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Implanted Stem Cells Treat Diabetes

Type 1 diabetes is a complex disease that likely has several causative factors, including genetic predisposition, viral infection, gut microbiome changes and vitamin D deficiency, to name a few. Type 1 diabetes poses serious health challenges and a novel treatment that relies on embryonic stem cells was used for the first time last week.

New Scientist reports that the implanted stem cells are supposed to release insulin when blood sugar levels rise. The stem cells are stored in a subcutaneous implant that is approximately the size of a dime. Viacyte, the San Diego-based manufacturer, has named the product PEC-Direct and it works by releasing the islet cells normally destroyed by Type 1 diabetes.

 Type 1 diabetes is a complex condition without a single causative factor. Scientists have theorized some people may have a greater genetic potential to develop Type 1 diabetes in combination with an immune response. Others theorize a virus triggers the failure of insulin secretion from the pancreas, and others link Type 1 diabetes to nutritional deficiencies.

The likelihood is that each of these factors, and more, may play a role in the development of this complex disease, for which there is no known cure. With the information known today, there are several nutritional steps you can take, whether you currently have Type 1 diabetes or if it tends to run in your family, to improve your outcome.

One of the best ways to protect you from Type 1 diabetes is to optimize your vitamin D levels. Studies have demonstrated that low levels of vitamin D may increase your risk of developing Type 1 diabetes as an adult by 50 percent. Recent research demonstrates also has shown that aerobic exercise helps improve metabolic control of Type 1 diabetes, and may reduce your potential risk for related health problems.



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