Published On: Wed, Aug 2nd, 2017

Diabetes MAY SPREAD through toxic meat or blood transfusions, leading scientist warns

The protein seeds are similar to those which carry mad cow disease from cattle to humans.

Experiments in genetically modified mice show that injecting them with the toxic clusters led to them developing all the symptoms of type 2 diabetes within weeks.

Similar chemical signatures were also observed when the proteins were added to healthy human pancreatic tissue in a dish, according to a paper published in the Journal of Experimental Medicine.

Experts said it was not at all clear that the same mechanisms would work in humans and that there is as yet no good evidence that the disease is contagious.

The senior author of the study, Professor Claudio Soto, said his team was investigating the possibility that type 2 diabetes could be acquired by ingesting “rogue” proteins in animal products.

He said: “I don’t want to scare anyone, but I can see this happening in diabetes more easily than it happens in brain diseases, because in brain diseases the spread is limited by the blood-brain barrier.

“If one disease has the potential to be transmitted in this manner, it is diabetes.”

However David Allsop, professor of neuroscience at Lancaster University, said the research was far from proven.

Mr Allsop said: “This conclusion needs to be treated with a great deal of caution. This type of mechanism could explain the spread of pathology to areas of adjacent tissue, but it is a big jump to suggest that diabetes is an infectious disease.”

Type two Diabetes is heavily linked to obesity and insulin resistance.

Since the 1970s scientists have noticed that more than 90 per cent of type 2 diabetics have deposits of a misshaped protein called islet amyloid polypeptide (IAPP).

Professor Soto said that the IAPP in cattle and other large animals was structurally very similar to that in humans.

He suggested that the rogue proteins might be able to spread between the species, although he stressed that this was speculation.

More than 3 million people in the UK are affected by type 2 diabetes and its roots are not yet fully understood.

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