Predicting Diabetes

1 decade 8 months 2 weeks ago Saturday, September 01 2007 Sep 1, 2007 Saturday, September 01, 2007 6:28:17 PM CDT September 01, 2007 in News

Diabetic Mary Jones has had diabetes for almost 20 years. She said she knows how she contracted this disease.

"First of all, hereditary," Jones said. "Second, I would say poor eating habits. Third would be lack of exercise."

However, the new research conducted says contracting diabetes might now have anything to do with weight or diet.

"Some of these markers can actually be measured fairly consistently and reliably long before the disease occurs," said UCLA professor Dr. Simin Liu.

These markets include inflammatory cytokines which are three types of proteins produced by fat tissue. Too many inflammatory cytokines puts a person at risk of contracting type two diabetes.

"Obese people tend to have elevated levels of these kinds of cytokines," Liu said.

However, non-obese people can also have high levels. A blood test is necessary to diagnose high levels of inflammatory cytokines.

Liu and his team studied 1600 women who developed type two diabetes and analyzed their blood samples from before they got the disease. Liu said he found elevated amounts of these cytokines increased the risk of diabetes in these women.

Liu said his next hope is using his research to develop a drug that can lower cytokine levels without medication.

"You can lower your body weight via exercise and dietary changes - and those are well established regiments you can adapt to lower risk of diabetes," Liu said.

Mary Jones said she never heard anything about cytokines and wishes she could have taken a test to predict and possibly prevent her diabetes.

"If I had known in advance, I would've taken precaution. I would've had a different lifestyle," she said.

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