Research shows that the molecule osteocalcin, produced by bone cells, may help to regulate blood glucose levels.
Researchers at Columbia University found that increased levels of osteocalcin in mice both stimulated the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas and increased insulin sensitivity.
The researchers will now investigate the role of osteocalcin in regulating blood glucose in humans.
Matt Hunt, Science Information Manager at Diabetes UK, said: “This is a very interesting study.
“Diabetes research has never previously proposed the idea of the skeleton being involved in the development of diabetes. This could potentially open up a whole new area of research.
“Diabetes UK welcomes research which could lead to a better understanding of the causes of the condition. However, this research is in its very early stages and much more needs to be done before we can establish a conclusive link between osteocalcin in bones and diabetes. We look forward to further results.
“Diabetes affects over 2.2 million people in the UK and can lead to devastating complications such as blindness, heart disease, kidney failure and amputations.”
The research is published in the journal.