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August 15, 2007

Researchers Identify Markers That May Predict Diabetes In Still-healthy People

Topics: Diabetes

cytokines.jpgResearchers at UCLA have confirmed the role played by three particular molecules known as inflammatory cytokines (messenger molecules) as a cause of Type 2 diabetes, and have identified tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-á), interleukin-6 (IL-6), and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP), as early biological markers that may be used to more accurately predict future incidences of diabetes among apparently healthy individuals:

Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes; about 90 to 95 percent of people who have diabetes have type 2. People with this condition produce insulin, but either their bodies don't make enough of it, or can't effectively use it.

Low-grade chronic inflammation of the body, which is reflected by elevated levels of inflammatory cytokines in the blood stream, may promote insulin resistance in the liver, muscles, and the vascular endothelium cells, the layer of thin, flat cells that lines the interior surface of blood vessels. Such inflammation can last for years before leading to type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, or hypertension.

A blood test that looks for high levels of inflammatory cytokines could serve as an accurate predictor of diabetes in still-healthy people, years ahead of the traditional risk factors of obesity or insulin resistance. The finding also has implication for cancer research as well, said Liu, since people with diabetes are at greater risk of developing breast and colon cancers.

"This is a final confirmation of earlier studies about the underlying biology behind type 2 diabetes," said Liu, who is also a member of the UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center. But those studies, he said, were either very small or animal studies. By comparison, he said, their study was more extensive in scale and involved human study volunteers. "Our study identified 1,600 new cases of diabetes and measured the blood markers before they developed the disease."

Continue reading: Markers That May Predict Diabetes In Still-healthy People Identified

Via Hyscience

Posted by Richard at August 15, 2007 7:39 PM

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