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Osteocalcin hormone can regulate glucose levels: Research

May 04, 2017

By identifying the tight connection existing between energy metabolism and skeleton physiology - in this case between insulin and osteocalcin - this new study further underscores the wealth of physiological function exerted by the skeleton. The finding further strengthens the idea that diabetes could be treated by increasing the level of osteocalcin in the body. In addition, the researchers suggested that since most drugs to treat another condition - osteoporosis - work by inhibiting bone resorption, the drugs may decrease the activation of osteocalcin and cause glucose intolerance in some patients.

"This research has important implications for both diabetes and osteoporosis patients," said Dr. Karsenty. "First, this research shows that osteocalcin is involved in diabetes onset; secondly, bone may become a new target in the treatment of type 2 diabetes, the most frequent form of diabetes, as it appears to contribute strongly to glucose intolerance; and, finally, osteocalcin could become a treatment for type 2 diabetes."

"And for people with osteoporosis, the concern is that a common treatment, bisphosphonates - which work by inhibiting bone resorption and therefore may increase glucose intolerance, could push someone with borderline glucose intolerance into full-fledged disease onset. Although, more research is needed to study this further," said Dr. Karsenty.

Source : Columbia University Medical Center