Researchers hope study will change way diabetes is managed

DIABETES sufferers who aren't afraid to jump on a treadmill or endure a needle or two are being encouraged to sign up for a Southern Cross University study which researchers hope could change the way the disease in managed.

Students at the Lismore campus are investigating whether a popular sports supplement can help in the fight against Type 2 diabetes.

The key ingredient, Beta-alanine has been found to increase muscle carnosine, a substance which is reduced in people with the disease.

Principal researcher and Honours student Rhenan Nealon said the study would reveal if a month-long regimen of the supplement could improve exercise capacity and insulin sensitivity.

He said the natural amino acid, which is found in chicken, fish and beef, was used extensive by athletes in training.

Type 2 Diabetes mellitus accounts for almost 90% of all cases.

About 1 million Australians are living with the disease and Diabetes Australia estimates the cost to taxpayers is more than $10 billion.

The organisation lists exercises as the most important weapon against Type 2 diabetes.

Mr Nealon said exercising could translate to reduced blood sugar levels and as some sufferers found physical activity particularly difficult, an aid that increased exercise capacity would be "highly valuable and may reduce the time taken to achieve good physiological outcomes".

To be eligible for the program, participants need to be over 18, willing to undergo a treadmill test and have blood drawn before and after the 28-day plan.

All testing will be carried out at the Lismore campus.

For more information phone Rhenan on 0435 781 500.

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