Happy New Year

Welcome to our annual Product Reference Guide. This month, we depart from our usual fare to bring you an overview of the main categories of diabetes products, including a collection of our comprehensive charts from 2003. We hope you find it useful!

Big News of the Month

Diabetes Health doesn’t usually report mice studies. This time, however, there is some really exciting news.

Researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston were able to reverse type 1 diabetes by injecting live spleen cells from healthy, nondiabetic mice into mice with type 1. These spleen cells then turned into insulin-producing cells (islets), reversing diabetes in the mice-even in those close to death.

In the November 14, 2003, issue of Science, Dr. Denise Faustman says that the islets are being regenerated. “The injected spleen cells contain cells that rapidly differentiate into islet . . . cells within the pancreas,” the research team writes.

The researchers project that human trials could begin within 12 months if financial support is secured. So far, the tests have been financed by the Iacocca Foundation, an organization set up by automotive giant Lee Iacocca to support diabetes research after his wife, Mary, died of complications of the disease.

More of Us Than Ever

In the United States, the number of people diagnosed with diabetes has risen to an all-time high: an estimated 18.2 million people in 2003. This reflects a 1.2 million increase in the past two years, according to the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services.

A Statement From the President

I still say that we need more oversight in how this money is being spent. Year after year, our tax dollars fund more-but for what? Where is the money going? Show me the plan.

Are We Guinea Pigs?

“Americans need to recognize that every time they put a pill in their mouth, especially a new pill that they’ve never taken before, it’s an experiment,” Dr. Raymond Woosley told interviewers at “Frontline” (PBS). Woosley is vice president of Health Sciences at the University of Arizona and was a top candidate to become commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) last year.“When a drug goes on the market,” Woosley cautioned, “[in some cases], only about 3,000 patients have ever been given that drug.”

Since 1997, more than a dozen prescription drugs have been taken off the market because of serious side effects.

Obesity Docs Prejudiced Against Fat People?

It’s true-according to a study published in the September issue of Obesity Research. Researchers used tests and questionnaires to assess bias against obese people among 389 health professionals specializing in obesity treatment. Surprisingly, these clinicians and researchers associated the stereotypes “lazy,” “stupid,” and “worthless” with obese people. Wow! Watch out for this if you tip the scales a little high.

We have more than a few great ideas on tap for 2004. You are invited to join us for a whole year of inspiring articles designed to support you in achieving healthy longevity! Don’t let your subscription lapse, and I’ll see you there.

Editor in-Chief,
29 Years With Diabetes

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