July 29, 2013

Telomere Length and the Role in Diabetes

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telemeresOxidative stress is bad in any situation. Researchers took the liberty to delve into the role of telomere length and its influence on oxidative stress in T1 and T2 diabetes. The study was published in the Journal of Endocrinological Investigation.

If cells divided without telomeres, they would lose the ends of their chromosomes, and the necessary information they contain. Studies have shown that telomere length was shorter in age-related diseases. Oxidative stress plays an integral role in diseases like T1D and T2D.

Can T1D and T2D cause shortening of  telomere length? The study looked at 62 people with T2D and  34 people with T1D and compared them with a control group of 40 people. For all people, telomere length was measured and other biomarkers, such as fasting glucose, fasting insulin, HbA1c and lipid profile were also measured.

Compared with the control group, telomere length was significantly shorter in the T1D and T2D groups. This indicated that oxidative stress was significantly higher in T1D and T2D groups, than in the control group.

The findings of this study showed that shorter telomere length and increased oxidative stress were seen in both T1D and T2D. Older people with central obesity, higher glucose, and insulin resistance tended to have shorter telomere length, as well.

In lay terms, think of telomeres as those thingies on the end of your shoelaces. If they’re tattered and worn, your laces aren’t in good shape. Diabetes has a way of wearing down those shoelace thingies. Maybe because C-peptide is unavailable to people with T1D or inefficiently absorbed in people with T2D, it cannot properly enter the nucleus of the cells and help tie the shoelaces tightly?

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