Amino acids clue to future diabetes risk

Certain concepts get tossed around a lot in medicine, and the idea of predicting who’s going to get a disease and, perhaps more significantly, whether that disease will progress aggressively, is among the most prolific.

Diabetes researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital have made a breakthrough in that regard. They’ve discovered it may be possible to predict type 2 diabetes a decade before onset of symptoms by measuring metabolite levels in the blood.

The researchers analysed data from 2400 participants who entered a study between 1991 and 1995. During the following 12 years, 189 of those individuals developed diabetes.
 Using the baseline blood samples, the team measured levels of 61 metabolites in the participants who developed the disease and compared it with 189 others – matched for age, sex and diabetes risk factors – who remained diabetes free. 

They found that elevations in five amino acids –