Type 1 and type 2 diabetes could be treated the same by targeting toxic hormone

Kathleen Blanchard's picture
Research suggests toxic hormone causes both type 1 and type 2 diabetes

Scientists recently found compelling evidence that diabetes, whether type 1 or type 2 may stem from the same cause. The finding could mean new drugs that target a hormone to preserve function of beta cells in the pancreas.


Universities of Manchester and Auckland researchers explain amylin and insulin are both produced by the pancreas. Amylin, like insulin, is also important for controlling blood sugar. Amylin and insulin work together to control circulating glucose.

Toxic clumps destroy beta cells

Beta cells in the pancreas release the hormones that control blood sugar. The newer research
tested the theory in mice.

For their investigation the scientists found transgenic mice with toxic amylin clumps in the pancreas quickly developed loss of beta-cells that results in diabetes.


The finding, published in the August 2014 FASEB journal, means there could be a new way to treat type 1 and type 2 diabetes to help maintain beta cell function. Targeting amylin could slow down the progression of diabetes.

Amylin that slows emptying of food from the stomach and helps us feel less hungry form more quickly around the pancreas with type 1 diabetes, making the disease progress more rapidly compared to type 2 forms.

The finding, led by Professor Garth Cooper, from The University of Manchester in conjunction with his University of Auckland-based research team also means new drugs are in the pipeline. Clinical trials are expected in the next two years in Scotland and Ireland. Professor Cooper and his team expect to have medications for testing that will target the cause of both type 1 and type 2 diabetes.


S. Zhang, H. Liu, C. L. Chuang, X. Li, M. Au, L. Zhang, A. R. J. Phillips, D. W. Scott, G. J. S. Cooper. The pathogenic mechanism of diabetes varies with the degree of overexpression and oligomerization of human amylin in the pancreatic islet cells. The FASEB Journal, 2014; DOI: 10.1096/fj.14-251744


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I'm type 1. I was wondering if I can do this myself ?
Hi Stephen. Can you be more specific? I'm not sure what you're asking exactly. Thank you so much.
Stephen Cassell I am currently working on just that. Studies also show amylin doesn't clump in the presence of zinc, so I started takeing zinc-rich foods. I found that just a small amount (1/4 cup) of raw pumpkin seeds, known for being high in zinc, cause a most uncomfortable feeling of fullness in me. Now I have been seeking my own cure for some time now and may have done other things to "prime" myself for these seeds, but I cannot discount the feeling I get when eating them. Pumpkin seeds are known to have a positive effect for those with type 1 (search cucurbita ficifolia and type 1). Seems to me there is something going on with these seeds as the feeling of fullness lasts over 12 hours from just that small amount. That full feeling, I believe, is the result of amylin being freed up by the zinc in the seeds, thereby making me feel full, uncomfortably full! Been at this about 5 months now and will continue until the feeling goes away. Type 1 may just be a matter of zinc deficiency. Wouldn't that be wild!!!