As a girl living with a family history of diabetes, I like to know what science is new in helping cure one of the fastest growing debilitating diseases today. Most of you today would know what diabetes is but for those who don’t, diabetes is a condition of the body in which zero to little insulin is produced or the body cannot effectively use it. Insulin is the hormone in the body that regulates blood glucose levels.
An article has been released by New Scientist in which a hormone has been discovered that could help with diabetes and obesity. The hormone named ‘Asprosin’ was discovered through an extremely rare genetic disorder, neonatal progeroid syndrome (NPS), with as many as 30 reported to have this disease. The disease leaves the person with little to no fat and so they are constantly lethargic with a need to eat constantly. This study conducted by a team of scientists lead by Dr. Atul Chopra at the Baylor College of Medicine, discovered that people who had NPS felt lethargic all the time was because they lack the Asprosin hormone.
Dr. Chopra discovered through the study of diabetic rats that the hormone is essential in determining blood glucose levels specifically between meals. The hormone is released into the blood at the signal of low sugar levels and sends a signal to the liver to release glucose into the blood. This hormone is usually released during times of fasting, or during the periods where you are not eating.
As this hormone also occurs in diabetics, the effect of the hormone is that it raises the blood sugar level higher, even though the body does not need it. Thus by blocking or inhibiting the hormone sugar levels can return to a lower level in which insulin can work more efficiently to return the blood glucose level to normal. By inhibiting the hormone in cycles diabetics that are dependent on insulin could lessen the amount or even not have to take it all together defeating the destructive disease.
As the science is new, other aspects surrounding the hormone could be explored. Such as if the production of the hormone is limited by the amount of fat tissue in the body. For instance if there is more fat cells in the body does the production of asprosin vary to someone who has significantly less. Another interesting aspect could be of how it could help people whom are overweight or are obese. By inhibiting the hormone in obese people would there be an effect in weight loss.
Although the science is far from ready for human experimentation, the discovery of the hormone has produced hope for the future of diabetes and obesity.
To find the scientific journal click Asprosin, a Fasting-Induced Glucogenic Protein.