Can Leptin Therapy Treat Type 1 Diabetes Better than Insulin
1 million Americans have Type 1 diabetes. Every year, 30,000 fresh cases of this disorder are reported. This type of diabetes mostly affects young children and adults below the age of 20 years. Research studies have revealed that both the types of diabetes (Type 1 and Type 2) are related to the physical disorder Obesity. In this context, 13 percent teenagers in the United States are obese. Unfortunately, type 1 diabetes cannot be cured. It can only be treated or kept in check by taking insulin injections daily. But researchers at the Southwestern Medical Center have discovered that the hormone Leptin produced by fat cells and which regulates our body weight can manage type 1 diabetes better than the hormone insulin. The results of the findings are published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. This article tries to gain further insight on this new finding.
Knowledge Gained from Research:
- The researchers tried Leptin hormone on the experimental mice in laboratory.
- It was found that Leptin keeps the fluctuations of blood sugar level in type 1 diabetes patients in check better than insulin.
- It also manages the process of Lipogenesis better, which involves conversion of simple sugars into fatty acids.
- Glucagon is a hormone which is released in the body when glucose level in the blood becomes low.
- The hormone Leptin is found to suppress glucagon similar to insulin.
- When this hormone was given to non-obese type 1 diabetic mouse, it profoundly reduced their food intake.
- This resulted in the reduction of body fat lowering the risks of getting type 1 diabetes.
- Type 1 diabetic patients have to take insulin dosage multiple times a day to properly use the sugar in blood, keep the blood-sugar levels in check and prevent a fatal condition called diabetic coma.
- They also have to follow a strict dietary restrictions and compulsorily exercise on regular basis.
- Since the patients affected by this disorder are mostly young people, it is very depressing for them to lead such a restricted life.
- The researchers believe that low intake of insulin along with Leptin can make life easy for the type 1 diabetic patients.
- The study was funded by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health.