It may soon be possible to take a simple blood test and predict whether or not someone has low levels of a particular molecule, predisposing them to the development of Type 2 diabetes. If the test is positive, it may then be possible to use preventative treatment, slowing down, or even halting that development.
Such is the hope of scientists and clinicians at Sydneys Garvan Institute of Medical Research who have shown conclusively that people who produce low levels of the molecule PYY have a higher risk of developing Type 2 diabetes and obesity.
The findings were published online on 4 March in the prestigious International Journal of Obesity.
It is already known that the hormone PYY, which is released from the gut after a meal, creates a feeling of satiety. When PYY is in oversupply, it prevents diet-induced obesity in mice.
Professor Herbert Herzog, Director of Garvans Neuroscience Program, and an expert on appetite, says that the new findings are important in that they show a metabolic defect before the presence of any disease or manifestation of weight gain. We can now see that low PYY levels after eating are a very early predictor of the development of obesity and Type 2 diabetes, he said.
Professor Lesley Campbell, Director of Diabetes Services at St. Vincents Hospital and a senior member of Garvans Diabetes and Obesity Clinical Studies group, has been researching genetic factors in the development of Type 2 diabetes for over 10 years. Specifically, her research looks at people before they get the disease, the contributing factors, and the effects of the diabetes.
Professor Campbell has already published findings that insulin resistant people, with a family history of Type 2 diabetes, have low levels of PYY. In earlier studies we hinted at the fact that before any of the abnormalities of diabetes are present, people already have an abnormality of satiety, marked by the lack of the secretion of this PYY
|Contact: Alison Heather|