Doctors may soon be able to predict type 2 diabetes while prevention is still possible by measuring the levels of certain amino acids in an individual's blood, according to researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital.
In a study that was published in the journal Nature Medicine, a team of scientists found that levels of the amino acids isoleucine, leucine, valine, tyrosine and phenylalanine were significantly higher in participants who developed the blood sugar disorder during the 12-year trial.
The findings "raise the possibility that, in selected individuals, these measurements could identify those at highest risk of developing diabetes so that early preventive measures could be instituted," said lead author Thomas Wang, M.D.
Factors like obesity and high glucose levels have been known to somewhat predict the onset of diabetes, but often manifest themselves too late. More accurate tests may allow patients to make lifestyle changes or use preventive therapy to avoid the disease altogether.
The researchers examined the health data of about 1,000 participants who were part of the Framingham Heart Study to arrive at their conclusions.