Page last updated at 10:08 GMT, Friday, 13 November 2009

Researchers marking diabetes day

Research technician Ilene Neilson
Researcher Ilene Neilson recreates the Diabetes Day's blue symbol

Scientists investigating causes of diabetes and potential treatments are marking an international day recognising sufferers of the condition.

The experts at UHI, the prospective University of the Highlands and Islands, have been running clinical trials at a laboratory in Inverness.

They have also been working with the University of Aberdeen on which foods are beneficial to sufferers.

World Diabetes Day, which has a blue circle symbol, is on Saturday.

Research into the illness is conducted at the Centre for Health Science in Inverness. It is a joint initiative between UHI and NHS Highland.

Eating porridge

Two major projects are being run by scientists based in Inverness and Aberdeen.

In the first project, researchers have been trying to better understand how eating porridge, oatcakes and muesli could help people with type 2 diabetes.

Scientists believe the cereal can help control the side effects of type 2.

These side effects can lead to killer illnesses including heart disease.

The project is a partnership involving the UHI, the University of Aberdeen and the Rowett Institute, which conducts nutrition research in Aberdeen.

The other project has been investigating how gluten-rich foods could help trigger schizophrenia in people with a genetic predisposition to the mental condition.

The protein is found in cereal grains which are used to make bread and pasta.

Scientists have been studying the role of gluten in schizophrenia and diabetes and also links between the two illnesses.

The researchers said sufferers' bodies were unable to handle gluten resulting in damage to healthy tissue.

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