It’s long been known that the presence of insulin is necessary to reduce blood sugar after a meal that is high in carbohydrates. The carbohydrates are broken down to the smallest unit of sugar via enzymatic reactions. This naturally elevates the glucose levels and concentrations in the blood, which then signalled to the beta cells in the pancreas to upregulate the secretion of insulin and drive glucose and nutrients into the cells of the body. This is the primary means of deriving energy for daily bodily processes and exercise.
The latest reached into the endocrine systems relationship with glucose metabolism has revealed that the muscles – at cellular level – may also play a role in blood sugar (glucose) regulation.
The study, which took place at the University of Michigan Life Sciences examined the effects when the BAF60C gene found within the muscles was silenced in mice. Initially the mice were unaffected by the intervention, but once they were put onto a high fat diet, the mice struggled to dispose of the increased glucose levels in the blood post-meal.
Lacking the ability to regulate glucose levels in the blood is a symptom of type II diabetes and is a signal for hyperglycaemia, which leads to serious health issues if left un-intervened.
The findings could be very beneficial for both future research and therapeutic assistance for people suffering with diabetes and diabetes prevention protocol.
That said, more research is still necessary to determine the true influence of these glucose-sensing pathways in the muscle and the research is very much in the infancy stage.
Zhuo-Xian Menget et al Glucose Sensing by Skeletal Myocytes Couples Nutrient Signaling to Systemic Homeostasis. Molecular Cell, 2017; 66 (3): 332