Insulin-Producing Organoids Offer Hope for Type 1 Diabetics

Human islet-like organoids express insulin (green). Credit: Salk Institute

Managing Type 1 Diabetes 

Heath Editor’s Note: With type 1 diabetes the body no longer makes insulin which is needed to allow sugar to move into cells to sustain cell life and body system functions. Someone with type 1 diabetes must take replacement doses of insulin and eat a diet where the sugar intake is continuously monitored. This involves frequent finger sticks to get blood samples to test for the level of sugar in the blood during the day. 

The only true way to manage type 1 diabetes is to have a transplant of pancreatic islet cells from an organ donor. The issue is that there are not enough organ donors to accommodate all type 1 diabetics. Plus, there is danger of rejection of a pancreas so the person with a transplant will have to take immune suppressing drugs for the rest of his or her life.

Now, there may be another way to live with type 1 diabetes.  Artificially made pancreatic islet cells can secrete insulin and act like a pancreas. Also, these human islet-like organoids can be fitted with an invisibility cloak to prevent an immune attack by the body and ultimate rejection.    

This is very hopeful and exciting news for type 1 diabetics….Carol




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  1. John, Type 1 diabetes is actually an autoimmune disease. My question is why we are seeing so many autoimmune diseases. The body attacking itself. Some of these autoimmune diseases are multiple sclerosis, reactive arthritis, pernicious anemia, rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus. Diabetes is a health issue all over the world, not just in the U.S.

  2. In corporate controlled America, in 2020, you have to be your own health advocate. There all all kinds of causes for unhealthy dietary compulsions, ranging from addiction to the feeling of hopelessness. I know it’s cliche, but when it comes dietary choices and health, where there’s the will, there’s a way. There are a lot of really good guides out there, especially on social media. The hardest part is, and always has been, getting started.

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