Fat discovery could lead to diabetes treatment

Drugs to promote glucose uptake by brown fat could help treat type 2 diabetes, according to Swedish research.

Diabetes: brown fat glucose uptake could lead to treatment
Diabetes: brown fat glucose uptake could lead to treatment

The study, in the Journal of Cell Biology, found a method to stimulate glucose uptake in brown fat, which if replicated pharmacologically, could help lower blood sugar levels among diabetes patients whose insulin signalling is impaired.

There are currently more than 380 million people in the world who have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, and the risk of developing the condition is put at 30%.

The researchers from Stockholm University found a new mechanism that stimulates glucose uptake in brown fat, which has a primary function of generating heat by burning fat and sugar.

Brown fat discovery

The team said that brown fat has been shown to be one of the tissues in the body that can be stimulated to the highest uptake of glucose per gram of tissue, meaning it could rapidly lower blood sugar levels.

Professor Tore Bengtsson, who headed the research at the Department of Molecular Biosciences in the Wenner-Gren Institute at Stockholm University, said: ‘One of the most interesting characteristics of this newly-discovered signal pathway is that it differs from the signal pathway triggered by insulin.

‘This means that the signal pathway in brown fat can most likely be activated even in patients with type 2 diabetes, where the insulin signalling is impaired.’

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register

Already registered?

Sign in

Follow Us:

Just published

COVID-19 death rate highest among BAME groups, delayed PHE review confirms

COVID-19 death rate highest among BAME groups, delayed PHE review confirms

Death rates from COVID-19 are highest among patients from BAME groups, according...

GPs face hundreds of complaints over shielding and PPE during pandemic

GPs face hundreds of complaints over shielding and PPE during pandemic

GP practices have faced hundreds of complaints over issues including shielding and...

More than 3,600 GP partners lost in four years as decline accelerates

More than 3,600 GP partners lost in four years as decline accelerates

The number of full-time equivalent (FTE) GP partners in England fell by 3,636 between...

COVID-19 pandemic leaves 2.4m patients stuck in cancer care backlog

COVID-19 pandemic leaves 2.4m patients stuck in cancer care backlog

Around 2.4m patients are waiting longer for cancer tests or treatment because of...

PHE report delayed on how ethnicity affects COVID-19 outcomes

PHE report delayed on how ethnicity affects COVID-19 outcomes

Public Health England (PHE) has missed its 31 May deadline for reporting on how factors...

Lockdown complacency threatens second COVID-19 spike that could 'overwhelm' NHS

Lockdown complacency threatens second COVID-19 spike that could 'overwhelm' NHS

Complacency around easing coronavirus lockdown measures could trigger a second wave...