Saturday, March 28, 2015

A chemical Found in Ayahuasca would reverse Diabetes


   Every year more than 380 million people are affected by Types 1 and 2 diabetes worldwide . Diabetics are a group of metabolic diseases in which the person has high blood glucose (blood sugar), either because insulin production is inadequate, or because the body's cells do not respond properly to insulin, or both. Patients with high blood sugar will typically experience polyuria (frequent urination), they will become increasingly thirsty (polydipsia) and hungry (polyphagia). A new line of treatment for diabetes was found by researchers at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai …  They found a chemical  in ayahuasca has the potential to regenerate pancreas cells that have been lost to diabetes.

       Islets are clusters of cells scattered throughout the pancreas, which include cells that sense sugar in the blood. Within each islet are several types of cells, which work together to regulate blood sugar. One cell type is the beta cell. Beta cells sense sugar in the blood and release the necessary amount of insulin to maintain normal blood sugar levels. The loss of these cells means the body can no longer produce insulin, the hormone required to convert food into energy for the body’s cells. 

       Although many drugs exist to control the symptoms of diabetes, currently there is no reliable way to replace beta cells and cure the disease. So the best possible way is Beta cell regeneration. This can be done in two ways: stem cells- create stem cells and then transplant them or take a drug that makes your own beta cells grow. Even though the stem cell transplant research is promising, it involves an invasive procedure and it has difficulty in meeting massive demands.

        Currently, there are many medications/drugs that can control the symptoms of diabetes but there is no reliable drug or chemical that can successfully replicate the beta cells.The latest researchers show that a new drug called harmine triggered beta cell growth. Harmine occurs naturally in a number of plants around the world. It’s one of the ingredients in the psychoactive mixture ayahuasca, which is used by some indigenous people for religious purposes. It is found that be potentially used to regenerate lost pancreatic cells, which would then reverse diabetes.

       Loss of insulin-producing beta cells has long been recognized as a cause of Type 1 diabetes, in which the immune system mistakenly attacks and destroys beta cells. In recent years, researchers have concluded that a deficiency of functioning beta cells also contributes importantly to Type 2 diabetes. Thus, developing drugs that can increase the numbers of healthy beta cells is a major priority in diabetes research. This chemical is showing the most promising result in treatment of types 1 and 2 diabetes.

        Andrew Stewart, the director of the Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism Institute at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York City says, "In children and adults with type 1 diabetes, they have lost 99 percent of their beta cells, so they cannot make enough insulin. That's the cause of their diabetes."

      As humans develop, each cell divides into two, leading to many more cells in subsequent generations as organs form. In the case of beta cells in the pancreas, most of this multiplication comes in a burst during the first year of life and then declines during childhood, leaving a limited supply to last a lifetime. During this burst, about two percent of a child’s beta cells are dividing at any one time. The current study found that harmine re-creates roughly the same amount of beta cell division, both in cell and animal tests.

       To confirm that harmine would cause beta cell growth, the team took islets from the pancreases of deceased human organ donors. Then, they transplanted the islets into diabetic mice. They used far fewer than were necessary to cure the mice’s diabetes. Dosing the mice with harmine triggered the beta cells to multiply enough that they could restore the mice’s blood sugar levels to normal.

     Stewart cautions that harmine itself isn't the answer. Instead, harmine might inspire similar drugs that hone in on beta cells and leave the rest of the body, especially the brain, alone.

       The researchers identified dual-specificity tyrosine-regulated kinase-1a (DYRK1A) as the likely target of harmine and the nuclear factors of activated T cells (NFAT) family of transcription factors as likely mediators of human beta cell proliferation and differentiation. Using three different mouse and human islet in vivo-based models, they show that harmine is able to induce beta cell proliferation, increase islet mass and improve glycemic control. These observations suggest that harmine analogs may have unique therapeutic promise for human diabetes therapy. Enhancing the potency and beta cell specificity of these compounds are important future challenges.

     The researchers believe that beta cell regeneration will play a key role in ultimately curing type 1 diabetes and If successful, this early research could lead to drugs that restore beta cells in people with type 1 diabetes realizing the vision of a future free from insulin therapy.

    Beta cell regeneration is believed to be the answer and ultimate cure for diabetes, but we still have a ways to go.  The team’s discovery is another important step toward developing a medication that may someday reverse diabetes.

Please give your suggestions.....

No comments: