Diabetes or pre-diabetes, a condition preceding the onset of Type 2 diabetes afflicts more than 100 million adults in the US as stated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Diabetes is the cause for several health afflictions like cardiovascular diseases, disease of the kidney and loss of vision. Research states that incidence of depression symptoms are more in individuals with diabetes. A study undertaken in 2008 corroborated this fact as it disclosed that diabetic people had a 20% increased chance of undergoing anxiety symptoms when compared to normal healthy individuals.
Though the exact cause of the connection between diabetes and depression or anxiety was uncertain, a few of the studies have found linkage between insulin resistance and anxiety and depression. Insulin resistance is a condition wherein effective processing of glucose cannot be undertaken by the body leading to excessively high levels of blood sugar.
A recent study undertaken by French researchers involved in-depth investigation into the connection between insulin resistance, depression and anxiety in mice. Insulin resistance was stimulated in male mice by feeding them a diet high on fats. Changes observed in their brain were in line to the existence of anxiety similar symptoms.
In one of the two experiments conducted mice were given metformin, a drug used in treatment of diabetes and in the other they were given a regular antidepressant named fluoxetine. It was found that metformin enhanced serotonin levels in brain and decreased anxiety similar behaviors in mice. Metformin was able to achieve this through reduction in the branched-chain amino acid circulating levels which consequently allowed the entry of sufficient levels of tryptophan into the brain. Tryptophan was needed by the brain in production of serotonin. Similar findings were observed when the mice feed comprised lesser amounts of branched-chain amino acids.
Researchers were of the opinion that these initial findings would be helpful to the medical practitioners in treatment of metabolic conditions as well as symptoms of anxiety and depression.
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