Aspirin Increases Production of Insulin?

Obesity is strongly connected to insulin resistance and the eventual development of type 2 diabetes, but taking aspirin might help limit this progression. A new study has found that for “healthy” obese people, “aspirin-like compounds” can increase the production of insulin, reducing the risk of developing insulin resistance.

Aspirin and aspirin-like compounds, known as silicylates, have the effect of secreting higher levels of insulin into the bloodstream in non-diabetic obese individuals, according to the study. Previous studies have also shown that silicylates have the benefit of decreasing blood sugar levels in diabetics.

28 obese individuals, 9 male and 19 female, and averaging 48 years of age, were injected with the silicylate derivative triflusal, in the study. The researchers observed that “Insulin secretion…significantly increased in relation to the dose size [of triflusal].” A decrease in blood glucose levels was also observed. According to lead researcher, DR. Jose-Manuel Fernandez-Real “this is the first study to show that salicylates lowered serum glucose in non-diabetic obese subjects. We believe that this effect was due to a previously unsuspected increase in insulin secretion rather than enhanced insulin sensitivity.”

The results of this study lay the foundations for further research that might definitively show that aspirin and related compounds can be helpful in preventing the onset of type 2 diabetes in obese individuals. Aspirin is known to have many benefits, such as blood thinning (which lowers the risk of heart attack and stroke), and blood-glucose level lowering in diabetics, as previously mentioned. Adding type 2 diabetes prevention to the list would simply give more reason to take a daily dose of this accessible compound.

Source: Defeat Diabetes Foundation: Blue, Charles. Fernandez-Real, Jose-Manuel. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism press release. April 2008.