New research indicates that the brain has more influence on the regulation of blood sugar and development of diabetes than initially realized. These findings could help curb the diabetes epidemic, which if left unchanged, is projected to affect one out of three Americans in the next 30 years.
A PROACTIVE APPROACH TO DIABETES PREVENTION
Since the discovery of insulin nearly 100 years ago, treatment and prevention of diabetes has been nearly all centered around the use and effectiveness of insulin. However, treating diabetes by raising insulin levels or decreasing insulin sensitivity are reactive approaches used once the condition has already developed.
THE IMPORTANCE OF HEALTH BRAIN FUNCTION
Researchers are now indicating that healthy brain function, specifically in the hypothalamus region, is essential for maintaining healthy blood sugar levels and production of the insulin hormone. Specifically, the hypothalamus improves a process called “glucose effectiveness”, which is responsible for nearly 1/2 of the blood sugar uptake occurring in a healthy system.
As a result, researchers have recommended that blood sugar levels be regulated through a two-step approach. The first step being an increase in the production of insulin when blood sugar rises; the second step is an increase in the glucose metabolism process signaled by the brain.
Health issues, especially type 2 diabetes develop when one or both of the above systems are not efficient or fail directly. A combination of a body and brain approach to treating and preventing not only decreases the dangers associated with diabetes, but also may remove the presence from diabetes altogether.