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DNA discovery reveals how we maintain healthy blood sugar levels after meals

DNA discovery reveals how we maintain healthy blood sugar levels after meals

Hepatic insulin action dominates fasting, while several tissue-specific mechanisms mediate postprandial insulin action.

A study of over 55,000 people’s DNA from around the world has given insight into how humans maintain appropriate blood sugar levels after eating, with implications for our knowledge of how the process goes wrong in type 2 diabetes.

The findings, published in Nature Genetics, may help guide future treatments for type 2 diabetes, which affects over 4 million individuals in the United Kingdom and over 460 million people worldwide.

Older age, being overweight or obese, physical inactivity, and genetic susceptibility increases the risk of type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes, if left untreated, can cause complications such as eye and foot difficulties, nerve damage, and a higher risk of heart attack and stroke.

Insulin, a hormone that regulates blood sugar-glucose levels, is important in developing type 2 diabetes. People with type 2 diabetes cannot properly manage their glucose levels because they do not secrete enough insulin when glucose levels rise, such as after eating a meal, or because their cells are less susceptible to insulin, a condition known as “insulin resistance.”

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