Current tests available to doctors have not been able to help predict who is at risk of developing the disease. However, the findings of a study published in Nature Medicine say this soon may change. The study was conducted by the Massachusetts General Hospital and looked at levels of five proteins in the blood of patients who were at a high risk of developing diabetes based on weight and fasting blood sugar.
”The study found that of the 2,422 individuals observed over a 12-year period, 201 individuals developed diabetes. According to researchers, the findings indicate that the levels of the five proteins were significantly associated with future diabetes. Researchers say that such protein profiling may help to detect patients who have a high risk of developing diabetes before they actually develop the disease”.
Metabolite profiles and the risk of developing diabetes
- Emerging technologies allow the high-throughput profiling of metabolic status from a blood specimen (metabolomics). We investigated whether metabolite profiles could predict the development of diabetes. Among 2,422 normoglycemic individuals followed for 12 years, 201 developed diabetes. Amino acids, amines and other polar metabolites were profiled in baseline specimens by liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS). Cases and controls were matched for age, body mass index and fasting glucose. Five branched-chain and aromatic amino acids had highly significant associations with future diabetes: isoleucine, leucine, valine, tyrosine and phenylalanine. A combination of three amino acids predicted future diabetes (with a more than fivefold higher risk for individuals in top quartile). The results were replicated in an independent, prospective cohort. These findings underscore the potential key role of amino acid metabolism early in the pathogenesis of diabetes and suggest that amino acid profiles could aid in diabetes risk assessment.
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