The Fight Against Diabetes : Cell Reprogramming!

Diabetes cell reprogramming

Each week we like to provide our network of followers with updates on any developments in and around the nutrition, health and supplement world. So with Diabetes on the rise, and the growing number of questions we get on what proteins are suitable for Diabetics i.e. low carbohydrate low sugar, we thought a recent publication in the Journal of Clinical Investigation that looked at cell reprogramming in fighting Diabetes was very timely.

OK, the results of this study are not conclusive and are by no means ready to be implemented into the world of nutrition and diabetes, but just like Christmas…it’s nice to have something to look forward to right!? The research behind this paper was very promising in that it may have established a way to reprogram the cells in the pancreas to produce more insulin. This is highly significant when you consider the main problem for both type 1 and type 2 Diabetes is a lack of insulin producing beta cells (although insulin receptor sensitivity is also a problem in type 2).

The researchers theorise that by adding a specific compound to a key component in our cells, called chromatin, we may in fact be able to reprogram the alpha cells in our pancreas so that they actually produce that all important insulin. Alpha cells ordinarily secrete the hormone glucagon which is responsible for unlocking our glucose stores (glycogen) so that we can use it for energy (in turn increasing blood sugar levels), but the researchers propose reprogramming their DNA so that they actually produce insulin instead! So in the mean time, try to remember that it is not just sugar and carbs that raises insulin, amino acids do too and therefore this must be factored when taking a protein supplement so that you reduce the risk of low blood sugars.

Should you require more info on how whey protein effects blood sugar and Diabetes then take a look at our article on ‘Diabetes and Whey Protein Supplements’.


Bramswig, N, C., Everett, L, J., Schug, J., Dorrell, C., Liu, C., Luo, Y. et al. (2013). Epigenomic plasticity enables human pancreatic α to β cell reprogramming. Journal of Clinical Investigation, DOI: 10.1172/JCI66514

About the Author

Job Role Qualified Dietitian and Sports Nutritionist Qualifications BSc (Hons) Sports Science | BSc (Hons) Dietetics Tom has always participated in sport both recreationally and competitively which led to an unquenchable thirst for information on anything health, nutrition and fitness. After leaving school Tom went on to play for a football academy during which time he studied Sport and Exercise Science. From here he went on to study a BSc (Hons) Sport Science at UEA followed by his second BSc (Hons) degree, this time at the University of Hertfordshire studying Dietetics. Tom has worked in the fitness, educational and clinical nutrition industry starting out at David Lloyd Health and Leisure Clubs. He then went on to work as a Dietitian (RD) in the NHS, during which time he conducted clinics for healthy eating, weight loss and weight gain, as well as specialised consultations on Diabetes, IBS and Coeliac disease to name a few. He has vast amounts of experience at devising diet plans and supplement regimens, as well as working in the community with schools and competitive athletes. As Head Nutritionist and Supplement expert at Discount Supplements Tom is here to provide current and evidence based health and nutrition information to help you reach your health and fitness goals!
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