Scientists at Yale University investigating the mechanisms at play in type-2 diabetes have discovered a new way they may be able to apply the brakes to the condition. The breakthrough centers on a new understanding of how fasting can drive the onset of type-2 diabetes, which led the researchers to unearth a way of intervening and switching the process off.
The research is described in a pair of studies published by Yale medical scientists, with the first focusing on a newly discovered connection between the body’s behavior when it is in a state of fasting, as it is while we sleep, and the development of type-2 diabetes.
The team found that fasting switches on a process whereby two proteins, TET3 and HNF4a, build up in the liver and elevate the production of blood glucose. In a healthy person, this process is switched off when the body exits fasting mode, but in those with type-2 diabetes that off-switch fails, leaving a surplus of glucose to build up in the blood.