How Lipotoxicity Relate to Diabetes? - Diabetes 6

Tuesday, October 1, 2019
Relation of beta cells, insulin and lipotoxicity (credit to Yoon et al, 2018).

Previous post was talking about two metabolic factors that are hyperglycemia (higher blood sugar level) and glucose toxicity (glucotoxicity).

In the article with titleEffect of Metabolic on Beta Cells in the Pancreas - Diabetes 5 | Tanza Erlambang Update, we discussed the hyperglycemia. Then we discuss another metabolic factor, lipotoxicity in this post.

Lipotoxicity is medical term relate to increasing of fat (free fatty acids) in the blood. In present of higher glucose level, Lipotoxicity then have the following effect on:
- resistance to insulin for several organs such as muscle and liver.
- increasing glucose generating
- reduction of insulin production in pancreas.
- promoting unhealthy heart and kidney

Unluckily, these negative effects are increasing for type 2 diabetic patients through less beta cell mass and reduce insulin production in pancreas. 

Illustration of beta cell damage (credit to ScienceDirect)

At cellular level, Lipotoxicity may induce:

- stress on endoplasmic reticulum
- oxidative stress
- impair beta cell production, hence impact on beta cell mass
- inflammation
- authopagy

Luckily, negative effect of Lipotoxicity on beta cell could be protected by several factors such as lactogens, incretins and estrogens.

These hormones not only able to reduce toxicity effect of lipid, but also to stimulate beta cell function and proliferation.

Finally, in this case, we may conclude that not only sugar, lipid may also contribute to impair beta cell to produce insulin.

Yoon, S, Oh et al. 2019. Fatty Acid-Induced Lipotoxicity in Pancreatic Beta-Cells During Development of Type 2 Diabetes. Endocrinol., 16 July 2018.

Why 3 billion Birds Have Lost in North America?

Friday, September 27, 2019
Colorful bird, painted bunting for illustration

Scary facts showed that billion birds lost in North America during last 50 years. The number around 3 billion birds.

Of 529 species, 19 bird species lost around 50 million for each species, as reported by Cornell university recently.

Examples of species lost are following:
- red-winged blackbird
- dark-eyed junco
- sparrows
- European starling
- warblers,
- blackbirds
- finches.
- meadowlarks
- horned larks
- red-winged blackbirds
- thrushes
- swallows

Carolina chickadee as illustration

The question then, Why 3 billion Birds Have Lost in North America? The answer is combination factors, but mostly relate to:
- decreasing of bird habitats
- using of pesticides that killed insects as food sources for birds
- eaten by predators such as wild cats
- accident like glass collisions
- climate changes

Habitat is great important for birds, not only to live, but also to find food, rest and raise the chicks.

Loss of habitats mainly due to agricultural expansion, and might also because of property and industry development, especially in sub urban areas.

Now, my wonder about reduction of bird population in my backyard is getting answer. 6 years ago, I saw a quite lot of birds.

In the last few years or this year around, especially during spring season, I just see couple of hummingbirds, and I did not see any woodpeckers at all.

How about you? Do you aware that less birds in your backyard or any where else? 

Why Income Annuity is Getting Favorite?

Wednesday, September 25, 2019
Income gap, just for illustration (credit to Vanguard)

For my international friends, in case you did not know, Income annuity is an investment to provide monthly income which last for life time.

This is a kind of guaranteed income to avoid outliving of our income. We may get income payment as policy signed. People usually get regular income in the future, especially after retirement ages.

There are two choice: fix or variable regular income. Variable may fluctuate which depend on market interest.

Then, Why Income Annuity is Getting Favorite? Here the reasons:
- filling the gap of income after retirement
- may last for life or until age of 85 (depend on policy we chose)
- no annual contribution limit, while retirement accounts of 401(k) and IRAs have limitation.

Calculation of annuity payments

For better understanding, let’s say we buy US$ 100,000 annuity policy. How much regular monthly payment if we start to receive annuity income at age 60 years old?

We do simple calculation based on available formula or using calculator. Calculation is depending on some factors:
- the annuity market rate (offered by insurance agencies) ranges from 3.7% to 8.1%. We choose 6% for example only
- We estimated our lifespan reach 85. Thus number of period: 85 years old – 60 years old = 25.

Hence, the regular monthly payment is US$ 651.9 (US$ 7822.67 annually). We receive this payment for 25 years.

If we wish to get monthly payment of US$ 1500, thus, we need to invest around US$ 240,000.

How about if we die before receiving 25 year payment? Our spouse or kids will get the balance.

Effect of Metabolic on Beta Cells in the Pancreas - Diabetes 5

Monday, September 23, 2019
Level of glucose in the blood (credit to HiClip)

One group of three important factors lead to damage of beta cells is 

the metabolic factor (please see my previous post: Could Medicines 

The metabolic factor includes:

- hyperglycemia (higher blood sugar level)

- glucose toxicity (glucotoxicity)

- lipotoxicity

- hypoxia

Hyperglycemia leads to glucotoxicity in which high sugar level in 

blood could cause death on beta cell.

Many causes to Hyperglycemia, usually (in most cases) is due to:

- food consumption (not follow diabetic plan)

- drinking (too much)

- physical activities (being less active)

- sickness

- skip taking drugs for diabetic

- not using fresh insulin

- using certain medications or negative effect of drugs 

which  stimulate higher blood sugar level.

Hyperglycemia caused of glucotoxicity (credit to PainAssist).

Glucotoxicity is disorder due to untreated higher blood sugar 

condition in longer period. Disorder may damage beta cell 

functionally and structurally.

Damaging beta cells and insulin production relate tissues will have effect on:

- lowering insulin production

- increasing insulin resistance.

You might knew that hyperglycemia have negative effects on several 

organs or tissues such as blood vessels. The disturbance of blood 

supply to important organs may cause to:

- stroke and heart diseases risk be higher

- kidney problems

- vision harmful

- nerve problem.

Hence, controlling the blood sugar level is great deal for diabetic patients. 

# The other metabolic factors are lipotoxicity and hypoxia. We will 

discuss these topics by next post. 

The oldest human Ancestor is Discovered

Thursday, September 19, 2019
The face of the oldest man (credit to Daily Mail)

Many mainstream medias reported about the finding of the oldest human ancestor from Ethiopia, Africa recently.

We already knew that the 3.2 million years old Lucy was believed to be our oldest ancestor. The scientific name of Lucy is Australopithecus afarensis.

Lucy is different with ape (ancient ape) in terms of:
- start to walk on two legs
- brain
- body size
- strong jaws

The similarity that Lucy’s face is look like apes, and previously live on the trees. Even though Lucy able to walk then, but they still use their hands to hang on the trees.

Skull of the oldest human ancestor

Now, scientists found the oldest human ancestor. 3.8 million years old, Australopithecus anamensis who is older than previous discovered, Lucy.

With new finding, scientists have two hypotheses:
1. Australopithecus anamensis was Lucy’s parents. Then, Lucy had evolved to be an ancestor of Australopithecus hominins. This evolutionary line led to Homo sapiens, modern human, our selves.

2. Australopithecus anamensis had directed evolutionary line to the ancestor of Australopithecus hominins, then Homo sapiens, modern man. Lucy was not involve in this evolution process.

To find out which one is true, scientists needed to assemble reliable data of specimen from:
- different time periods
- different geographical locations
- different evolutionary trajectory.

Hope, we could settle doubt soon and understand more of our ancestors, include the way they evolved to become modern human.