If Type 2 is Tied to the Immune System Can a Cure Be Found: Type 2 diabetes has always been thought of as something linked to metabolism dysfunction. Some recent research suggests this may be incorrect thinking.
The latest issue of Nature Medicine indicates the link may not metabolic, but one that involved the immune system. It has always been thought that it was the metabolism that might be to blame for Type 2 diabetes while the immune system was only responsible for issues related to Type 1 diabetes. What if immune issues were to blame for both forms of the diabetic condition?
Researchers dare to hope that if this link is true then a cure for 23 million Americans who suffer with the disease might not be as far away as we thought.
Dr. Vivian Fonseca, professor of medicine at Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine and director of the Diabetes Institute at Scott & White is quoted in AJC.com as saying, “The authors [of this research] do suggest that if you change the inflammatory response by changing the way the body cells respond to a trigger for inflammation, you might be able to get at the real heart of diabetes and that suggests you could cure it.”
The research actually comes in the form of four separate studies and all concentrated on the immune system as it pertains to Type 2 diabetes.
What researchers found was that obesity seems to signal a decline in T-cells. One researcher describes the result as cells that leak. Inflammation of fat cells effectively renders them less able to use insulin.
When T-cells were restored to normal levels weight came off even without a change in diet or exercise and improved the way the body uses insulin.
You should understand this research was done on mice, and a human trial would be needed before any therapy could be made available.
A separate study looked at Mast cells in mice. Research headed by Guo-Ping Shi, Biochemist from the Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School created diabetic conditions in the mice they studied.
Shi seems to suggest that inflamed tissue in Type 2 diabetes may be responsible for allergy sensitivities and may create the secondary chronic condition asthma.
This research team looked at two over the counter drugs used to treat allergic reactions – Zaditor and cromolyn. In their study on mice they discovered that a change in diet along with the addition of one of these allergy medications resulted in a near 100% recovery from diabetic conditions.
This suggests that by targeting the immune function of the body it may be possible to stop and reverse diabetes.
Shi’s team looked at Mast cells as a culprit. When the team stripped Mast cells from a group of mice they discovered no weight gain and no diabetes even after placing the mice on a diet rich in fat and sugar.
Perhaps by paying attention to the immune function as relates to T-cells and Mast cells researchers can begin to find a cost-effective way to actually stop diabetes.
If Shi’s research is correct then common over-the-counter allergy medications could play a key role in the reversal of diabetes by using these medications that have already proven safe.
Advances in medical science provide new insight into better methods for treatments, therapies and medications for diabetes management and stability.
It’s refreshing to bring a report that points so strongly at something that may have been overlooked.