Researchers found a rare mutation that protects overweight people from getting Type 2 diabetes. The mutation causes a copy of the ZnT8 gene, which is used by pancreas cells, to be destroyed causing a slight increase in the release of insulin and a slight decrease in blood glucose for the person’s entire lifespan. This is a surprising discovery because previous researches have found that destroying the same exact gene had an opposite effect in mice, increasing the risk for diabetes. So far, no negative health effects have been associated with mutation and it reduces the risk of getting Type 2 diabetes by two-thirds. Pfizer is already developing drugs that would act like the mutation but it will still take ten to twenty years until a drug can be marketed.
Are you excited about this potential future treatment for diabetes? What concerns do you have?
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