22 November 2022

Diabetes and bile acids

A new strategy for the treatment and prevention of type II diabetes is presented

Svetlana Maslova, Hi-tech+

The discovery of a new treatment method was preceded by an analysis of the bile acid profile of people, which had not previously been associated with blood glucose control. Now scientists have found a target that can provide prevention of diabetes and effective treatment of the disease, which already affects more than 400 million people in the world.

In a new study by scientists from Singapore has shown that bile acids not only help digest food, but also act as signaling molecules that control various functions in the body, including blood sugar levels, according to the website of the Yong Lu Lin Medical School. They found out that in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus, the composition of bile acids is different, and this unique bile acid profile is controlled by the CYP8B1 gene.

First, preclinical studies were conducted, which showed a positive effect of the absence of CYP8B1 in relation to the prevention of diabetes. Laboratory animals had an increased ability to produce insulin to control blood glucose levels.

Then the scientists analyzed the data of more than eight thousand people and identified 140 people with mutations in one of the two copies of CYP8B1, who were invited to participate in a two-year study.

Observations showed the same positive effects that were observed earlier: patients had increased sensitivity to insulin and better control of blood glucose levels. In addition, they were found to have less fat in the liver and good lipid levels. The conclusions are based on a comparison of their data with people from the control group corresponding by gender, age, BMI and race.


Currently, scientists are testing various strategies for exposure to CYP8B1 in order to ensure the prevention and treatment of type 2 diabetes. The incidence continues to grow continuously, so the emergence of new tools for the prevention and control of the disease gives hope for a slowdown in the global epidemic.

Article by Zhong et al. Haploinsufficiency of CYP8B1 associates with increased insulin sensitivity in humans is published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation – VM.

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