Researchers observe possible link between proteins and type 2 diabetes prevention


Researchers from have shown that levels of certain proteins in the blood are associated with a significantly reduced risk for developing type 2 diabetes for several years. The proteins are all part of what is called the IGF axis, named for insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1). It is called ‘insulin-like’ because it has biological effects similar to those of insulin, but has a greater effect on cell growth. In a new study, the researchers analyzed levels of IGF-1, IGFBP-1, IGFBP-2, and IGFBP-3 in blood taken from 742 women in the Nurses’ Health Study who years later developed type 2 diabetes as well as women in the study who did not develop diabetes. Each part of the IGF axis was found to have a significant independent association with diabetes risk, especially IGFBP-1 and -2.