A group of scientists led by Dr. Abdelilah Arredouani from the Diabetes Research Center at the Qatar Biomedical Research Institute (QBRI), a research institute of Hamad bin Khalifa University (HBKU), and Dr. Mario Falchi from the Department of Twin Research at Kings College in London, have conducted a study that could aid in the early prevention of the development of metabolic disorders.
The research was recently featured in the prestigious journal “Diabetes” and concluded that individuals with low levels of a specific salivary protein, alpha-amylase, which is produced by the salivary glands and is released in saliva, may cause the body’s energy production sources to switch from sugars to fatty acids.
Dr. Arredouani, one of the authors of the paper, along with colleagues from England, Italy and France arranged the study by carefully selecting two groups of healthy women for the research project: one group of women with a low level of the salivary protein and one with a high level. By using a technique called “metabolomics profiling”, and advanced statistical analysis methods the scientists used serum samples from the women to compare their metabolism and gain an instantaneous snapshot of the physiology of their whole body. Their research indicated a significant difference between the metabolic profiles of the two groups.
The research study offers insight into the biological mechanisms behind metabolic differences and may have an impact in helping identify predictive markers of insulin resistance, diabetes, and obesity, making preventative care possible in Qatar and beyond.
Dr. Omar El Agnaf, the acting executive director of QBRI, added: “This QBRI-supported study furthers our aim to take an integrative and multidisciplinary approach in providing crucial insights into a key healthcare concerns in Qatar. By participating in collaborative studies like this one, we hope to continue to advance knowledge and champion the cause of fostering innovation in research.”
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