Diabetes in Mice Treated With Electromagnetic Fields: Study

Scientists discovered a successful method of treating diabetes in mouse by exposing them to electromagnetic fields.

Updated
Diabetes
3 min read
The recent discovery using electromagnetic fields to treat mice with type 2 diabetes came about by chance.
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In a research published in the journal Cell Metabolism, scientists discovered a successful method of treating type 2 diabetes in mouse models by exposing them to electromagnetic fields, according to an article published in Medical News Today.

In Type 2 diabetes, an individual’s cells do not react to insulin that is produced by the pancreas. Insulin mediates the ability of the cells to receive blood sugar. Since the person’s body signals that their cells are not receiving enough blood sugar, pancreas produces more insulin in response.

Inability of the pancreas to meet with the insulin demand leads to an increase in the blood sugar levels.

Increased blood sugar levels can contribute to a variety of serious health conditions. As many as 34 million people in the US suffer from diabetes out of which the majority have type 2 diabetes according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). India, on the other hand, is deemed as the diabetes capital of the world.

Research suggests that at least 45% of the people who suffer from type 2 diabetes fail to keep their blood sugar levels in control.

The recent discovery using electromagnetic fields to treat mice with type 2 diabetes came about by chance.

The co-lead author of the study, Sunny Huang, an M.D. PhD student at the University of Iowa (UI) Carver College of Medicine needed access to mice to practice taking their blood and measuring their blood sugar levels. Another postdoctoral researcher in the same lab, Dr Calvin Carter lent Huang the mice that were being used in an experiment to figure out the effect of electromagnetic fields on the brain activity of animals.

“It was really odd because normally these animals have high blood sugar and type 2 diabetes, but all of the animals exposed to (electromagnetic fields) showed normal blood sugar levels. I told Calvin, ‘There’s something weird going on here.’”
Sunny Huang, co-lead author, M.D.-Ph.D. student, University of Iowa (UI) Carver College of Medicine

This came as a surprise as researchers had either genetically modified the mice in question to give them diabetes or induced the disease by feeding them a 60% high-fat diet.

This proved as the starting point of the research.

“That’s what sparked this project. Early on, we recognized that if the findings held up, they could have a major impact on diabetes care.”
Huang, co-study lead

In the research, Huang and Carter in association with Dr Dale Abel, a diabetes expert and Professor Val Sheffield professor of pediatrics and of ophthalmology and visual sciences at UI discovered that by combining static electric and magnetic fields that were 100 times the Earth’s natural levels and directing these at the mice, they were successful in changing the mice’s blood sugar levels.

“We’ve built a remote control to manage diabetes. Exposure to electromagnetic fields for relatively short periods reduces blood sugar and normalizes the body’s response to insulin. The effects are long lasting, opening the possibility of an [electromagnetic field] therapy that can be applied during sleep to manage diabetes all day.”
Dr. Calvin Carter, co-study lead

According to Dr Carter, “[t]his literature pointed to a quantum biological phenomenon whereby [electromagnetic fields] may interact with specific molecules.”

“There are molecules in our bodies that are thought to act like tiny magnetic antenna, enabling a biological response to [electromagnetic fields]. Some of these molecules are oxidants, which are studied in redox biology, an area of research that deals with the behavior of electrons and reactive molecules that govern cellular metabolism,” he adds.

The scientists also discovered that exposing superoxide to the combined static electric and magnetic fields that they were generating triggered its signaling.

This signaling led to an antioxidant response that rebalanced the redox set point in the mice- the balance between oxidants and antioxidants. The team confirmed this effect with a newly devised method.

“When we remove superoxide molecules from the liver, we completely block the effect of the [electromagnetic fields] on blood sugar and on the insulin response. The evidence suggests that superoxide plays an important role in this process.”
Dr. Carter

The most important question that lies ahead now is whether it is possible to replicate these findings in humans.

Researchers intend to experiment on larger animals with a physiology more identical to humans now and explore the redox mechanism in detail.

(With inputs from Medical News Today)

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