A study done by the Australian researchers from the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI) and the University of Adelaide linked the development of diseases such as type 2 diabetes (T2D) or high blood sugar or glucose levels, cardiovascular disease and high blood pressure or hypertension in male individuals with phthalates, a dangerous chemical toxin used for making food packaging and plastics. Plastic manufacturers use phthalates chemicals to improves the flexibility of plastics.
Researchers had conducted tests among 1,500 male adult individuals. The urine samples show a presence of phthalates in 99.6 percent of the participants, who were aged 35 years or more. Possible reasons for the presence of high levels of phthalates as per earlier studies are
They found higher sugar or glucose levels, high blood pressure or hypertension and cardiovascular diseases among participants who are with higher total phthalate levels. The association between the development of diseases with the presence of phthalates is independent of other health factors such as lifestyle, obesity or overweight, alcohol consumption and smoking. But the researchers unable to give reasons for the development of chronic diseases with the presence of phthalates. Even though researchers found evidence to the development of diseases with the presence of phthalates among men, they believe similar results among women too.
Senior author of the study was Zumin Shi, an associate professor, Adelaide Medical School, the University of Adelaide, Australia and Freemasons Foundation Centre for Men's Health. The study findings were published July 2017 in the journal Environmental Research. Title of the article was "The association between total phthalate concentration and non-communicable diseases and chronic inflammation in South Australian urban dwelling men."
A study done on mice models by the researchers shows an increase in the insulin sensitivity (means reduced blood sugar or glucose levels or HbA1c) with Urocortin 2 (Ucn2) gene transfer therapy, which activates a receptor called CRF in the insulin resistant cells. The current study by the researchers on mice models which are lacking with Ucn2 gene and fed with an unhealthy diet show lower fat accumulation, increased lean muscle tissue and increased insulin sensitivity. Other benefits include weight loss, reduction in liver fat, blood sugar or glucose control (means better HbA1c levels) and better heart function. This therapy was designed by Dr. Kirk H Hammond, MD, Professor of Medicine, the University of California (UCSD) and also co-founder of Renova Therapeutics, a biotechnology company which is going to deliver this gene therapy to the patients.
Earlier research done by Dr. Kirk H Hammond resulted in the development of Urocortin 3 (Ucn3) gene transfer therapy intended to improve heart function in heart failure patients. This therapy is similar to the current Urocortin 2 (Ucn2) gene therapy. Now the researchers are planning to conduct clinical trials for Urocortin 2 (Ucn2) gene therapy with type 2 diabetes (T2D) patients. The study findings were published in the National Center for Biotechnology Information and also presented in the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions. Title of the article was "One-time injection of AAV8 encoding urocortin 2 provides long-term resolution of insulin resistance."
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Published by Jammi Vasista, Chennai, India.