Resistin – Hormone Related To Obesity And Type 2 Diabetes: Nowadays, obesity and diabetic conditions have become popular medical topics of discussion in many circles. There have been various debates over what really is the cause of these two medical conditions. Type II diabetes, an epidemic in industrialized countries, has for a long time been associated with obesity.
One of the most unmistakable characteristics of Type II diabetes, or adult on-set diabetes, is target-tissue insulin resistance, which is triggered by the body’s fat cells. However, until a few years ago, it was not clear which fat cell protein was responsible for this.
Discovery of Resistin
In 2001, a group of researchers led by Dr Mitchell A. Lazar from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, discovered a hormone that links obesity to Type II diabetes. They called the hormone, resistin, which stands for “resistance to insulin.” The hormone was first found in lab mice, but was later found to exist in the human body as well.
Scientists argue that this newly discovered hormone explains how obesity exposes people to the threat of the diet-induced Type II diabetes. Dr. Lazar and his team first carried out some tests in mice to find out what fat cells were responsible for insulin resistance. They treated cultured fat cells with glitazones which is the recommended treatment for Type II diabetes.
In doing so, they identified a new hormone that was expressed only in adipose tissue, or adipocytes, of obese rodents, where it was produced in plenty. The production of this hormone was found to be suppressed when the mice were treated with glitazones. They named this hormone resistin.
Resistin and Type II Diabetes
Resistin is a unique signaling molecule, or messenger RNA, which prompts tissue resistance to insulin. This greatly hampers the subsequent and all important glucose uptake triggered by insulin. Thus, obesity may result in your elevated levels of resistin, which, in turn, results in insulin resistance and Type II diabetes.
Further research has linked resistin to other physiological systems such as inflammation and energy homeostasis. Inflammation is the first inborn immune response to infection. Resistin increases transcriptional events leading to an increased expression of several pro-inflammatory chemicals in the body.
There certainly is medication that is used to combat this hormone for those who suffer from Type II obesity. However, this is not to say that the condition is curable, but it can be regulated using different anti-resistin antibodies.
Glitazones are the most recommended class of medication designed to reverse the basic problem of resistance to insulin in Type II diabetes. Administration of these anti-bodies has been known to improve blood sugar and insulin action in diet-induced obesity cases. Their greatest effect on the blood glucose occurs after eating.
The drugs reverse insulin resistance in your body by improving the sensitivity of insulin receptors in muscle, liver, and fat cells. This helps your body use insulin better. It also helps keep your liver from overproducing glucose. Also, it is known to lower blood sugar levels about 15%, while at the same time lowering insulin levels by 20%. In addition to improving insulin sensitivity, glitazones may even decrease cardiac risks.
Medical researchers are busy trying to find a drug that will be suitable enough to block the effects of resistin, but unfortunately, it will still not offer a once and for all cure for obesity. However, if you stand by the adage “prevention is better that cure,” it will not hurt to keep yourself healthy and to stay away from foods that might lead to obesity. You will save a lot of money, and yourself if you just keep it healthy.