March 15, 2010, Updated September 24, 2012

Diabetes is now reaching epidemic proportions. The chronic disease occurs when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin, or the body cannot effectively use the insulin it does produce. Over time this leads to serious damage to the body – particularly the nerves and blood vessels – causing blindness, loss of limbs, and eventually death.

In the US alone 23.6 million people (7.8 percent of the population) have diabetes, while worldwide the World Health Organization claims that some 180 million people suffer from the disease. In some communities around the world – like Oklahoma – a staggering 39 percent of the population has pre-diabetes or diabetes.

The figure is rising dramatically. WHO predicts that this figure will double by more than 50 percent in the next 10 years worldwide, and 80 percent in upper-middle income countries, if something isn’t done urgently to combat the disease.

The primary causes of Type 2 diabetes – the most common form of the illness – are obesity, lack of exercise. In the past most people tended to develop this in the middle years, today the age is creeping lower and lower.

Israeli scientists are at the forefront of research into diabetes, searching for ways to diagnose the illness at an earlier stage, create more effective and pain-free treatments, help treat the side effects of the disease, and understand how this disease develops in an effort to find a cure.

Breakthrough diabetes research may be closest thing to a cure [VIDEO]

The World Health Organization estimates that over 180 million people worldwide have diabetes and predicts that will more than double by 2030.

Israeli proposes to shrink Samoan waistlines

An Israeli diplomat in Samoa is bringing Israeli experts to curb increasing obesity and diabetes in the South Pacific islands.

New oral insulin capsule passes Phase 2 clinical trials

Israel drug delivery systems developer Oramed Pharmaceuticals, has reported positive results from a Phase 2A study of its oral insulin capsule, ORMD-0801, on type 1 diabetic patients.

Haifa scientists close in on new diabetes treatment

Thanks to ongoing research at the University of Haifa, it may soon be possible to treat diabetes by popping a pill instead of an injection.

Israeli patent moves closer to achieving oral insulin treatment

When Dr. Miriam Kidron, a scientist from Hadassah University Hospital in Jerusalem, first announced that she and a group of fellow researchers planned to bring an oral insulin for diabetics to market, most people thought the idea was ridiculous.

Israeli startup turns mother’s herbal remedy into a diabetes treatment

For Israeli Bedouin Dr. Sobhi Sauob, it was only natural to turn to his mother when he decided to start developing a new herbal remedy to help diabetics.

Scientists develop protein to regrow blood vessels

A new protein injection developed by Israeli researchers can trigger the regrowth of blood vessels around the heart, offering a potential alternative to risky bypass surgery.

Landmark Israeli-led study to improve diagnosis of diabetes

The World Health Organization, the US National Institute of Health and others are expected to change their definition of gestational diabetes, based on an international study led by an Israeli medical team.

Natural Israeli remedy holds out hope for diabetes sufferers

There’s nothing like a hot cup of tea on a cold day. Now an Israeli company plans to introduce a herbal tea to the US that isn’t just an enjoyable break, but which it claims can substantially reduce the blood sugar levels of diabetics.

Technion researchers find that vitamin E can help diabetics avoid heart attacks

Researchers at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology and Clalit Heath Services have discovered that taking vitamin E supplements could reduce the risk of heart attacks and stroke in type II diabetics who carry a specific version of a gene.

Pfizer puts funds behind team of Israeli all-star scientists to change traditional diabetes research

It’s become a given that Israel is a world leader in high tech and biotechnology – areas driven by doctors and scientists often with spirited visions of making the world a better place. So wouldn’t it make sense to bring together some of the top Israeli minds in a given field to form a dream-team of physicians and scientists?

Israel set to become world center for diabetes research

Israel’s contribution to the worldwide effort to find a cure for diabetes received a big boost last week when a five-year, $30 million program was launched in Jerusalem.

Israeli-Swedish team uncovers key to onset of Type 2 diabetes

Scientists at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot and the University of Umea in Sweden have unraveled a mechanism by which fat contributes to the onset of the Type 2 diabetes, which affects one out of 12 adults in the Western world and threatens to double in the next two decades, The Jerusalem Post reported.

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Jason Harris

Jason Harris

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