Navigation Links
Pancreas May 'Taste' Fructose, Hinting at Links to Diabetes

By Serena Gordon
HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, Feb. 6 (HealthDay News) -- New research shows that the pancreas has sweet-taste receptors -- like those found on the tongue -- that can "taste" fructose.

Fructose is a common ingredient in many foods and beverages. Nutrition experts have warned that Americans take in far too much fructose and the new findings might bolster their concerns.

In lab studies of pancreas cells from both humans and mice, the researchers found that when the pancreas tastes fructose from foods, it responds by producing more insulin. Insulin is a hormone that allows sugar from the blood to enter the body's cells. However, excess levels of insulin, or an inefficient use of insulin, have been linked to obesity and type 2 diabetes, the researchers said.

"The coolest thing in my mind is that we now understand that taste isn't only for the tongue. We have a whole slew of cells for controlling how we deal with sugars," said the study's senior author, Bjorn Tyrberg, an assistant professor and scientific advisor in histology and cellular imaging at the Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute in Orlando, Fla.

He added that fructose had not been linked to insulin secretion in the past, but that this study shows when the pancreas tastes fructose, there is an effect on insulin secretion when glucose is also present.

Fructose and glucose are two different types of sugars. Fructose is found naturally in things like fruit and honey. A concentrated form of fructose called high-fructose corn syrup is added to many processed foods, such as sodas and cereals, according to Tyrberg.

What isn't yet clear, he said, is what effect fructose has on the body's metabolism. "We've shown that fructose is not inert with insulin secretion," he said, but added that whether this connection plays a role in obesity or the development of type 2 diabetes isn't known.

Results of the study appear online Feb. 7 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Normally, when you eat, beta cells in the pancreas respond to the rise in glucose levels by secreting more insulin. Insulin attaches to other cells in the body and opens the cells, allowing glucose to enter the cells and provide energy. But researchers wanted to know what role fructose played in the release of insulin.

Using cells from humans and mice, the researchers found that fructose activated sweet-taste receptors on beta cells, causing them to secrete insulin. When glucose and fructose were encountered together, as would often happen with commonly consumed foods today, even more insulin was released.

When the researchers inactivated -- or turned off -- the sweet-taste receptors in the beta cells, they no longer secreted insulin when exposed to fructose. The researchers say these findings suggest that these sweet-taste receptors in the pancreas may play a role in metabolic diseases, such as obesity and type 2 diabetes. They're currently developing studies in humans to confirm what they've found in human and mouse cells in the lab.

Commenting on the study, Dr. Spyros Mezitis, an endocrinologist and clinical investigator at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, said that it showed that "when you eat fructose and glucose together, you get even more of an insulin release. That means sugar gets out faster, and the body is pushed harder."

And, he added, "if you have a high sugar consumption, you may tire out your pancreas, and that exhaustion might cause the pancreas to not release enough insulin anymore. If you already have type 2 diabetes, this could push the body more and hasten the progression of the disease."

But "right now this is speculation. We need human studies to understand this connection over time," Mezitis said. Still, this may be "one more piece of evidence that we should be curtailing fructose in our diets," he suggested.

A spokesperson for the Corn Refiners Association declined to comment on the study's findings.

More information

Learn more about type 2 diabetes from the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

SOURCES: Bjorn Tyrberg, Ph.D., assistant professor and scientific advisor, histology and cellular imaging, Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute, Orlando, Fla.; Spyros Mezitis, M.D., endocrinologist and clinical investigator, Lenox Hill Hospital, New York City; Feb. 7, 2012, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, online

Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Insulin signaling is distorted in pancreases of Type 2 diabetics
2. FDA Moves to Speed Development of Artificial Pancreas Systems
3. Chemical produced in pancreas prevented and reversed diabetes in mice
4. Latest Artificial Pancreas Trials Reduce Risk of Low Blood Sugar
5. Protein could be used to treat alcohol effects on pancreas
6. Artificial Pancreas Continues to Show Promise
7. Pig Pancreas Cells Help Type 1 Diabetics
8. Artificial Pancreas for Type 1 Diabetes Moves Closer to Reality
9. Solid-pseudopapillary neoplasm of the pancreas or pancreatic endocrine tumor?
10. Your Taste for Fat May Reside in Your Genes
11. Early Food Choices Seem to Influence Taste for Salt Later
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Pancreas May 'Taste' Fructose, Hinting at Links to Diabetes
(Date:6/26/2016)... , ... June 26, 2016 , ... On June 10-11, ... of the 2016 Cereal Festival and World’s Longest Breakfast Table in Battle Creek, MI, ... the city’s history as home to some of the world’s leading providers of cereal ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... ... Kasmer, a legally blind and certified personal trainer is helping to develop a weight loss ... plans to fix the two major problems leading the fitness industry today:, ... , They don’t eliminate all the reasons people quit their exercise program ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... Austin residents seeking Mohs surgery ... of Mohs Surgery and to Dr. Russell Peckham for medical and surgical dermatology. , ... for skin cancer. The selective fellowship in Mohs Micrographic Surgery completed by Dr. Dorsey ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... First Choice Emergency Room , ... Sesan Ogunleye, as the Medical Director of its new Mesquite-Samuell Farm facility. , ... our new Mesquite location,” said Dr. James M. Muzzarelli, Executive Medical Director of First ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... 25, 2016 , ... On Friday, June 10, Van Mitchell, Secretary of the ... to iHire in recognition of their exemplary accomplishments in worksite health promotion. , The ... Health & Wellness Symposium at the BWI Marriott in Linthicum Heights. iHire was one ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... WAYNE, Pa. , June 23, 2016 ... provider, will launch its next generation clinical outcomes platform, Bracket ... DIA Meeting held on June 26 – 30, 2016 in ... 6.0, the first electronic Clinical Outcome Assessment product of its ... DIA Booth #715. Bracket eCOA 6.0 is a ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016 Revolutionary technology includes ... Oticon , industry leaders in advanced audiology and hearing ... Oticon Opn ™, the world,s first internet connected hearing ... IoT devices.      (Photo: ... number of ,world firsts,: , TwinLink™ - ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... FRANKLIN, Tenn. , June 23, 2016 ... for automating, integrating and transforming the patient ... launch of several innovative new products and ... depth of its revenue cycle offerings. These ... establish more efficient workflows, remain compliant in ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: