Scots scientists find poison antidote could help diabetes

Insulin Injection. Picture: iStock

Insulin Injection. Picture: iStock

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An antidote for cyanide poisoning could be the key to treating people with type 2 diabetes, a new study has found.

Scottish scientists have discovered a so-called “lean gene”, which is believed to be why some people are predisposed to stay slim compared to others eating a similar diet.

The team from Edinburgh University and Ljubljana, in Slovenia, discovered this gene, known as TST, reduced the severity of the condition in mice.

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They found that fat tissues from the skinniest mice had high levels of a protein called TST, which is created by the gene, which helps to detoxify harmful waste products that accumulate inside fat cells from a high calorie diet.

Researchers then bred another strain of mice which produced high levels of TST in their fat cells. These mice were able to resist putting on weight and diabetes despite eating a high calorie diet.

TST was discovered more than 80 years ago as part of the human body’s natural protection from the poison cyanide and thiosulphate is already used as an antidote for cyanide poisoning.

Researchers say the therapy would have to be further developed before it could be used as a diabetes treatment.

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