Time for a Type 2 Diabetes Relook
This year marks the 100th anniversary of the discovery of insulin, a lifesaving breakthrough for the treatment of Type 1 Diabetes. Type 2 Diabetes is now 24 times more prevalent than Type 1 and coincides with the rise in obesity. According to University of Arizona researchers, the liver may hold the key to innovative new treatments for Type 2 Diabetes as the liver affects insulin sensitivity. We need to better understand the correlation between obesity, fatty liver disease and diabetes. As fat increases in the liver, the incidence of diabetes increases. Is fatty liver the cause of Type 2 Diabetes? How could fat in the liver result in insulin resistance or cause the pancreas to over-secrete insulin?
According to two newly published papers in Cell Reports, fat in the liver increased the release of GABA, the primary inhibitory neurotransmitter in the central nervous system. In its GABA production, fatty liver decreases nerve activity to the brain from the liver tissue. According to research professor Benjamin Renquist: ‘That decrease in firing is sensed by the central nervous system, which changes outgoing signals that affect glucose homeostasis.’
Could the cause of insulin resistance be due to the increase in liver GABA synthesis? A clinical trial is currently underway at Washington University School of Medicine to investigate the use of GABA inhibitors to improve insulin sensitivity in obese individuals.
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