Researchers iron out the link between serum ferritin and diabetes

September 10, 2012

Iron overload increases the risk for insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes; however, the exact mechanisms that link the two are unknown.

In today's issue of the , Donald McClain and colleagues at the University of Utah report that serum ferritin levels could predict the presence or absence of metabolic syndrome in humans and were inversely associated with the expression of adiponectin, a blood glucose-regulating protein produced by fat cells (adipocytes).

Treatment of adipocytes with iron decreased adiponectin levels, indicating that adipocytes play a central role in nutrient and iron detection. Further, reduction of serum ferritin levels in human patients increased insulin sensitivity and .

This study underscores the importance of adipocytes in metabolic diseases and points to iron reduction as a possible treatment for diabetes.

Explore further: Maternal glycemic status linked to epigenetic changes

More information: Adipocyte Iron Regulates Adiponectin and Insulin Sensitivity, Journal of Clinical Investigation, 2012. doi:10.1172/JCI44421

Related Stories

21st century bloodletting reduces cardiovascular risk

May 29, 2012

It seems that while the practice of bloodletting throughout history had little or no effect on most diseases, and the practice was abandoned in the 19th century, new research published in BioMed Central's open access journal ...

Diabetes drug side effects traced to fat action

July 5, 2011

For better or worse, a popular class of anti-diabetic drugs does more than lower blood sugar. One known as rosiglitazone (trade name Avandia) has been in the spotlight for its possible link to increased cardiovascular events, ...

Recommended for you

Formaldehyde damages proteins, not just DNA

September 29, 2016

The capacity of formaldehyde, a chemical frequently used in manufactured goods such as automotive parts and wood products, to damage DNA, interfere with cell replication and cause cancer inspired new federal regulations this ...

Synthetic 3D-printed material helps bones regrow

September 28, 2016

A cheap and easy to make synthetic bone material has been shown to stimulate new bone growth when implanted in the spines of rats and a monkey's skull, researchers said Wednesday.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.