L-Methionine Helps Read Diabetes Type 1 Warning Signs

Diabetes Type 1 is the hereditary metabolic condition where the immune system destroys the beta cells in the pancreas during childhood. These beta cells produce the insulin which regulates the blood sugar level. Diabetes Type 1 is incurable and those with the condition have to artificially manage their blood sugar level for their whole life.

Researchers in Munich have taken a huge leap forward in diabetes research. They have found a method of predicting the onset of Diabetes Type 1 before it occurs. Levels of the amino acid L-Methionine can indicate whether there is a risk of the onset of Diabetes Type 1.

The researchers analysed a long term study on Diabetes Type 1, the BABYDIAB study. In this study – financially supported by the German Ministry for Education and Research – over 1,600 children whose parents suffer from Diabetes Type 1 have been monitored over a twenty year period, starting in 1989. Regular analysis of the blood led to the conclusion that the children who developed autoantibodies to fight their own beta cells had on average only half as high a level of L-Methionine in their blood.

L-Methionine is famous as one of the essential amino acids which must be supplemented through nutrition, as it cannot be produced by the body itself.

According to the study, L-Methionine is not the only marker for the onset of diabetes. Other factors can influence the development of Diabetes Type 1. This discovery is nevertheless an important step forwards and a further indication of how close the relationship between a lack of amino acids and various metabolic conditions really is. “L-Methionine should therefore be regarded as a new bio-marker for the onset of Diabetes Type 1,” according to Professor Ziegler.


Prof. Dr. Anette-Gabriele Ziegler
Helmholtz Zentrum München
Institut für Diabetesforschung Typ 1
Ingolstädter Landstraße 1
85764 Neuherberg

Tel.: (+49)89 3187-2896
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E-Mail: prevent.diabetes@lrz.uni-muenchen.de