Bangladeshi researchers identify new pathological cause of diabetes

According to health experts, the country now has some 8.6 million diabetic patients

The deficiency of Intestinal Alkaline Phosphatase (IAP) enzyme is developing diabetes among Bangladeshi patients, says a team of Bangladeshi researchers.

The team – comprising researchers from multiple local and foreign universities – is led by former assistant professor at Harvard University and advisor at the Bangladesh Diabetic Association Professor Madhu S Malo. 

They discovered the matter after five years of research.

While presenting their findings during a press conference on Wednesday afternoon, Prof Madhu said people with the deficiency are at 13.8 times higher risk of developing diabetes in comparison with the people having necessary levels of these enzymes.

Young people are also at 7.3 times higher risk due to this deficiency, he added.

The research also found that the fasting sugar levels of people with low levels of the enzyme almost doubled during the duration of the study.

It has also been seen that diabetes did not develop among the people who initially have lower amounts of IPA but later the quantity increased. "Even obese people do not get diabetes if the level of IAP is high," he added.

Prof Malo informed that he had already developed a stool-based testing system to count the level of the enzyme. The IPA level of a person can be detected within three-four minutes using this machine.

Bangladesh Medical and Research Council and the Education Ministry funded the five-year long study (2015-2020) where 574 non-diabetic people, aged between 30 and 60 years, were observed.

Prof Madhu, however, confirmed it has not been clinically tested on humans yet.

According to health experts, the country now has some 8.6 million diabetic patients.

The researchers believe that those who have the deficiency might avoid development of the disease through intake of the enzyme.      

The research findings have already been published by the BMJ Open Diabetes Research and Care, an open access diabetes journal initiated by the America Diabetes Society and the British Medical Journal.

What is IAP?

According to different global science websites, Alkaline Phosphatase (AP) affects the inflammatory responses and may play a direct role in preventing organ damage. The AP is an enzyme found in all tissues in the human body and it exists in different forms, depending on where it originates from.

On the other hand, Intestinal Alkaline Phosphatase (IAP) is an enzyme that helps fight off bad bacteria in the gut. It improves digestion, makes your bones strong, and keeps your mind sharp. Both high and low blood levels can be problematic.

How it works

Bangladeshi researchers have come up with another use of the IAP test and explained how the IAP works.

According to the researchers, parts of a bad dead bacteria cell wall works as Endotoxin. Usually, it ejects from the body through human stool.

But consumption of foods rich with fatty acid, fructose and alcohol allows these toxins to be integrated into the blood. IAP destroys the toxins and keeps the blood clean.

But with the deficiency of IAP, the level of toxin increased and created systemic inflammation and developed diabetes.