High blood levels of a hormone called adiponectin are associated with improved sugar control in women with Diabetes, according to a new study .
In addition, high adiponectin levels are associated with high levels of HDL “good” cholesterol and with reduced inflammation. Taken together, these effects could help reduce the risk of Heart disease and Stroke.
Previous reports have suggested that low adiponectin levels may raise the risk of plaque build-up, or “Atherosclerosis,” in diabetics. However, the complex interplay between adiponectin levels and various metabolic parameters has not been fully investigated.
Cholesterol can be bound to fat and protein at different densities. Two main types include:
- Low-density lipoproteins (LDL) - bad cholesterol
- High-density lipoproteins (HDL) - good cholesterol
In general, you want your LDL to be LOW, and your HDL to be HIGH.
Dr. Christos S. Mantzoros, from the Harvard Medical School in Boston, and colleagues assessed the association between adiponectin levels and sugar control, cholesterol and inflammation in 925 diabetic women enrolled in the Nurses’ Health Study.
The researchers’ findings appear in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism.
Low-density lipoprotein (LDL). LDL cholesterol is sometimes called “bad” cholesterol because it transports cholesterol to sites throughout your body, where it’s either deposited or used to repair cell membranes. But like hard water causing lime to build up inside plumbing, LDL cholesterol promotes accumulation of cholesterol in the walls of your arteries.
High-density lipoprotein (HDL). HDL cholesterol is sometimes referred to as “good” cholesterol because it helps clear excess cholesterol from your body.
Adiponectin levels increased as HDL cholesterol levels and physical activity levels rose. By contrast, adiponectin levels dropped as body weight, LDL “bad” cholesterol and various inflammatory proteins increased.
Overall, the results suggest that adiponectin has direct beneficial effects in preventing atherosclerosis, the authors conclude.
SOURCE: Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, August 2005.
Revision date: June 11, 2011
Last revised: by Sebastian Scheller, MD, ScD