Blood sugar is one of the most common diseases among people of different ages that can be controlled with insulin injections, but has modern medical science succeeded in finding other effective methods?
Elevated blood glucose levels can lead to diabetes. To reduce blood glucose production, one must use insulin. Scientists at the Salk Institute have recently identified a molecule that can regulate blood sugar. Thus, a new path in the treatment of diabetes is presented to us.
Normally, insulin in the body responds to an increase in blood glucose levels, forcing cells to either use it as fuel or to store energy in the body. But diabetes occurs when the body either fails to produce enough insulin or the insulin produced is resistant to the hormone. Although insulin injections are still the mainstay of diabetes treatment, doctors are looking for other ways.
A few years ago, the Salk team discovered that a molecule called “FGF1” acts like insulin in the body and regulates blood glucose levels. An injection of this hormone into diabetic rats caused their blood glucose to return to normal for more than two days – Subsequent studies showed that injecting FGF1 into the brain could improve diabetes more effectively for weeks or months.
In a more recent study, researchers investigated the mechanism of this hormone. They found that FGF1 acted like insulin in some ways – such as regulating glucose in the liver by suppressing fat breakdown or lipolysis. But in general, the function of FGF1 can be analyzed through a completely different molecular pathway.
Insulin uses an enzyme called PDE3B to activate a lipolysis breakdown method. The researchers looked at a wide range of enzymes and found that FGF1 used another enzyme called PDE4 to control blood sugar.
“This mechanism is like an alternative to insulin, except that it goes in a different direction,” said Ganser Sanker, the study’s lead author. In effective insulin therapy, it makes sense to use any method that responds better to the body. “Because our ultimate goal is to control lipolysis and regulate blood glucose.”
This important difference could lead to a new area of research in the treatment of diabetes.
“The unique ability of this hormone to induce persistent glucose depletion in insulin-resistant diabetic rats is a promising therapeutic pathway for us in the future,” said study co-author Michael Downes.
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