"Diabetes UK understandably today (Monday 17 August, 2015) raised concern on the relatively rapid growth of diabetes in the past decade – mostly type 2 diabetes, with now 3.3 million people or ca 5% of the population diagnosed with the disease" writes Professor Paul Thornalley of Warwick Medical School and Systems Biology Centre. "There are also the long term associated problems or 'complications' of diabetes that develop over 10-15 years of diabetes – damage to the kidney, eyes and nerves, and increased risk of heart disease and stroke. These lead to further health impairments. Diabetes care now accounts for 10% of the total NHS budget. We need to take urgent and renewed action to improve diabetes prevention and treatments. Keeping our weight down by eating healthy foods, healthy portion size and taking regular exercise are things we can all do to improve prevention.
"At the University of Warwick and University Hospitals of Coventry and Warwickshire (UHCW) myself and my colleague Dr Naila Rabbani (Warwick) and Dr Martin O Weickert (UHCW), are working on some exciting research which could help treat or even prevent diabetes.
"We have worked on washout from the body of vitamin B1 (thiamine) in diabetes and use of the vitamin as a supplement to decrease impact of complications. Recent research suggests thiamine supplements may also decrease risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
"In addition, since 2012, we have been working on novel healthier foods. These healthier foods are supplemented to increase the production in the body of a protein called “glyoxalase 1” which is protective against the damaging effects of sugar Our research may also lead to new drugs for the treatment of existing diabetes. Our work to help decrease risk of developing diabetes and heart disease is supported by the UK Technology Strategy Board and Unilever. We are optimistic of success. We are also currently leading a consortium of researchers seeking funding from the EU to take these new developments forward.
"The threats to health from diabetes are clear and present for many. There is much people and patients are doing to help themselves and the NHS is making as massive contribution. The University of Warwick and UHCW team are confident further help will soon be at hand through healthier foods and new safe drugs to further improve diabetes prevention and treatment."
Nicola Jones, Interim Communications Manager, University of Warwick tel: +44 (0)2476 150868 or +44 (0)7824 540863.email: N.Jones.firstname.lastname@example.org