Compound In Meat Prevents Diabetes, Study Suggests

adult-onset diabetes. The rats were given supplemental doses of CLA for two weeks. At the end of the experiment, all of the control rats had developed diabetes and none of the rats on CLA had developed the disease.

Previous studies with CLA have shown that it can prevent the onset of certain types of cancer and can reduce the number of mammary, skin and stomach tumors in laboratory animals.

According to Vanden Heuvel, CLA inhibits cancer in part by activating hormone receptors called PPARs, scientific shorthand for peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors. The research on CLA in cancer studies had shown that it affected a particular receptor called PPAR-alpha . The new drug to fight diabetes, TZD, works by activating a PPAR-gamma receptor, one that has the same chemical composition as PPAR-alpha but is structured slightly differently and may have a different biological function.

The researchers hypothesized that CLA might also have an effect on PPAR-gamma , and they found that it did.

Maureen Charron, diabetes researcher and associate professor of biochemistry at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine at Yeshiva University in New York, says she was excited when she heard of the findings. "The design of the study was novel and the results were remarkable," she says. "The findings in diabetic rats open the door to novel dietary intervention in Diabetes mellitus."

Charron suggests that more information is needed, however. "Caution must be taken in these therapies, because liver abnormalities have been recently reported in a small percent of troglitazone-treated patients. Similar side effects should be examined in CLA-treated rats." Troglitazone is one of the thiazolidinedione drugs.

According to the scientists, the CLA research is heading in several different directions. Belury, Peck and Vanden Heuvel plan to begin human trials on CLA and its effects on diabetes as soon as possi

Contact: Steve Tally
Purdue University

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