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Friday, 7th October 2011
In General Japan News,

Diabetes stem-cell research shows promise

Japanese researchers have discovered an effective method of reducing the effects of diabetes by taking stem cells from the nose and inputting them into the pancreas.

The study was carried out on separate groups of rats with either type one or type two diabetes, with each producing decreased blood-sugar levels, the Mainichi Daily reported.

The team, which featured members of the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), hopes to be able to use stem cells extracted from the subject as a safer method of treatment, rather than introducing foreign genes.

In a group of rats with type one diabetes, those who were given the treatment lived beyond 15 weeks and experienced their blood-sugars drop by approximately one-third. The rats who were not given the treatment died after just eight weeks.

Similarly, treated rats with type two diabetes saw their blood-sugars halved after seven weeks, with the effects lasting for three months.

Type two diabetes is common in Japan, with sufferers more likely to develop the disease from dietary choice and men have been proven to be more susceptible to the disease.

A study by researchers at Glasgow University showed men could develop the disease at a lower body mass index than women, meaning they might not need to have as much body fat to develop diabetes.

Professor Naveed Sattar, of the Institute of Cardiovascular & Medical Sciences, said: "Previous research has indicated that middle-aged men are at a higher risk of developing diabetes than women.

"One possible explanation is that men have to gain less weight than women to develop the condition. In other words, men appear to be at a higher risk for diabetes."

The Japanese breakthrough could go a long way to helping patients cope with their disease and Tomoko Kuwabara, chief researcher at AIST, wants to take the study further.

He told the news provider: "We hope to conduct tests on larger animals in the future, leading to new treatment methods."

Posted by Susan Ballion