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Dublin: 10 °C Tuesday 31 March, 2020

Newly discovered treatment mimics exercise benefits without all the hard work

Good news for type 2 sufferers.

Image: Shutterstock/VectorLifestylepic

SCIENTISTS AT MAYNOOTH University have found a new way to treat type 2 diabetes with compounds that mimic the anti-diabetic effects of exercise.

Researchers said the compounds can improve glucose handling and reduce weight gain at significantly lower doses than existing treatments.

“These compounds have the potential to become an important tool for the treatment of type 2 diabetes for future generations,” said Dr John Stephens of the Maynooth Department of Chemistry, who led the research team.

An estimated 200,000 people in Ireland live with the chronic condition, which is caused by abnormally high glucose levels and strongly linked to obesity.

‘Significant development’

During exercise, the body’s cells take glucose out of the bloodstream by converting it into energy.

The new treatment discovered by researchers makes it easier for cells to convert glucose into energy, meaning they take up more glucose than they otherwise would, thereby reducing blood sugar levels.

“The benefits of exercise for those suffering with type 2 diabetes have been well documented,” Stephens said.

The discovery of this series of new compounds that mimic these benefits is a significant development in the treatment of diabetes.

The team of researchers includes Professor John Findlay and Dr Darren Martin from Maynooth University, Dr Gemma Kinsella of DIT, as well as collaborators from Trinity College Dublin and the University of Leeds.

Details of the breakthrough were published today in the Journal of Molecular Endocrinology.

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Catherine Healy

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