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: Diabetes drug side effects traced to fat action

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

Related Stories

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, ...

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 ...

Recommended for you

New findings offer hope for diabetic wound healing

November 23, 2015

University of Notre Dame researchers have discovered a compound that accelerates diabetic wound healing, which may open the door to new treatment strategies. Non-healing chronic wounds are a major complication of diabetes, ...

'Healthy' foods differ by individual

November 19, 2015

Ever wonder why that diet didn't work? An Israeli study tracking the blood sugar levels of 800 people over a week suggests that even if we all ate the same meal, how it's metabolized would differ from one person to another. ...


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.