An international team of researchers has identified a genetic variant associated with increased fasting glucose levels and a high risk for type 2 diabetes.
The new genetic variant controls fasting glucose levels via the release of melatonin, which implicates a link between the sleep-wake rhythm.
The MTNR1B gene stalls the release of insulin via the neural hormone melatonin.
The melatonin level in the body is high at night and declines in daylight, whereas the insulin level is higher during the day than in the night, reports Nature Genetics.
This implicates an association between the sleep-wake rhythm, the so-called circadian rhythm, and fasting glucose levels.
The researchers hope that the new findings may open up new avenues for developing effective treatments, which go far beyond the primarily symptomatic therapy approaches to diabetes used today.