Researchers have identified a gene that may promote insulin resistance, one of the key factors in the development of Type 2 diabetes. Imperial College London scientists say the IRS1 gene controls how the body responds to insulin, and that a variation in the gene's DNA promotes insulin resistance. They say the discovery could lead to new drug treatments that target the genetic problem and make the body use its insulin more effectively. Another step in understanding Dr Iain Frame, Director of Research at Diabetes UK, said: "Any research that advances our knowledge of the causes and possible new treatments for Type 2 diabetes should be viewed as a good thing.
A new study in animals demonstrates that a diet rich in coconut oil protects against 'insulin resistance' (an impaired ability of cells to respond to insulin) in muscle and fat. The diet also avoids the accumulation of body fat caused by other high fat diets of similar calorie content. Together these findings are important because obesity and insulin resistance are major factors leading to the development of Type 2 diabetes. The study is also interesting because it helps explain human studies showing that people who incorporate medium chain 'fatty acids', such as those found in coconut oil, into their diets can lose body fat. Dr Nigel Turner and Associate Professor Jiming Ye, from Sydney's Garvan Institute of Medical Research, compared fat metabolism and insulin resistance in mice fed coconut oil and lard based diets.
Though most Americans are familiar with completing a questionnaire about their family health history when visiting health care providers, an independent panel was convened by the National Institutes of Health this week to critically assess exactly what we know and what we need to learn about how this process relates to improving health. The conference focused on the use of family history in the primary care setting for common diseases such as diabetes, stroke, cancer, and heart disease. The panel has released their findings in a statement that is available at http://consensus.nih.gov. Reporting a positive history of a family disease or condition to a health care provider could prompt a range of next steps, from lifestyle changes including diet and exercise to referral to genetic services or other specialists.
University of Michigan researchers have identified a gene that acts as a master switch to control obesity in mice. When the switch is turned off, even high-fat-diet mice remain thin. Deleting the gene, called IKKE, also appears to protect mice against conditions that, in humans, lead to Type 2 diabetes, which is associated with obesity and is on the rise among Americans, including children and adolescents. If follow-up studies show that IKKE is tied to obesity in humans, the gene and the protein it makes will be prime targets for the development of drugs to treat obesity, diabetes and complications associated with those disorders, said Alan Saltiel, the Mary Sue Coleman Director of the U-M Life Sciences Institute.
A breakthrough by an international team of researchers in Canada, France, the UK and Denmark has uncovered a new gene that could lead to better treatment of type 2 diabetes, as well as a better understanding of how this widespread disease develops. Unlike most of the genes that have been shown to cause diabetes, the new gene, called Insulin Receptor Substrate 1 (IRS1), doesn't affect how insulin is created in the pancreas, but rather, how the body responds to insulin already in the bloodstream, say the researchers, whose work will be published in Nature Genetics Sept. 6. "Most of the genes that we've identified as diabetes risk genes to date reduce the function of the pancreas, specifically of beta cells in the pancreas that make insulin, " explained Dr.
Dr Brian Karet has been appointed Diabetes UK Chief Medical Advisor (Primary Care), a newly-created position jointly sponsored by Diabetes UK and the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP). In his new role, which will take up one day a week alongside his current position, Dr Karet will be the Chief Medical Advisor for Diabetes UK and the Clinical Lead for Diabetes for the RCGP. He will ensure that the Government, professional representative bodies, senior figures in the professions, and our 6, 000 healthcare professional members, recognise that Diabetes UK is at the forefront of shaping the future of diabetes care and research with the purpose of ensuring the highest possible quality of care for people with diabetes.