This site complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information:
150 153rd Ave,
Madeira Beach, FL 33708
Body Clock Gene Linked to Diabetes Risk
By Daniel H. Rasolt
Posted: Monday, December 08, 2008
(Defeat Diabetes® News) -- A gene related to melatonin, a
hormone thought to be responsible for humans sleep-wake cycles, has now been
linked to diabetes risk. High blood sugar levels were observed through disrupted
sleep patterns, due to variations in the gene.
A topic of much research
is the presence, or lack thereof, of an "internal body clock." Most evidence
suggests that through various mechanisms, our bodies, and those of most animals,
do have natural processes, hormones and genes, that regulate our sleeping
habits, and the ability to differentiate daytime from nighttime, without
external stimulus (such as sun-light or temperature variance). The hormone
melatonin has been closely linked to these processes and abilities, rising at
night, and falling during the day.
In the current study, researchers
found that a melatonin receptor gene, in addition to being responsible for
melatonin's mechanisms, is also closely linked to blood sugar levels, and risk
of developing type 2 diabetes. Professor Mark McCarthy, study researcher, says
that "we have extremely strong, incontrovertible evidence that the gene encoding
melatonin receptor 1B is associated with high fasting glucose levels and
increased risk of type 2 diabetes."
This evidence came through a study of
over 36,000 individuals, some with an observed "variant" of the melatonin
receptor gene that was observed to cause disrupted sleep patterns. There were
significantly higher fasting blood glucose (prior to food consumption) levels in
these individuals (0.07 mmol/l higher), and there was a 9% greater incidence of
type 2 diabetes in individuals with the gene variant.
High blood glucose
levels don't always mean increased diabetes risk, especially when it comes to
complicated genetics. That makes the 9% observed increase, within a large
sampling group, very significant. Researcher Ines Barroso concludes that "we
have found a variant - a G in the genome in place of a C - in MTNR1B. This
single-letter change influences both sugar levels and diabetes. This remarkable
result should allow us to gain new insight into this problem."
Source: Defeat Diabetes Foundation: Barroso, Ines. McCarthy, Mark. Nature Genetics news release. December 2008.
Daniel H. Rasolt writes for Defeat Diabetes® News. Read more of his original content articles.
Copyright © 2008 Defeat Diabetes Foundation, Inc. All rights reserved.
Send your unopened, unexpired diabetes testing supplies to:
Defeat Diabetes Foundation
150 153rd Ave, Suite 300
Madeira Beach, FL 33708
Analyze nutrition content by portion