Sunday, May 22, 2005

What is GPR40?

GRP40 is a cell receptor on the surface of pancreatic beta cells that is attuned to changes in blood glucose levels. Basically, it has been found that GRP40 alerts the beta cells about their presence in the bloodstream.

What the heck does this mean?

Well, researchers have been trying to understand how excess fat in the bloodstream accelerates the appearance of full-blown diabetes. It is known that it is a progression from the body's normal function to its inability to respond properly to insulin (the hormone responsible for moving sugar from the blood into the cells), progressing to a stepped up effort by the body to produce more insulin, which results in beta-cell exhaustion, leading to less insulin being produced, onto full-blown diabetes.

A group of scientists at the Weizmann Institute of Science and the University of Umea, Sweden, recently identified GPR40 - and unraveled a mechanism by which fat contributes to the onset of the disease. They found that when one eats both fat and sugar, the GPR40 receptor stimulates greater insulin production which hastens the onset of diabetes.

The findings were tested on two sets of mice whose GPR40 production had been modified: One with inhibited production and the other with overactive GPR40 genes that sensed high fatty acid levels even on a normal diet. Not surprising, the mice with overactive gene receptors quickly began to exhibit symptoms of full-blown diabetes, while those with reduced production were healthy, even after the fat content of their diets was increased.

We know that some sugars bypass the normal "krebs cycle" and are automatically kelated primarily to triglycerides in the blood stream. Knowing this means you can take control of what you eat and avoid foods that contain the offending added sugars responsible - high fructose corn syrup, crystalline fructose and hydrolyzed high fructose Inulin Syrup (also labeled as "agave").

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