WASHINGTON — A common class of drugs used to treat diabetes has been found to exert a powerful check on macrophages by controlling the metabolic fuel they use to generate energy, according to a news study.
When tissues are damaged, one of the body’s first inflammatory immune-system responders are macrophages, cells which are commonly thought of as ‘construction workers’ that clear away damaged tissue debris and initiate repair.
The findings are detailed in a study published online this month in Genes and Development led by Mitchell Lazar, MD, PhD, director of the Institute for Diabetes, Obesity, and Metabolism in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.
Keeping macrophages from going overboard on the job may inhibit the onset of obesity and diabetes following tissue inflammation.
“When this happens, macrophages infiltrate the affected tissues, sequester free fatty acids, and help repair damaged tissue, essentially acting as a protector of the body during times of metabolic stress,” said Lazar.
However, extended stress on these tissues activates inflammatory characteristics in macrophages that contribute to several systemic effects of obesity including diabetes, atherosclerosis, and cardiovascular disease.
Diabetes drugs called thiazolidinediones (TZDs) control gene expression by targeting a factor called PPAR gamma.
Lazar’s team found that the TZDs, working through PPAR gamma, promote the metabolism of an amino acid called glutamine, a protein building block necessary for macrophage activation.
The team found that macrophages lacking PPAR gamma are unable to use glutamine as an energy source and therefore are more susceptible to inflammatory stimulation.
“These findings are highly relevant to treatment strategies that use TZDs for diabetes and enhance the justification for using TZDs to treat systemic inflammation that accompanies many types of disease, including obesity and diabetes,” said Lazar.
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Adding glass of milk in breakfast can lower blood glucose
Several research studies have attempted to find a link between drinking milk and a reduced risk for experiencing type 2 diabetes and a new research has found that adding a glass of milk in breakfast is the perfect energy boost for body needs to get through the day.
According to a study published in the Journal of Dairy Science, consuming milk with breakfast cereal reduced postprandial blood glucose concentration compared with water, and high dairy protein concentration reduced postprandial blood glucose concentration compared with normal dairy protein concentration.
H Douglas Goff, PhD, and the team of scientists from the Human Nutraceutical Research Unit at the University of Guelph, in collaboration with the University of Toronto, examined the effects of consuming high-protein milk for breakfast on blood glucose levels.
The high-protein treatment also reduced appetite after the second meal compared with the low-protein equivalent.
“Metabolic diseases are on the rise globally, with type 2 diabetes and obesity as leading concerns in human health. Thus, there is an impetus to develop dietary strategies for the risk reduction and management of obesity and diabetes to empower consumers to improve their personal health,” Goff and his team noted.
Although the team only found a modest difference in food consumption at the lunch meal when increasing whey protein at breakfast, they did find that milk consumed with a high-carbohydrate breakfast reduced blood glucose even after lunch, and high-protein milk had a greater effect.
Milk with an increased proportion of whey protein had a modest effect on pre-lunch blood glucose, achieving a greater decrease than that provided by regular milk.
Likewise, a 2014 study from Lund University in Sweden published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found eating high-fat milk and yogurt reduces a person’s type 2 diabetes risk by as much as one-fifth.
Another study published in the 2011 American Journal of Clinical Nutrition tracked the relationship between a person’s dairy consumption during adolescence and their risk for type 2 diabetes as an adult. The researchers concluded that “higher dairy product intake during adolescence is associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes.”Follow @gorkhapost