WEEKLY UPDATE: December 19, 2019
SUMMARY: Identification of a novel genetic locus associated with risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
OVERVIEW: Glucose, also known as blood sugar, is found in many common foods. Insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas, helps the cells of the body to intake glucose from the blood and utilize it as a source of energy. Type 2 diabetes occurs when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin, or the cells of the body do not respond to insulin. This results in high blood sugar levels that can cause damage to the nerves, blood vessels, kidneys, and other organs. While environmental factors, in particular diet, are risk factors for type 2 diabetes, a susceptibility can also be inherited. This multi-ethnic genome-wide study of over 71,000 individuals identified a novel locus associated with risk of developing type 2 diabetes, bringing the total number of known loci to 10. The new variant is near the APOE gene, which helps transport fats in the blood. APOE has been previously associated with multiple other disorders, including Alzheimer’s disease.
DID YOU KNOW? It is estimated that 80% of all cases of type 2 diabetes can be prevented by adopting a healthier lifestyle. This can be achieved through a combination of dietary changes (such as less saturated fats and more fiber) and increased physical activity. [SOURCE]