New Study Clears Up High Fat Diet, Diabetes Link

Diabetes has been known as a serious health threat all over the world. Aside from genetics, a diet high in fat also seems to be linked with the said disease, although the connection has not yet been fully understood. Researchers from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine have provided some findings that might just clear up the connection between type 2 diabetes and a high fat diet.

Scientists have already noticed several decades before that people who have type to diabetes also seem to experience having an overly active immune responses that leads to inflammatory chemicals being produced in the body. Those with the said disease are also typically obese and are insulin resistant. The new study show how they may be linked to each other.

The researchers have found that saturated fatty acids can activate the immune cells that produce an inflammatory protein called interleukin-1beta. According to Jenny Y. Ting, PhD, William Kenan Rand Professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology and a senior co-author of the study, “The cellular path that mediates fatty acid metabolism is also the one that causes interleukin-1beta production.”

“Interleukin-1beta then acts on tissues and organs such as the liver, muscle and fat (adipose) to turn off their response to insulin, making them insulin resistant. As a result, activation of this pathway by fatty acid can lead to insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes symptoms,” she further added.

The process only seems to take place with saturated fats and not with the unsaturated type. The findings may somehow clarify just how a high fat diet may have a connection with type 2 diabetes as well as with the other known characteristics. The said study is published online on the April 10 issue of the Nature Immunology journal.

Source: University of North Carolina School of Medicine (2011, April 11). Link between high-fat diet and type 2 diabetes clarified. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 14, 2011, from /releases/2011/04/110411121539.htm


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