From a Technology Networks online article:
By comparing the pancreatic cells of type 2 diabetic human donors with those of healthy people, researchers at the University of Geneva (UNIGE) and at the University Hospitals of Geneva (HUG), Switzerland, were able to demonstrate, for the first time, that the pancreatic islet cells derived from the Type 2 Diabetic human donors bear compromised circadian oscillators.
The disruption of the circadian clocks was concomitant with the perturbation of hormone secretion. Moreover, using clock modulator molecule dubbed Nobiletin, extracted from lemon peel, the researchers succeeded in “repairing” the disrupted cellular clocks and in partial restoring of the islet cell function. These results, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States, provide a first insight into innovative approach for diabetes care.
The circadian clock system (from Latin “circa diem”, about a day) allows the organisms to anticipate periodical changes of geophysical time, and to adjust to these changes. Nearly all the cells in our body comprise molecular clocks that regulate and synchronize metabolic functions to a 24-hour cycle of day-night changes.
Today, increasing evidence show that disturbances in our internal clocks stemming from frequent time zone changes, irregular working schedules or ageing, have a significant impact on the development of metabolic diseases in human beings, including type-2 diabetes. Such disturbances seem to prevent the proper functioning of the cells in the pancreatic islet that secrete insulin and glucagon, the hormones that regulate blood sugar levels.