It’s In the News, a look at the top stories and headlines from the diabetes community happening now. Top stories this week: a new study looks at food-as-medicine for type 2, another FDA warning about fake Ozempic, new research says gut markers may help predict who Tzield will work best for, JDRF partners with NFL and more…
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Hello and welcome to Diabetes Connections In the News! I’m Stacey Simms and every other Friday I bring you a short episode with the top diabetes stories and headlines happening now.
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Our top story this week…
You often hear people say food is medicine.. but an intensive program trying to show that’s the case did NOT improve glycemic control in adults with type 2 diabetes any better than usual care.
This was a randomized clinical trial. After 6 months, both groups had a similar drop in HbA1c — 1.5 percentage points among program enrollees and 1.3 percentage points with usual care, with no significant differences in other metabolic lab values between the groups either, the researchers wrote in JAMA the food-as-medicine participants even gained some weight compared with the usual care group over 6 months (adjusted mean difference 1.95 kg, P=0.04).
“I was surprised by the findings because the program is so intensive,” Doyle told MedPage Today. “The health system built brick-and-mortar clinics, staffed them with a dietitian, nurse, and community health worker, had weekly food pick-up for 10 meals per week for the entire family, and participants spend a year in the program.”
Costing an estimated $2,000 annually per participant, the food-as-medicine program allowed participants to choose from a variety of vegetables, fruits, and entrees each week — enough food for two meals a day, 5 days a week. They were also provided recipes and cooking instructions and met with dietitians to track goals. On the other hand, the control group was only provided usual care, a list of local food bank locations, and the option to join the program after 6 months.
The trial was conducted at two sites, one rural and one urban, in the mid-Atlantic region. It recruited 465 adults with type 2 diabetes who completed the study, all of whom started with an HbA1c of 8% or higher. All participants were also self-reported as food insecure. The average age was 54.6 years, 54.8% of participants were female, 81.3% were white, and most resided in the urban location. Of note, all participants also resided in the program’s service area and were affiliated with the health system that ran it.
“One study should not be over-interpreted,” said Doyle. “It is possible that such a program could work in other contexts, among patients less connected to a health system, or in other formats. The main alternative to providing healthy groceries and education is to provide pre-made ‘medically tailored meals.'”
“I hope the study raises awareness of the potential for food-as-medicine programs to increase healthcare engagement and to push researchers and policymakers to generate more evidence on ways such programs can improve health.”
It’s worth noting that there is very little study – much less clinical trial level study on this type of thing. The researchers say they hope it spurs more research to find methods that will have a large impact.
New information about moderate low carb diets for people with type 1.
The study published in The Lancet Regional Health – Europe is the largest of its kind to date. Participants were for different periods randomly assigned in a crossover manner to eat a traditional diet with 50% of the energy from carbohydrates, or a moderate low-carbohydrate diet with 30% of the energy from carbohydrates.
The 50 participants all had type 1 diabetes with elevated mean glucose, long-term blood sugar, and injection therapy with insulin or an insulin pump. Half were women, half men. The average age was 48 years.
Participants on a moderate low-carbohydrate diet were found to spend more time in what is known as the target range, the range within which people with type 1 diabetes should be in terms of glucose levels. The increase in time within the target range was an average of 68 minutes per day compared to the traditional diet, while the time with elevated values was reduced by 85 minutes per day.
The researchers saw no evidence of adverse effects.
Researchers at Case Western Reserve University and University Hospitals have identified an enzyme that blocks insulin produced in the body—a discovery that could provide a new target to treat diabetes.
Their study, published Dec. 5 in the journal Cell, focuses on nitric oxide, a compound that dilates blood vessels, improves memory, fights infection and stimulates the release of hormones, among other functions. How nitric oxide performs these activities had long been a mystery.
The researchers discovered a novel “carrier” enzyme (called SNO-CoA-assisted nitrosylase, or SCAN) that attaches nitric oxide to proteins, including the receptor for insulin action.
Given the discovery, next steps could be to develop medications against the enzyme, he said.
The Food and Drug Administration on Thursday warned consumers not to use counterfeit versions of Novo Nordisk’s diabetes drug Ozempic that have been found in the country’s drug supply chain.
The FDA said it will continue to investigate counterfeit Ozempic 1 milligram injections and has seized thousands of units, but flagged that some may still be available for purchase.
The agency said the needles from the seized injections are counterfeit and their sterility cannot be confirmed, which presents an additional risk of infection for patients.
Other confirmed counterfeit components from the seized products include the pen label and accompanying information about the healthcare professional and patient, as well as the carton. The FDA urged drug distributors, retail pharmacies, healthcare practitioners and patients to check the drug they have received and to not distribute, use or sell the units labeled with lot number NAR0074 and serial number 430834149057.
People who have Ozempic injections with the above lot number and serial number can report it directly to the FDA Office of Criminal Investigations.
New research indicates that information in the gut may predict how well a person responds to Tzield. That’s the medication approved earlier this year to delay the onset of type 1. These findings reported in the journal Science Translational Medicine, casts a new spotlight on the immune system’s relationship with the microbiome, revealing how gut microbes can shape the progression of type 1 diabetes. With this new knowledge in hand, clinicians may better pinpoint patients who are most likely to respond to teplizumab.
Experts are advocating for universal screening for type 1 diabetes. With the availability of Tzield and other medications on the horizon, there’s a stronger push for screening earlier in life. At least 85% of people who are newly diagnosed do not have a family history of diabetes.
Testing for autoantibodies can be completed at home through the TrialNet clinical trial program, or at a doctor’s office or lab. For instance, JDRF’s T1Detect program provides at-home testing for $55, with lower-cost options for people in financial need.
The 2024 American Diabetes Association (ADA) Standards of Care recommend more intensive monitoring for the progression of preclinical type 1 diabetes. The Standards of Care also recommend using Tzield to delay the onset of diabetes in people at least 8 years old with stage 2 type 1 diabetes.
DRF, the leading global funder of type 1 diabetes (T1D) research, is recognizing the NFL stars who showcased their creativity and a remarkable show of support as part of the highly anticipated annual “My Cause My Cleats” (MCMC) campaign.
The My Cause My Cleats initiative allows NFL players to wear custom-painted cleats during selected games to raise awareness and funds for the charitable causes closest to their hearts. The unofficial start of the campaign begins on Giving Tuesday with unboxing day events showcasing the players’ cleats and the stories behind them. It continues through weeks 13 and 14 of the season, culminating with the players donning their cleats on game day. After the games, some players donate their cleats to their chosen charities or the NFL auction, with all proceeds going toward their selected causes.
Type 1 Diabetes is a life-threatening autoimmune condition that affects people of all ages, regardless of family history or lifestyle choices. To live, people with T1D must carefully balance injecting or infusing insulin with their carbohydrate intake throughout the day and night. T1D impacts approximately 1.6 million people in the U.S. It is unpreventable, and there is currently no cure.
This year, JDRF is thankful for the support of several players who have T1D or are advocating for their loved ones with T1D, including Mark Andrews of the Baltimore Ravens, Orlando Brown, Jr. of the Cincinnati Bengals, Blake Ferguson of the Miami Dolphins, Collin Johnson of the Chicago Bears, Chad Muma of the Jacksonville Jaguars, Nate Peterman of the Chicago Bears, and Kevin Radar of the Tennessee Titans.
“The NFL players who support JDRF through the My Cause My Cleats exemplify the passion and determination at the heart of the type 1 diabetes community,” said Kenya Felton, JDRF Director of PR and Celebrity Engagement. “They serve as inspirations for many adults and children affected by T1D, demonstrating that with an understanding of T1D, effective management, and a good support system, you can overcome the challenges of the disease. Their support helps to increase awareness and is significant in helping JDRF advance life-changing breakthroughs in T1D research and advocacy initiatives.”
Since its inception in 2016, the MCMC campaign has provided a platform for many NFL players and affiliates to support JDRF’s mission, including Beau Benzschawel, David Carr, Will Clarke, Keion Crossen, DeAndre Carter, Reid Ferguson, Jaedan Graham, Jarvis Jenkins, Collin Johnson, Henry Mondeaux, Jaelan Phillips, Adam Schefter, Brandon Wilds, and Jonah Williams.
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