Arrow-right Camera

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
Clear Night 27° Clear
News >  Nation/World

Diet Protein Could Be Linked To Diabetes

Compiled From Wire Services

A natural protein that some hoped would be a “magic bullet” for weight control may have a dark and dangerous side. New research links the compound with diabetes.

The protein, called leptin, received a flurry of publicity last year when studies showed that it caused extremely obese mice to lose up to 30 percent of their weight. The mice also exercised more and ate less. Some researchers raced to develop leptin or related proteins for use in humans.

But now a lab in Israel has found that leptin may play a role in development of Type II diabetes, a serious disorder that frequently strikes obese adults.

Menachem Rubinstein, a biochemist at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel, said that when leptin is put on human liver cells in the laboratory, it disrupts a normal action of insulin, the hormone essential for control of sugar in the blood.

“We know that obese individuals have a high level of leptin and we know that obese individuals have a tendency to develop diabetes,” Rubinstein said in an interview. “There might be a linkage. It might be that leptin is one of the agents that induces Type II diabetes.”

He said clinical studies with leptin should be approached with caution.

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

Local journalism is essential.

Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.

Subscribe to the Coronavirus newsletter

Get the day’s latest Coronavirus news delivered to your inbox by subscribing to our newsletter.

Annual health and dental insurance enrollment period open now

 (Courtesy Washington Healthplanfinder)

2020 has been a stressful year for myriad reasons.