Diabetes

12 March 2010

Taste, smell linked to diabetes

A mutation that affects how the body responds when a person smells or tastes food may play a role in the development of type 2 diabetes in some people, US researchers report.

0

A mutation that affects how the body responds when a person smells or tastes food may play a role in the development of type 2 diabetes in some people, US researchers report.

"Our study showed there is a novel genetic mutation through which some type 2 diabetic people could be vulnerable to the gradual onset of this disease," study senior author Vann Bennett, a professor in the departments of cell biology, biochemistry and neurobiology at Duke University Medical Center, said in a news release from the school.

He said this gradual development of diabetes "happens through what is called the parasympathetic nervous system, not directly through eating food. We think this parasympathetic response is potentially very important in type 2 diabetes".

Insulin response

When people eat or smell food, their bodies begins to secrete insulin. A molecule called ankyrin B plays an important role in insulin response.

Experiments with mice lacking the molecule showed that ankyrin B deficiency impairs the parasympathetic chain of events that lead to insulin secretion. This has a measurable effect on blood sugar levels.

Further investigation revealed that one type of mutation in ankyrin B was associated with type 2 diabetes in Hispanics and whites.

The study was published online March 11 in the journal Science Signaling. - (HealthDay News, March 2010)

 

Read Health24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Ask the Expert

Diabetes expert

Dr. May currently works as a fulltime endocrinologist and has been in private practice since 2004. He has a variety of interests, predominantly obesity and diabetes, but also sees patients with osteoporosis, thyroid disorders, men's health disorders, pituitary and adrenal disorders, polycystic ovaries, and disorders of growth. He is a leading member of several obesity and diabetes societies and runs a trial centre for new drugs.

Still have a question?

Get free advice from our panel of experts

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

* You must accept our condition

Forum Rules