AP Biology class blog for discussing current research in Biology

Tag: type 2 diabetes

Childhood Stress: Impact on Blood Pressure, Obesity, and Diabetes

Childhood stress can lead to chronic diseases? A study conducted by researchers at the Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, emphasizes the importance of comprehending the impact of perceived stress on cardiometabolic health factors, including obesity, Type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure. Based on data from the Southern California Children’s Health Study, the study revealed that consistently high levels of perceived stress from adolescence through adulthood were associated with a greater risk for cardiometabolic diseases in young adulthood. Individuals experiencing prolonged stress during this period exhibited worse vascular health, higher total body fat, increased abdominal fat, and a heightened risk of obesity. 

The study indicated a general association between higher perceived stress levels and elevated risks of various cardiometabolic health conditions. Those reporting higher stress levels demonstrated poorer vascular health and higher systolic and diastolic blood pressure. The findings suggest that healthcare professionals could benefit from incorporating the Perceived Stress Scale into routine clinic assessments to identify individuals with higher stress levels early, enabling timely intervention and treatment. 

While the study provides valuable insights into the long-term impact of stress on cardiometabolic health, it acknowledges the limitation of its relatively small size. The researchers recommend more extensive studies to clarify and validate the associations between perceived stress patterns and various risk factors for cardiometabolic diseases. In a study on adolescents in Louisiana, researchers found that poor diet quality during adolescence is linked to lasting health risks, according to the article Poor diet quality during adolescence is linked to serious health risks. The study focused on physical activity, sleep, and dietary patterns, aiming to improve diet and reduce health risks, including cardiometabolic risks. The findings show that not following dietary guidelines is tied to ongoing health issues in teens over two years. Ensuring adolescents maintain an active lifestyle, adopt a wholesome diet, prioritize quality sleep, and manage stress levels becomes crucial for their overall well-being.

In AP Bio’s Unit 3 on Cell Communication, we explored the endocrine system: a complex network of glands and organs that secrete hormones into the bloodstream to regulate various physiological functions and maintain homeostasis in the body. Perceived stress triggers the activation of the body’s stress response, which involves the release of stress hormones from the endocrine system, primarily cortisol and adrenaline. The prolonged exposure to high levels of stress, as indicated by the study, may lead to dysregulation in the endocrine system. This dysregulation could contribute to disturbances in metabolic processes, potentially explaining the observed associations with cardiometabolic risk factors.  Endocrine EnglishMy grandfather, Steve, was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes in 1995. His body’s cells became resistant to the effects of insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas that helps cells absorb glucose from the bloodstream. As a result, glucose cannot enter cells efficiently, leading to elevated blood sugar levels. As a kid, my grandfather always told me to drink water and get in those daily vegetables with every sweet I ate. As I’ve researched, diets high in refined carbohydrates, sugars, and saturated fats contribute to obesity and insulin resistance. A diet rich in processed foods and poor in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains increases the risk of type 2 diabetes. I would love to hear your thoughts and insights on childhood stress linked to chronic diseases. Please share your comments and join the conversation!

Insulin Resistance Reversed by Removal of Protein

By removing the protein galectin-3 (Gal3) from the insulin receptor cells, a team of investigators led by University of California School of Medicine researchers were able to reverse diabetic insulin resistance and glucose intolerance in mice with diabetes. This could be the beginnings of a break threw in the cure for type 2 diabetes.

By binding to insulin receptors on cells, Gal3 prevents insulin from attaching to the receptors resulting in cellular insulin resistance. A research team led by Jared Olefsky MD, discovered that by genetically removing Gal3 or using pharmaceutical inhibitors to target it, insulin sensitivity and glucose tolerance could be returned to normal. Olefsky stated, “Our findings suggest that Gal3 inhibition in people could be an effective anti-diabetic approach.”

Gal3 is secreted by microphages (specialized cells that destroy targeted cells).The researchers pinpointed macrophages coming from bone marrow as the source of the Gal3 that causes insulin resistance. The accumulation of macrophages in the liver cells, fat cells, and skeletal muscle cells, leads to chronic inflammation and insulin resistance. The Gal3 released by macrophages causes insulin resistance by binding to insulin receptors on cells, preventing insulin from attaching. The worst part is that Gal3 also acts as a signaling protein, attracting more macrophages to the area, which then produce even more Gal3.

This discovery although untested on humans yet, could be the beginnings of a cure for type 2 diabetes. As a member of a family plagued by Type 2 diabetes, this study can offer hope to us and millions around the world. My main question/ concern, would be is this a one time procedure? Or a recurring treatment?. Either way, this discovery is a huge step for the diabetic community around the world.



Diabetes–More Then Meets The Eye

In recent studies, it is said that people diagnosed with type 2 diabetes may also show signs of the beginnings  of Alzheimer’s. As we studied in our last unit, type 2 diabetes develops in a person who has taken in a lot of glucose in their lifetime. So much glucose that after a while–receptors begin to not recognize insulin. Eating too much sugary, high-fat foods, is extremely detrimental to ones health. Common side affects of diabetes include: heart disease, nerve damage, vision loss, kidney damage, and foot damage. According to my article, not only can insulin resistance cause type 2 diabetes, but also can lead to memory loss and cognitive issues. In a study done at Brown University, it was found that not only can you’re liver and fat cells become diabetic but even you’re brain can become diabetic! The hippocampus, as our class is familiar with, deals with learning and memory. When insulin is resisted in the hippocampus, cognitive problems can occur. One of the main causes of Alzheimer’s is the mass build up of the protein beta-amyloid, in the brain. This build up leaves insoluble plaques between dead cells in the brain.

An investigation was conducted to find out if beta-amyloid buildup may be a cause of cognitive decline in type 2 diabetes. 20 rats were given a high-fat diet that led to type 2 diabetes and another group of 20 rats were given a healthy diet. Both groups of rats were trained to expect a shock while in a dark cage. When rats returned to their dark cages, scientists would measure how long it took for the rats to react to the shock. Of course, the rats with type 2 diabetes proved weaker. They stood still in their dark cages twice as long as the healthy rats did.

Diabetes and Alzheimer’s epidemic is only becoming more and more relevant as the years go by. This study is important. Although preventing diabetes may not prevent types of dementia, it will prevent many other serious health problems. Because of recent findings of links between the two diseases, scientists are doing everything possible  to prevent Alzheimer’s in patients with type 2 diabetes.




diabetes  by: GDS Infographics







Eat Your Breakfast!!!

Credit: meglet127 Flickr

I was always told that Breakfast was the most important meal of the day, and I thought that was because breakfast gave me the brain food I needed to be able to function in school. While this is a big reason to eat breakfast, The New York Times has just posted an article describing another reason to eat breakfast. Lowering your risk for Type 2 Diabetes !

Diabetes is a disorder concerning metabolism. More specifically, Diabetes refers to a “malfunction” in the way that our cells react to insulin produced by the pancreas. Type 2 Diabetes is the most common form of diabetes, and occurs when the pancreas is either not producing enough insulin, or our cells aren’t reacting correctly to the insulin our pancreas is producing.

The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition conducted a study in which 29,000 men were followed for 16 years, with their eating habits being closely watched. Over the course of this study, about 2,000 of these men developed type 2 diabetes. The researchers concluded that those who skipped breakfast had a 21% higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes than the others.

There are two theories as to why this may be. First, some scientists believe that a morning meal helps stabilize blood sugar levels throughout the day. Another theory claims that by skipping breakfast, people partake in increased snacking throughout the day, and their intake of sugary snack food dramatically increases.

So think about it! How many of you have skipped breakfast, only to run to the college office scourging for any food you can find? Rather than eat tons of junk throughout the day to compensate for all the real meals you’ve been skipping, try starting your day just a little earlier to fit in a healthy breakfast. You’ll notice the benefits immediately!

For More information on Healthy Breakfasts, Check out this link:

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