HKBU-led research reveals hyocholic acids are promising agents for diabetes prediction and treatment
01 Apr 2021
A series of studies led by HKBU researchers have revealed that hyocholic acid and its derivatives (collectively known as HCAs), a component of bile acids that facilitate fat digestion, are a promising risk indicator of type 2 diabetes. The strong efficacy of HCAs in regulating blood glucose levels and protecting against diabetes has also been uncovered. The findings open a window for the development of HCA-based predictive markers as well as anti-diabetic drugs.
The research results have been published in the international scientific journals Cell Metabolism and Nature Communications.
Inspired by the traditional Chinese medical book Compendium of Materia Medica, which recorded the use of pig bile to treat excessive thirst, a condition known today as diabetes, Professor Jia Wei, Chair Professor of the School of Chinese Medicine, led research teams to conduct a series of studies on the role of HCAs in glucose homeostasis and diabetes prevention.
“As gut microbiota can regulate the metabolism of HCAs, targeting the intestines instead of the pancreas could be a prospective novel strategy for treating diabetes. We will further investigate how to increase the secretion levels of HCAs in diabetic patients by regulating the intestinal bacteria,” said Professor Jia.
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