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White Muscle In Diabetics Is Not Harmful, But In Fact A Sign Of Sugar Control

April 7, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Researchers in the U.S. confirm that white muscle that increases with weight lifting, age, and diabetes is not harmful as once thought, but actually helps keep sugar in check. Mammals have a range of muscles: red, white and in between. White muscle is more prevalent in weight lifters and sprinters, who need short, intense bursts of energy. In mouse research, the scientists determined that a protein called BAF60c acts as a sort of "zip code" mechanism that tells the cells when and how to express certain genes, including genes for white muscle. Obese mice with BAF60c – and more white muscle – were found to be much better at controlling blood glucose, a key problem in diabetes.
Zhuo-Xian Meng et al., "Baf60c drives glycolytic metabolism in the muscle and improves systemic glucose homeostasis through Deptor-mediated Akt activation", Nature Medicine, April 07, 2013, © Nature Publishing Group
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