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Korean Researchers Find Main Cause of Diabetes

Posted March. 06, 2005 22:52,   


Researchers in Korea have successfully discovered the causes behind diabetes at the molecular level, paving the way for new ways of treatment.

Professor Lee Wan (42) of the Biochemistry Lab of Dongguk Medical School stated on March 6, “After three years of research, we discovered that the reduction of mitochondrial DNA within the cell is the main cause behind diabetes, and defined the process at the molecular level.”

Aided by the Ministry of Health and Welfare, this research was published in the March edition of the renowned “Journal of Biological Chemistry”.

Professor Lee’s team observed the mechanisms of insulin by measuring the amount of mitochondrial DNA in mice muscle cells, and confirmed that the reduction of mitochondrial DNA led to the decrease in the rate of blood sugar by insulin, thus leading to diabetes.

Professor Lee stated that “heavy drinking, smoking, stress, and obesity can cause an imbalance in mitochondria, leading to diabetes,” and that “we can prevent and treat diabetes if we develop medication that adjusts for the faulty processes related to the mitochondrion.”