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Cord Blood May Help Prevent Diabetes

Scientists at the University of Florida have found that blood umbilical cord might safely preserve insulin in children newly diagnosed with type I diabetes, and this may be a new potential remedy for the disease. Results of the study were presented during the 67`h Scientific Sessions of the American Diabetes Association in Chicago, Illinois. Dr. Michael Haller and his team at the University of Florida’s College of Medicine successfully transfused Il children with type I diabetes with stem cells isolated from umbilical cord blood. Three more children are scheduled to undergo this test.

The children in the study received two to seven transfusions of the stem cell’s from umbilical cord blood. Results were taken after six months and it showed that their hemoglobin Alc (HbAlc) levels were lower at 7.0 percent, compared with 8.0 percent in a randomly selected group of children who only received insulin injections for treatment.

Dr. Haller, in an interview with Reuters health said, “We can confidently say this is safe, and we have seen metabolic and immunologic changes to suggest there may be benefit. We hope these cells can either lessen the immune system’s attack on the pancreas or possibly introduce stem cells that can differentiate into insulin-producing cells”. He adds that this is not a cure for diabetes, but it is indeed a stepping stone in finding one.

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