Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Prolozone Therapy

What is Prolozone Therapy?

Prolozone Therapy is a form of non-surgical ligament and joint reconstruction pioneered by Frank Shallenberger, MD. It is a permanent treatment for many kinds of chronic pain. Prolozone Therapy is derived from the Latin word “prolix” which means to proliferate, regenerate, and rebuild. Prolozone Therapy is so named because the treatment uses ozone to cause the proliferation, regeneration, and rebuilding of new ligament and cartilage tissue in areas where they have become weak.

Injured Ligaments Cause Pain

Ligaments are the structural “rubber bands” that hold the bones, joints and intervertebral discs together. Ligaments can become weak or injured from injury excessive use, or surgery, and often do not heal back to their original strength and tightness. When this happens, this puts a severe strain on the areas that the ligaments are supposed to be holding together, resulting in pain and arthritis in the bones, discs, and joints which are affected. Also, ligaments themselves have many nerve endings which can provide additional source of pain.

How Does it Work?

Prolozone Therapy involves the injection of ozone in and around ligaments where they attach to the bone. The injected ozone increases the blood supply and flow of healing nutrients. More importantly, it also stimulates the deposition and activity of fibroblasts and chondroblasts. These cells synthesize the collagen and cartilage that the body uses to repair damaged ligaments and joints. This increase in cellular repair activity strengthens and tightens the injured tissues; thereby stabilizing the area, and removing the cause of the pain.

Why is Ozone Used?

Ozone is a naturally-occurring highly reactive molecule consisting of three atoms of oxygen. Because ozone is so reactive, it is able to stimulate fibroblastic and chondroblastic activity to an almost unbelievable extent. This high level of reactivity, combined with the innate safety of oxygen, makes ozone the ideal therapeutic molecule.

What Can I Expect?

The response to treatment varies from individual to individual, and depends upon one’s healing ability and level of injury. Some people may only need one to two treatments, while others may need as many as six or seven. Once you being treatment, the doctor can analyze how you are responding, and will then be able to give you an accurate estimate of what you can expect from further treatments. The inject process is repeated every 1-2 weeks until maximum improvement is noted. Prolozone Therapy typically results in a complete absence of symptoms, even in severe pain conditions that have been present for years. And, the most amazing thing about it is that the results usually represent a permanent fix.

What Conditions are Treated?

Back and neck pain with or without degenerative disk disease, shoulder pain from rotator cuff injuries, and osteoarthritis of the hips, knees and spine are the most common ailments treated with Prolozone Therapy. Prolozone Therapy is also excellent for many other types of musculo-skeletal pain, including fibromyalgia, carpal tunnel syndrome, TMJ syndrome, sciatica, plantar fascititis, neuromas, tennis elbow and virtually any sports injuries. It can be especially effective in treating areas that have previously been operated on because of the significant injury that occurs to ligaments during surgery.


Prolozone Therapy is a safe, natural and often permanent treatment for low back pain, degenerated or herniated discs, sciatica, neck pain, unresolved whiplash, rotator cuff tears and osteo-arthritis of the hip or knee.

Prolotherapy is a minimally-invasive injectional technique that assists with cartilage regrowth and the strengthening of ligaments and tendons in the ankle, back, neck, knee, arm, foot, and hip. By strengthening these joint structures, clients can often suspend invasive surgeries such as hip, knee replacements or ankle surgeries or assist with recovery post-op. Typical prolotherapy solution consists of sterile dextrose with a local anesthetic along with vitamin B12. Prolozone is simply the additional use of ozone gas into affected muscle or bony area in place of the dextrose solution; prolozone has the added benefit of stimulating stem cell growth. Prolozone has been used on racehorses and Olympic athletes.

Prolotherapy/ Regenerative Injection Therapy

1 – RIT/PROLOTHERAPY AND PROLOZONE are methods of treatment that provides Long-term relief from pain.

2 – Stimulates your body’s own natural healing ability.

3 – Significantly improves functions of daily living and restores your quality of life

The new Prolotherapy by Dr. Robert Jay Rowen. (March 2009)

Prolotherapy has gone to a new and better level of pain relief and joint repair. This is a modification of Prolotherapy that provides outstanding proven results based on case studies. The new technique was developed by Dr. Frank Shallenberger and is called:


This procedure uses an oxygen/ozone gas mixture which directs oxidation to the affected painful area. The affected area is anesthetized with procaine, a local anesthetic, vitamin B12 and folic acid is added to the procaine. This combination stimulates the DNA of cells to start repairs to the damaged joint and relieves pain at once. Oxygen/ozone is the most critical nutrient for energy production and healing and is the magic ingredient in the new prolotherapy.

Dr. Robert Jay Rowan said the meniscus doesn’t repair itself because cartilage does not have a blood supply. It receives is oxygen and nutrients from the synovial fluid that baths the joints. Nutrition must migrate in through osmosis. Very good results have been obtained by injection ozone directly into the joint. Ozone is a very active form of oxygen and it stimulates cartilage growth and can stimulate damaged articular cartilage back to reasonable function. The meniscus is a piece of cartilage between the femur and tibia, not on the bone surface. Another approach is growth hormone which also stimulates cartilage growth. Combine Ozone, growth hormone and prolotherapy for joint problems have had wonderful results according to my colleagues.

“According to reports I have received, prolotherapy/ PROLOZONE®. has helped joint mechanics almost no matter the underlying problem“.

The ligaments and tendons produced after RIT/Prolotherapy appear much the same as normal tissue, except that they are thicker, stronger, and contain fibers of varying thickness, testifying to the new and on going creation of tissue which stimulates the natural healing process. The injections stimulate blood vessel growth into tissues. This increases oxygen, nutrients and growth factor delivery to the areas in the joint structure which facilitates healing.

In a double blind human study, in which neither the patients nor the researchers knew who were receiving the treatment, 88.5% of those injected with the reconstructive solution (RIT/Prolotherapy) showed improvement and the other study group showed 0% improvement. It is a very conservative treatment and doesn’t remove or replace parts or weakened areas of the body. There are no side effects such as possible blood clots or infection that sometimes occur with joint replacements. There is no downtime, usually the injections are done in the late afternoon and you can return to work or play the next day.

The PROLOZONE® injection consist of the following medications

Oxygen/ozone gas mixture instead of the prolo solution. The affected joint is anesthetized with procaine which is a local anesthetic.

B12 and folic acid is added to the procaine and this combination will stimulate the DNA of cells to jump into repair action faster and longer than other treatments.

Oxygen called ozone is the most critical nutrient for energy production and healing. It stimulates the cells to excrete waste material and promotes their ability to repair themselves and the tissues around them. This makes PROLOZONE® a miracle healer as ozone is a powerful stimulant of cellular growth factors such as Transforming Growth Factor Beta (TGF-B).

The full report can be found in Dr. Robert Jay Rowen’s Second Opinion Newsletter March 2009 Vol. XIX NO 3.

Dr. Frank Shallenberger’s website

List Of painful conditions that have been successfully treated with rit/prolozone therapy

  • Chronic pain from sports, vehicle, home or work-related injuries
  • Neck, including (whip-lash), upper and lower Back, sacroiliac joint pain
  • Shoulder (rotator cuff injury), tennis /golfer’s elbow, wrist, hand, osteoarthritis, pain or tendinosus
  • Hip, groin sprain, knee, foot or ankle pain
  • Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS, RSD)
  • Degenerative Disc Disease in the neck, upper and lower back
  • Cervicogenic headaches (coming from the neck)
  • Myofascial pain syndromes
  • Pain Persistent After Spine Surgery
  • Piriformis Syndrome
  • Sciatica and TMJ
  • Spondylosis (Spinal Arthritis)

Article adapted from:

GERD Post Thanksgiving Talk 11-28-11

Good morning on this Monday after Thanksgiving.  What could be more appropriate, after the usual round of overeating than discussing the all too common experience of acid indigestion, heartburn, GERD AND repairing the cause of indigestion.

Every one of us has experienced it at one time or another, burning in the back of the throat radiating with a sharp pain into the chest after eating.  So what do we do?  We reach for a Tums, Rolaids or a purple pill to block the painful acid bubbling up from the stomach.

The myth surrounding this highly prevalent condition is that acid reflux results from too much stomach acid while the cure is to take products that block the production of stomach acid.

This myth is so pervasive that antacids are currently the largest selling medicines in the country, an amount totaling billions of dollars per year.  Greater than One half of Americans who suffer from ANY FORM OF stomach problems are treated with some form of acid blocker.

BUT the truth is…

acid reflux can actually be caused by inadequate production, not overproduction of stomach acid.

And another surprise is that, reflux generally results from the consumption of high refined carbohydrates, sugars, large meals… low in quality proteins.

People are being prescribed drugs for heartburn when it is one of the easiest medical problems to treat.   In fact studies show that, in a majority of cases, in changing from highly refined foods to lower carbohydrates, higher fiber, higher protein and smaller meals… the symptoms of gastric reflux resolve in one week!

In Contrast; by using antacids, blocking stomach acid, the stomach compensates by producing more and more acid, a rebound acid production, creating addictions to antacids.

A brief illustration of the function of stomach acid will demonstrate why I can make these bold statements.

Producing acid is a natural function of the stomach in response to eating proteins.  In fact, the acid helps stomach enzymes assume their proper form, so without stomach acid the entire digestive system is thrown off.

Stomach acid benefits us by killing microorganisms that we ingest on foods, thus protecting us from GI infections.

There is a serious misconception in the basic pathology of gastric reflux.  REFLUX IS NOT DUE TO AN OVERPRODUCTION OF ACID:  it’s due to POOR DIGESTION causing inappropriate relaxation of the esophageal sphincter (A muscle that constricts to block reflux moving from the stomach into the esophagus).

The solution is to support acid production by optimizing a healthy eating plan.

DR Jonathan Wright, makes the case in a different way.  He observes that the incidence of indigestion, heartburn and GERD increases with age, while stomach acid levels decline with age.  If too much acid were causing these problems, teenagers should have frequent heartburn, while the elderly should have much less.  Of course, as everyone knows, exactly the opposite is generally true.

So much for digestion 101.

The question is what should you do to correct the problem?

Begin by; changing from refined foods to lower carbohydrates, higher fiber, higher protein with smaller meals… you will see results….

I will have a wonderful list of about a dozen simple step you can take to prevent this condition and these helpful steps can be seen on my website.

Interesting, isn’t it, how the same culprits—highly refined carbohydrates and sugar seem to be involved in so many of our conversations.

    CUT DOWN ON OR ELIMINATE REFINED CARBOHYDRATES AND SUGAR IN YOUR DIET!  Many of my patients who have cut refined carbohydrates and increased protein for weight loss have noticed a complete cessation of gastritis, reflux and indigestion
  2. Stop smoking and reduce coffee and alcohol.
  3. Eliminate antacids – if you have to take them, take one occasionally.  Remember, antacids aggravate, causing rebound acid reflux.
  4. Work with your holistic practitioner to guide you to replenish your stomach acid with cheap and effective HCL capsules taken at the beginning of each meal. (warning- Never use HCL capsules while you are taking aspirin or any form of NSAI)
  5. Take anti-oxidants - it has been found that low levels of C, E and antioxidants encourage the growth of H pylori bacteria, a bacterium whose overgrowth is associated with gastric ulcers and reflux pain.
  6. Use Aloe Vera gel – a tablespoon rapidly soothes and heals the gut wall lining.
  7. Try Deglycerized licorice, DGL, does not reduce stomach acid but improves the protective substances in the stomach lining. Chewing DGL tablets combined with aloe gel gives incredible relief and healing.
  8. Utilize both vitamin C and an herb called Mastic gum along with bentonite, goldenseal and grapefruit seed extract as potent blockers of H pylori.
  9. Taking large amounts of filtered water between meals can assist digestion.
  10. Try a product called Sea Cure. It can also be effective in healing and nourishing the bowel wall and can be helpful in a variety of bowel disorders.
  11. The use of Cod Liver Oil is very important for healing the stomach wall lining. The vitamin D, A, and essential oil, omega 3 in Cod Liver Oil work synergistically to heal the stomach.
  12. Probiotics are essential for normalizing bowel function and protecting the stomach wall lining.
  13. Ingest adequate Fiber for regular bowels.

Interesting, isn’t it, how the same culprits—highly refined carbohydrates and sugar seem to be involved in so many of our conversations.

THURSDAY, 21 JULY 2011 10:10

Seen any walnuts in your medicine cabinet lately? According to the Food and Drug Administration, that is precisely where you should find them.  Because Diamond Foods made truthful claims about the health benefits of consuming walnuts that the FDA didn’t approve, it sent the company a letter declaring, “Your walnut products are drugs” — and “new drugs” at that — and, therefore, “they may not legally be marketed … in the United States without an approved new drug application.” The agency even threatened Diamond with “seizure” if it failed to comply.

Diamond’s transgression was to make “financial investments to educate the public and supply them with walnuts,” as William Faloon of Life Extension magazine put it. On its website and packaging, the company stated that the omega-3 fatty acids found in walnuts have been shown to have certain health benefits, including reduced risk of heart disease and some types of cancer. These claims, Faloon notes, are well supported by scientific research: “Life Extension has published 57 articles that describe the health benefits of walnuts”; and “The US National Library of Medicine database contains no fewer than 35 peer-reviewed published papers supporting a claim that ingesting walnuts improves vascular health and may reduce heart attack risk.”

This evidence was apparently not good enough for the FDA, which told Diamond that its walnuts were “misbranded” because the “product bears health claims that are not authorized by the FDA.” The FDA’s letter continues: “We have determined that your walnut products are promoted for conditions that cause them to be drugs because these products are intended for use in the prevention, mitigation, and treatment of disease.” Furthermore, the products are also “misbranded” because they are “offered for conditions that are not amenable to self-diagnosis and treatment by individuals who are not medical practitioners; therefore, adequate directions for use cannot be written so that a layperson can use these drugs safely for their intended purposes.” Who knew you had to have directions to eat walnuts? “The FDA’s language,” Faloon writes, “resembles that of an out-of-control police state where tyranny [reigns] over rationality.”

He adds:
This kind of bureaucratic tyranny sends a strong signal to the food industry not to innovate in a way that informs the public about foods that protect against disease. While consumers increasingly reach for healthier dietary choices, the federal government wants to deny food companies the ability to convey findings from scientific studies about their products.

Walnuts aren’t the only food whose health benefits the FDA has tried to suppress. Producers of pomegranate juice and green tea, among others, have felt the bureaucrats’ wrath whenever they have suggested that their products are good for people.

Meanwhile, Faloon points out, foods that have little to no redeeming value are advertised endlessly, often with dubious health claims attached. For example, Frito-Lay is permitted to make all kinds of claims about its fat-laden, fried products, including that Lay’s potato chips are “heart healthy.” Faloon concludes that “the FDA obviously does not want the public to discover that they can reduce their risk of age-related disease by consuming healthy foods. They prefer consumers only learn about mass-marketed garbage foods that shorten life span by increasing degenerative disease risk.”

Faloon thinks he knows why this is the case. First, by stifling competition from makers of more healthful alternatives, junk food manufacturers, who he says “heavily lobb[y]” the federal government for favorable treatment, will rake in ever greater profits. Second, by making it less likely that Americans will consume healthful foods, big pharmaceutical companies and medical device manufacturers stand to gain by selling more “expensive cardiac drugs, stents, and coronary bypass procedures” to those made ill by their diets.

But people are starting to fight back against the FDA’s tactics. “The makers of pomegranate juice, for example, have sued the FTC for censoring their First Amendment right to communicate scientific information to the public,” Faloon reports. Congress is also getting into the act with a bill, the Free Speech About Science Act (H.R. 1364), that, Faloon writes, “protects basic free speech rights, ends censorship of science, and enables the natural health products community to share peer-reviewed scientific findings with the public.”

Of course, if the Constitution were being followed as intended, none of this would be necessary. The FDA would not exist; but if it did, as a creation of Congress it would have no power to censor any speech whatsoever. If companies are making false claims about their products, the market will quickly punish them for it, and genuine fraud can be handled through the courts. In the absence of a government agency supposedly guaranteeing the safety of their food and drugs and the truthfulness of producers’ claims, consumers would become more discerning, as indeed they already are becoming despite the FDA’s attempts to prevent the dissemination of scientific research. Besides, as Faloon observed, “If anyone still thinks that federal agencies like the FDA protect the public, this proclamation that healthy foods are illegal drugs exposes the government’s sordid charade.”

Sign up on my face book page so you can get information up dates. Keep yourself informed on life changing health issues. Face book page; Corinne Furnari RPA CCN
Today’s show:
GMO Foods Labeling Law
Corinne Furnari PA CCN,
Wake Up Call
WBAI Radio 99.5fm
Monday 3/28/11 at 6:55 am

This mornings topic is more than a sharing of information – This morning is a call to action.

Specifically I’m going to be asking you the listeners to contact your state assemblymen and state senators to demand that they support the NY legislation soon to be voted on in both houses to require the labeling of Genetically Modified food products.

It might sound absurd to know that while food producers are required to list all the ingredients in their products, there’s *no* requirement to let the consumer know that the products that they are buying have been produced using genetically modified seeds or produce. Lack of labeling blocks all accountability for GMO products!

Somehow, businesses which produce GMOs have created a situation where the consumer and their elected state officials now have to bear the burden of proof demanding disclosure of the presence of GMOs in our foods.

You would think that if the producers of genetically modified foods believe in the superiority of their process, they would proudly advertise its presence.

We’ve all seen the label on quality computers, “intel inside” That is a proud association with a superior technology. Why are GMO producers * hiding-blocking* the knowledge of the presence of their technology from us. WHY?

“Contrary to the PR for genetically modified (GM) foods, that can now be found in up to 70% of processed foods in the US — the process of ‘engineering’ genes from unrelated species into food crops* is far from precise*.”

(Why We Need to Take a Stand on GMO, ANH-Europe website article)

Genetically Modified food represent the biggest uncontrolled experiment ever conducted by humans on humans.

By contrast in Europe, this “new technology of GMO” products is either entirely banned or fully labeled so that the consumer can make an informed choice.

In the US the FDA has refused to require labeling of genetically engineered foods, despite overwhelming American support for mandatory labeling. Consequently, some food companies are now taking action by labeling their products “non-gmo”, which means “made without genetically modified organisms”.

The U. S. may soon be the only industrialized country in the world which does NOT require labeling of genetically engineered food.

Consumption of GM food, poses a very real and serious risks to human health and the environment.

These threats have been ignored by regulators like the pro-GM FDA. These regulators have avoided detailed evaluations of GM safety, regarding it to be unnecessary and claiming GM crops are substantially equivalent to their non-GM cousins. This assumption of safety has been proven false many times over and is contested by a large group of geneticists and molecular biologists around the world.

Time is running short so please contact your local assemblyman and state senator and demand that they support the pending legislation in both houses to require the labeling of genetically modified food products. For details on the respective pending bills in each house see my facebook Corinne Furnari rpa ccn or my web site

ON the site you will also see a link to the alliance for natural health-USA’s, alert page with a direct link to your legislators. Take action now…. it’s about our health and our right to choose.

NYC has been a national leader in consumer protection health issues. Let’s keep that tradition and support our right to know.

Supporting information:
Support Your State’s Bills on Genetically Engineered Foods!
Posted By **ANH-USA** On March 22, 2011

With the federal government showing nothing but love for all things genetically engineered, some states have introduced legislation to inform and protect their citizens from GE products.

There is a round-up (no pun intended) of GE bills nationwide. Only that state’s citizens should send messages about the legislation in question. Click the Action Alert link after each state’s listing to send a message to your state’s lawmakers in support of these bills.

Action Alert for NYS
New York

[3]: Provides for the labeling of food or food products that contain a genetically modified material or that are produced with a genetically modified material.

[4]: Requires all seeds that are or include genetically engineered organisms to be labeled.

[5]: Provides for the labeling of food or food products that contain a genetically modified material or that are produced with a genetically modified material.

[6]: Enacts provisions imposing a five-year moratorium on the planting and growing of genetically modified crops in New York State.

*New York Action

The most complete and accessible compilation of documented health risks of genetically engineered foods has been undertaken by Jeffrey Smith, author of the bestseller “Seeds of Deception” and his latest book “Genetic Roulette: The Documented Health Risks of Genetically Engineered”

  • Australia, July 2000, passed legislation requiring the labeling of genetically engineered foods.
  • The European Union, in September 1998, passed legislation requiring the labeling of genetically engineered foods.
  • Japan passed legislation to require labeling of genetically engineered foods in April 2000, which went into effect in 2001.
  • The Russian government requires labeling of genetically engineered foods as of January 2000.
  • Hong Kong has legislation requiring labeling of genetically engineered foods which was overwhelmingly approved by Legislative Council in January

  • South Korea has legislation requiring labeling of genetically engineered foods which went into effect in 2001.
  • So does Taiwan.

Two new studies suggest that osteoporosis medications (biphosphonates) can cause abnormal bone formation. This suggests that after five years of use, no further benefit is seen and that medication should be stopped for a while, or perhaps even long term. The good news? Natural alternatives are far more effective than the medications and can be used long term. They can even be taken with, or instead of, the medications.

A spot of sunbathing may be just the thing to lift a man’s libido, say experts after an Austrian study finds testosterone is boosted by vitamin D.

Sun, Mar 28 2010
By JoAnne Allen

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Bingeing on high-calorie foods may be as addictive as
cocaine or nicotine, and could cause compulsive eating and obesity,
according to a study published on Sunday.

The findings in a study of animals cannot be directly applied to human
obesity, but may help in understanding the condition and in developing
therapies to treat it, researchers wrote in the journal “Nature

The study, involving rats, found that overconsumption of high-calorie food
can trigger addiction-like responses in the brain and that high-calorie food
can turn rats into compulsive eaters in a laboratory setting, the article

The scientists also found decreased levels of a specific dopamine receptor
— a brain chemical that allows a feeling of reward — in overweight rats,
as has been reported in humans addicted to drugs, the article said. “Obesity
may be a form of compulsive eating. Other treatments in development for
other forms of compulsion, for example drug addiction, may be very useful
for the treatment of obesity,” researcher Paul Kenny of The Scripps Research
Institute in Florida said in a telephone interview.

Obesity-related diseases cost the United States an estimated $150 billion
each year, according to U.S. federal agencies. An estimated two-thirds of
American adults and one-third of children are obese or overweight.

For the study, Kenny and colleagues headed to the grocery store.

“We basically bought all of the stuff that people really like — Ding-Dongs,
cheesecake, bacon, sausage, the stuff that you enjoy, but you really
shouldn’t eat too often,” he said.

They also bought healthy foods and devised a diet plan for three groups of

One group ate a balanced healthy diet. Another group received healthy food,
but had access to high-calorie food for one hour a day. Rats in the third
group were fed healthy meals and given unlimited access to high-calorie

The rats in the third group developed a preference for the high-calorie
food, munched on it all day and quickly became obese, Kenny said.

The rats in the experiment had also been trained to expect a minor shock
when exposed to a light. But when the rats that had unlimited access to
high-calorie food were shown the light, they did not respond to the
potential danger, Kenny said. Instead, they continued to eat their snacks.

“What we’re seeing in our animals is very similar to what you’d see in
humans who overindulge,” he said. “It seemed that it was okay, from what we
could tell, to enjoy snack foods, but if you repeatedly overindulge, that’s
where the problem comes in.”

Kapoor D. Eur J Endocrinol 2006; 254(6): 899-906. Testosterone replacement
therapy improves insulin resistance, glycaemic control, visceral adiposity
and hypercholesterolaemia in hypogonadal men with type 2 diabetes.

JAMA 2006;295:1288-1299. EL Ding. Harvard. Boston USA. Cross- sectional
studies indicated that testosterone level was significantly lower in men
with type 2 diabetes ….Similarly, prospective studies showed that men with
higher testosterone levels (range, 449.6-605.2 ng/dL) had a 42% lower risk
of type 2 diabetes

16 Aug 2005

A detectable decline in energy production by mitochondria — the organelles
that are the cell’s furnace for energy production — seems to be a key
problem leading to insulin resistance, and thus to type 2 diabetes,
according to studies by Howard Hughes Medical Institute researchers.

The research team said that insulin resistance — an impaired response to
the presence of insulin — is detectable as early as 20 years before the
symptoms of diabetes become evident. In fact, insulin resistance is now seen
as the best predictor that type 2 diabetes will eventually develop, said the
study’s senior author, Gerald I. Shulman, a Howard Hughes Medical Institute
investigator at the Yale University School of Medicine.

In the new study examining how insulin interacts with the energy-producing
mitochondria inside living cells, Shulman and his colleagues found that the
rate of insulin-stimulated energy production by mitochondria is
significantly reduced in the muscles of lean, healthy young adults who have
already developed insulin resistance and who are at increased risk of
developing diabetes later in life.

“This is further evidence that people who are prone to develop diabetes have
signs of mitochondrial dysfunction,” Shulman said in an interview. This is
important because mitochondria are the “energy factories” inside cells and
produce most of the chemical power needed to sustain life.

The new research, which is published in the September 2005 issue of the
open-access journal PLoS Medicine, indicates that a decreased ability to
burn sugars and fats efficiently is an early and central part of the
diabetes problem. Their new data also suggest the basic defect lies within
the mitochondria, which exist in almost every cell.

The young adults studied by the research team are the offspring of parents
who have type 2 diabetes, adding support to the idea that the risk can be
inherited, and that the problem begins well before diabetes symptoms become
evident. In an earlier research study published in the journal Science,
Shulman and his colleagues had also found that healthy, lean older
individuals have a major reduction in mitochondrial energy production that
leads to accumulation of fat inside muscle cells resulting in insulin
resistance. “These data may explain the increased prevalence of type 2
diabetes that occurs with aging” Shulman said.

In the new studies, Shulman and his Yale colleagues — Kitt Falk Petersen
and Sylvie Dufour — discovered that the mitochondria in muscle cells
respond poorly to insulin stimulation. Normal mitochondria react to insulin
by boosting production of an energy-carrying molecule, ATP, by 90 percent.
But the mitochondria from the insulin-resistant people they tested only
boosted ATP production by 5 percent.

“These data demonstrate that insulin-stimulated rates of ATP synthesis are
reduced in the insulin-resistant offspring of parents with Type 2 diabetes,”
the researchers wrote in their report. Their work offers new insight into
the early steps in the development of insulin resistance, and offers
important clues to where the problem lies.

Among their findings was also evidence for a severe reduction in the amount
of insulin stimulated phosphorus transport into the muscle cells of the
insulin-resistant participants. This also points to a dramatic defect in
insulin signaling and may explain the observed abnormalities in
insulin-stimulated power production in the insulin-resistant study subjects,
since phosphorus is a key element in the mitochondrion’s complex
energy-production process, the oxidative-phosphorylation pathway.

“Type 2 diabetes affects about 171 million people worldwide, and the number
of people likely to be affected by diabetes is expected to double by 2030,”
Shulman and his colleagues added. “Type 2 Diabetes develops when resistance
to insulin action is combined with impaired insulin secretion,” resulting in
a severe oversupply of sugars and fats in the blood. “Studies have
demonstrated the presence of insulin resistance in virtually all patients
with type 2 diabetes,” Shulman added. Diabetes is the leading cause of
blindness, end stage kidney disease and non-traumatic loss of limb, and has
associated health care costs that exceed $130 billion a year in the United

Such fundamental research is important because the problem of diabetes is
growing rapidly worldwide, and effective drugs are needed to halt or even
reverse the disease process. Understanding how the cell’s internal energy
system is controlled by the hormone, insulin, and how the mitochondria
behave, may eventually lead to improved ways to overcome or prevent

Jim Keeley
Howard Hughes Medical Institute