Saturday, September 25, 2010

Gestational diabetes

Gestational diabetes is linked to serotonin - a chemical produced by the body - and influenced by the amount of protein in the mother’s diet early in pregnancy, a new study has revealed. A team at the California University has found that the cause of diabetes during pregnancy is directly controlled by serotonin, known as a neurotransmitter, and is influenced by the amount of protein in the mother’s diet early in pregnancy
According to scientists, the discovery could lead to simple dietary solutions and possible therapeutics for the disorder known as gestational diabetes, which if untreated, has serious implications for both mother and child. Many have puzzled for decades over the fact that the onset of pregnancy causes a woman to double the number of insulin – producing islet cells in her pancreas.
While that increase enables the mother to control the flow of nutrients to the fetus during its final growth spurt in the trimester, the islet cell production occurs long before those nutrients are actually needed. Until now, no one has known what caused that change.
Clearly, it is not stimulated by the need for nutrients at the time it occurs, so something else had to be causing it. Using a genomic analysis of both pregnant and non pregnant mice, the scientists a broad scan of all of the genes that were turned either on or off in the islet cells during pregnancy.
At the top of the list, was tryptophan hydroxylase, the enzyme that produces serotonin from the amino acid tryptophan. In the newly pregnant mice , that enzyme rose exponentially. Share Health|Fitness
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