About My Health Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us
Medindia LOGIN REGISTER
Advertisement

Exact Cause of Type 2 Diabetes Identified

by Hannah Joy on March 17, 2018 at 6:18 PM
Font : A-A+

Exact Cause of Type 2 Diabetes Identified

Insulin resistance and elevated blood glucose levels were found to be not the cause of type 2 diabetes. But, the high levels of the metabolite MG (methylglyoxal) is the exact of the disease.

Scientists from the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) and Heidelberg University Hospital have now provided evidence that things might be completely different.

Advertisement


Type 2 diabetes a form of diabetes with a typical onset in middle or older age, causes severe health complications including elevated risks for heart disease and strokes, massive blood flow problems in the legs as well as severe damage to eyes, nerves and kidneys. These dangerous late effects are believed to be caused by high blood sugar levels, which develop when the body cells no longer respond to insulin, the regulatory hormone that lowers blood sugar.

Blood glucose levels correlate with the level of diabetic symptoms. When very high blood glucose levels are lowered using drugs, the rate of infarctions and strokes as well as blood flow problems decrease in parallel.
Advertisement

"But this holds true only up to a certain point," said Peter Nawroth, Medical Director of the Department of Endocrinology and Metabolism at Heidelberg University Hospital. "Large clinical trials in recent years have shown:

Even when blood sugar could be lowered by drugs below the diabetes threshold value, many patients nevertheless developed typical diabetic damage to nerves and kidneys. This suggests that type 2 diabetes might in fact have molecular causes that are independent of insulin and glucose."

Peter Nawroth and Aurelio Teleman, who leads the Division of Signal Transduction in Cancer and Metabolism at the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) in Heidelberg, knew that in type 2 diabetics, high levels of a glucose metabolite called methylglyoxal (MG) have been observed.

Medics have thought so far that this is an effect of elevated blood glucose levels. Since MG can cause damage to proteins, textbook knowledge consequently holds that it must be one of the culprits in causing typical diabetic damage. However, in light of their recent results, metabolism experts Teleman and Nawroth have now doubted this sequence of events.

When rats are given MG with their food, they develop many typical signs of diabetes, including insulin resistance. The Heidelberg researchers planned to investigate the effects of long-term elevated MG concentrations on the organism. They chose fruit flies as a model for this purpose.

"Flies and humans are not very closely related. However, since energy metabolism developed very early on in evolution, results are nevertheless meaningful and can usually be translated to mammals and humans," said Teleman.

Using genetic engineering, the researchers turned off the enzyme that breaks down MG in flies. The glucose metabolite MG subsequently accumulated in their bodies. The flies soon developed insulin resistance. Later, they became obese and at higher age their glucose levels also became disrupted.

"It appears to be sufficient to increase the MG level to trigger insulin resistance and typical diabetic metabolic disturbances," Teleman resumes. "This is clear evidence that MG is not the consequence but rather the cause of type 2 diabetes."

This observation, in turn, raises the question about what might cause an elevated MG level. For example, obese people who are not diabetic also display elevated MG levels. "Why this is so, we don't know. This is an important aspect of our future research," said Nawroth. Teleman adds:

"Production as well as decomposition of MG is influenced by numerous metabolic processes which we do not know yet and have to understand better. And we also urgently plan to study in mice which clinical symptoms long-term elevated MG levels cause in mammals."



Source: Eurekalert
Advertisement

Advertisement
News A-Z
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Advertisement
News Category
What's New on Medindia
January is the Thyroid Awareness Month in 2022
Menstrual Disorders
Coffee May Help You Fight Endometrial Cancer
View all

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
Diabetic Retinopathy Diabetes Diabetic Diet Otitis Media Diabetes - Essentials Diabetes - Self-Monitoring of Blood Glucose (SMBG) Insulin Delivery Devices Diabetes and Exercise Stress Relief Through Alternative Medicine Stress and the Gender Divide 

Recommended Reading
Gestational diabetes
The condition is not caused by a lack of insulin, but by the action of hormones produced during ......
Insulin Hormone
Insulin is a natural hormone that controls our blood sugar. Learn about types of insulin and ......
Metabolic Syndrome
Metabolic Syndrome is associated with sedentary lifestyle .It makes a person more prone to ......
Diabetes Type 2 and Its Link to Sugar-Sweetened Beverages
Sugar-sweetened beverages contribute to metabolic syndrome leading to higher risk for type-2 ......
Diabetes
A comprehensive article on diabetes - both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, including : causes, signs, sy...
Diabetes - Essentials
Diabetes is a metabolic disease caused by insulin deficiency that leads to high blood sugar levels a...
Diabetes - Self-Monitoring of Blood Glucose (SMBG)
Self-Monitoring Of Blood Glucose (SMBG) is one of the greatest advancements in the management of Di...
Diabetes and Exercise
Regular exercise especially in type II diabetes not only helps reduce the sugar but also reduces the...
Diabetic Diet
The diabetic diet most often recommended is high in dietary fiber (especially soluble fiber) and nut...
Diabetic Retinopathy
The term ‘diabetic retinopathy’ refers to changes in the retina which often occur in people with ......
Insulin Delivery Devices
Insulin delivery devices have evolved drastically since their invention in 1922. They are all aimed ...
Otitis Media
Middle ear infection, or otitis media, is a common type of infection that may or may not accompany t...
Stress and the Gender Divide
Stress has become entwined in the current lifestyle of a young working couple and has resulted in th...

Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

© All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2022

This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use
open close
CONSULT A DOCTOR
I have read and I do accept terms of use - Telemedicine

Advantage Medindia: FREE subscription for 'Personalised Health & Wellness website with consultation' (Value Rs.300/-)