Long-Standing Enigma Finally Cracked – Link Discovered Between High Blood Pressure and Diabetes

Diabetes Blood Testing Strip

An important new discovery has shown that the small protein cell glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) links the body’s control of blood sugar and blood pressure.

The long-standing enigma of why so many patients suffering with high blood pressure (known as hypertension) also have diabetes (high blood sugar) has finally been cracked by an international team led by the universities of Bristol, UK, and Auckland, New Zealand. 

The important new discovery has shown that a small protein cell glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) couples the body’s control of blood sugar and blood pressure.

Professor Julian Paton, a senior author, and Director of Manaaki Mãnawa – The Centre for Heart Research at the University of Auckland, said: “We’ve known for a long time that hypertension and diabetes are inextricably linked and have finally discovered the reason, which will now inform new treatment strategies.”

The research, published online ahead of print in Circulation Research on February 1, 2022, involved contributions from collaborating scientists in Brazil, Germany, Lithuania, and Serbia, as well as the UK and New Zealand.

GLP-1 is released from the wall of the gut after eating and acts to stimulate insulin from the pancreas to control blood sugar levels. This was known but what has now been unearthed is that GLP-1 also stimulates a small sensory organ called the carotid body located in the neck.

The University of Bristol group used an unbiased, high-throughput genomics technique called RNA sequencing to read all the messages of the expressed genes in the carotid body in rats with and without high blood pressure. This led to the finding that the receptor that senses GLP-1 is located in the carotid body, but less so in hypertensive rats.

David Murphy, Professor of Experimental Medicine from Bristol Medical School: Translational Health Sciences (THS) and senior author, explained: “Locating the link required genetic profiling and multiple steps of validation.  We never expected to see GLP-1 come up on the radar, so this is very exciting and opens many new opportunities.”

Professor Paton added: “The carotid body is the convergent point where GLP-1 acts to control both blood sugar and blood pressure simultaneously; this is coordinated by the nervous system which is instructed by the carotid body.”

People with hypertension and/or diabetes are at high risk of life-threatening cardiovascular disease.  Even when receiving medication, a large number of patients will remain at high risk. This is because most medications only treat symptoms and not causes of high blood pressure and high sugar.

Professor Rod Jackson, the world-renowned epidemiologist from the University of Auckland, said “We’ve known that blood pressure is notoriously difficult to control in patients with high blood sugar, so these findings are really important because by giving GLP-1 we might be able to reduce both sugar and pressure together, and these two factors are major contributors to cardiovascular risk.”

Mr. Audrys Pauža, a British Heart Foundation-funded PhD student in Professor David Murphy’s lab in the Bristol Medical School and lead author on the study, added: “The prevalence of diabetes and hypertension is increasing throughout the world, and there is an urgent need to address this.

“Drugs targeting the GLP-1 receptor are already approved for use in humans and widely used to treat diabetes. Besides helping to lower blood sugar these drugs also reduce blood pressure, however, the mechanism of this effect wasn’t well understood.

“This research revealed that these drugs may actually work on the carotid bodies to enact their anti-hypertensive effect. Leading from this work, we are already planning translational studies in humans to bring this discovery into practice so that patients most at risk can receive the best treatment available.”

But GLP-1 is just the start. The research has revealed many novel targets for ongoing functional studies that the team anticipates will lead to future translational projects in human hypertensive and diabetic patients.

Reference: “GLP1R Attenuates Sympathetic Response to High Glucose via Carotid Body Inhibition” by Audrys G. Pauza, Pratik Thakkar, Tatjana Tasic, Igor Felippe, Paul Bishop, Michael P. Greenwood, Kristina Rysevaite-Kyguoliene, Julia Ast, Johannes Broichhagen, David J. Hodson, Helio C. Salgado, Dainius H. Pauza, Nina Japundzic-Zigon, Julian F.R. Paton and David Murphy, 1 February 2022, Circulation Research.
DOI: 10.1161/CIRCRESAHA.121.319874

The study was funded by the British Heart Foundation and the Health Research Council of New Zealand.

70 Comments on "Long-Standing Enigma Finally Cracked – Link Discovered Between High Blood Pressure and Diabetes"

  1. Saundra Bosfield | February 23, 2022 at 9:45 am | Reply

    Love the article about GLP-1
    I teach nursing and will share the information with students.

  2. I love lemon!

  3. Great Article on the link between Diabetes and High BP. I am interested in learning more regarding the Carotid Artery and the medications.

    Thank You

  4. Interesting article on two major health issues in the US., particularly in the southern states. Hopefully more research and knowledge will be gained and shared.

  5. I am interested in learning more about this article. These diseases are two major heath issues that are so common today. Hopefully more research will be done to help us all put an end to these serious health issues we are faced with every day…

  6. Treat the illness at source not the symptoms of it. (high blood pressure and GLP1). It’s all down to being Insulin Resistant and if you can overcome this, you’ll be immeasurably more healthy. Source Ivor Cummins’s videos on-line and see his book Eat Rich Live Long for further info….

  7. Why was the USA not involved in this major study.?

  8. I love when people find ways to create new things for what’s going on now instead of trade something to destroy the population I respect that the overheating is too tight to destroy people

  9. It wasn’t if GLP-1 is absent in Highblood pressure/diabetes patient, and if it is, whether its absence is caused by diabetes or high blood pressure.
    And also, if the breakthrough goal is to help pharmaceutical companies to manufacture drugs that can recreate the GLP-1 so as to restore the production of insulin.

  10. I Fully understand the documentation written.So if
    GLP-1 is already being used why is not being offered to people with this terrible condition.

  11. I am very interested in this as I have diabetes and hypertension and take 2 different medications for them and would like to know more

  12. Where is the USA? This is terrible. Bloodpressure and diabetes drugs in the USA gain a lot of profits They don’t want to put there top concern, MONEY, into jeopardy. Look at how Mark Cuban is fighting back.

  13. Never had diabetes before I started the high blood pressure medications. It has also has been shown under newly released studies that high blood pressure medications aren’t actually lowering blood pressure,so then what is the purpose?.

  14. Cool now to cute them both and we’re good 🙂👍

  15. For sure make some drugs. Whatever you do don’t suggest diet, lifestyle, or anything natural that might effect it without drugs

  16. John Santiago Mejia | February 24, 2022 at 5:46 pm | Reply

    Both pathologies are manifestation of Arthropod Saliva Deficiency Syndrome.

  17. GLP is NOT stimulated by processed foods that digest too quickly. This is totally a modern food problem. It’s why paleo and low carb diets work. No need for drugs. Just quit calling donuts and cookies food.

  18. This is wonderful where can we get some I want to see if this can help me.

  19. The number issue that leads to diabetes and high blood pressure is chronic inflammation due to chronic stress and consuming an inflammatory diet loaded with added sugar and white flour, processed foods, fast food, etc. The pharmaceutical industry is creating drugs for conditions and getting rich off of people with illness and disease that they are creating with a lifestyle that causes these diseases. Living a lifestyle that requires your body to be in fight or flight mode all of the time due to chronic inflammation sends glucose stores into your bloodstream for energy for survival, also constricting your blood vessels and requiring your heart to work harder to get blood to the organs for the body to survive. Start a healthy diet with fresh vegetables, fruits, and healthy proteins, drink plenty of water, exercise daily, and get plenty of rest, do whatever it takes to resolve the stress/trauma in your life and you will be healthy.

  20. I have to control my sugar intake because my blood sugar goes too high and my blood pressure is low normal ..so i take this with a grain of salt ( no pun intended)..

  21. Treat the illness at source not the symptoms of it. (high blood pressure and GLP1). It’s all down to being Insulin Resistant and if you can overcome this, you’ll be immeasurably more healthy. Source Ivor Cummins’s videos on-line and see his book Eat Rich Live Long for further info….

  22. I would like to be a volunteer guinea pig.

  23. I have diabetes and low blood pressure so this has me confused. If I start taking the diabetes meds is that going to lead to high blood pressure?

    • If you start taking medication for diabetes? Doesn’t make any sense.
      And no medication that decrease glucose do not paradoxically raise blood pressure.
      If you have been diagnosed with diabetes you should be addressing it. Renal failure is the end of the line for an untreated diabetic

  24. Diet and exercise seem like some really great things to consider.

  25. Eating suger and other high-carb refined foods is maybe the primary culprit. Food is medicine.

  26. Pauline E Spear | February 26, 2022 at 1:17 am | Reply

    Seems the common enemy is mass produced fast food. If it’s on the rise, so has American fast food manufacturers. Seems food makers are the ones to be held accountable for this. They are the common link. Why do we allow synthetic food with all these additives like sugar salt and fat in addition to chemicals, preservatives, artificial flavors. When there has Never been in depth long term studies of their affects on the human body? Oh… because profits are more important!!! Eat clean. Eat organic. Sad that natural food which was here long before American food manufacturers..has been manipulates to a word called organic. And the crap they fill us with .. is called food.

  27. Do you feel Biden will let the country know what the USA has been working on and what break through that they have come up with??? Lol what a joke

  28. Wish all the brain power spent on hacking my phone could instead hack at human disease like Cancer and Diabetes. Maybe the world needs to fund something like Zerodium for bio-hacking.

  29. Would like more information why this happens and if I’m a candidate for diabetes in my family I want to know why.

  30. Great discovery! Ive always said, most medications are just maintenance. Find the root cause and disease can be prevented or cured!

  31. I have diabetes and high blood pressure. I take 4 pills a day for both. I am very interested in this study. I have tried diet and exercise. Please help!

    • Tried? Most type 2 diabetics w/ hypertension have the worst nutritional and lifestyle habits.If you really want to go andle this then do this. Hire a registered dietician. Follow their recommendations to the letter. Work with a trainer learn how to take care of your body. Maximum return on those 2 things. Im a pharmacist. I know.

      • You seem to speak as if the suggestions you make are easy to carry out and sustain. Anyone who has had these two conditions and has tried to ameliorate them knows how difficult it is to change habits of a lifetime; there is such a psychological aspect to obesity that is constant and stressful; while your “take no prisoners” stance may be common-sensible and even laudable, it doesn’t take psychology or human nature into account. I appreciate that you are highly motivated, though; it’s good of you to share your philosophy!

  32. Very informative

  33. Maximus Areilus | February 27, 2022 at 4:10 am | Reply

    Wake up people the human body is an amazing machine can self-heal what the big Pharma does not want to tell you try fasting 3-7 days or once a day

  34. I was diagnosed with hypertension after one visit to a urgent care center. I then told by another doctor at the same urgent care center that my pulse was to low to be on the amolopin medication, so I stop talking it. I still have symptoms but have changed my eating habits and I feel better. I am still battling my hypertension with lifestyle changes. Great read will make healthy changes but I would like to know about the findings. Thanks

  35. . Great read will make healthy changes but I would like to know about the findings. Thanks

  36. Common grounds in effective areas prove patterns. Where it’s sought, there are patterns to observe from it’s subjects from those affected. Once found..change those patterns.

  37. I know I should take my blood pressure medicine but I changed my eating habits instead to keep from having to take it.It makes me feel worse after taking it so I look to my God to help me through this.I hope one day they can fix high Blood Pressure and diabetics so everyone can go back to normal lives.I read an arrival a month ago about the thyroid gland being the problem.I will be speaking to my doctor about this operation.The lady I read about went through an operation to correct it.

    • Hi! There are a ton of BP meds out there; perhaps your dr could choose a different one for you that wouldn’t have those side effects that make you feel bad. I’m sorry about the fatigue; I know it’s a terrible feeling, and one that most people don’t understand. Feel better soon!

  38. Interesting would like to receive more information.

  39. After contracting Hepatitis C from being given tainted blood during a surgical procedure in 1988, I had a successful liver transplant in 2006. The immunosuppressive I take weakened my body’s ability to fight. I developed high blood sugar and high blood pressure as a result. I have also developed fatigue. It’s impossible to get more exercise and improve circulation when you have no energy to start with. I am very interested in any research that could help me get back in shape.

  40. Very simple answer, YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT!! The solution and best thing anyone can do for their body is BRIGHT LINE EATING!

  41. Just give up consuming anything from plants and stick to what we are meant to eat – animals. Blood glucose and pressure will both normalise in a very short period of time. See last year’s Harvard study on 2029 carnivores for a stunning revelation of the effectiveness of a animal sourced food diet on health and well-being. At least try it first before using drugs.

  42. Bibi Khadar-Foston | February 28, 2022 at 9:36 pm | Reply

    Very interesting.

  43. Diane Ribbentrop | March 1, 2022 at 10:34 am | Reply

    All the sugar.salt and fat we consume is killing people
    Thanks to over eating and food companies pushing unhealthy food millions are suffering. Fast food is horrible..fries burgers and donuts are Killers

  44. Stupid article about a good study. Their solution is drugs?!?! How about you stop stimulating insulin and glp-1 with excessive carbs, processed foods, and hidden sugars.

    • You win. Unfortunately common sense is not all that common. As a pharmacist i see it all day everyday.people putting themselves in an early grave

  45. Janet Blatnick Strunk | March 2, 2022 at 2:14 pm | Reply

    I’m a type 2 diabetic with low normal to low blood pressure. How does this apply to people like me?

    • Youre an anomaly. Try and maintain a safe range 80-125 glucose and you will be ok. Watch for darkening of your urine. That would s the precursor to renal failure.

  46. Genes….my dad has type 2 and high blood pressure…you can eat the best way possible but it doesn’t help…it’s all in the genes…the US won’t do studies on it because of big pharma looses out in the end….money is more than your life to them…sorry but it’s true…..it has been known for years

  47. What product do I have to take to get the blood sugars down to acceptable level of 150 on a regular basis, blood sugars are spiking to over 300 or higher overnight by next morning, frustrating to say the least.

  48. Im a pharmacist. Type 2 diabetics slowly kill themselves with terrible nutritional and lifestyle habits that eventually lead to renal failure, strokes, and congestive heart failure. All totally preventable.

  49. Great job scientists. Now you can create and market a new drug for a mostly preventable condition that’s too expensive and has a host of possible side effects. If you don’t want your kids growing up with diabetes how about start with fruit vegetables whole grains for snacks instead of soda Cheetos and cane sugar laced garbage. Take the tablet out of their hands and take them in a hike. Take self responsibility, it’s a great preventative measure 👍

  50. I was diagnosed with diabetes at age 8. Call it whatever you want. I turn 50 this year with minimal, if any, related illness due to diabetes. Get real people. Heres a truth with proof: My body produces 0 ZERO insulin which is a hormone classification. I manually inject this hormone, yea think, which creates the need for foods or my systems short circuit. With BGM you keep the levels between 80-120 like your pancreas does functionally. Don’t eat the whole plate. Don’t finish the whole meal. Get a diet lacking social opinions. Quit complaining and blaming. Either you did it or you did not. No deals on meals no substitutes needed. Take responsibility. Maintain control. In the time you read this you couod have stuck your finger got your glucose level and made an appropriate choice to teach, lead or follow but get out of your way first. Ashleejg10 best motivational speaker ever, free of charge, and straight forward answers not requiring continued monthly visits and thousands of dollars from your insurance providers who wont really cover your illness and charge upwards of $100 for ten (10) days of life fluid (insulin) and I wont ask WHY you still drink water from a bottle at $1.89 per liter but complain to the city water department because you fill a pool with the same liquid you shower, sh&$ and shave in and 10 days of that life fluid only costs about $10.00 Can anyone guess why there is a link between diabetes (REAL TYPE 1) and high blood pressure? Answer: A. Choices B. Decisions C. Actions D. Claiming stupid

  51. And Type 2 diabetics are just lazy people with bad habits buying drugs legally. But come back next month and check your A1c to challenge you to get lower than the avg bear 🐻 5.7? Come on man get real. Ask your doctor or maybe the pharmacist “Whats your A1c?”
    Just another way to grab you type 2s and hold you in fear that you refuse to act on.

  52. I lowered my A1C by 6 points through diet & exercise. Lost 44 pounds after diagnosed. While my pancreas isn’t working there are ways to manage without medications.

  53. CccccBbBCcabvBband | March 4, 2022 at 12:06 am | Reply

    T o those commenting about just eat better, you are what you eat, lay off the donuts etc… there are people who eat right and exercise and still have high blood pressure and diabetes. It is ALSO hereditary!!!! Sometimes there is nothing you can do to stop them, no matter how hard you try. I was a personal trainer years ago so I KNOW exactly how to treat my body for optimal health. And even when I do, I still have high blood sugar and high blood pressure. So do my parents, and so did their parents. Even though they were NOT overweight. I am so sick of closed minded, nasty people who think overweight people cause these issues on their own. You’ve obviously been blessed with good genetics to not have these issues. Lucky for you. Meanwhile there is many people like me who eat right and exercise and take medications and nothing helps. The health conditions continue to get worse. Do some research before posting such comments. If only

  54. It is great that they found what links the two conditions but does it truly solve our health crisis? They talk about medications that target the GLP-1 but not the cause of why the body stops or doesn’t sense this protein. I believe it be diet related. Instead of only using the data from their research to focus on a pharmaceutical approach they should also put just as much time and money into finding the root cause of why this protein gets ignored by the body and find a natural approach that isnt a bandage to heal the body of this dilemma.

  55. Not me. I have insulin dependent diabetes & orthostatic hypotension (low blood pressure.

  56. Sign me up for human test for the GLP-1… I have hereditary High BP so much so .. the nurses tell me I’m a walking aneurism…. my Dr tells me I’m borderline diabetic…. I don’t believe in anything being borderline anything… you’re either or ur not.. there’s no in between….
    So just sight messages up… I’m ready to live to 101yrs…

  57. What about insulin resistance and atherosclerosis that lead to HTN?

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