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In addition, 31 percent experienced a reduced rate of thickening of the carotid artery, which is a vessel that supplies blood to the brain

Researchers from the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio and seven other collaborating centers have led a trial that demonstrates a pill that prevents type 2 diabetes in those high at risk. 

Ralph DeFronzo, M.D., study leader and professor in the School of Medicine and chief of the diabetes division at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio, along with Robert Henry, M.D., president of the American Diabetes Association, have conducted a trial to show a pill that is capable of preventing type 2 diabetes in people who are high at risk due to obesity or their ethnicity and other markers. Type 2 diabetes is caused by abnormalities associated with insulin, which is secreted by beta cells in the pancreas. The body is insulin resistant when type 2 diabetes is present, meaning that the body is unable to store and use sugar from food and beta cells begin to die as time goes by. Currently, 40 million Americans are pre-diabetic. 

The pill is called pioglitazone, and it is marketed as Actos® by Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd., which gave DeFronzo an independent investigator grant in order to conduct the study. Pioglitazone is an insulin sensitizer for those with type 2 diabetes, which works by stimulating appetite and shifting fat from from the liver, muscles, and beta cells into subcutaneous "fat depots" under the skin where it is not harmful.

The study, which was called the ACT Now study, consisted of 602 test subjects that had a high risk of developing type 2 diabetes. They were instructed to take the pill once a day in the morning. 

According to results, 72 percent of participants benefitted from the pill and did not develop type 2 diabetes. In addition, 31 percent experienced a reduced rate of thickening of the carotid artery, which is a vessel that supplies blood to the brain. 

"It's a blockbuster study," said DeFronzo. "The 72 reduction is the largest decrease in the conversion rate of pre-diabetes to diabetes that has ever been demonstrated by any intervention, be it diet, exercise or medication."

According to Robert Chilton, D.O., FACC, a University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio cardiologist, the pill controlled participants' glucose and prevented blood vessel damage that can cause heart attacks and strokes. 

The side effects of pioglitazone are weight gain and fluid retention, but DeFronzo said these can be avoided by taking lower doses. He has admitted that the drug hasn't been perfected quite yet, but it improves insulin resistance and beta cell function, which makes the pill an excellent first step to treating and preventing diabetes successfully.

"The drug shows outstanding results," said Henry. "It is the most efficacious method we have studied to date to delay or prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes." 

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I know what will help as well...
By Marlin1975 on 3/25/2011 9:34:21 AM , Rating: 2
I know what will help as well stop eating a pile of junk and get off the couch and do some light workouts.
Stop waiting for a pill to cure something that already has a easy, cheap, and proven method.

RE: I know what will help as well...
By Lord 666 on 3/25/11, Rating: -1
By The Raven on 3/25/2011 9:52:08 AM , Rating: 2
He obviously wasn't talking about that group of people.
Troll elsewhere.

RE: I know what will help as well...
By Dr of crap on 3/25/2011 10:40:32 AM , Rating: 2
Have you watched Biggest Looser?

Many of the FAT poeple on there start out with Diabetes and as they lose the weight and get fit they don't need the shots and then after more weight loss they don't have the diabetes anymore.

So in conclusion, get off your fat ass and stop snacking and we won't have millions with type 2 diabetes because they're too fat!

RE: I know what will help as well...
By ClownPuncher on 3/25/2011 11:43:57 AM , Rating: 3
I've never seen it, since I don't watch TV. Fatty.

RE: I know what will help as well...
By Dr of crap on 3/25/2011 12:32:20 PM , Rating: 2
Sorry I'm not fatty and never have been. I'm not part of the over 50% fat in this lazy nation we have, and never will be.

You see when you start to see that your gut is to big, DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT! Eating more chips would fix it!

RE: I know what will help as well...
By snakeInTheGrass on 3/26/2011 11:43:20 AM , Rating: 2
Just out of curiosity, are either of your parents fat? Body type / metabolism seems to be largely determined by genetics. If you have skinny parents, you're likely to find it much easier to stay skinny. Is it literally impossible to stay thin if your parents are fat? No. Is it more difficult? Sure. (Metabolism, eating habits from the parents, lack of education on diet... lump them all in there...)

And if you look at large numbers of illegal immigrants, they're fat... but it seems like the people in their native areas were stocky/fat to begin with, so suddenly presented with too much available food - boom! Ignorant about diet yes, but lazy? Dunno, guess that seems like a matter of your own attitude about others. Is there a reason you're hanging around in this "lazy nation" we have anyway?

By Bubbacub on 3/26/2011 5:47:49 PM , Rating: 1
metabolism/genetics is the lamest possible excuse for being fat.

if you eat too much you get fat. it really is that simple.

the 'medically fat' (e.g. hypothyroid etc.) make up 1% or less of the obese.

why do fat people produce fat kids - because those unfortunate progeny learn to eat an abnormal amount of unhealthy food and not take enough exercise.

with regard to the article it seems to be a piece of fluffy PR from the makers of this glitazone type drug (which have been around for years and years - incidentally rosaglitazone a similar drug has recently been effectively banned in the UK due to the increased risks of heart failure and MI - ).

modern society seems to want to cling to the notion that a little pill can cure complex social problems - it can't. if we want to reduce type 2 diabetes then we should get people to eat healthily, control their weight and get exercise. unfortunately its a lot easier to prescribe a pill than to manipulate/coerce/encourage the masses into helping themselves.

RE: I know what will help as well...
By Parhel on 3/25/11, Rating: 0
By ClownPuncher on 3/25/2011 4:06:27 PM , Rating: 4
Which is why I use matte screens.

RE: I know what will help as well...
By Desslok on 3/25/2011 12:01:23 PM , Rating: 2
If you are going rag on a person maybe learn the correct use of your and you're.

RE: I know what will help as well...
By OCNewbie on 3/25/2011 12:19:47 PM , Rating: 2
"to" rag

By The Raven on 3/25/2011 4:04:57 PM , Rating: 2
The irony police have surrendered lol

RE: I know what will help as well...
By The Raven on 3/25/2011 9:51:20 AM , Rating: 3
Ironically, the advances that make life better in someways (cheap plentiful food, tv, vidya games, etc.) also cause also make it worse (obesity, apathy, etc.).

With this new tech will unfortunately come more fat people. I'm certainly rooting for them to live healthy (as I am not "racist" against the rotund), but I'm sure this won't help curtail the problem of obesity.

But is certainly nice that we have might now have the ability to help these people in some way (especially if you have friends with such problems... who doesn't?)

By The Raven on 3/25/2011 9:55:51 AM , Rating: 2
Ironically, the advances that make life better in someways (cheap plentiful food, tv, vidya games, etc.) also cause also make it worse (obesity, apathy, etc.).

Like spelling and grammar checks ;-)

RE: I know what will help as well...
By dissonanceus on 3/25/2011 9:57:09 AM , Rating: 5
Did you even read the article?

"The 72 reduction is the largest decrease in the conversion rate of pre-diabetes to diabetes that has ever been demonstrated by any intervention, be it diet, exercise or medication."

RE: I know what will help as well...
By Skywalker123 on 3/25/11, Rating: 0
RE: I know what will help as well...
By sleepeeg3 on 3/25/2011 2:01:42 PM , Rating: 1
It's not "nil." My slim grandfather had it as well, but definitely associated with fatties.

By Skywalker123 on 3/26/2011 10:10:11 AM , Rating: 2
Key word,virtually, however if you are slim and exercise and eat right the chances are almost none. You would have to have another condition to bring it on.

RE: I know what will help as well...
By JediJeb on 3/25/2011 2:08:36 PM , Rating: 2
if you stay slim, exercise and don't eat junk food your chances of getting diabetes is virtually nil

There are more causes than fat for sure. My great uncle had type 2 for most of his life and he was skinny as a rail and walked 2-5 miles a day, probably more when he was younger. He still lived to be 85 years old, but in the end it didn't matter how much exercise he got, it didn't help.

For me my levels do seem to depend on how well I manage my weight. Seems the cutoff point is right at 200 pounds, over I have trouble with blood sugar and blood pressure, under and most of it goes away without any medication. I don't have to eat much at all for the weight to go on, and during the winter when I can't get outside that doesn't help either since that is how I get most of my exercise( living in the middle of nowhere makes going to a gym difficult).

For people who may have arthritis or other problems like MS or something that inhibits their ability to exercise regularly this medication will be a big help.

By Skywalker123 on 3/26/2011 10:13:07 AM , Rating: 2
I am slim and have type II, I also have hep c, that helps bring it on.

RE: I know what will help as well...
By Parhel on 3/25/2011 2:48:41 PM , Rating: 2
Two of my immediate family members are type 2 diabetic and were never overweight in their life. My former boss as well. He was very athletic and health conscious, and was only in his mid 40s.

I'm sure all the things you mentioned help greatly to reduce your chances of becoming diabetic, but there are other factors.

RE: I know what will help as well...
By geddarkstorm on 3/26/2011 11:14:20 PM , Rating: 2
It is, unfortunately, not even remotely that simple.

Food doesn't, by itself, cause diabetes. Not the type or amount. Nor does lack of exercise by itself. Combined these factors increase the -risk-, but the risk is always there.

What causes both obesity and diabetes is apparently the metabolic hormone glucagon.

In mice with type 1 diabetes (their insulin producing cells were directly destroyed, and thus lacked any insulin at all), knocking out the glucagon receptor in the adult completely cured the diabetes. That is, without glucagon activity, insulin has no function in the adult. Or, put another way, the only role of insulin in the adult is to counteract glucagon.

Glucagon is the source of diabetes. Many things affect glucagon, which is why the paradox of type II diabetes, where insulin is high but apparently does nothing, has always confounded scientists. Even with high insulin, other signals can override and boost glucagon, leading to type II diabetes. It's a fascinating system.

Read more in this published peer review article

By myhipsi on 3/28/2011 10:44:31 AM , Rating: 2
Food doesn't, by itself, cause diabetes. Not the type or amount. Nor does lack of exercise by itself. Combined these factors increase the -risk-, but the risk is always there.

Sure, but that's like saying that smoking by itself doesn't cause cancer, the risk of developing cancer is always there, smoking just increases it. While this is true, it misses the point.

You're downplaying the environmental role, while exaggerating the genetic role. I understand that while SOME people can basically eat like crap, never exercise and still live a long healthy life, many people can't. Diet and exercise remain a critical risk factor for type 2 diabetes for MANY individuals.

Lets partake in an anthropological thought experiment shall we: A typical modern western diet consists of more than 50% grains (carbohydrates aka. saccharides aka. sugar). We've been evolving as humans for approx. 200,000 years, and as hominids for around 14 million years before that. What did we eat for over 14 million years? we certainly weren't farming, so we didn't eat grains. Likely, from studies of our paleolithic ancestors, we ate mostly plants in the form of vegetables and berries, insects, and meat from various wild animals. We gradually progressed to eating higher amounts of meat as we developed weapons and generally became more intelligent. So we can safely assume that our diet consisted of mostly vegetables, insects, and meat. 10,000 years ago something changed. Our diet changed drastically with the advent of agriculture. That's when our overall health took a dump. (don't bother arguing life span statistics, people died young in the paleolithic era for different reasons like injury, infection, viruses, etc.) Think about what the typical life span for humans would be today if it weren't for drugs, drastically lower I'm sure.

People always equate the advent of agriculture as being a great achievement that brought about feeding exponentially more people than hunting and gathering could. While this is true, unfortunately it is quantity at the expense of quality.

This study mentions the fact that diet and exercise was not as effective as this drug at lowering the risk of type 2 diabetes, I would argue that their definition of a "healthy" diet consists of the food pyramid which consists mostly of grains. How about we do an experiment where these people ate only meat, fish, vegetables, and very small amounts of fruit, berries, and nuts. I bet you'd see very different results.

Better alternative
By Kurz on 3/25/2011 9:46:36 AM , Rating: 2
A far cheaper alternative would be to stop subizing corn and their unnatural products like HFCS (Corn Syrup) and remove the quotas and Tariffs on natural sugar.

RE: Better alternative
By The Raven on 3/25/2011 10:11:18 AM , Rating: 2
Thank you. Free market FTW.
Food may get a bit more expensive, but we have so many safety nets in this country, there is no way anyone is going to starve. (Starvation prevention was part of the alleged aim of many of these subsidies AFAIK. I'm sure there was a bill called something like "The Prevention of Starving Babies Act" and everybody voted for could they not?!)

RE: Better alternative
By Kurz on 3/25/2011 10:28:41 AM , Rating: 4
Though I am all for the Free Market my reasoning extends past Free Market Ideals.

There are a few studies that link Corn Syrup to Obesity and Diabeties because of how the Body processes Corn Syrup. Very interesting science, plus Princeton just came out with a study where two mice were given the same caloric intake of food and sugar water. The difference was in the water one had Table Sugar in it and the other had Corn Syrup. The one with the Sugar water didn't gain weight, the one that took in Corn Syrup rapidly became obese.

RE: Better alternative
By The Raven on 3/25/2011 4:18:02 PM , Rating: 2
Just some HFCS here and there will not make you fat. But the way our society is structured makes it so that the effects of HFCS are maximized.

Like the reason that people drink so many dang sodas is because of the cheap cost. I mean how the hell is a bottled water the same price as a Coke? (Rhetorical question... I know that the waters subsidize the costs of the sodas) Sugar costs $$$ where HFCS doesn't (relatively speaking) thanks to said subsidies.

But I follow you.

RE: Better alternative
By ClownPuncher on 3/25/2011 11:42:59 AM , Rating: 4
Babies are uneducated and lazy, I wouldn't vote for it.

RE: Better alternative
By ppardee on 3/25/2011 2:56:51 PM , Rating: 2
HFCS is the culprit how? Do you have any access to reputable peer-reviewed, duplicable studies that I don't that show that HFCS causes/increases the risk of type 2 diabetes more than plain old refined white sugar (or even raw, unrefined sugar)?

Did you know that HFCS is about the same composition as honey? It is so close in fact that it is almost indistinguishable except by the lack of protein that are included in honey.

Tip of the Day: Don't believe everything the media tells you.

RE: Better alternative
By The Raven on 3/25/2011 4:21:47 PM , Rating: 2
Normally I would Google that for you, but since I have heard this many times by reputable sources I'm not going to bother. (Besides, Kurz linked some above)

So I'm going to ask you to show me a study that shows the opposite. That, I have NEVER heard... even from untrustworthy sources like internet trolls.

RE: Better alternative
By someguy123 on 3/25/2011 4:49:24 PM , Rating: 2
The first article shows some correlation with increase in HFCS intake and increase in weight, but the more alarming thing is the intake of overall sweeteners being 1/3 to 1/2 of their total carb intake, with HFCS making up only 1/5.

The second one isn't even a study, it's just an article discussing results of a study.

Neither of these links are about diabetes.

RE: Better alternative
By Kurz on 3/26/2011 8:20:35 AM , Rating: 1
So whats the primary cause of Diabetes then?
Last time I checked Type 2 Diabetes was primarily caused by something called over abundance of fat.

RE: Better alternative
By geddarkstorm on 3/26/2011 11:23:48 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, it seems to be caused by over abundance of the hormone glucagon, which can be stimulated by large amounts of adipose tissue hormones (more adipose tissue, means a larger hormonal response by that tissue in response to normal stimuli, which in turns leads to over production of glucagon). However, many other signals can also stimulate glucagon. Fructose happens to be hard on the cellular metabolic pathways (it can act to negatively regulate glycolysis, basically gumming up the works, and making cells think they are starving), so it might also be able to aberrantly stimulate glucagon production.

RE: Better alternative
By banthracis on 3/28/2011 10:55:09 AM , Rating: 2
The lack of understanding by many of you about the basics of diabetes is quite astounding.

The assumption that all obese individuals are diabetic and that thin or normal weight individuals can not develop diabetes, is a complete myth.

Plenty of overweight or obese individuals do not have diabetes, and plenty of normal weight individuals develop diabetes. Lets look at some numbers to demonstrate this.

2007-2008 CDC statistics indicate that 34% of American are overweight (BMI >25 but <30), another 34% are obese (BMI >30)1. Despite this, we don't see 68% of American's with diabetes. In fact, per CDC 2011 statistics, 8.3% of Americans are diabetic, including diagnoses and undiagnosed cases.2

Even if we assume every single diabetic is overweight or obese (which is NOT true), that still means 88% of American's that are obese or overweight are not diabetic. Your assumptions that obesity and sedentary lifestyle being the primary cause for diabetes is a poorly conceived misconception.

There is no single cause for type II diabetes, a very complex disease. Type II diabetes is a disease of insulin resistance of which the single greatest indicator , is family history .

Overweight and sedentary lifestyle are other risk factors, but by no means the most important ones. Equally important risk factors are race or ethnic background, hypertension and abnormal cholesterol (Low LDL, High HDL and high triglycerides).

While I do not recall the exact numbers, the correlation between family history and chances of developing diabetes are higher than the correlation between obesity and developing diabetes (with the exception of morbid obesity).

You can read about some more diabetes myths here:

In addition, their does not exist an easy, cheap and proven method to prevent diabetes. Staying thin won't prevent diabetes, and as already mentioned, plays a much lesser role than family history.

Even obesity is a complex disease without a clear treatment. Adipose (fat) cells that develop pre-puberty are destroyed by the body, yet adipose cells that develop post puberty do not die out, merely shrink. Hence, why it is easy to stay thin if one has always been thin, but very difficult to maintain weight loss if one has been overweight.

The mechanism behind this, (SIRT1 gene demonstrates a high correlation in current research) would go a far way in developing an effective method to maintain weight loss.

- YS Zhu, MD, PhD
Department of Medicine, Division of Endocrinology
Weill Cornell Medical College/New York Presbyterian Hospital

1. Ogden, C and Carroll, M, Prevalence of Overweight, Obesity, and Extreme Obesity Among Adults: United States, Trends 1976-1980 through 2007-2008. CDC, 2010 June 18.
2. 2011 National Diabetes Fact Sheet, CDC.

RE: Better alternative
By banthracis on 3/28/2011 11:02:01 AM , Rating: 2
Correction. Abnormal Cholesterol is defined as High LDL (>130 mg/dL) and Low HDL(< 40mg/dL) and total cholesterol < 200 mg/dL, not Low LDL and high HDL as I accidentally wrote above.

By therealnickdanger on 3/25/2011 9:49:14 AM , Rating: 3
I'm not going to call shenanigans outright, but how do they know the test subjects will get Type 2 without the pills? It's one thing to say that certain lifestyles will lead to diabetes, but it's quite another to say with 100% certainty that your test subjects will get it and then to further conclude that the pill saved them from getting it.

I'm do not work professionally in medicine, so take my comment for what it's worth.

By mcnabney on 3/25/2011 9:57:09 AM , Rating: 2
If the study is lengthy and large they could get that data.

I came to a different conclusion. The drug removes fat from internal organs and deposits it under the skin, creating a higher degree of 'fat visibility'. Maybe the drug is just making the testers 'look fatter' and that visible presentation is altering their eating habits. Those better eating habits are causing the drop in type 2 diabetes.

By Parhel on 3/25/2011 10:30:33 AM , Rating: 2
Just Google prediabetes. Prediabetes is a diagnosis in and of itself, and it's pretty common. Type 2 diabetes isn't something you get overnight.

What we eat is the problem
By BernardP on 3/25/2011 3:50:12 PM , Rating: 2
People have to stop thinking about fixing everything with a pill. It's a matter of what food they eat. Fat and cholesterol are not the problem.

Recommended reading, from Gary Taubes

Preventative pill?
By Autisticgramma on 3/25/2011 6:36:10 PM , Rating: 2
I see lots of people talking about Fat, Overeating, under-exercise, and fixing it. All of it is missing the point.

Since when do you take a pill to prevent anything, medicating people Before they're sick, is a leap I'm not prepared to make.

Preventative medication for radiation exposure - Great! (it's in your salt)

Preventative Medication for obesity (as well as employment) is called: Crack, cocaine, Meth.

Preventative Medication for Diabetes? Veggies, and walking to the store to get them. It's not some compound made by some A$$hole in a hair net in some other country. Charging you 5000% margin, cause OMG some day you might die.

Piss and Ink any one?

...or just stop eating carbs
By chris00 on 3/28/2011 4:27:47 AM , Rating: 2
Excessive comsumption of carbohydrates has long been known to be the cause of type-II diabetes. Dumping large amounts of glucose into your bloodstream causes your body to react by dumping equally large amounts of insuling into your blood stream. The constant, life-long exposure to such large amounts of insulin simply causes a resistance to develop, just like you will develop a resistance to anything you are exposed to, for example, exposure to sunlight causes resistance in the form of tanning.

Stopping eating carbs is a gauranteed, infallible cure for type-II diabetes.

By sleepeeg3 on 3/25/11, Rating: 0
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