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A Natural Molecule that Can Improve Insulin Responsiveness Discovered

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Published on : May 13, 2014

Researchers at the Quebec University, Professor Andre Marette and his team, have discovered a derivative molecule of omega-3 fatty acids that could be used to treat type 2 diabetes and insulin resistance.  

This molecule is seen to mimic some effects inflicted by physical exercise on blood sugar regulation. 

The recent discoveries about omega 3 fatty acids have revealed that they can help prevent diabetes by helping in reducing insulin resistance, caused by diet with high levels of saturated fats. An earlier work by the same researchers had linked these effects to protectin D1, a bioactive lipid. 

During further studies, the research team found out that another lipid of the same family, protectin DX (PDX) triggers muscle cells for the formation and release of interleukin 6 (IL-6). A similar response is seen in muscle cells during physical exercise. 

Once IL-6 is released in the bloodstream, it helps control blood sugar by two ways: first, it signals liver to develop less glucose and second, it acts on muscles and indicated them to increase glucose uptake. 

The researchers tested this on transgenic lab mice that lacked IL-6 gene and then illustrated the association between IL-6 and PDX. In these mice, the effect of PDX was quite modest towards controlling blood sugar levels but in mice that were obese and had high blood sugar levels, PDX dramatically improved insulin response. 

Researchers believe that with this discovery, a substantial improvement is possible in the therapeutic strategies currently available for blood sugar control.

The complete study is published in the journal Natural Medicine.

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