Presenter: Alizah Folau, College of Life Sciences, Nutritional Science
Authors: Alizah Folau, Jeffery Tessem, Emily Krueger, Andrew Barlow
Faculty Advisor: Jeffery Tessem, College of Life Sciences, Nutritional Science
Institution: Brigham Young University
Type 2 diabetes (T2D) is becoming more prevalent throughout the United State and is characterized by poor blood glucose control and high insulin resistance. These attributes are found to be the cause of fatigue in pancreatic β-cells. Accordingly, treatments seeking to negate these effects necessitate an increase in both β-cells function and mass in order to facilitate the health of a diabetic patients. More specifically, through the antioxidant effects observed during the presence of flavonoid metabolites such as epicatechin (EC) and homovanillic acid (HVA) we observe protective effects against oxidative stress and an increased effect on proliferation in INS-1 β-cells. These flavonoids are commonly found in the diet through intake of fruit, tea, or cocoa. They can then be digested by the body. In the large intestine they are absorbed by the gut microflora which then allows them to be absorbed and transported by the bloodstream. Though dehydration, ring cleavage, and hydrolysis, the body breaks down dietary flavonoids into smaller molecules that can interact more readily in tissues like the β-cell. Through thymidine incorporation and the bicinchoninic acid assay, we found increased proliferation rates after incubation. Current findings imply that both EC and HVA gut derived metabolites offer benefit through increased functional β-cell mass and protection against apoptosis.