Tags: Study: | High | Fat | Diets | Trigger | Diabetes

Study: High Fat Diets Trigger Diabetes

Thursday, 29 December 2005 12:00 AM

High fat diets help trigger diabetes by disabling a key enzyme necessary for the production of insulin, according to researchers from the University of California at San Diego.

The investigators believe the discovery of this subtle mechanism helps explain the close link between obesity and blood sugar problems and could lead to new ways to prevent and treat diabetes.

"We have discovered ... a molecular trigger which begins the chain of events leading from hyperglycemia to insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes," said Jamey Marth, professor of cellular and molecular medicine at the university and an investigator with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

"If you could somehow stimulate production of this enzyme, you might be able to render animals, and perhaps humans, resistant to high-fat diet-induced diabetes.

"If our findings can be applied to humans, they should give us important insights into how type 2 diabetes may be prevented and treated."

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.

In the United States, two out of three adults are overweight or obese. Experts estimate that obese people are up to 80 times more likely to develop diabetes.

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 normal mice put on a fatty diet, the enzyme was repressed, leaving pancreatic cells unable to sense sugar levels - and eventually 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. He said people who inherit a faulty gene that controls the enzyme would probably also be vulnerable to diabetes.

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High fat diets help trigger diabetes by disabling a key enzyme necessary for the production of insulin, according to researchers from the University of California at San Diego. The investigators believe the discovery of this subtle mechanism helps explain the close link...
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2005-00-29
Thursday, 29 December 2005 12:00 AM
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