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GABA may support body’s natural defenses against diabetes 2, UCLA research suggests

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UCLA researchers have demonstrated that the over-the-counter dietary supplement GABA may help inhibit development of insulin resistance and glucose intolerance – conditions involved in the development of Type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome, which affect millions worldwide.

In this early preclinical study, a team of molecular pharmacologists at UCLA’s Geffen School of Medicine fed supplemental GABA – an amino acid-like molecule that the body produces naturally – to mice that were obese, insulin resistant and in the early stages of Type 2 diabetes.

According to their findings, published Sep 22 by the peer-reviewed journal, PLoS ONE, the supplemental GABA:

• Suppressed the inflammatory immune responses that are involved in the development of this condition.

• Improved glucose tolerance & insulin sensitivity and helped prevent disease progression – even after the onset of Type 2 diabetes.

The UCLA team also identified the regulatory immune cells that likely direct GABA’s activity in inhibiting inflammation.

They note that in the future, GABA taken as a supplement – or related medications – may provide new therapeutic agents for the treatment of obesity-related Type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome.

No outside funding was used for the study.

Source: University of California, Los Angeles Health Sciences news release, Sep 22, 2011

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