Scientists show how fatty diets cause diabetes

Newly diagnosed type 2 diabetics tend to have one thing in common: obesity. Exactly how diet and obesity trigger diabetes has long been the subject of intense scientific research. A new study led by Jamey D. Marth, Ph.D., director of the Center for Nanomedicine, a collaboration between the University of California, Santa Barbara and Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute (Sanford-Burnham), has revealed a pathway that links high-fat diets to a sequence of molecular events responsible for the onset and severity of diabetes. These findings were published online August 14 in Nature Medicine.

In studies spanning mice and humans, Dr. Marth’s team discovered a pathway to disease that is activated in pancreatic beta cells, and then leads to metabolic defects in other organs and tissues, including the liver, muscle and adipose (fat). Together, this adds up to diabetes.

“We were initially surprised to learn how much the pancreatic beta cell contributes to the onset and severity of diabetes,” said Dr. Marth.”The observation that beta cell malfunction significantly contributes to multiple disease signs, including insulin resistance, was unexpected. We noted, however, that studies from other laboratories published over the past few decades had alluded to this possibility.”

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2 Responses to Scientists show how fatty diets cause diabetes

  1. Cindy says:

    This is interesting research and hopefully will eventually lead to a way to prevent the onset and progression of diabetes. Although we know that weight loss and improve diet can prevent onset and progression of diabetes little progress is being made in reducing this health problem. I hope that this research could lead to a medication that can target this problem. We have long since known that obesity is link to type 2 diabetes yet it doesn’t seem to inspire too many patients to lose weight and improve their diet. Everyone just wants to take a pill instead.

    • Deskarati says:

      Your absolutely right Cindy and as you’ll see from the 2010 stats for prevalence of diabetes in the UK below, this problem is becoming very worrying.

      Country Prevalence Number of people
      England 5.4 per cent 2,338,813
      Northern Ireland 3.7 per cent 68,980
      Scotland 4.1 per cent 223,943
      Wales 4.9 per cent 153,175
      UK average = 4.26 per cent

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