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Stem Cells and Insulin-free Diabetics

By: Ian Murnaghan BSc (hons), MSc - Updated: 26 Sep 2018 | comments*Discuss
Diabetes Type 1 Insulin Insulin-free

For people who suffer from type 1 diabetes, taking insulin each day is a life-saver. These injections give the sufferer insulin, helping them to keep their blood sugar within a tight, narrow range that is necessary to sustain their health and life. The idea of being able to live without insulin injections is like a dream but until now, not one with a lot of hope.

What is Diabetes?

Type 1 diabetes happens when a person's pancreas no longer makes insulin. The person's immune system attacks the pancreas – specifically the cells responsible for making insulin. Insulin is a vital hormone that you need to convert glucose from the foods you eat into energy needed to live.

Becoming Insulin-Free

Researchers recently were able to free patients with type 1 diabetes from taking insulin on a daily basis. The results lasted as long as four years in some patients. This was all made possible through the use of the patient's own stem cells, which were transplanted into their body.

Newly Diagnosed Diabetes

In a slightly older study, researchers had found that patients who had newly been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes and received stem cell transplantation were able to become insulin-free for approximately a year and a half. The study was thought to work because it was still early on in the diagnosis, meaning that the person's immune system likely had not yet destroyed all of the cells important for producing insulin in the body.

But some criticised the study because the patients had also participated in a number of lifestyle changes such as a better diet and exercise programme. Some critics thought that becoming insulin-free might have related more to these changes than the stem cells.

How it Works

In this recent study, researchers removed stem cells from the patient's blood. These were then treated and re-injected into the patient. To make sure any improvements really were due to the stem cells rather than lifestyle changes, the researchers looked at levels of an important protein in patients. This particular protein is an indirect way of looking at how cells important in insulin regulation work in the body.

While results did vary, results were positive and lasted up to four years for some patients. Since the stem cells were from the patient's own body, there was no risk of immunological rejection either, which is a real concern with other therapies.

The Future of Type 1 Diabetes

One challenge, however, is that the study was on a relatively small group of patients. It would be important to look at how a larger group was affected as well as what kinds of side-effects might occur. Still, although the group was small, it does suggest hope for patients who suffer from type 1 diabetes. The next step will also be to find ways to make it cost-effective as currently, the cost for such a therapy if it did become mainstream would be enormously out-of-reach for the average person who has type 1 diabetes. Perhaps one day, we will have an effective way to use stem cells to treat type 1 diabetes so they can live a life free from insulin injections and constant monitoring of the condition.

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[Add a Comment]
yasminkach - 26-Sep-18 @ 12:29 PM
Pls I am living in port Harcourt, rivers state, nigeria and 1 am diabetic for eight year now. How do I get cured, how do I get the drugs, what is the cost, how long will I be on the drugs to get cured and were is your closed office to me?
Blessing - 2-Dec-17 @ 6:21 AM
Does this cure need 4 monthly injections?How much will this cost?
Maxine - 28-Aug-17 @ 1:45 AM
How can curing type 1 diabetes be more expensive than sustaining it? How much does it cost for the cure,?
Maxine - 28-Aug-17 @ 1:41 AM
I would love to know that can type 1 can be cured , and in which hospital it can be treated
Kawal - 19-Nov-16 @ 3:27 PM
Description PhytoScience DOUBLE STEMCELL "Take care of your body. It's the only place you have to live." PHYTOCELLTEC APPLE STEM CELL & GRAPE STEM CELL Pack Size :- 1 Pack or 14 sachets 14 Sachets X 1200mg (Take 1 sachet daily) Pour under the Tongue and take more water after consuming a sachet of Double Stemcell with empty stomach Product Description Product Description Product Features Utilizes exclusively two different types of plant stem cells - apple stem cell and grape stem cell Unique formula - ensures the product delivers maximum effect Originally imported from Swiss - apple stem cell and grape stem cell High bioactivity - the advanced PhytoCellTecTM extraction Innovation Award 2008 European Invention Product Benefits Delays ageing process Enhances health and vitality Repairs and rejuvenat. Who Are Interest Double stemcell Please Contact Alok Call/WhatsApp-8093367177/9776987894
StemCell - 24-Feb-16 @ 8:50 PM
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