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Category: Hormones and Metabolism
Researchers from the Scripps Research Institute in Florida discovered that low levels of the hormone adropin may increase the risk that an individual will screen positive for metabolic syndrome through a blood test. The study may have implications for the treatment of the disease.
Adropin is a hormone that is thought to help regulate glucose levels and fatty acid metabolism. Previous studies in animals suggested that abnormally low amounts of the hormone may lead to impaired glucose tolerance and obesity.
In order to see if the same effects occurred in humans, the team of scientists conducted a study that included 130 men and women. The researchers observed that characteristics of metabolic syndrome - such as unhealthy levels of cholesterol and blood sugar, hypertension and a large waist circumference - were associated with low levels of adropin.
"The results of this clinical study suggest that low levels of adropin may be a factor increasing risk for developing metabolic disorders associated with obesity and insulin resistance, which could then lead to diseases such as type 2 diabetes," said researcher Andrew Butler, Ph.D.
In the future, doctors may be able to treat metabolic syndrome by boosting patients' adropin levels.
Until then, people who are worried about whether they have metabolic syndrome can undergo a blood test to measure markers of the disease.
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