December 26, 2013

Pump You Up, Beta Cells

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bulkingOne of the hallmarks of T2D is the concern that beta cells are weak. New research published in the New England Journal of Medicine reveals a hormone, in-house, that may do the trick to pump up beta cells in the pancreas.

Betatrophin is a hormone secreted by the liver and fat cells that induces the beta cell to proliferate. This will strengthen the body’s ability to metabolize and regulate glucose.

This can enhance blood glucose  control in people with T2D but can such a promising hormone help people with T1D? Yes and no. Because betatrophin can help stimulate beta proliferation and that’s a good start. But unless the person with T1D is immunosuppressed, it may be a fruitless effort because the autoimmune attack will demolish the new beta cells.

Research is always moving in the right direction. Even if this discovery of a native hormone can be helpful in T2D, it may offer some degree of hope in T1D, too. We may not be there, yet, but we’re definitely closer to where we need to be.

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