Life Extension Update
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Scientists demonstrate inflammation’s effect on glucose levels
The Therapeutic Approaches to Obesity and Related Disorders conference held in Washington DC was the site of a presentation on July 22 by scientists from Galileo Pharmaceuticals concerning the demonstration of a direct relationship between inflammation and glucose levels. The finding adds to a growing body of information linking inflammation with a number of diseases and age-related conditions.
Using a mouse model of diabetes, Galileo researchers administered a 5-lipoxygenase and 15-lipoxygenase inhibitor and measured the animals’ blood glucose and insulin levels. Lipoxygenases are enzymes that are involved in the production of leukotrienes, which are mediators of inflammation. Five and 15-lipoxygenase have been implicated in asthma, arthritis, atherosclerosis, diabetes, osteoporosis, and cancer. The scientists observed a 20 percent reduction in the animals’ blood glucose levels while insulin levels remained the same--results that are comparable to those of a leading antidiabetic drug
Lloyd M. Kunimoto, who is the president and chief executive officer of Galileo Pharmaceuticals, stated, "Metabolic disease is a health concern of near-epidemic proportions, particularly in the US. We are encouraged by our initial study, which confirms the role of inflammation in the regulation of carbohydrate and lipid metabolism. “
"There is increasing scientific evidence that suggests that inflammation is a key component of onset and progression of metabolic disease,” added Galileo Pharmaceuticals’ chief scientific officer and executive vice president of research and development, David Liebowitz, MD, PhD. “We have already identified potent lipoxygenase inhibitors that have shown activity in preclinical animal models of diabetes and are evaluating more potent and pharmacologically optimized leads in appropriate animal models."
Chronic systemic inflammation is an underlying cause of many seemingly unrelated, age-related diseases. As humans grow older, systemic inflammation can inflict devastating degenerative effects throughout the body (Ward 1995; McCarty 1999; Brod 2000). This fact is often overlooked by the medical establishment, yet persuasive scientific evidence exists that correcting a chronic inflammatory disorder will enable many of the infirmities of aging to be prevented or reversed.
In a study published in the July 18, 2001 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, a group from the famous Women's Health Study was evaluated to ascertain what risk factors could predict future development of Type II diabetes (Pradhan et al. 2001). The findings showed that baseline levels of C-reactive protein and interleukin-6 (IL-6) were significantly higher among those who subsequently developed diabetes compared to those who did not.
When comparing the highest versus lowest quartile, women with the higher IL-6 levels were 7.5 times more likely to develop diabetes while those in the higher C-reactive protein ranges were 15.7 times more likely to become diabetic. After adjusting for all other known risk factors, women with the highest IL-6 levels were 2.3 times at greater risk, while those with the highest C-reactive protein levels were 4.2 times more likely to become diabetic. It should be noted that these other diabetic risk factors (such as obesity, estrogen replacement therapy and smoking) all sharply increase inflammatory markers in the blood. The doctors who conducted this study concluded by stating:
"Elevated C-reactive protein and IL-6 predict the development of Type II diabetes mellitus. These data support a possible role for inflammation in diabetogenesis."
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