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Study Helps Explain Obesity - Diabetes Link

Study Helps Explain Obesity - Diabetes Link

Wednesday, March 8th 2006

Fats repress enzyme that helps to sense blood-sugar levels, say researchers

Diets high in fat can disrupt blood-sugar levels and trigger diabetes, researchers say in a study released this week.

Their findings help explain the link between obesity and a disease which is often linked to sugar.

Fatty foods can suppress an enzyme crucial to the production of insulin, which regulates sugar in the blood, according to scientists at the University of California at San Diego.

Obesity has long been linked to type-2 diabetes, the most common form of the disease in which the body does not make enough insulin, or cannot properly use it. Experts say obese people are up to 80 times more likely to develop diabetes, and both conditions are on the rise.

The new findings, published in the journal Cell, offer another explanation of exactly how the two are linked.

"We have discovered a molecular trigger which begins the chain of events leading from hyperglycaemia to insulin resistance and type-2 diabetes," said Jamey Marth, a professor of cellular and molecular medicine at the university.

"This finding suggests new approaches to the prevention and treatment of diabetes," said Marth, an investigator with the nonprofit medical research organisation Howard Hughes Medical Institute, which helped fund the research.

Marth and his colleagues studied the glycosyltransferase enzyme (GnT-4a), which helps the pancreas sense how much sugar is in the blood and release enough insulin to help process it.

In a study of normal mice that were fed a fatty diet, researchers found that the enzyme was repressed, leaving pancreatic cells unable to sense sugar levels and leading to diabetes.

"Our findings suggest that the current human epidemic in type-2 diabetes may be a result of GnT-4a enzyme deficiency," said Marth, adding that people who inherit a faulty gene that controls the enzyme may also be vulnerable to diabetes.

It may also play a role in the early onset of type-2 diabetes in children and teenagers, according to the study, which was also sponsored by the National Institutes of Health.

The researchers are now looking at ways to boost the enzyme in hopes of staving off diabetes.

Earlier this year, European researchers said they found a gene, called ENPP1, that helps control how cells respond to insulin.

In 11 different variations of the gene, six were linked to severe obesity, they reported.

Researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Centre in Boston have also discovered a substance called retinol binding protein (RBP4) that is released by fat tissue and can cause insulin resistance.

Their finding was reported in the journal Nature in July.

Sourced from the Weekend Herald, 31 December 2005

Footnote from Ideal Health:

The following products are all useful for Diabetes :

Bitter Melon
Blood Sugar
Chromium Sugar Balance
Clean Lean Protein
Chromium Picolinate 200mcg
Gymnema Sylvestra
High Dose Chromium
L-Arginine 500 mg
Prevent, Treat & Reverse Diabetes Book
Stevia Liquid
Stevia Sweet Recipes
Stevia Tablets

Related health information can be found here:

Acid and alkaline forming foods
Beware of Aspartame or NutraSweet - it's not as sweet as it sounds!
Carbohydrate and protein content of foods
Common foods that could be a problem
Diabetes and Insulin resistance
Foods to help detoxification
FOS to assist with candida, diarrhoea, constipation or other bowel problems
Looking for a sugar alternative? Try Stevia
Protein - a macronutrient so often overlooked

Related articles can be found here:

Age at First Exposure to Cereal Linked to Risk of Diabetes
Aspartame - a Bitter Sweet Substitute
High-Protein Diet Helpful in Type 2 Diabetes
Moderate Drinking May Cut Women's Risk of Diabetes
NZ Riding 'Tsunami of Diabetes'
Physical Activity Can Reduce CVD Risk in Diabetic Men
Suboptimal Glycemic Control Ups The Risk of Having A Stillbirth in Diabetic Women
World Seen Facing Diabetes Catastrophe, Impact May Outpace AIDS

If you need help or advice, you are welcome to email our naturopathic team with your health question.

Disclaimer: The health information presented here has been written for the New Zealand health consumer. It is of a general nature and is only intended to provide a summary of the subjects covered. The information is not intended to be comprehensive or to provide medical advice to you. While all care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the information, no responsibility or liability is accepted, and no person should act in reliance on any statement contained in the information provided. All health ailments should be treated by a qualified health professional.


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