Biological Clock Chemical Offers New Way to Treat Diabetes
A biological clock isn’t just a metaphor for the timing to have a baby in life. Instead, these same body chemicals can also have an effect on a patient’s chances of acquiring Type 2 diabetes. This study delivered surprising results because the chemical in question doesn’t officially or directly control glucose production. Rather, it affects a protein that operates the internal clock and typical day and night behaviors. As such, it is known as the biological clock.
For several years, both scientists and doctors have pondered the relationship between obesity and diabetes, and how they could be related to the biological clock. As they tested this theory on laboratory mice, they noticed the mice with changed biological clocks gained a lot of weight and developed diabetes.
The main protein responsible, cryptochrome, regulated glucose production in the patient’s liver. When this protein is decreased or increased, it either improved or worsened the condition of the mice with diabetes.
The key to all of this is a small molecule that controls the time regulation of the cryptochrome protein. Basically, this is the way the biological clock keeps time. The body naturally supplies glucose to the brain steadily at night while we’re sleeping.
The reason a patient’s body doesn’t normally do this during the day is because you are eating and not fasting for several hours. This molecule that was discovered could be made into a drug that would lower the production levels of glucose by the liver, which would inhibit weight gain as well.
Another benefit of altering this protein is to lower high blood sugar rates. As the liver slows down in glucose production, so does the rate of sugar in the bloodstream. This will be especially helpful for asthma patients because their medication may have a side effect of increasing blood sugar. To counteract this result, the protein would help their bodies regulate to a more natural level. Diabetes would not be such a risk for them after this treatment had been received.
There is also another molecule that was discovered at the same time which helps to regulate activity overall. According to the settings of the biological clock, most people slow down at night to rest and recover from their daily activities.
However, if the clock could be slowed down during the day as well, not only would it help prevent diabetic symptoms but also potentially slow down the aging process. Since diabetes becomes more of a risk with older patients, this would be a double benefit.
The more research that is done regarding both of these molecules and the biological clock, the more positive results are showing up. As these scientists and doctors learn how to work with their patients’ bodies and regulate certain natural chemicals, they are finding more treatment methods for diabetes.
Prevention is the best treatment of all and will be beneficial to patients young and old. Talk to your physician if you feel like you are experiencing diabetic symptoms and get tested as soon as possible.
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