Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is one of the most common lifestyle-related diseases (metabolic disorders) due to hyperphagia and/or hypokinesia. Hyperglycemia is the most well-known symptom occurring in T2DM patients. Insulin resistance is also one of the most important symptoms, however, it is still unclear how insulin resistance develops in T2DM. Detailed understanding of the pathogenesis primarily causing insulin resistance is essential for developing new therapies for T2DM. Insulin receptors are located at the plasma membrane of the insulin-targeted cells such as myocytes, adipocytes, etc., and insulin binds to the extracellular site of its receptor facing the interstitial fluid. Thus, changes in interstitial fluid microenvironments, specially pH, affect the insulin-binding affinity to its receptor. The most well-known clinical condition regarding pH is systemic acidosis (arterial blood pH < 7.35) frequently observed in severe T2DM associated with insulin resistance. Because the insulin-binding site of its receptor faces the interstitial fluid, we should recognize the interstitial fluid pH value, one of the most important factors influencing the insulin-binding affinity. It is notable that the interstitial fluid pH is unstable compared with the arterial blood pH even under conditions that the arterial blood pH stays within the normal range, 7.35–7.45. This review article introduces molecular mechanisms on unstable interstitial fluid pH value influencing the insulin action via changes in insulin-binding affinity and ameliorating actions of weak organic acids on insulin resistance via their characteristics as bases after absorption into the body even with sour taste at the tongue.

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