Too much of a good thing?
December 26, 2009 9:28 AM Subscribe
posted by greatgefilte (31 comments total)
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is an awful disease. Its symptoms are the four D's -- diarrhea, dermatitis, dementia, and death, unpleasant by anyone's standards. Caused by a deficiency in niacin
, pellagra is uncommon in developed nations thanks to the fortification
of bread products with niacin. But could excess niacin be causing the rapid rise in type II diabetes?
While type II diabetes (T2DM) is a multi-factorial disease, a likely combination of genetic susceptibility and environmental factors,, much emphasis has been placed on the concept of oxidative stress
as a proximal cause
for the insulin resistance seen in T2DM.
Building on prior work, a new study
from China suggests that (a) niacin causes oxidative stress and insulin resistance, (b) people with T2DM can't get rid of niacin as easily as healthy people without a family history of T2DM, (c) medications that are known to cause insulin resistance also impair the body's ability to excrete niacin, (d) niacin can be excreted in sweat, and not sweating enough causes a niacin buildup and insulin resistance, and (e) lots more.
A smoking gun? Probably not, but for now it may affect the way niacin is used to treat high cholesterol
, which so often comes along with T2DM.