life, but if you continue to eat conventional foods and expose yourself to hidden chemicals, you’ll probably end up with symptoms from toxicity (like I did) at some point.

When I realized biting into a juicy conventional apple that had been sprayed with toxic pesticides and herbicides was like eating something with one of those warning labels you find on chemicals underneath the sink, I started eating organic.

This holiday season, look for the green and white USDA symbol on products to ensure it’s certified organic.

Here’s a handy clean eating guide you can use to navigate your way through the food store this holiday season.

Start making your menu a few weeks before the holidays, and check off the below ingredients to ensure your recipes are full of clean, whole foods.

Holiday clean list (anti-inflammatory foods)

  • Organic/grass-fed animal products (turkey, chicken, lamb)
  • Gluten-free whole grain bread (preferably made from almond flour or whole grains)
  • Whole grains: brown rice, wild rice, black rice, millet, amaranth, quinoa and sorghum
  • Beans and legumes
  • Whole grain/nut flours: whole grain flours, almond flour, coconut flour, etc.
  • Full-fat coconut milk or almond milk
  • Honey or pure maple syrup
  • Organic leafy greens (kale, Swiss chard, spinach, collard greens, arugula)
  • Detoxifying veggies (broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, cabbage)
  • Make your own breadcrumbs: place walnuts, almonds and sea salt in your food processor and whirl it around until they form a very fine crumb consistency. Use these in place of starchy breadcrumbs.
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Coconut oil
  • Raw walnuts
  • Raw almonds
  • Sea Salt

Holiday not-so clean list (inflammatory foods)

  • Conventional/non-organic animal products (dairy, eggs, turkey, chicken, red meat)
  • White bread
  • Refined grains: white rice
  • All-purpose white flour
  • Breadcrumbs
  • Refined sugar (white sugar, brown sugar)
  • Sugar substitutes (artificial sweeteners)
  • Low-fat/Fat-free dairy and/or butter substitutes
  • Canola oil (and any other refined vegetable oils)
  • Salted peanuts and candied nuts
  • Refined table salt
  • Soy (including soy milk, cheese, etc.)

Whether you’re looking for recipes for your healthy transition into the New Year, a festive holiday party, or as starters for your dinner party, you’ll please your guests with these clean recipes.

Amie Valpone is a celebrity chef, culinary nutritionist and motivational speaker specializing in clean eating recipes free of gluten, dairy, soy and refined sugar. She is the author of the best-selling book “Eating Clean: The 21-Day Plan to Detox, Fight Inflammation, and Reset Your Body” and the founder of Visit her on social media @TheHealthyApple.

These recipes are from my cookbook and are naturally free of gluten, dairy, corn, eggs, refined sugar and other inflammatory foods: Excerpt from “Eating Clean: The 21-Day Plan to Detox, Fight Inflammation, and Reset Your Body” by Amie Valpone. Copyright © 2016 by Amie Valpone. Photography © 2016 by Lauren Volo. Reprinted by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


Ever since I was a young girl, I’ve loved caramelized onions. Once I found out restaurants use pro-inflammatory canola oil, refined sugar and other yucky ingredients to make them,…

Siren Care makes a “smart” sock to track diabetic health

Diabetic health tracking startup Siren Care has created smart socks that use temperature sensors to detect inflammation — and therefore injury — in realtime for diabetics.

Co-founder Ran Ma was working on growing biomass to grow back skin that had been damaged while at Northwestern University when she started learning how to treat diabetic feet and thought of making a wearable that could track and prevent injuries.

Both type 1 and type 2 diabetes patients are prone to foot swelling, among other foot issues and it can lead to some serious problems such as infection or amputation of the foot if not checked. Early detection is crucial to head off any serious complications and Ma and her co-founder Veronica Tran believe built-in sensors are the key.

But Siren’s socks aren’t the first wearable to aim for detection of a diabetic foot injury. SurroSense Rx is a wireless shoe insert for diabetics and the PressureGuardian from Tillges Technologies is a boot designed to detect issues as well.

But a boot is cumbersome and Siren’s socks are closer to the skin than a foot pad in your shoe. The…

Taking two drugs could combat heart complication in diabetes

A heart condition brought on by high blood sugar could be prevented by taking two drugs, according to new research.

Scientists from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ) have studied how heart arrhythmias in patients with diabetes can be reversed, which could have implications for treating heart disease.

The study, coordinated by Professor Emiliano Medei, from the Institute of Biophysics Carlos Chagas Filho and CENABIO at UFRJ, showed that an increase in blood sugar levels causes inflammation and the production of IL-1-bete which, over a number of years, can lead to arrhythmias of the heart.

Professor Medei said: “It is noteworthy that inflammation is an important tool to fight infections, which usually ends when the ‘intruder’ is removed.

“In the case of diabetes, there is no infection. Persistent hyperglycemia stimulates the immune system to produce a constant inflammation, with great production of IL-1-beta. We found inflammation to be the link between arrhythmias and diabetes.”

Diabetes was induced in mice and other animals known to be unable to produce the inflammation required to stimulate the making of IL-1-beta.

The animals were induced to produce increased blood glucose, and the mice that were able to produce the inflammation had altered heart rates.

Those unable to produce the inflammation and therefore IL-1-beta experienced much less damage from arrhythmias, even when given substances known to increase a dysregulation in the heart rhythm called ventricular tachycardia.

To rectify the problem the research team administered two drugs known to inhibit the inflammatory process: MCC-950 and anakinra, which proved to be successful.

The drugs work to block production of IL-1-beta and protect body cells from being damaged by the effects of IL-1-beta, and were able to reverse the heart changes in the diabetic mice. They are already commonly used in the treatment of other autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis.

Prof Medai added: “I believe that the new therapeutic tools that we propose in this study are very promising to treat heart disease caused by diabetes.”

The findings have been published in Nature Communications.


Diabetes Mellitus Type 2 is commonly known as Type 2 Diabetes
Diabetes Mellitus Type 2 is commonly known as Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes mellitus is a metabolic disorder that results in hyperglycemia (high blood glucose levels) due to the body:

  • Being ineffective at using the insulin it has produced; also known as insulin resistance and/or
  • Being unable to produce enough insulin

Type 2 diabetes is characterised by the body being unable to metabolise glucose (a simple sugar). This leads to high levels of blood glucose which over time may damage the organs of the body.

From this, it can be understood that for someone with diabetes something that is food for ordinary people can become a sort of metabolic poison. This is why people with diabetes are advised to avoid sources of dietary sugar.

The good news is for very many people with type 2 diabetes this is all they have to do to stay well. If you can keep your blood sugar lower by avoiding dietary sugar it’s likely you will never need long-term medication.

Type 2 diabetes was formerly known as non-insulin-dependent or adult-onset diabetes due to its occurrence mainly in people over 40. However, type 2 diabetes is now becoming more common in young adults, teens and children and accounts for roughly 90% of all diabetes cases worldwide.

Type 2 diabetes statistics

According to the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), more than 371 million people across the globe have diabetes and this figure is predicted to rise to over 550 million by 2030.

Of the total global diabetes rate, 90% are living with type 2 diabetes but it is estimated that up to half of these people are unaware of their condition (undiagnosed diabetes).

In the UK, more than 2.7 million people are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes whilst a further 750,000 people are believed to have the symptoms but are yet to be diagnosed with the disease.

How serious is type 2 diabetes?

Type 2 diabetes is a serious medical condition that often requires the use of anti-diabetic medication, or insulin to keep blood sugar levels under control. However the development of type 2 diabetes and its side effects (complications) can be prevented if detected and treated at an early stage.

Following pre-diabetes or metabolic disorder, type 2 diabetes can potentially be avoided through diet and exercise.

What causes…

Social status affects immune regulation and health status in rhesus monkeys

The richest and poorest Americans differ in life expectancy by more than a decade. Glaring health inequalities across the socioeconomic spectrum are often attributed to access to medical care and differences in habits such as smoking, exercise and diet.

But a new study in rhesus monkeys shows that the chronic stress of life at the bottom can alter the immune system even in the absence of other risk factors.

The research confirms previous animal studies suggesting that social status affects the way genes turn on and off within immune cells. The new study, appearing Friday, Nov. 25 in the journal Science, goes further by showing that the effects are reversible.

The team studied adult female rhesus monkeys housed at the Yerkes National Primate Research Center of Emory University. They found that infection sends immune cells of low-ranking monkeys into overdrive, leading to unwanted inflammation, but improvements in social status or social support can turn things back around.

In the first part of the study, Yerkes scientists put 45 unrelated females that had never met each other one by one into new social groups. Then they watched how the monkeys treated each other to see, for every interaction, who did the bullying and who cowered.

Captive female rhesus macaques in these newly created groups formed a pecking order in order of seniority. The females that were introduced to their groups earlier tended to rank higher than those that came later.

To find out how rank affected their health, the researchers took immune cells from the monkeys and measured the activity of roughly 9,000 genes. More than 1,600 of them were expressed differently in lower-ranking than…