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New hormone target for blood sugar control may help diabetics

Category: Diabetes

Diabetes costs the U.S. more than $174 billion a year in reduced productivity and expenses according to recent studies.

Diabetes is a chronic disease and the damage to organs and increased risk of heart attack and stroke is a gradual process. The best way to minimize the damaging effects of the disease is the control of blood sugar, which patients learn to monitor closely.

In recent work published in the journal Cell Metabolism, Dr Tony Lam at the Toronto General Research Institute and the University of Toronto found that a peptide in the gut, cholecystokinin, sends a signal to the brain and liver to lower glucose and sugar production, presenting a possible new target for blood sugar control in the future.

Of the 23.6 million people in the U.S. with diabetes, the American Diabetes Association estimates that one-quarter are not aware they have the disease. The ADA recommends early detection through blood tests.

"The earlier we can identify people at risk and intervene, the better off they are likely to be," the vice president of clinical affairs for the ADA, Dr Sue Kirkman, told WebMD.ADNFCR-2248-ID-19308080-ADNFCR

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