Preventing type 2 diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is on the increase in the UK and having diabetes greatly increases your risk of developing heart and circulatory disease.

We’re funding a £250,000 project at the University of Leeds that could help us find a way to prevent type 2 diabetes.

The science

People with type 1 diabetes cannot make insulin. If you have type 2 diabetes, your body is resistant to the effects of the insulin.

Insulin is crucial for ensuring the blood has the right level of sugar in it. If there's too much sugar, it can affect the walls of your arteries. These effects make it more likely for fatty plaques to build up that can lead to deadly heart attacks and strokes.

Thanks to your donations we’re able to support scientists like BHF Research Fellow Dr Stephen Wheatcroft and BHF Professor Mark Kearney to investigate what happens in diabetes.

They are investigating a particular protein called insulin-like growth factor binding protein 1 (IGFBP-1). When levels of this protein are too low, it is associated with the onset of type 2 diabetes.

The scientists will study the effects of increasing the amount of this protein in mice, to see if it prevents insulin resistance.

How this research could help patients

If type 2 diabetes is prevented by increasing the levels of this protein, it could eventually lead to improved treatments for this condition.

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