Sue Marshall blogs about diabetes for Desang

Relieving Stress on Insulin-Producing Cells May Prevent Diabetes – Diabetes Health | January 18, 2010

BOSTON, Mass. – Dec. 23, 2009 – Cells in your body are constantly churning out poisonous forms of oxygen (oxidants) and mopping them up with a countervailing force of proteins and chemicals (anti-oxidants). This balancing act of oxidative stress is particularly likely to go haywire in beta cells, the insulin-producing cells that malfunction and then start to die off in type 2 diabetes.

Scientists at Joslin Diabetes Center now have found that a relatively little-studied enzyme plays a central role in defending beta cells against oxidants, but is damaged by the high levels of blood glucose produced in diabetes.

Joslin Principal Investigator Robert Stanton, M.D., who led the research, says the discovery raises hopes of finding drugs that protect the enzyme, and thus the beta cells and their insulin production. Such drugs could help to stem the tide against type 2 diabetes, which now afflicts more than a quarter of a billion people worldwide.

via Relieving Stress on Insulin-Producing Cells May Prevent Diabetes – Diabetes Health.

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Posted in diabetes, insulin

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