Hormones that may help reverse and prevent type 2 diabetes found by scientists

by Barbara Hewitt on May 7, 2018

Scientists in the United States have identified two hormones that burn fat faster and may help reverse and even prevent type 2 diabetes.

The geneticists from the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) believe that the discovery of the hormones, called notum and lipocalin-5, could lead to new drugs to treat type 2 diabetes.

(A and N photography/Bigstock.com)

They used a new technique to hunt for hormones that influence how organs and tissues communicate with each other. In work with mice they found that they speed up the body’s ability to burn fat.

In particular lipocalin-5 protected mice from developing diabetes or cured the disease after they developed it. Lipocalin-5 also enhanced muscle tissue’s ability to metabolize and absorb dietary nutrients, reducing the risk of obesity and diabetes.

The findings could deepen scientists’ understanding of the mechanisms behind obesity and common risk factors for heart disease and diabetes. Diseases such as obesity and diabetes disrupt how individual tissues and organs communicate with one another. The technique developed by the UCLA researchers reverses this disruption by pursuing alternate routes of tissue to tissue communication.

The researchers developed a data-driven approach to unravel the wide array of functions for hormones that circulate in the bloodstream. They initially identified and studied the hormonal networks in mice.

Next they tested whether the functions they assigned to the hormones remained consistent in humans. The team discovered a strong overlap between these hormones’ functions in mice and humans. By studying how hormonal functions change in people with diabetes and cardiovascular disease, the scientists were able to identify new ways that tissues signal each other and restore normal communication.

The work is ongoing and future studies will address how the newly identified hormones in humans communicate between unrelated types of tissue. The investigators will also apply the new method to evaluate tissue to tissue communication across different ethnicities and diseases.

The hope is to use these hormones as the basis for drug development, specifically to halt development of obesity and type 2 diabetes.


The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of the DiabetesForum.com Community and should not be interpreted as medical advice. Please see your doctor before making any changes to your diabetes management plan.

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