Overeating and obesity can eventually decrease the body’s sensitivity to insulin, in part by disabling the body’s ‘sugar switch’ which allows blood sugar to rise and leads to type 2 diabetes. Elevated high levels of serum glucose, in turn, make insulin resistance worse in a vicious cycle.
The Sugar Switch
Normally, this ‘switch’ or enzymatic pathway shuts down the liver’s sugar production when insulin levels rise. But if blood sugar starts to go haywire due to habitual overeating or obesity, the body’s ‘sugar switch’ gets turned off.
“The islet cells in the pancreas can compensate with increased insulin production only for so long when confronted with chronic obesity and inactivity,” says Marc Montminy, Ph.D., a professor in the Clayton Foundation Laboratories for Peptide Biology, who led the study. “As a result glucose levels start to rise causing a host of problems.”
In the March 7 issue of Science, researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies theorize that inhibiting the enzymes that keep the ‘sugar switch’ turned off may be a helpful treatment for lowering glucose in people with type 2 diabetes, which, in turn, reduces the risk for complications such as blindness, stroke and renal failure.
A new treatment may help control serum glucose in the future, but may not be a substitute for exercise and healthy eating – proven methods for regulating/normalizing high blood sugar and improving type 2 diabetes.
(Read full article in Medical News Today)