According to a new study, the common diabetes drug metformin may be also used to treat cancer. Metformin is most commonly known as Glucophage, an oral glucose medication. It is often combined with other medications, each with the same basic function, to control blood sugar levels for diabetics.
Researchers say that this discovery may affect people with prostate cancer, melanoma, pancreatic or lung cancer. They administered metformin in addition to the patients’ regular treatments, and had positive results. They noticed definite differences between patients treated only with tumor suppressants and patients who received tumor suppressants supplemented by metformin.
The best breakthrough with this research is that metformin is one of the least expensive diabetes medications. It ups the fighting power of tumor suppressants without significantly raising the price of cancer treatments. Cancer medications are already expensive, and with the addition of metformin, patients may not need to pay for them for as long.
If you are diabetic, or your doctor has recommended adding metformin to your cancer treatment, consider buying online. You can buy Glucophage online for significantly less from a Canadian pharmacy than an American one.
Is it safe to reuse an insulin syringe? Bethany from California asked this question of Conditions Expert Dr. Otis Brawley on the health website CNN Health. Dr. Otis’ answer reads in part:
“Insulin syringes are expensive, and many patients want to reuse needles to save money. Many also reuse the lancets used to prick the skin and draw blood to measure blood sugar.
You are right that the reuse of insulin syringes and lancets is dangerous. A used needle can have bacteria from the skin in and on it. Bacteria can contaminate the bottle of insulin when reinserted into the bottle. The bottled insulin is a growth medium that can allow the bacteria to reproduce. Insulin is stored in a refrigerator to prevent bacterial growth. Read the full article
Photo credit: T. Miqueias
A panel of Food & Drug Administration advisors has voted 9 to 6 against the approval of the new oral diabetes drug, dapaglifozin. Dapaglifozin was developed by Bristol-Myers Squibb, and was to be marketed by AstraZeneca. The panel expressed concerns about both the medication’s safety and its effectiveness, especially in the elderly.
Dapaglifozin proved as effective as current oral diabetes medications in otherwise healthy diabetics, but was not as effective in those with impaired kidney function. The panel was primarily concerned about a potential risk of breast and bladder cancers. In a two-year study, there were nine cases of bladder cancer and nine cases of breast cancer in the just under 5478 patients taking the new diabetes medication, compared to only one case of bladder cancer and one case of breast cancer in the 3156 patients in the control group. Read the full article
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is informing the public that use of the diabetes medication Actos (pioglitazone) for more than one year may be associated with an increased risk of bladder cancer. Information about this risk will be added to the Warnings and Precautions section of the label for pioglitazone-containing medicines. The patient Medication Guide for these medicines will also be revised to include information on the risk of bladder cancer.
This safety information is based on FDA’s review of data from a planned five-year interim analysis of an ongoing, ten-year epidemiological study1, described in FDA’s September 2010 ongoing safety review and in the Data Summary. The five-year results showed that although there was no overall increased risk of bladder cancer with pioglitazone use, an increased risk of bladder cancer was noted among patients with the longest exposure to pioglitazone, and in those exposed to the highest cumulative dose of pioglitazone.
To read the Safety Announcement on the FDA website, >CLICK HERE.<
Artery cross section
As if having diabetes isn’t troubling enough, the British Heart Foundation is now warning that type 2 diabetics are more likely to have a newly discovered super-sticky “ultra bad” form of cholesterol. This extra sticky cholesterol is more likely to adhere to and build up in the arteries, forming dangerous artery-narrowing plaque. These narrowed or blocked arteries are the cause of coronary heart disease and resulting heart attacks and strokes.
The super-sticky cholesterol, called MGmin-LDL, is formed by the bonding of a sugar molecule (such as glucose or fructose) to a lipid molecule (such as low density lipoprotein) in a process called glycation. Glycation changes the shape of LDL molecules, making them smaller and denser and creating more exposed areas that are likely to stick to artery walls.
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Researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies have discovered a mechanism that stimulates glucose production in the liver in response to a drop in blood sugar. Histone deacetylasses (HDACs) are a group of enzymes that respond to what researchers call “fasting signals”.
Fasting signals kick in after long periods without food, such as overnight. HDACs are situated in liver cells, usually outside of the nucleus. The Salk researchers discovered that they move rapidly into the cell in response to fasting signals, and turn on the genes that produce glucose.
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The FDA has approved a new oral diabetes medication, Tradjenta (linagliptin) to help control blood glucose in type 2 diabetics. Tradjenta works by blocking the enzyme dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4), resulting in increased levels of hormones which stimulate the release of insulin after eating.
Tradjenta was tested in almost 4000 diabetics in eight separate double-blind clinical studies. It was studied both by as a stand-alone therapy, and in combination with other current diabetes medications such as glimepiride, pioglitazone, and metformin. It has not been tested along with insulin injections, and is not recommended for use by insulin dependent type 1 diabetics.
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Actos, an oral diabetes medication used to treat type 2 diabetes, may play a future role in combating alcohol addiction. Actos belongs to a class of medications called thiazolidinediones, or TZDs (also known as glitazones). TZDs reduce insulin resistance by binding to peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors, or PPARs. They also activate PPAR-g, a sub-class receptor which may play a role in the brain’s reward circuits involved in addiction.
“As we learn more about the brain, we are seeing a growing number of examples where medications developed initially for purposes unrelated to psychiatry may have new and otherwise unexpected applications,” writes Dr. John Krystal, the Editor of Biological Psychiatry, “New data in animal models suggest that TZDs might be promising agents in the fight against addiction.”
Research is also ongoing in the use of commonly prescribed cholesterol medications in fighting nicotine addiction. To read the whole article in Science Daily, click >HERE<.
Photo credit: tijmen
Danish pharmaceutical giant Novo Nordisk has completed clinical testing of a new generation of ultra long acting insulin, called insulin degludec. More than 10,000 type 1 and type 2 diabetics from 40 different countries participated in 17 different trials.
Trial results consistently showed Degludec to be as effective in lowering blood sugar as the current most widely used long acting insulin, Sanofi-Aventis’ Lantus (insulin glargine), with no difference in adverse effects. Read the full article
Vinegar, especially apple cider vinegar, has long been prescribed as a natural treatment for various ailments, including acne, allergies, asthma, arthritis, indigestion, insect stings, night time leg cramps, hypertension, warts, sore throat, cold sores, burns, sunburns, and even hiccups. Hippocrates, the father of medicine, used vinegar as an antiseptic and antibiotic 1000′s of years ago. Diabetics drank vinegar teas for blood glucose control before the invention of modern day diabetes medications.
Professor Carol Johnston, a nutritionist at the Arizona State University, has been studying the benefits of vinegar as a diabetes medication, researching its effect on blood glucose levels. Johnston and her fellow researchers performed three separate studies over a number of years.
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