Breaking News on Supplements & Nutrition - EuropeUS edition

Headlines > Research

Amino acid supplements may offer diabetes hope: Mouse data

By Nathan Gray+

Last updated on 11-Sep-2013 at 03:59 GMT

Amino acid supplements may offer diabetes hope: Mouse data

Supplementation with the amino acid arginine could help to improve glucose metabolism by as much as 40%, according to new research in mice.

The study shows that supplementation with the amino acid significantly improves glucose metabolism in both insulin-sensitive and insulin-resistant mice.

Led by Christoffer Clemmensen from the University of Copenhagen, the researchers suggested that supplementation with the amino acid could offer significant benefits for people who suffer from type 2 diabetes.

"We have demonstrated that both lean and fat laboratory mice benefit considerably from arginine supplements," said Clemmensen.

"We improved glucose metabolism by as much as 40% in both groups," he said. "In fact, the amino acid is just as effective as several well-established drugs for type 2 diabetics."

However the researcher noted: "You cannot, of course, cure diabetes by eating unlimited quantities of arginine-rich almonds and hazelnuts. However, our findings indicate that diet-based interventions with arginine-containing foods can have a positive effect on how the body processes the food we eat."

Study details

The researchers noted that more than 371 million people worldwide suffer from diabetes, of whom 90% are affected by lifestyle-related diabetes mellitus type 2 (type 2 diabetes).

To test the effect of the amino acid arginine, researchers subjected lean and obese animal models to a so-called glucose tolerance test, which measures the body's ability to remove glucose from the blood over time.

They found that arginine improves glucose metabolism significantly in both lean (insulin-sensitive) and obese (insulin-resistant) mice.

"We can also see that arginine increases the body's production of glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1), an intestinal hormone which plays an important role in regulating appetite and glucose metabolism, and which is therefore used in numerous drugs for treating type 2 diabetes," said Clemmensen.

 "Mice without GLP-1 receptors are not affected to the same extent by arginine," he added. "There is no perceptible improvement in glucose metabolism or insulin secretion, confirming our hypothesis of a close biological connection between GLP-1 and arginine."

Subscribe to our FREE newsletter

Get FREE access to authoritative breaking news, videos, podcasts, webinars and white papers. SUBSCRIBE

Related products

Key Industry Events


Access all events listing

Our events, Events from partners...