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Diabetes Update: Starlix

Number 3; January 3, 2001

By David Mendosa

This mailing list keeps you up-to-date with new articles, columns, and Web pages that I have written. I list and link most of these on my Diabetes Directory at

From time to time this mailing list may also include links to other Web pages of special interest.

My most recent contributions are:

  • "The Insulin Problem—How It Can Make You Fat" looks at the newly developed scientific evidence that improperly functioning beta cells can cause you to be overweight while at the same time causing diabetes. It's not that overeating causes diabetes. This article was published in the January 2001 issue of Diabetes Wellness Letter, pages 1, 7. The article is available on-line at

  • My About the Internet column "HealthTalk Interactive" is now on the American Diabetes Association's Web site at Just because they interviewed me (at isn't a reason to disqualify this site. Being able to read or listen to all of interviews on this site is a unique opportunity.

Updates include:

  • A new oral hypoglycemic agent in a new class of drugs—the sixth—won approval as a therapy on its own and in combination with metformin by the FDA December 22, 2000. In spite of several reports to the contrary, it is in a different class of drugs from Prandin (repaglinide). Starlix is a D-phenylalanine (amino-acid) derivative developed by a Japanese amino-acid company and soon to be marketed here by Novartis.

    Starlix deals with postprandial hyperglycemia—elevated mealtime glucose—which is common in people with type 2 diabetes, yet often goes undetected. Data show that patients spend a significant part of their day in the postprandial state. These mealtime/postprandial elevations contribute to overall blood glucose levels as measured by HbA1c tests. However, because diabetes management has traditionally focused on fasting plasma glucose levels (measurement of glucose in the absence of food), the surges in glucose that typically occur in type 2 diabetes patients after eating are often not evaluated.

    I wrote about Starlix for Diabetes Wellness Letter's September 2000 issue, online at

  • Everybody has his or her preferences for the best Internet resources for people with diabetes. I keep track of my preferences for the Amira Medical Web site, where I just updated the Top Ten list. The URL is

  • Searching a Web site is now easier than ever. Even if the site doesn't have its own search engine, you can use Google to search for key words on a specific site. If, for example you are looking for references to "Michelle" on my site, the syntax for Google is

    Google will find all the Web pages on that its spider has found—five. That's not perfect. The search engine on my site, which I mentioned in the previous issue of Diabetes Update, found references to her on six Web pages. What I failed to say in that issue was what while the search engine tool is on only about 20 of the most visited pages on my site, it will search for key words on any of the site's page.

    I send out this mailing list about once every two weeks. The list is free and will never include advertising.

    This is a one-way "broadcast" mailing list that is not set up to accept replies. If you have any questions or wish to unsubscribe, simply write me at [email protected]. If your friends want to receive Diabetes Update, all they have to do is write me here.

    Thanks for joining!

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