19 Oct 2016 - 0:56
Study shows salivary protein may be key to metabolic disorders
26 Oct 2016 - 1:35
DOHA: A group of scientists from the Diabetes Research Center at the Qatar Biomedical Research Institute (QBRI), a research institute of Hamad bin Khalifa University (HBKU), has conducted a study that could aid in the early prevention of the development of metabolic disorders.
Metabolism is the process body uses to get or make energy from the food a person eats. A metabolic disorder occurs when abnormal chemical reactions in the body disrupt this process.
The research offers insight into the biological mechanisms behind metabolic differences and may have an impact in helping identify predictive markers of insulin resistance, diabetes, and obesity, making preventative care possible in Qatar and beyond.
The research was recently featured in the prestigious journal ‘Diabetes’ and concluded that individuals with low levels of a specific salivary protein, alpha-amylase, which is produced by the salivary glands and is released in saliva, may cause the body’s energy production sources to switch from sugars to fatty acids.
The research group at Diabetes Research Center was led by Dr Abdelilah Arredouani together with Dr Mario Falchi from the Department of Twin Research at Kings College in London.
The study was conducted by carefully selecting two groups of healthy women for the research project: one group of women with a low level of the salivary protein and one with a high level.
Dr Arredouani said, “Interestingly, the difference between the two groups studied seems to be due mainly to differences in the use of fatty acids. The results suggest that low levels of salivary alpha-amylase somehow reduces the uptake of glucose, the primary source of energy for the cells, and therefore the body shifts towards fatty acids usage to derive energy.”