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Diabetes Unit

Contact Information

Diabetes Unit
Laboratory of Clinical Investigation
9 Memorial Drive
Building 9, Room 1N105, MSC 0920
Bethesda, MD 20892-0920

Phone: 301-496-6269
Fax: 301-402-1679

Current Research

Research in the Diabetes Unit seeks to understand how nutritional supplements and functional foods modulate the biological actions of insulin and the molecular mechanisms of insulin resistance as they relate to the pathophysiology of diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular diseases, and their complications.

We employ a broad and comprehensive set of approaches that encompass molecular biology, cellular biology, whole animal physiology, mathematical modeling, and human physiology.

Current studies are building bridges from previous work to areas involving nutritional supplements and functional foods. For example, laboratory studies are investigating molecular mechanisms of DHEA and EGCG (major component of green tea) to mimic and augment beneficial metabolic and vascular actions of insulin. In clinical studies we have developed novel techniques for evaluating metabolic and vascular function in human diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular diseases. These tools are currently being used in active approved clinical protocols to evaluate effects of vitamin C, glucosamine, and dark chocolate to alter insulin resistance and endothelial dysfunction in a variety of important diseases including diabetes, obesity, and hypertension. Future laboratory and clinical studies may include investigations of magnesium, green tea, alpha-lipoic acid, and other nutritional supplements, nutraceuticals, botanicals, and functional foods. Once interesting clinical phenomena are rigorously documented, laboratory investigations to elucidate molecular mechanisms will be implemented. Conversely, exciting findings in laboratory molecular studies will be translated into clinical investigations in human disease.

Diabetes Unit, Laboratory of Clinical Investigation, NCCAM, NIH--Thumbnail of Powerpoint Slide
Diabetes Unit, Laboratory of Clinical Investigation, NCCAM, NIH--Thumbnail of Powerpoint Slide