Future medications for type 2 diabetes may resemble those used for heart disease

Although some people think that two completely different methods are needed to treat type 2 diabetes or cardiovascular disease, a recent study published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry indicated that diabetes medications may soon overlap with those that are used to help prevent heart disease.

This is because the new research connects both insulin resistance and cardiovascular risk factors to cholesterol.

The scientists identified an enzyme called CEH, which helps to remove cholesterol from cells and convert it to HDL, also known as good cholesterol.

The study's results showed that laboratory rodents that had been provided with the gene responsible for this enzyme had decreased levels of inflammation that has been identified as the root cause of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. Although mice with the CEH transgene gained weight at the same rate as those that did not produce the enzyme when they were all fed a high-fat Western diet, the former showed improved insulin sensitivity. This indicated that these mice were not at risk for developing diabetes due to obesity.

"Although diabetes and heart disease often co-exist, current management of diabetes does not necessarily include cholesterol [in combination with or without] inflammation control," said lead researcher Shobha Ghosh.

There is no cure for diabetes, but patients who have the disease are often prescribed diabetes medications that may help them manage their symptoms and blood sugar levels.

The American Diabetes Association recommends that individuals keep a diabetes emergency kit stored in their home in case of interruptions in daily life, such as severe weather. These supplies should include oral medications, insulin, insulin delivery supplies, lancets, extra batteries for a blood glucose meter or pump, and a quick-acting source of glucose.

The organization also suggests that people with type 2 diabetes plan ahead before they travel. For example, these individuals should pack two times more of their diabetes medications than they expect to use.