Sunday, December 15, 2019

Retrospective #302: A pill to prevent Type 2 Diabetes?

As everyone who regularly reads this blog knows, I am not a pill pusher. I once was a big-time pill-taker, however, until I tried an alternative “treatment plan” for my Type 2 diabetes. I was a passive victim of “the current treatment protocols (that) trap patients in a lifelong regimen of drug management, obesity and escalating diabetes” (see #292).
That stopped when my doctor “prescribed” a Very Low Carb diet, to lose weight. It had the effect of putting my diabetes in clinical remission. I went from being maxed out on 2 oral meds and starting a 3rd (with an out-of-control FBG) to where I am today, with good glucose control, taking just 1 low-dose Metformin. My A1c’s are always in the 5s.
But this blog is not about Very Low Carb eating. It is about an interesting new study from some Danish researchers. According to a 2015 story in Diabetes in Control, they conducted research on “a large study population of adults (lean and obese, men and women) with normal and impaired glucose regulation.” They are from the Steno Diabetes Center, a Danish hospital and research organization owned by the drug maker Novo-Nordisk, “working in partnership with the Danish healthcare system.”
The abstract appeared in the February 2015 issue of Diabetes, the official journal of the American Diabetes Association. The interesting FINDING, which could prove to be significant: “Reduction in the glucose-regulating hormone glucogon-like-peptide-1 (GLP-1) appears to occur before the development of type 2 diabetes and obesity.”
The lead investigator told Diabetes in Control, “We found that GLP-1 is reduced by up to 25% among people with pre-diabetes and up to 20% among obese people compared to normal-weight people. This indicates that the reduction in GLP-1 is not a consequence of type 2 diabetes, but appears much earlier in the disease development and may predispose people to type 2 diabetes.” These results were all in response to an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT).
The Diabetes in Control piece also noted, “And what is surprising is that they have also found pronounced differences in GLP-1 secretion between men and women. They observed a higher GLP-1 response among women than men, but when glucose tolerance worsens, the decline in GLP-1 secretion is more pronounced in women than in men.”
Of course, as might be expected from a hospital research department “owned by Novo Nordisk, working in partnership with the Danish healthcare system,” the researchers casually said, “‘These results could have potential clinical implications as well,’ noting that GLP-1 analogs may help delay onset of type 2 diabetes,” Diabetes in Control noted. A GLP-1 analog would be a new drug designed “to PREVENT diabetes for those with prediabetes.” And…for overweight and obese patients too?
They may be on to something here. Preventing the destruction of GLP-1 would be a worthy area for further investigation. But, alternatively, developing a new drug, a GLP-1 analog, to treat the symptom rather than the cause – something that Big Pharma, working in partnership with the…healthcare system (government funding) does so well – would be a sure-fire hit. This could be a blockbuster new drug for Novo Nordisk. Think statins, or blood pressure medications, or any other of “the current treatment protocols (that) trap patients in a lifelong regimen of drug management, obesity and escalating diabetes.”
Hey, I believe in capitalism, and Novo Nordisk is not an eleemosynary enterprise. Novo Nordisk has a pecuniary interest in this research. So, let’s hope the researchers are sincere when they say, according to their press release, “We should use the findings in prevention strategies for type 2 diabetes.” Sounds good. Let them do more studies, even with government funding.
In the meantime, remember to eat Very Low Carb to preserve your GLP-1!
Note: A search in December 2019 on Google Scholar found no updates on the ADDITION-PRO study reported on above. I guess a GLP-1 analog drug is not likely to be developed, or if it was developed, was either not effective, patentable or not profitable. Second notice: Eat Very Low Carb to preserve your GLP-1, seriously. 

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