Diabetics tend to have reduced insulin secretion response or even an insulin resistance. This means that their body’s ability to use insulin properly is impaired. In someone without diabetes beta cells sense the rising of blood glucose levels and secrete insulin into the blood. The insulin then allows the sugar to be used by the cells for energy. The result of this is that the glucose levels return to normal, and insulin secretion is reduced. In diabetics, however the cells do not respond to the insulin that is being released, and therefore releases more insulin.

A study was recently performed on reduced insulin secretion in type-2 diabetes. The subjects were the Pima Indians of Arizona because the prevalence and incidence rates of this group are the highest in the world. Studies have shown that glucose tolerance deteriorates as obesity increases due to worsening insulin resistance and decreases in early insulin secretion. The results of these studies indicate that the Pimas were more insulin resistant than whites and have a reduced insulin secretion response that seems to be the result of environmental and genetic factors.

In addition to these findings, it was found that adult offspring of people with early onset type-2 diabetes had a reduced insulin secretion response. In the study, 104 normal glucose-tolerant subjects were tested for a reduced insulin secretion response. The results correlated with the mother’s onset of diabetes. If the mothers developed diabetes before 35, the insulin secretion was lower, but if the mother had been pregnant with the baby and had diabetes the impairment was worsened in the offspring.


Alcohol & Reduced Insulin Secretion


According to MedScape.com, a moderate daily intake of alcohol is linked to a decreased risk of diabetes and reduced insulin secretion in patients. The recommended amount is 1-3 drinks per day. It is unknown whether this holds true with high risk individuals, however.

At any level of insulin sensitivity, the higher the usual consumption of alcohol, the more there was reduced insulin secretion. The author of this study (published in the October issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition) concludes, “Moderate alcohol intake was associated with decreased insulin secretion, independent of insulin sensitivity. The effect of chronic alcohol consumption on glucose metabolism, especially b cell function, warrants further investigation.” However, another such study, which can be found in the US National Library of Medicine, found that alcohol consumption improves insulin action and doesnot affect beta-cell secretion.