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    James Watson: Type 2 Diabetes Caused By Lack Of Biological Oxidants, Not Excess
    By News Staff | February 28th 2014 08:57 AM | 9 comments | Print | E-mail | Track Comments

    Nobel laureate James D. Watson, the co-discoverer of the double-helix structure of DNA, has published a hypothesis on the causation of type 2 diabetes - that diabetes, dementias, cardiovascular disease, and some cancers are linked to a failure to generate sufficient biological oxidants, called reactive oxygen species (ROS).

    Watson does not question that pancreatic tissue in people with type 2 diabetes is indeed inflamed. But he does present a novel theory of why. "The fundamental cause, I suggest, is a lack of biological oxidants, not an excess. The prevalent view of type 2 diabetes is that an excess of intracellular oxidation causes inflammation, which in turn kills cells in pancreatic tissue."

    Proper function of those cells, it is well understood, is critical for the maintenance of normal blood glucose levels. 

    Watson also argues the case for a better understanding of the role of exercise in helping to remedy this deficiency. Doctors have long told patients with incipient type 2 diabetes – those with high blood sugar levels -- to exercise, often before putting them on a well-proven glucose-lowering drug regimen such as Metformin. Exercise seemed to Watson the key to the puzzle: what was it about exercise that served to benefit people with high blood sugar?

    There were important clues, he speculated, in the chemistry of oxidation and reduction reactions. The body's cells cannot survive without making both oxidants and antioxidants. "There is a delicate balance" between the two, Watson observes. Physical exercise prompts the body to make large numbers of oxidants – molecules called reactive oxygen species, or ROS. In a cellular organ called the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), one such "species," the oxidant hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), helps forge chemical bonds (disulfide bonds) which stabilize proteins as they fold.

    When there is not enough oxidation in the ER, Watson says, proteins emerge unfolded, and cannot function. This, he proposes, causes the inflammation that harms the pancreas, sometimes causing type 2 diabetes. Hence, Watson suggests, exercise, which promotes oxidation, plausibly can have a beneficial effect on those with high blood sugar. Such benefit would be lessened if not abolished, he speculates, if such an individual consumed large quantities of antioxidants – just as athletes who take large quantities of antioxidant supplements do not seem to benefit or benefit less from their exertions.

    Watson has two take-home messages for his audience. "The first is that we sorely need to take a much more serious and thorough scientific look at the mechanisms through which exercise improves our health." Watson is planning a scientific meeting at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory later this year which he hopes will launch a larger scientific effort.

    There is a second message. "I am not a physician and I cannot offer advice about how people should treat their diabetes; I am advancing a novel idea about how type 2 diabetes can occur. But I also note that just about every doctor I've ever known tells every patient who is capable of doing so to exercise. I think exercise helps us produce healthy, functional proteins. But we really need to have some high quality research to demonstrate this."



    Citation: James D Watson, 'Type 2 diabetes as a redox disease', The Lancet, Volume 383, Issue 9919, Pages 841 - 843, 1 March 2014 
    doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(13)62365-X. Source: Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory


    Comments

    Hard to believe, when 93% of diabetics have free iron in their body.
    "Common Presence of Non–Transferrin-Bound Iron Among Patients With Type 2 Diabetes "

    Hank
    Just finding 2 curves is not telling a meaningful story.  Vegans and pregnant women often have a lack of iron but iron deficiency did not cause them to become vegans or pregnant.
    Therein lies a rub. The common consensus is women are 'bleeding to death' and vegans, plant eaters, cannot survive, they will die, because of lack of iron. This paradox, the woman of the human species is the only female of a species which is universally iron deficient, is not correct. It is a paradox believed by ignorant people. The marker used by the medical profession to judge iron deficiency is set too high therefore defining, technically, normal women as anemic, iron deficient. The medical profession believes 12 hemoglobin to be normal in women, legally prescribe iron if not that high, but, they've shown women who have hemoglobin of 11 or less do not manifest preeclampsia. So, the reason we add iron to all our foods, women bleeding to death, is wrong and this misbelief is contributing to the increased death rate of the human race by iron fortification.
    "Plant-based The addition of a variety of non-chelated forms of iron to milled grains and cereals may be the most serious mistake in the history of human nutrition"

    Hank
     It is a paradox believed by ignorant people. 
    Alt medicine alert condition: Orange.
    It has been shown what causes diabetes, studies have proven it, but medicine, doctors, have not embraced the treatment touted as, "the first really efficient antioxidant", so it seems Watson's hypothesis is, technically, wrong, since, according to evidenced based medicine, a "really efficient antioxidant" therapy, works.
    "It seems that reduced insulin sensitivity in meat-eaters is amenable to improvement by reducing body Fe"
    "Mildly elevated body iron stores are associated with statistically significant elevations in glucose homeostasis indexes"
    "Iron deprivation may represent the first really efficient antioxidant"
    "Excess Iron Storage in Patients with Type 2 Diabetes"

    Hank
    Do you know what they call alternative medicine that survives double-blind clinical trials? Regular medicine.

    This is an example of the ignorance. These young researchers found the criteria the older researchers were using, hemoglobin, was too high because even though the children were healthy and happy, they didn't meet the criteria, 'normal hemoglobin' the older researchers demanded.
    "The diagnostic criteria for iron deficiency in infants should be reevaluated."
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12468607

    I believed that a little bit of exercise is helpful to fight back the type 2 diabetes.

    Finding he reason WHY having to exercise in order to prevent diabetes might be the place to start? "work work work" or "rest and repose"? You may have been looking for evidence in the wrong places? When one works one produces nitric oxide. Nitric oxide is a vasodilator. It will 'stand in' for health, but, it won't deter the final result, decreased health, just deters it.
    "Melbourne scientists had found that nitric oxide was responsible for "pulling" glucose into the muscles during exercise, which is in turn made into energy"
    As mentioned previously, iron, proven to cause diabetes, destroys nitric oxide but when removed, nitric oxide is enhanced.
    "in type 2 diabetic patients, endothelium-dependent dilation of the coronary microcirculation is restored when iron-catalysed oxidative reactions are inhibited by deferoxamine"