Harvard University scientists have linked a newly discovered hormone they’ve named fabkin to the onset of diabetes and found a way to neutralize it, preventing and even reversing the disease in mice.
They found the new hormone by tracking a protein called FAB4 on its journey through the body. Fat cells release the protein into the bloodstream when a person is starving.
The researchers saw that when FAB4 enters the bloodstream, it binds with two enzymes to create the fabkin hormone. The binding process alters the way the enzymes work, which reduces blood levels of ATP and ADP, which are essential in breaking down and processing nutrients.
Nearby cells react to these changes, which can be particularly damaging to insulin-producing cells in the pancreas.
People with types 1 and 2 diabetes have abnormally high levels of FAB4 in their blood, leading the researchers to make the connection among FAB4, fabkin, and diabetes.
When the scientists treated diabetic mice with a biochemical reducing levels of FAB4 in their blood, the disease disappeared; in mice at risk of diabetes, the treatment prevented diabetes from taking hold.
TRENDPOST: Scientists continue to find ways to use the body’s own compounds to counter disease. As a result, future generations will be far less reliant on synthetic pharmaceuticals, seeing them, with their noxious side effects, as a last resort instead of a first choice.