Monash University scientists have discovered an enzyme that is key to why exercise improves our health. Importantly this discovery has opened up the possibility of drugs to promote this enzyme’s activity, protecting against the consequences of ageing on metabolic health, including type 2 diabetes.
The proportion of people worldwide over 60 years old will double in the next three decades and by 2031, more than six million Australians will be over 65 years old. The incidence of type 2 diabetes increases with age so this ageing population will also result in an increased incidence of the disease globally.
One of the main reasons for the increased prevalence of type 2 diabetes with age is the development of insulin resistance or an inability for the body to respond to insulin, and this is often caused by reduced physical activity as we age.
In a paper published in the journal Science Advances, the research team show how an enzyme called NOX-4 is essential for exercise-induced ROS and the adaptive responses that drive metabolic health.
Release date: 16 December 2021
Source: Monash University