A team of researchers has come up with a new approach to help lower blood sugar levels in diabetics.
Some treatments for type 2 diabetes make the body more sensitive to insulin, the hormone that lowers blood sugar, but Washington University School of Medicine study suggested a different strategy: slowing the production of glucose in the liver.
Working in mice, the researchers showed they could reduce glucose production in the liver and lower blood sugar levels.
They did so by shutting down a liver protein involved in making glucose, an approach that may work in patients with type 2 diabetes.
Principal investigator Brian N. Finck said that they think this strategy could lead to more effective drugs for type 2 diabetes.
Finck added that a drug that shuts down glucose production has the potential to help millions of people affected by the most common form of diabetes.
In addition to diabetes, the researchers also think that interfering with pyruvate transport may help patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, a condition common in people with obesity.
The research is published online in Cell Metabolism.