Last weekend, the Federal Government committed $6.5 million over the next five years for the Diabetes Vaccine Development Centre (DVDC) to continue its work.Established in 2003 by Australia’s National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International (JDRF), DVDC is now based at Sydney’s Garvan Institute of Medical Research.DVDC is searching for ways to prevent the development of Type 1 diabetes, including vaccination and immunotherapy, and to preserve insulin-producing cells from the early stages of disease.Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease, where the body attacks its own insulin producing cells. It is very serious, with a sudden and dramatic onset usually in childhood or adolescence, that forces people to maintain a blood glucose monitoring and insulin-injecting regimen for the rest of their lives.
Around 140,000 Australians have Type 1 diabetes, with 6 new cases every day. People with this kind of diabetes must have up to 6 insulin injections or receive a continuous infusion of insulin through a pump every single day, just to stay alive. The disease can lead to complications like kidney failure, amputation and blindness if not managed properly.
DVDC CEO Rowena Tucker has been working hard to extend and consolidate a number of clinical research projects and to co-ordinate a network of ten clinical trial sites across Australia and New Zealand.“Obviously, we were delighted to receive the news about the commitment of funds,” said Ms Tucker. “We will now be able to continue our various diabetes studies and clinical trials with certainty.” “One of the projects DVDC supports, based at Garvan, involves a therapy that targets an arm of the immune system. With promising results in mice, researchers may have identified a way of preventing onset of the disease – in other words, preventing the body from attacking its own insulin-producing cells in the first place. We would very much like to see this work move from the lab to a clinical application.”
Chairman of DVDC, Garvan’s Professor Don Chisholm, believes that the $6.5 million that will be spent to try and prevent the disease will eventually save many times that amount in health costs. “If you even manage to save 10% of the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas, you will be preventing a lot of the difficulty in blood sugar control,” he said.“You will especially reduce dangerous hypoglycaemic, or low blood sugar, reactions that are the most worrying thing for people with Type 1 diabetes. These episodes can come on very quickly and can be fatal.” “The disease becomes infinitely more difficult to manage once the body destroys all its insulin-producing cells. While devices like insulin pumps help people control their blood sugar levels, no level of management can begin to compare with the body’s own exquisitely sensitive mechanisms of control.”
Type 1 diabetes advocacy and funding body JDRF applauds the funding, emphasising that it is a significant step towards continuing the growth of Australian Type 1 diabetes research capacity and advancement. CEO Mike Wilson believes that the $6.5 million grant from the NHMRC, in addition to the $5 million committed by JDRF last year, will further develop much needed clinical trial opportunities. Clinical trials are a smart investment for Australia. Not only will this funding open up patient access to potentially life-saving new therapies for people with Type 1 diabetes, it provides reassurance that our world-renowned scientific community will be supported when translating research into real clinical outcomes,” said Mike Wilson.“Australia has one of the highest rates of Type 1 diabetes in the world and the rate of new cases in Australian children is rising by 3% every year. The situation is urgent.”
If you or any of your loved one have been recently diagnosed with diabetes then perhaps you’ll be facing the struggle of deciding what to eat and what to avoid. Of course you know sugar is off limits now but then again the natural amount of sugar or glucose in various fruits and veggies might not be known to you. And thus you can accidently end up eating the very foods that might be bad for you. Here’s a detailed idea for foods that you can eat and those which you should avoid in case of diabetes.
The foods that are good for diabetic people will not contain white flour, saturated fats or sugar. They will also not be processed. Processed foods and those containing sugar, fats and white flour contribute to raising the insulin levels in the blood and thus can make diabetes very difficult to manage.
People suffering from diabetes should focus on a diet that is rich in vegetables and fresh fruits. This is because veggies and fresh fruits are complex carbohydrates and therefore rich in fiber and nutrients that will control the blood sugar level and keep it in check. One of our sponsors known as Mister Finch, is a Fremantle based cafe which serves some of the most healthy and delicious food in the city. You can visit their website here.
Another group of foods that’s ideal for people suffering from diabetes is legumes. These include chickpeas, beans and lentils. These foods are high in protein, carbohydrates and fiber. Also because the body takes longer to digest these, the blood sugar stays stable for longer. Also these foods are low in fat and rich in nutrients so they’ll also help you manage your weight as well.
You can also introduce fish in your diet as it is rich in Omega 3 fatty acids and has been proven to aid prevention and treatment of diabetes. Also add lean chicken and turkey along with low fat dairy into your sources of food for a healthier lifestyle and to keep diabetes in check.
If so you may be eligible for a new study to see if type 1 diabetes can be prevented.
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