Falsehood flies, and the truth comes limping after it

You know when you plan to do something, and then you notice something so shocking or awful you can’t help but forget what you were doing, and concentrate all your efforts on this new thing?

I was trying to write something useful about cramp and drinking, but that was put on hold as soon as I saw this; apparently a causative link between “GMO insulin” and double diabetes. At first some chump on Twitter was asking people to “please share” (you know that mark of reliability that scientists use…) information from GMO Free USA. So I found the offending tweet, looking for clarification, but the link had already been deleted. I assume due to the overwhelming pressure of big pHARMa, or more likely because it’s absolute nonsense.

After a quick google search I managed to find some more information from the fountain of knowledge that is Green Med Info, with the promising headline “GMO Insulin Causes Type 1 Diabetes in Type 2 Diabetics, Study Finds”.

“So is it pretend?” I hear you ask. I don’t know to write in words how unbelievably made up it is. I’ll try my best though; there is as much evidence that chewing bricks causes type 1 diabetes in type 2 diabetics. It’s so upsetting I’ve had to divide this into three parts; Double Diabetes, Nonsense and Lies.

 

Double Diabetes

So, unfortunately as scary as it sounds, double diabetes is totally a thing, and people can suffer from both type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

For those of you a tad unsure of your types, I’ll briefly explain it. Type 1 is an autoimmune disease, where the body destroys the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. This is largely genetic, and can be treated by replacing the insulin. Type 2 arises from insulin resistance, where your body stops responding to insulin.This is mostly associated with obesity, and common medication is to increase insulin sensitivity, through exercise or medication.

Double diabetes occurs when people suffering from type 1 diabetes become insulin resistant. Increased levels of insulin can cause insulin resistance, so it’s not entirely unreasonable to assume that some type 1 diabetics may induce insulin resistance. That’s why it is important for type 1 diabetes to routinely measure blood sugar levels.

Also, exercise. You won’t believe how important it is to exercise if you have insulin resistance.

 

Nonsense

However, this nonsense article talks about those suffering from type 2 diabetes developing type 1, using a fairly poor study. Apparently, 6 type 2 diabetics were treated with insulin, and they developed type 1 diabetes. Well, levels of C-peptide went down, they didn’t measure insulin levels or secretion. Auto-antibodies were increased in half of the patients, but definitely not all. One began suffering from insulinitis.  Also, all of the patients were genetically predisposed to type 1 diabetes. So you could possibly say that insulin treatment prevents type 1 diabetes, as 50% of patients did not express any markers. In conclusion, with a sample size of 6, questionable results and conclusions it’s not the best study to really use as evidence for anything.

I think a little bit more background info is needed. One of the major roles of insulin is to increase glucose uptake in muscle and fat. If these tissues are insulin resistant then they can’t do this, and the levels of glucose in the blood continue to remain high. In response to this, the pancreas makes and releases more insulin to compensate. However, it cannot do this indefinitely, and after a prolonged period the pancreatic cells will begin to die. It is possible that these people then require insulin treatment in a similar way to type 1 diabetics.

But this is not double diabetes, and it is important to recognise the difference. The pancreas of type 1 diabetics cannot be rescued, but proper management of type 2 diabetes can prevent pancreatic cell death.

You may also notice how I didn’t mention GMOs or recombinant insulin at all, as neither does this study.

Recently it has been suggested that treatment with insulin alone can have negative effects, and can lead to increased rates of myocardial infarction, stroke, various neuropathies, cancer and even death. It is also worth pointing out that treatment with insulin and an insulin sensitizing compound such as metformin or sulphonylureas doesn’t show similar results. Something the review concedes, and furthermore the validity of the studies used has also been questioned.

It shouldn’t be necessary, but it’s important to state that being unable to control blood glucose and/or insulin levels are/is dangerous. Being unable to properly control them can lead to increased rates of myocardial infarction, stroke, various neuropathies, cancer and even death. Recognise the list?

 

Lies

“So why does this happen?” you probably didn’t ask as this blog has gotten really long, and you’ve gotten bored already. The truth is no-one knows; well not entirely. There’s bit and pieces of evidence, but a lot more research is needed. (That’s where I come in, so funding please!) One thing that has never been shown to cause it is recombinant insulin.

However, this doesn’t stop Green Med Info from blaming it on the recombinant insulin. Without any evidence. They claim that because insulin glargine, a long acting insulin analog, has been modified it must be bad. (These modifications are to shift the isoelectric point to a more neutral pH, meaning that insulin glargine is more soluble in an acidic pH. This is important for use, as it slows absorption in the body allowing for long lasting insulin action.)

So, yeah, baseless, wrong, stupid and dangerous. Recombinant insulin is fine. There is exactly as much evidence in my statement that shark attacks prevent double diabetes.

 

Today’s quote is from Jonathan Swift

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