Focus: GS-III Science and Technology, Prelims
Why in news?
- An enzyme that goes by the name SIRT1 is known to be associated with regulation of metabolic activities and also ageing and hence has become a target of therapeutics.
- A study by researchers from Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai (TIFR) shows that glucose controls the function of SIRT1 directly.
- A shortage or absence of this control can lead to a diabetic-like state, while excess feeding and sustained low levels of SIRT1 can lead to obesity and enhanced ageing.
Health and feeding regimen
- There are many diseases related to high calorie content in the body, such as metabolic disorders as shown in animal studies.
- Studies have shown that metabolic diseases are associated with wrong feeding regimen, even in humans.
- Every organism has evolved so as to feed and then alternately fast, so it becomes important to understand this cycle.
- This cycle, known as the feed-fast cycle is a basic pattern and the metabolism related to this is largely taken care of by the liver.
- Glucose controls the functions of a protein SIRT1 which in turn maintains everyday feed-fast cycles and is also associated with longevity.
- Diabetes mellitus (DM), commonly known as diabetes, is a group of metabolic disorders characterized by a high blood sugar level over a prolonged period of time.
- Diabetes is due to either the pancreas not producing enough insulin, or the cells of the body not responding properly to the insulin produced.
There are three main types of diabetes mellitus:
- Type 1 diabetes results from the pancreas’s failure to produce enough insulin due to loss of beta cells. This form was previously referred to as “insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus” (IDDM) or “juvenile diabetes”. The loss of beta cells is caused by an autoimmune response. The cause of this autoimmune response is unknown.
- Type 2 diabetes begins with insulin resistance, a condition in which cells fail to respond to insulin properly. As the disease progresses, a lack of insulin may also develop. This form was previously referred to as “non insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus” (NIDDM) or “adult-onset diabetes”. The most common cause is a combination of excessive body weight and insufficient exercise.
- Gestational diabetes is the third main form, and occurs when pregnant women without a previous history of diabetes develop high blood sugar levels.