8 July A Vitamin For Diabetes And Its Complications? July 8, 2016 By The Fraternal Order of Eagles Diabetes Research Center 0 Prediabetes, type 2 diabetes (T2D), and diabetes that is complicated by nerve damage (neuropathy) are increasingly common conditions worldwide. These conditions are the result of progressive problems in metabolism. Prediabetes and T2D are characterized by increasing levels of blood sugar and circulating fats (lipids) in conjunction with insulin resistance. Many prediabetics and half of T2D patients develop progressive damage to their nerves that can be painful or lead to a loss of sensation. Diabetic neuropathy can lead to loss of limbs and is severely debilitating. We know that weight management and keeping active are among the most important components for preventing these conditions and arresting their progression. However, scientists are always on the lookout for healthy ingredients that can help people control their weight, improve their blood glucose control, and help their nerves stay healthy. Recent research at the University of Iowa, supported by the Fraternal Order of Eagles Diabetes Research Center (FOEDRC), suggests that an over-the-counter vitamin supplement called nicotinamide riboside (NR) may do just that. Initial studies were conducted in obese and diabetic mice. An overweight person might weigh more than 100 kilograms or 220 pounds while an overweight mouse weighs just 50 grams. But scientists frequently use mice to model human diseases such as obesity and diabetes. Just as human overweight conditions can be brought on by our sedentary lifestyles, mice that don’t have to forage for food can be made overweight by providing them with a high fat diet in their cages. The FOEDRC research groups of Dr. Charles Brenner, the Roy J. Carver Chair of Biochemistry, teamed up with Dr. Mark Yorek, associate chief of staff at the Iowa City Veterans Administration, to test the hypothesis that NR might help mice cope with obesity, diabetes and nerve damage. Brenner’s group had discovered NR as a vitamin 12 years ago (1) and had evidence that it would improve function of a metabolically stressed liver. Work from Washington University suggested that NR can help damaged nerves. Dr. Yorek’s group made 40 mice fat with a lard-filled diet and made half of those mice diabetic by damaging their insulin-producing cells. While the researchers continued to supply the fatty diet to all of these mice, half were given a diet supplemented with NR. To the investigator’s astonishment, NR helped prediabetic and diabetic mice control their blood sugar, reduced fatty liver and protected against nerve damage (2). Like most vitamins, NR is a building block for other molecules. Using a technique called targeted metabolomics, the Brenner group determined that obesity and diabetes depressed levels of a key molecule called NADPH in the liver of mice and that NR helped keep NADPH in a normal range. This experiment suggests that NR may have aided the whole body metabolism and nerve health of mice by helping them control damage from reactive oxygen species. While more experiments are needed to fully understand the beneficial effects of NR in these prediabetic and diabetic models, the researchers are excited by the potential of an over-the-counter dietary supplement to improve metabolism. They aim to conduct clinical trials of NR for obesity, diabetes and complications in coming months. These studies, which were published in the Journal Scientific Reports, were supported by the FOEDRC, the NIH, the Veteran’s Administration, and the Roy J. Carver Trust. Dr. Brenner has commercial interests in NR with its manufacturer, ChromaDex, Inc., and Healthspan Research, LLC, an NR supplier. Related Articles How Diabetes Harms The Heart Study in mice involving FOEDRC researchers, reveals heart-damaging pathway triggered by insulin, identifies possible drug targets to prevent or treat heart failure. Diabetes is hard on the heart. Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in people with diabetes, and risk for heart failure—where the heart can’t pump enough blood—is two to three times higher in men and up to five times higher in women with diabetes compared to people without diabetes. American Diabetes Association Supports FOEDRC Researchers DRC Director's Report - January 2018 Three researchers from the FOEDRC received new grants from the American Diabetes Association for groundbreaking research. The ability of our members to receive these competitive awards is truly remarkable and underscores the quality and rigor of the research that is being conducted in the FOEDRC. There are few institutions that received multiple awards in this current round of ADA funding. The awards to Drs. Ling Yang, Rajan Sah and Adam Rauckhorst are summarized below. Progress In Preventing Eye Disease In Diabetes A research team lead by Mark A. Greiner, M.D., Assistant Professor, Cornea and External Diseases in the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences and member of the FOEDRC, at the University of Iowa is doing interesting work in understanding how diabetes affects the Cornea. Casey Receives Grant Funding from American Diabetes Association Congratulations to Darren Casey, PhD, assistant professor of physical therapy and rehabilitation science, for recently receiving the American Diabetes Association Innovative Clinical or Translational Science Award. For his proposal entitled - Nitrate supplementation and exercise tolerance in patients with Type 2 Diabetes. Dr. Casey received this award after a National Competition that selected a fraction of the most meritorious proposals. DRC Researchers Publish Major Breakthrough In Understanding How Diabetes Induces Eye Damage In the retina, diabetes damages nerves before it damages blood vessels. Diabetes is a major risk factor for severe vision loss and blindness. A condition known as retinal diabetic neuropathy causes visual impairment through the degeneration of small nerves (neurons) in light-sensitive tissue called the retina, which lines the back of the eye. Technology Developed By DRC Researcher Could Preserve Vision for Diabetes Patients University of Iowa Health Care patients are the first in the nation to have access to a new technology that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to diagnose diabetic retinopathy. The technology, known as IDx-DR, is the only medical device authorized by the Food and Drug Administration that uses AI for the autonomous detection of diabetic retinopathy. The device’s algorithm makes the diagnosis based on imaging of the patient’s retina without the need for an eye specialist to interpret the results. Showing 0 Comment Comments are closed.