(MENAFN - The Peninsula) QNA
Washington: In a new study, researchers have found that low levels of a circulating hormone called adropin predict increased weight gain and metabolic dysregulation during consumption of a high-sugar diet in a nonhuman primate model.
According to the study published in the "Journal of Biological Chemistry," these findings will help set the stage to develop new therapies for managing metabolic diseases.
Obesity is a growing public health crisis, bringing with it many serious risk factors, including cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.
As the number of people who are either overweight or obese now outnumbers those with a healthy body weight by a ratio of two to one, researchers face an urgent need to better understand how the body burns fuel.
Several years ago, Andrew Butler, professor of pharmacology and physiology, discovered the peptide hormone adropin. Research by Butler's lab suggested that adropin regulates whether the body burns glucose or fat.
They also found that young men with high adropin levels had lower body mass index (BMI) levels. Moreover, some studies indicated low adropin is associated with biomarkers of insulin resistance.
In the current study, Butler and his colleagues have conducted studies, at California National Primate Research Center, in order to explore adropin's role in metabolic health.
They examined the plasma of 59 adult male rhesus macaques that were fed a high sugar diet.
Overall, consumption of the fructose diet produced a 10% gain in body weight and increases of fasting levels of insulin, indicating insulin resistance, which reduces glucose use and elevated fasting triglycerides which in humans increases the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Animals with low plasma adropin concentrations developed a more severe metabolic syndrome. Interestingly, development of type 2 diabetes was only observed in animals with low plasma adropin concentrations.
This is consistent with the idea that adropin expression is controlled via "clock-related" mechanisms.