Destroying Glucagon Receptors May Cure Diabetes

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New findings by researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center may hold a cure for type 1 diabetes.
According to the findings, type 1 diabetes could be converted to an asymptomatic, non-insulin-dependent disorder by eliminating the actions of a specific hormone.

In the study, UT Southwestern scientists tested how mice genetically altered to lack working glucagon receptors responded to an oral glucose tolerance test. The test – which can be used to diagnose diabetes, gestational diabetes and prediabetes – measures the body’s ability to metabolize, or clear, glucose from the bloodstream.

The researchers found that the mice with normal insulin production but without functioning glucagon receptors responded normally to the test. The mice also responded normally when their insulin-producing beta cells were destroyed. The mice had no insulin or glucagon action, but they did not develop diabetes.

The researchers showed that, in mice, insulin becomes completely superfluous and its absence does not cause diabetes or any other abnormality when the actions of glucagon are suppressed. Glucagon, a hormone produced by the pancreas, prevents low blood sugar levels in healthy individuals. It causes high blood sugar in people with type 1 diabetes.

Insulin treatment has been the gold standard for type 1 diabetes (insulin-dependent diabetes) in humans since its discovery in 1922. But even optimal regulation of type 1 diabetes with insulin alone cannot restore normal glucose tolerance. These new findings demonstrate that in mice, the elimination of glucagon action restores glucose tolerance to normal.

Source: http://www.utsouthwestern.edu

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JamesEdJones
JamesEdJones

@CJ – There’s also the side-effect of a loss of appetite when using glucagon inhibitors (or if you destroy the alpha cells). This would support what Karmel referenced about insulin and glucagon possibly being balancing agents for other effects in the body’s metabolism. Adult mice, or humans, who do not eat more than their body’s needs may not require any insulin without any glucagon. My assumption would be that children should not be eligible for this treatment, as there is still too much change going on in the body until they are fully developed adults. Killing their appetite may have… Read more »

Tweb
Tweb

Lets test it!!! Lets get a move on it!! I have been reading of many possible cures lately!! Lets stop talking and test ASAP! People are suffering! Awful disese!!! Millions would be willing to test it on themselves like right now!! This second Why do we have to wait 5 years!!

Jesse C
Jesse C

My 6 year old boy is type one.  I am a health professional, and the concept of this study has a major flaw.  INSULIN IS IMPERATIVE as a functional hormone for your metabolism.  It regulates everything from muscle repair and development, to metabolism of other macro nutrients such as fat and protein.  Not only that, the timing of this insulin delivery has a dramatic effect on the whole process.  I would ask lots and lots of questions about this study before dedicating one more penny to its progression.  Gene therapy is where the cure is most likely to come from… Read more »

Tim C
Tim C

I just found out I was type 1 today. I suspected I was type 1 from the beginning, but oral meds DID work for a while to control my BG. Once my BG levels stayed elevated for about three weeks, my doctor ordered the antibodies test. What’s not clear to me in this study is, can HUMANS process food into glucose without insulin? My understanding is that I don’t produce insulin, so what is going to 1) convert my food to useful energy at the cellular level and 2) prevent my BG from spiraling out of control EVEN if my… Read more »

margo5890
margo5890

I have been a Type 1 diabetic for forever.  I know that there is a difference between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes.  Good grief.  Type 2’s have a real disease and it is causing all of us Type 1’s to pay the price.  Okay, the symptoms are the same, both Types have higher Blood Sugar levels than the Normal people out there.  But Type 2’s have a Type of diabetes that is harder to control because the extremes of the Blood sugars are more wide.  The Type 2 diabetic has to be more diligent in their control.  When I (as… Read more »

Ilona
Ilona

@ar Only an ignorant individual would put all persons who have type 2 diabetes into a fat and lazy category.  Diabetes type 2 runs in my family… none of whom are over-weight or lazy.  In fact our family owns/runs a lucrative business.  Don’t forget about cortisol levels and stress raising glucose levels.  Since I was 20 (now 30) I have been borderline diabetes.  I watch my diet, and exercise and am not overweight.  I had gestational diabetes and managed it by only eating non-carb vegetables and protien.  I take cinnamon everyday and do what I am given to avert this horrible… Read more »

James
James

Here’s another site with more info on this:
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110126161835.htm

James
James

Maybe what’s going on here with Type 1 is that the body is over producing glucagon, which in turn both raises glucose levels in the blood and suppresses insulin production? I think what they are proposing is that maybe it isn’t the lack of insulin which is the problem. Maybe the cause of at least some diabetic conditions is the over production glucagon. The body uses these opposing processes to keep blood sugars in a livable range and maybe what’s going on with at least some cases of diabetes is the mechanism that the body uses to raise blood sugars… Read more »

Thom
Thom

I will tell you only one truth, the  cure there long time!!!! believe me or not …i working  one the biggest pharma company is lots of  things going on in the ..
As much charity  & money  we given to them , as long  they  will looking for the fake cure …is all about pharma companies, wars starts long time ago between pharma companies   hope for the   winner !!!is only can be one
Sorry for my English!!!

Joanne
Joanne

@ ar Better start doing a little more research on your own. I am a type 2 Diabetic who became diabetic due to treatment of a toxic thyroid nodule. After treatment the endocrinologist monitored my thyroid hormones AND my blood sugars cuz because they are both endocrine glands. As my thyroid levels came down for some reason my blood sugars (THAT WERE ALWAYS PERFECT) started to rise. They never came back to a normal level and after 3 months of elevated sugars I was diagnosed as a type 2 diabetic  —- NOT MY CHOICE. So don’t make disgusting remarks about… Read more »

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