Diabetes UK has dedicated almost £750,000 to four new research projects looking to understand the causes of diabetes, help with its day-to-day management and protect against its complications.
All four projects have exciting potential to benefit people living with diabetes, and include two trials testing the benefits of dietary supplements and laboratory studies to answer important questions about insulin resistance.
"We are delighted to be supporting this new research and hope that it will bring benefit and improvements for people living with diabetes," said Dr Iain Frame, Director of Research at Diabetes UK.
Dietary fibre to help Type 2?
A high-fibre diet has been linked to a reduced risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. Dr Robertson plans to understand exactly how a specific dietary fibre known as resistant starch influences insulin resistance in the body, which will help in defining its potential as a complementary treatment for people with Type 2 diabetes.
Vitamin D and heart protection
With funding from Diabetes UK, Dr Karalliedde will lead a clinical trial to better understand the effects of vitamin D supplements, in addition to existing treatments, on chronic kidney disease and cardiovascular disease in people with Type 2 diabetes.
Molecular mechanisms of glucose storage
Insulin stimulates the uptake and storage of glucose in muscle and fat tissue. This study aims to further understand the role of a protein called AMPK in regulating this process in fat tissue, which could reveal targets for the development of future drugs and new therapies for the treatment of Type 2 diabetes.
Controlling glucose transport
Professor Gould’s team will investigate the role of a protein called mVps45 in the movement of glucose transporter proteins, called GLUT4, to the cell surface where they act as ‘doors’ allowing glucose to enter the cell. It is hoped that this knowledge will provide a focus for the development of new types of drugs for the treatment of Type 2 diabetes.