A group of researchers from France, Canada and the UK have discovered a link between the risk of Type 2 diabetes and several mutations in the body’s melatonin receptor gene, a gene known as MTNR1B. Working with a group of 7,632 European women (3,186 of whom already had Type 2 diabetes) researchers found:
- 40 different and rare mutations to the melatonin receptor gene associated with varying degrees of increased risk of Type 2 diabetes.
- 4 of these rare mutations actually caused a total loss of function in the melatonin receptor gene
- Analyzing these 4 mutations in an additional 11,854 people, researchers found that the presence of any single one was associated with a significantly increased risk of Type 2 diabetes, a risk as much as six times higher than average.
Melatonin plays a critical role in synchronizing the body’s biological clock, and regulating its sleep-wake cycle. The rise-and-fall cycle of melatonin release is critical to our ability to sleep at night. A disruption in the body’s ability to produce melatonin will lead to disordered sleep.
There’s also evidence that disturbances to melatonin production may affect the body’s insulin levels. Insulin resistance (the body’s inability to use insulin effectively) is a fundamental characteristic of Type 2 diabetes. When functioning normally, the body produces just the amount of insulin it needs to help cells absorb glucose from the blood stream. Disturbances to insulin levels can lead this finely-tuned process to go awry.
What we do know is that there is a compelling and growing body of evidence that sleep (and it’s biological and genetic underpinnings) plays a significant role in determining risk for diabetes. Recent studies have shown:
- Poor sleep is linked to both weight gain and insulin resistance in healthy adults
- Sleeping fewer than 6 hours increases the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. And the less sleep you get, the greater the risk—this same study found sleeping fewer than 5 hours elevates diabetes risk even further
- Just one night of sleeping only 4 hours—rather than the recommended 7 to 8—can trigger insulin resistance.
This health blog has been provided by www.myreliever.com