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[Published: Monday December 08 2008]


'Body clock gene' diabetes clue

London, 08 Dec-(ANA)-The workings of our internal body clock appear to be directly connected to our risk of diabetes, researchers claim.

International research published in the journal Nature Genetics found faults in a key 'clock gene' were linked to blood sugar levels and type II diabetes.

Some scientists already believe that our circadian rhythms (body clock) have a role to play in the condition, which affects millions worldwide.

But one expert said more evidence was needed, before a link was proved.

Scientists say that unravelling the links between obesity, type II diabetes, and circadian rhythms could point the way towards new strategies to control or prevent the illness.

The fact that humans work on a rough 24-hour cycle, sleeping at night, and waking to be more active during the day, is controlled partly by hormones released by the body.

One, in particular, called melatonin, released by the pineal gland in the brain, is involved in drowsiness and the lowering of body temperature.

The researchers, from a variety of universities in the UK and abroad, scanned the genomes of thousands of people looking for associations between particular genetic variations and type II diabetes.

A team including scientists from Imperial College London found one genetic "variation" which appeared to be linked to a 20% increase in the risk of type II diabetes.

Another, including Oxford and Cambridge University scientists, discovered a second variation which could be linked to naturally higher blood sugar levels and diabetes risk. (ANA)

FA/ANA/08 December 2008---



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