Japanese researchers have identified a hormone in the liver as a cause of insulin resistance, which could throw new light on how to treat diabetes.

The body produces insulin but does not use it properly that causes diabetes, said researchers at Kanazawa University Graduate School of Medical Science in Japan. Their findings are published in the journal Cell Metabolism.

A casual connection between a hormone in the liver and insulin resistance was established in studies on mice. When the hormone became insulin resistant in mice, their blood sugar levels rose. The blood sugar levels were lowered in the mice when the hormone's activity in the liver was blocked. Obese and diabetic mice were used for the tests.

Fat tissue could also be a contributor to the development of insulin resistance, not just liver, say the researchers.