HEALTH

A study with mice and cookie dough is advancing diabetes research

Jul 16, 2019, 3:10 PM

pediatricians...

Worries over the coronavirus are keeping people away from emergency rooms across the country.  Now, pediatricians are weighing in. (Getty Images)

(Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY ⁠— An experiment at the University of Utah featuring mice and a little cookie dough is providing new insights on how to prevent Type 2 diabetes in humans.

The study, which was published online in “Science” this month, details a new therapeutic approach that kept mice on a cookie dough diet from developing diabetes.

Researchers fed mice a high-fat and high-sugar diet, comparable to cookie dough. As expected, the mice became obese. They also developed symptoms of metabolic disease, like a fatty liver and resistance to insulin.

However, after deactivating a specific enzyme called DES1, these symptoms disappeared.

Scott Summers works with University of Utah Health and he co-authored the study. He said the high-fat and high-sugar diet didn’t matter when the enzyme was inhibited.

“Their weight didn’t change but the way they handled nutrients did,” said Summers. “The mice were fat but they were happy and healthy.”

Researchers also found that deactivating DES1 before putting mice on the cookie dough diet prevented weight gain and insulin resistance.

Why the experiment worked

Researchers think a decrease in ceramides, a type of fatty lipid, is what led to the dramatic changes. Ceramides promote storage of fat in cells and keep cells from using glucose as energy. Deactivating DES1 lowered the number of ceramides the mice had in their bodies, which stopped their symptoms.

While it is currently unknown whether a similar approach could be used in humans, Summers and co-author David Kelley are optimistic that their findings could lead to a change in how diabetes is prevented.

“This project provides substantial validation that this is a discreet and highly effective point of intervention,” said Kelley.

Kelley and Summers are working on pharmaceuticals that would keep DES1 from functioning in humans. This type of drug could potentially help prevent prediabetes, which affects more than 30 million Americans.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Health

Liver and kidney transplant patient Luis Campos says he's grateful he had a Spanish-speaking team....

Eric Cabrera

Murray kidney clinic helping the Latino community

MURRAY, Utah — Intermountain Health has taken steps to address healthcare in Latino communities by opening Utah’s first fully Spanish-speaking Kidney Transplant Clinic. The Intermountain Clinica Hispana de Riñon (Hispanic Kidney Clinic), in Murray, aims to provide a space for members of the Latino community navigating the complex kidney transplant process. The clinic has bilingual professionals, […]

11 hours ago

utah department of health shown, the department is dealing with a medicaid related outage...

Heather Kelly

Medicaid members in Utah affected by nationwide outage

Utah Medicaid asked local pharmacies to provide a free 30-day supply to high-risk patients affected by the outage.

16 hours ago

Marijuana grows at Tryke Companies Utah's medical cannabis cultivation facility in Tooele...

Michael Camit

Ironing out Utah’s Medical Cannabis Program

Medical marijuana is one of Utah's most regulated substances, but lawmakers are still trying to iron out the wrinkles in the program.

4 days ago

North American hospitals are seeing a major increase -- 416% over the last two decades -- in teen m...

Alexandrea Bonilla

Decades-long study shows increase in eating disorders among young males

The study showed hospitalizations for young males with eating disorders were up 139%, and even higher in young teens.

5 days ago

Containers holding frozen embryos and sperm are stored in liquid nitrogen at a fertility clinic in ...

Jessica Lowell

The future of IVF in Utah following the Alabama Supreme Court embryo ruling

One expert says they won't know if Utah would interpret its wrongful death statute the same way Alabama did until a case came up .

5 days ago

Doctors analyze a screening of a colon...

Don Brinkerhoff

Younger colon cancer deaths are increasing significantly

Colon cancer deaths are rising and people are dying at a much younger age according to the American Cancer Society.

5 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Mother and cute toddler child in a little fancy wooden cottage, reading a book, drinking tea and en...

Visit Bear Lake

How to find the best winter lodging in Bear Lake, Utah

Winter lodging in Bear Lake can be more limited than in the summer, but with some careful planning you can easily book your next winter trip.

Happy family in winter clothing at the ski resort, winter time, watching at mountains in front of t...

Visit Bear Lake

Ski more for less: Affordable ski resorts near Bear Lake, Utah

Plan your perfect ski getaway in Bear Lake this winter, with pristine slopes, affordable tickets, and breathtaking scenery.

front of the Butch Cassidy museum with a man in a cowboy hat standing in the doorway...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Looking Back: The History of Bear Lake

The history of Bear Lake is full of fascinating stories. At over 250,000 years old, the lake has seen generations of people visit its shores.

silhouette of a family looking over a lake with a bird in the top corner flying...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

8 Fun Activities To Do in Bear Lake Without Getting in the Water

Bear Lake offers plenty of activities for the whole family to enjoy without having to get in the water. Catch 8 of our favorite activities.

Wellsville Mountains in the spring with a pond in the foreground...

Wasatch Property Management

Advantages of Renting Over Owning a Home

Renting allows you to enjoy luxury amenities and low maintenance without the long-term commitment and responsibilities of owning a home.

Clouds over a red rock vista in Hurricane, Utah...

Wasatch Property Management

Why Southern Utah is a Retirement Paradise

Retirement in southern Utah offers plenty of cultural and recreational opportunities. Find out all that this region has to offer.

A study with mice and cookie dough is advancing diabetes research