Key cause of type 2 diabetes progression you need to now

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Globally, an estimated 415 million people are living with diabetes, and about 90% of these cases are type 2 diabetes (T2D).

This form of diabetes primarily involves the malfunction of pancreatic beta-cells, which are crucial for insulin production.

Insulin is a hormone that helps control blood sugar levels. When these cells fail to function properly, it results in high blood sugar levels over time.

A groundbreaking study from the University of Oxford has uncovered a significant breakthrough in understanding how type 2 diabetes progresses.

Previously, it was known that high blood sugar (hyperglycemia) leads to a decline in the function of these beta-cells, but the exact mechanism was not clear.

The researchers at Oxford have now demonstrated that it is not glucose itself, but the metabolites produced when glucose is broken down, that are critical to the progression of type 2 diabetes. These metabolites damage the beta-cells’ ability to produce and release insulin.

This finding is crucial because it shifts the focus from glucose to glucose metabolites in the search for treatments. The study showed that the harmful effects on beta-cell function due to high blood sugar could potentially be prevented by slowing down the metabolism of glucose.

This suggests new ways to possibly slow down or prevent the decline in beta-cell function in people with type 2 diabetes.

The significance of maintaining balanced blood sugar levels cannot be overstated. Extremely low blood sugar can lead to loss of consciousness, as the brain is deprived of its primary fuel.

Conversely, chronically high blood sugar can lead to severe complications, including diseases of the eyes, kidneys, nerves, and heart.

Unlike type 1 diabetes, where the beta-cells are destroyed, in type 2 diabetes, these cells still exist but their function is impaired.

They contain less insulin and do not release insulin effectively when blood sugar levels rise. This study highlights that a byproduct of glucose metabolism is a key factor in this malfunction.

Further understanding of how glucose metabolites contribute to beta-cell failure opens the door to potentially new therapeutic strategies that target these specific metabolic pathways.

This could lead to better management or even preventative measures for type 2 diabetes, shifting the treatment paradigm from managing symptoms to addressing the underlying causes.

In addition to these findings, recent research suggests that not all whole-grain foods are beneficial for diabetes management. Moreover, other studies indicate that drinking green tea and coffee might lower the risk of premature death among diabetics.

Also, certain dietary habits, such as unhealthy plant-based diets, have been linked to metabolic syndrome, a cluster of conditions that increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

These insights into diabetes management highlight the complexity of the disease and the importance of a comprehensive approach to treatment that considers dietary habits and lifestyle alongside medical innovations.

The study, led by Dr. Elizabeth Haythorne and her team, was published in the prestigious journal Nature Communications.

This research not only deepens our understanding of the biological mechanisms behind type 2 diabetes but also points towards new pathways for treatment and prevention.

If you care about diabetes, please read studies about high vitamin D level linked to lower dementia risk in diabetes, and this eating habit could help reduce risk of type 2 diabetes.

For more information about health, please see recent studies about unhealthy plant-based diets linked to metabolic syndrome, and results showing Paleo diet plus exercise could boost heart health in people with diabetes

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