Skip to content

Forsyth researchers seek to improve quality of life for people with type 2 diabetes

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., January 14 — Scientists at The Forsyth Institute have identified a new potential key to managing inflammation in patients with Type 2 diabetes. Inflammation is recognized as a major link between Type 2 diabetes and many complications that negatively impact a patient’s quality of life, such as periodontal and cardiovascular diseases and arthritis. Reducing inflammation in the body leads to healthier outcomes for people with Type 2 diabetes.

The study is published by the American Society for Microbiology in the journal Infection and Immunity.  In it, researchers demonstrated for the first time that resolvins – compounds that are naturally produced by the body from omega-3 fatty acids — have the potential to shut-off, or resolve, chronic inflammation.  The research may be beneficial in the development of future pharmaceutical treatments.

“Emerging evidence suggests that continual inflammation is a critical underlying component of many prevalent, chronic diseases, such as diabetes and periodontitis,” said Dr. Thomas E. Van Dyke, DDS, PhD, lead researcher of the study and chair of the Department of Applied Oral Sciences at the Forsyth Institute’s Center for Periodontology. “Better management of inflammation will lead to healthier lives with fewer debilitating complications for those with Type 2 diabetes.  That is why it is important to fully understand the connections between diseases such as diabetes and periodontitis, which are inextricably linked by inflammation.”

Researchers believe the underlying mechanism of both Type 2 diabetes and periodontal disease may be linked. The relationship between the two conditions is also known to be reciprocal, as diabetes is associated with severe periodontal disease while periodontal infection can raise blood sugar, causing further diabetic complications. According to the American Diabetes Association, in 2012 (the latest year in which data is available) more than 29 million Americans suffered from some form of diabetes, while the Journal of Dental Research reports 50 percent of Americans experience some form of periodontal disease.

The published findings, titled “The Impact of Resolvin E1 on Murine Neutrophil Phagocytosis in Type 2 Diabetes,” are co-authored by Van Dyke, Bruno S. Herrera, Hatice Hasturk, Alpdogan Kantarci, Marcelo O. Freire, Olivia Nguyen, and Shevali Kansal.

© The Forsyth Institute, 2023. All Rights Reserved