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Biotech Medicine

Chemical That Affects Biological Clock Offers New Diabetes Treatment 156

Posted by samzenpus
from the better-healing dept.
First time accepted submitter rosy rohangi writes "Biologists at UC San Diego have discovered a chemical that provides a completely new direction and promise for the development of drugs to treat metabolic disorders such as type 2 diabetes – a key concern of public health in the U.S. due to the current obesity epidemic. From the article: '...Scientists have long suspected that diabetes and obesity could be related to problems of the biological clock. Laboratory mice with altered biological clocks, for example, often become obese and develop diabetes. Two years ago, a team led by Steve Kay, dean of the Division of Biological Sciences at UC San Diego, discovered the first biochemical link between the biological clock and diabetes. He found that a key protein, cryptochrome, which regulates the biological clocks of plants, insects and mammals also regulates glucose production in the liver and that changes in levels of this protein could improve the health of diabetic mice.'"
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Chemical That Affects Biological Clock Offers New Diabetes Treatment

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    I like the mans. How does I get some treatmen?

  • by nonsequitor (893813) on Sunday July 15, 2012 @08:24PM (#40659281)

    Part of you is worried about your weight, but All of you wants a Baby! Call XYZ fertility clinic today.

  • Cryptochrome (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    is like the coolest word ever.

  • by cvtan (752695) on Sunday July 15, 2012 @09:17PM (#40659571)
    until there is a Treatwomen.
  • Cycloset (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 15, 2012 @09:19PM (#40659581)

    There is a little known drug on the market called Cycloset that works for Type 2 Diabetes, and part of it is working on the biological clock. Its been around a few years, but it was out of patent before it got approved so most doctors don't even know about it.

    • by macs4all (973270)

      There is a little known drug on the market called Cycloset that works for Type 2 Diabetes, and part of it is working on the biological clock. Its been around a few years, but it was out of patent before it got approved so most doctors don't even know about it.

      Oh, you mean Parlodel Bromocriptine [google.com]! That drug has been around for years, and has long been the darling of life-extension advocates as a powerful antioxidant. It is yet another ergot alkaloid discovered by the late, great Dr. Albert Hoffman. In fact, Durk and Sandy Pearson first spoke of its MANY benefits in their way-ahead-of-its-time book "Life Extension: A Practical Scientific Approach" [wikipedia.org], reportedly published in 1982 (although I swear it was a few years earlier). It's a very interesting book, and well wor

  • Error in TFA (Score:5, Interesting)

    by techno-vampire (666512) on Sunday July 15, 2012 @09:24PM (#40659601) Homepage
    Reading TFA (Yeah, yeah, I know. However, I'm Type II, and this might be important to me.) I see that it says, "Diabetes is caused by a buildup of glucose in the blood, which can lead to heart disease, stroke, kidney failure and blindness." Wrong! the buildup of glucose in the blood is a symptom of diabetes, not the cause. I gather that this is just a blog post, not the original report so this might just be the blogger not knowing as much about the subject as he thinks he does. Still, it does make you wonder how many other errors are in TFA for the same reason.
    • by UPZ (947916)
      I hear you, but DM is defined as sugar in urine. So it is in fact caused by high sugars. And all the diseases above are also caused by high sugars. I'm in medical school, this is my bread and butter.
      • Wow... As a med school student, you should know that DM II symptomatically is excessive or low glucose in the body. Hence the reason for testing using blood. DKA is primarily keytones (sp?) in the urine. The only reason I know this is d/t Type 1 myself. All hospital testing I've seen and been part of is blood, no urine.

        Now, in all honesty, I'm not sure what the testing differences is for DM Type 2, so I could be very off. Most of my own patients use blood for testing as well. I think the only reason
        • The only reason I know this is d/t Type 1 myself. All hospital testing I've seen and been part of is blood, no urine.

          I'm Type II, diagnosed just over ten years ago when my doctor was trying to find out what caused my first kidney stone. (never did) I'm not sure, but I'd guess that the original diagnoses was from a urinalysis, but I do know that I keep track of my blood sugar with twice-daily blood tests and the occasional A1c, also a blood test. I have several friends who have been (at least) suspecte
        • Wait. What?

        • by UPZ (947916)
          You are quite welcome to check facts and correct me.

          Definition and diagnosis should not be confused. By definition, diabetes stands for excessive urination. Mellitus stands for sweet urine (sweet because the only way to diagnose in the early days was tasting). This is how diabetes mellitus is defined. This is unlike diabetes insipidus which is defined as excessive urination but not sweet urine. The diagnosis of diabetes mellitus can be many ways, one of which is fasting blood sugar > 126. When blood
          • by Raenex (947668)

            Definition and diagnosis should not be confused.

            Indeed, though that seems to be exactly what you are doing.

            By definition, diabetes stands for excessive urination. Mellitus stands for sweet urine (sweet because the only way to diagnose in the early days was tasting). This is how diabetes mellitus is defined.

            That sounds like an old-school definition being taken too literally in the modern world. Here's what an actual medical dictionary [merriam-webster.com] says:

            "a variable disorder of carbohydrate metabolism caused by a combination of hereditary and environmental factors and usually characterized by inadequate secretion or utilization of insulin, by excessive urine production, by excessive amounts of sugar in the blood and urine, and by thirst, hunger, and loss of weight

        • by UPZ (947916)

          Wow... As a med school student, you should know that DM II symptomatically is excessive or low glucose in the body. Hence the reason for testing using blood. DKA is primarily keytones (sp?) in the urine. The only reason I know this is d/t Type 1 myself. All hospital testing I've seen and been part of is blood, no urine. Now, in all honesty, I'm not sure what the testing differences is for DM Type 2, so I could be very off. Most of my own patients use blood for testing as well. I think the only reason for urine testing is for very excessive glucose. We're talking 1000+ BG. Once DKA sets in, you can test urine for those keytones to determine BG. The good news is that I'll be the first to say that I could be wrong.

          I could spend an hour explaining it to you, but right now I need sleep. I would caution you that you do not properly understand DM and this can be harmful to your health so please see a doctor/nurse/professional and learn from them. For all you know, I could be an imitator and give you wrong information. Blood sugar can be a dangerous business if not well managed so please talk to a professional. Good night.

      • by sprior (249994)

        Gosh I hope not because you've got it totally wrong. The official diagnosis for DM is a high fasting blood glucose and/or a high glucose tolerance test, but again both of these are symptoms of the disease, not the cause.

        • by UPZ (947916)
          Yes and No. Yes one of the many ways to diagnose DM is fasting BG or high OGTT. What is not correct is that high blood sugar is a only symptom of the disease. It is both a symptom of the abnormalities in pancreas, and it also the cause for the damage that occurs in the rest of the body. I would suggest reading up on glycosylation mediated damage to blood vessels, eyes, kidneys, and nerves where there is extensive literature published. Pubmed is a good place.
          • by sprior (249994)

            I guess we're getting into semantics, but it's not a "root cause" of the disease which is what everyone here means when you say cause. Yes the symptom of high blood glucose does in itself cause other problems and because you can't cure the disease itself you end up managing the side effect of the disease to avoid the side effect of the symptom. But saying this is a cause of the disease is like a situation where a horse drawn wagon upsets an apple cart and the apples fly off and break a window. By your te

            • by UPZ (947916)

              I guess we're getting into semantics, but it's not a "root cause" of the disease which is what everyone here means when you say cause. Yes the symptom of high blood glucose does in itself cause other problems and because you can't cure the disease itself you end up managing the side effect of the disease to avoid the side effect of the symptom. But saying this is a cause of the disease is like a situation where a horse drawn wagon upsets an apple cart and the apples fly off and break a window. By your terms the apple cart is a cause of the accident. While the apples did cause damage, you wouldn't have that damage in the first place if the wagon which is the real cause hadn't come by.

              No I think you fail to understand what goes on here. The root causes of DM are still not fully understood and there are believed to be many, you just know the popular ones. DM and blood sugar are separate entities and differentiating them is important. DM is not responsible for the damage that goes onto the body - this is why controlling blood sugar (and not DM) is a priority - having DM is not very harmful if you can control the sugar. Study after study shows that if blood sugar is controlled then the harm

      • by chooks (71012)

        As other sib posters of mine have pointed out, this is in fact wrong. Historically (as in Ancient Greece), tasting urine for sweetness was how the disease got its name (it's not called 'mellitus' for nothing!). These days the diagnosis is through measuring levels of sugar in the blood, although most recently, measuring the surrogate marker of HbA1c can now be used to make a formal diagnosis. Before this you could either do a fasting blood sugar level, a glucose tolerance test, or having a rip roaring singl

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      "Diabetes is caused by a buildup of glucose in the blood, which can lead to heart disease, stroke, kidney failure and blindness." Wrong! the buildup of glucose in the blood is a symptom of diabetes, not the cause.

      It's not an inaccurate statement. Clinically, abnormally high glucose levels after fasting is diagnostic for the disease. Although, like all things in biology, it's not the root cause; High glucose levels are due to insulin resistance. Insulin resistance is not fully understood but it is is often found in patients who are obese. This is why diabetes is referred to as a syndrome. There are many potential causes, and it varies from patient to patient. Obesity is the most common medical condition found co-exis

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 15, 2012 @09:30PM (#40659627)

    It's obvious that obesity is related to problems of the biological clock. Their clock is always telling them it's lunch time.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      You do realize that plenty obese people don't, in fact, eat any more than you? Not saying diet doesn't matter, but genetics and lack of excercise dominate.

      • Maybe they don't eat more than me but it's what they eat that matters. No one got fat from cucumbers unless they inserted way to many.
        • Re:That was obvious (Score:5, Informative)

          by rrohbeck (944847) on Sunday July 15, 2012 @11:50PM (#40660249)

          Mod parent up. What you eat determines how many calories you eat. Your digestive system senses volume, not calories. So if you eat easily digested simple carbs, you'll be empty within an hour and your stomach tells the brain "Feed Me!"
          Hence eat fiber, protein, good fats, no simple carbs, yada yada.

  • Doesn't Google already have that name trademarked or patented?
  • not the solution (Score:3, Insightful)

    by hareball101 (1090809) on Sunday July 15, 2012 @10:18PM (#40659857)
    And how does this relate to the fact that children are getting Diabetes type 2 younger and younger [time.com], at an increasing rate?

    The answer is simple; carbohydrates.

    Most of our carbs come from plants more closely related to grass [msu.edu](corn, wheat), than to a vegetable

    Solution: eat grass fed animals [npr.org], eat lots of root and leafy green vegetables and some fruit ... ditch the soda, pizza, pasta, burgers, donuts, etc.
    • Perhaps the nearly immobile lives that youngsters live has something to do with it as well? Recess and gym are a fraction of the time they used to be, if they even still exist in schools. You can't have kids memorizing material for the federally mandated achievement tests that determine a larger and larger chunk of cash-strapped school districts' budgets if they are outside running around. If that isn't enough "persuasion" to cut recess and gym, the fear of lawsuits if little Brayden (or Aiden or Kayden or

    • by Kergan (780543)

      Sounds like Atkins. According to some specialists, though, fructose (aka sugar, HFCS, etc.) is the carb you should be really worrying about:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dBnniua6-oM [youtube.com]

    • Re:not the solution (Score:4, Informative)

      by bill_mcgonigle (4333) * on Monday July 16, 2012 @07:39AM (#40661593) Homepage Journal

      Most of our carbs come from plants more closely related to grass [msu.edu](corn, wheat), than to a vegetable

      Um, yeah - vegetables have very few carbs. If you want carbs, go for the starchy grains.

      This wasn't a problem until the last century. Either humans changed or something about the food supply changed. Surely a 20x increase in sugar intake per capita is coincidental - it must be the oatmeal.

  • If memory serves, wasn't cryptochrome mentioned in the article last week about the cell in the sea trout's nose that apparently helps it navigate by using Earth's magnetic field? And a fellow provided two links to journal articles wherein the same protein featured in some not-well-understood fashion having to do with birds using geomagnetic nav?

    If so, strikes me as one very interesting protein.

  • I used to shoot with it all the time - especially loved the way it captured blues and didn't overemphasize reds. Of course that was back before I switched to a camera with a digital sensor.

  • Being able to control our biological clocks looks like having the potential to change our entire lives, even for non diabetic people.
  • There have been many studies regarding this phenomenon, but most of them show that the effect is small. In other words, if you eat foods at the "right" time, you might absorb fewer or burn more of them than if you eat at the "wrong" time. However, because the effect is small, eating 4,000 calories a day will still result in obesity long-term, regardless of what time of day you're eating them.

    Simply put, our bodies evolved to pack on the pounds in time of plenty and then miserly dole out that fat during l
  • by advocate_one (662832) on Monday July 16, 2012 @03:05AM (#40660861)
    They're still pushing the myth that obesity causes Type 2 Diabetes.

    So wrong according to latest research. [phlaunt.com]

    • by moeinvt (851793)

      Interesting. I lean strongly toward the "nature" side of the nature/nurture argument, so I think this is good material. However, you can see how the overweight "myth" is at least theoretically compelling.

      We're definitely witnessing an observable phenomenon in the (American) population with higher rates of obesity and higher rates of child obesity coupled with a higher incidence of type2 diabetes occurring earlier in life. I don't think the data is in dispute, so obviously "something" is going on. It see

      • by swb (14022)

        From what I've read and seen (guys like Gary Taubes and Robert Lustig), the amount of sugar (which includes sugar, HFCS and other similar sweeteners comprised of fructose/glucose combinations) consumption per capita has increased tremendously over the last century.

        Equally important is the increase in carbohydrate consumption since most food guidelines switched to a "low fat" paradigm about 1980. Carbs are 4 kcals per gram, fat is 9, so switching to a "low fat" diet is essentially a "high carb" diet since i

  • A disease is epidemic if it is contagious and a certain percentage of the population is infected. Even though (morbid) obesity is common enough for the percentage requirement to be fulfilled, obesity is not a contagious disease. It is completely self inflicted, because people that have it got it by eating too much and/or the wrong diet.

    The only mitigation for that is, once your body has made the fat reserves that make you obese, you can diet but they won't go away. Sure, they'll get smaller, but once you st

    • by Rich0 (548339)

      I'm not convinced that obesity is controllable - if anything high body weight is just like high blood sugar and is just a symptom of an underlying problem.

      It seems to me that one of two things is true:
      1. People today just are psychologically different from generations past and eat way too much food voluntarily. Maybe we all committed too many sins in our childhood or something. I've yet to hear a compelling explanation for why most of the US population voluntarily overeats.

      2. There is some underlying ph

      • by moeinvt (851793)

        I think it's merely the fact that throughout most of human evolution, the vast amount of our labor has been dedicated to acquiring enough food to survive. It's no surprise that we're "hard wired" to prefer foods with high caloric density. This is not a problem when food is scarce in general and there is rarely an opportunity for excess consumption, especially of fats and sugars.
        We still have that built in drive, but now live in an environment(USA anyway) with an over-abundance of cheap high calorie food w

    • I agree with your point about obesity being largely linked to lifestyle choices but I don't think the use of "epidemic" implies "contagion". I heard a lecture where a researcher was presenting evidence suggesting a causal link between the incidence of cancer and proliferation of petro-chemicals in the environment. He described cancer as "an epidemic" in the U.S. merely due to the % of people who will get some form of cancer in their lifetime.

  • Does anyone have a good current link?
  • How about research into that? The reputable sources and limited studies show that obese people with type II diabetes almost all seem to revert to a non-diabetic status once they go on a ketogenic (very low carbohydrate diet).

    While there are certainly some portion of type II diabetes sufferers who will not respond to, people like Robert [ucsf.edu] Lustig [youtube.com] seem to believe that low carb diets have an extremely high success rate in basically eliminating type II diabetes.

    But not eating carbs doesn't sell drugs or allow peo

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