A recent study set out to challenge the long held view that insulin resistance and elevated levels of blood glucose were among the causes of type 2 diabetes.
The German Cancer Research Center observed that in flies elevated levels of a specific metabolite would cause metabolic disturbances associated with type 2 diabetes. These metabolic changes then lead to insulin resistance and elevated levels of blood glucose.
The metabolite in question, methylglyoxal (MG), in high levels seemed to be starting a process that led to type 2 diabetes. This led scientists at the German Cancer Research Center, to rethink the relationship between diabetes and high blood glucose/insulin resistance. Another reason for their research was that studies in recent years involving people with type 2 diabetes shows that with medication, blood glucose can be lowered to below “diabetes” levels, but kidney damage would still occur.
The team at the German Cancer Research Center concluded that high levels of MG cause damage to proteins, which lead to metabolic changes that cause type 2 diabetes. Elevated levels of blood glucose and insulin resistance are then seen as a result of, rather than cause of type 2 diabetes.