Sports supplement may improve control of type 2 diabetes

Mon, 29 Apr 2013
Student researchers in Australia are investigating whether a popular sports supplement can help treat type 2 diabetes.

The students from the Lismore campus of Southern Cross University are encouraging people with type 2 diabetes to take part in their study, which focuses on the naturally occurring amino acid beta-alanine.

This key ingredient is found in chicken, fish and beef and has been shown to increase muscle carnosine, a substance which is reduced in type 2 diabetes sufferers. It is commonly used by athletes in training.

Rhenan Nealon, principal researcher and Honours student, said the study will hopefully reveal whether month-long intake of a beta-alanine supplement can improve fitness levels and insulin sensitivity, and thus improve blood glucose control.

Mr Nealon added that an aid that increased exercise capacity would be "highly valuable" as some sufferers find physical activity particularly difficult, and "may reduce the time taken to achieve good physiological outcomes".

To be eligible for the research, participants must be over 18 and be willing to undergo a treadmill-based exercise test and a blood test before and after the 28-day supplement program.
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