From San Antonio, Texas, USA:
I heard that people with diabetes have sugar sticking to the walls of their veins and arteries like cholesterol does. Is this true?
Glucose molecules can become transiently attached to a wide variety of proteins in the body. One example familiar to all people with diabetes is the hemoglobin A1c test which measures glucose attachment to hemoglobin. When glucose levels are persistently above normal however, the bonding of glucose to protein is sufficient to distort the function of the protein. In the blood stream this may result in the formation of what are called Advanced Glycation End products or AGEs. These in turn get attached to specific receptors on the lining of blood vessels where they slowly develop an inflammatory process causing the vascular complications of diabetes.
Original posting 23 Jun 2003
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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:09:46
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