Health Research Updates: Researchers in London have identified a blood protein whose increased levels may increase the chance of getting diabetes and dying from cancer.
Prostasin stimulates the epithelial sodium channels that control blood volume, blood pressure, and sodium balance. The protein, which is linked to glucose metabolism, has been proven to inhibit the growth of tumours that are brought on by excessive blood sugar.
According to research published in Diabetologia, diabetes risk increased by 76% for those who had prostasin.
Younger participants and those with lower blood glucose and better kidney function were also found to have higher levels of prostatesin, which was found to be a stronger predictor of diabetes. Researchers also discovered a strong correlation between prostasin and both cancer and all-cause mortality. Prostasin blood levels were associated with a 43% increased risk of dying from cancer.
Participants with and without raised blood glucose levels experienced a risk of cancer mortality that increased by 13% and 24%, respectively, for every doubling of prostasin concentration (impaired fasting glucose).
Mortality from cardiovascular disease was not associated.
According to Professor Gunnar Engstrom of Lund University in Malmo, Sweden, "Prostasin may be only a signal that disease may arise, or it may be causally involved, which is interesting since it offers the possibility of targeting this protein with future treatments for both diabetes and cancer."