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Following blood testing that indicates the presence of type 2 diabetes, one of the worst things that can happen to a patient is the loss of function in the pancreatic cells that produce insulin. This typically makes it very hard for patients to control their blood sugar, which increases the risk of complications.
However, a team of researchers from the Duke University Medical Center recently discovered that a hormone may prevent the loss of function of insulin-producing beta cells, which could prolong the healthy function of the pancreas and prevent many of the complications that are common in diabetes.
In the study, which was published in the journal Cell Metabolism, the researchers administered a hormone known as TLQP-21 to mice that were bred to develop type 2 diabetes. The results showed that these animals maintained healthy pancreatic function much longer than would be expected.
The team said their findings could possibly be used to develop new treatments that prolong the function of insulin-producing cells. However, a significant amount of research still needs to be done before this hormone can be tested for its effect in humans.
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