Skip to content
Join Life Time
a person pricks a finger to take blood glucose level

If you knew you were genetically predisposed to develop type 2 diabetes, would you change your diet? Ramp up your workout regimen? Start monitoring your blood sugar? Recent research suggests that you may one day get a chance to make some informed choices — years before a diabetes diagnosis would occur.

German scientists have identified epigenetic changes in the pancreas of lab mice that predict the disease’s development. They then found a similar pattern in the blood cells of humans participating in a major European diet study.

“Our aim was to identify early changes in DNA methylation and the expression pattern in the islets of Langerhans in a diabetes-prone mouse and then to test which of these can also be detected in the blood of humans before diabetes is diagnosed,” says Annette Schürmann, PhD, a spokesperson at the German Center for Diabetes Research.

They were able to detect changes in DNA methylation among type-2-diabetes patients participating in the EPIC–Potsdam study that matched those in the mice, a discovery Schürmann believes may change the way physicians — and their patients — approach the disease.

“In humans, 105 such differences can be detected in blood cells a few years prior to the diabetes diagnosis,” she notes. “This may open up the possibility of using some of these changes as diagnostic markers for type 2 diabetes in the future.”

This article originally appeared as “Destined for Diabetes?” in the March 2021 issue of Experience Life.

Thoughts to share?

This Post Has 0 Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

ADVERTISEMENT

More Like This

a doctor reviews test results with a patient

Here’s What You Need to Know About A1C

By Mo Perry

High blood glucose and prediabetes diagnoses are becoming increasingly common, even among people who are otherwise in good health. Discover the factors that contribute to a concerning A1C reading, along with diet and lifestyle strategies that can help you regulate your blood-glucose levels.

Back To Top