In a new study from Washington University in St. Louis, researchers found that a new class of drugs the scientists developed can improve multiple aspects of metabolic syndrome.
An increasingly common group of conditions that often occur together, metabolic syndrome includes type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, fat buildup in the liver, and excess body fat, especially around the waist.
This syndrome often leads to cardiovascular disease, the leading cause of death worldwide.
People have many treatments for diabetes, but even with those therapies, cardiovascular disease remains a leading cause of death among patients with type 2 diabetes.
There is a need for new treatments that work differently from the current standard-of-care therapies.
In the study, the team tested one of the compounds referred to as SN-401.
They found it treats diabetes by improving the ability of the pancreas to secrete insulin and boosting the ability of other tissues to utilize that insulin to more effectively remove sugar from the bloodstream.
In an effort to optimize the treatment, the researchers fine-tuned the compound.
The gradual decline of this protein may have a central role in the development of diabetes and other aspects of metabolic syndrome.
The new research found that the protein also helps to control insulin secretion from the pancreas and improve insulin sensitivity, including in skeletal muscle and adipose tissue, the body’s fat stores.
The team also showed that the SN-401 compound improved multiple aspects of metabolic syndrome in two groups of mice that each developed diabetes from different causes, one because of a genetic predisposition and the other due to a high-fat diet.
In addition to improving insulin sensitivity and secretion, treatment with the compound also improved blood sugar levels and reduced fat buildup in the liver.
Most of these studies were conducted with an injected form of the compound, but the researchers showed evidence that it also could be effective if taken by mouth.
The researchers further showed that the compound does not have a big impact on blood sugar in healthy mice, which is important for its potential as a future possible therapy.
Current medications for diabetes can result in blood sugar levels that are too low. The evidence suggests that this compound does not lower blood sugar in situations when it doesn’t need to.
If you care about diabetes, please read studies about nutrient that may help reduce risk of type 2 diabetes, and diet that could improve health in people with diabetes.
For more information about diabetes, please see recent studies about common diabetes drug that could help reverse liver inflammation, and results showing this surgery can ‘cure’ type 2 diabetes.
The study is published in Nature Communications and was conducted by Rajan Sah et al.
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