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The link between obesity and diabetes

I know that if you carry excess weight it increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, and many other problems, including high blood pressure.

Up until now scientists weren’t exactly sure why. Now Australian scientists have discovered the answer to the link between obesity and type 2 diabetes.

This study was on mice and I would normally avoid reviewing studies that aren’t on humans. However, I thought this study may be the breakthrough that leads to new ways of treating type 2 diabetes.

What is the link?

OK, we know that obesity prevents the body’s ability to properly use insulin. Right!

Scientists believe the answer lies with a protein released by fat cells. The protein desensitizes the liver and muscles to insulin. A large amount of this protein, called PEDF, forces the pancreas to produce more and more insulin in order to counter this desensitization.

Then eventually, the pancreas becomes overworked and either slows down dramatically or stops insulin production completely, which leads to type 2 diabetes.

As obese people have more fat cells which produce the protein PEDF and this increases their chance of developing diabetes through insulin desensitization and stress on the pancreas.

What does this study mean?

The scientists point out that the study was on mice and not humans and that the results could vary on humans. A lot more research would be needed to see if future treatments could be developed using this information. Perhaps one day a drug could be developed that could block the action of the protein PEDF to increase insulin sensitivity.

Meanwhile, a healthy diet and lifestyle with regular exercise is still the best way to avoid obesity and type 2 diabetes. :)

More about the study

Researchers from Monash University in Australia discovered the link between the protein PEDF and type 2 symptoms by suppressing and activating the protein in mice to see the effect it had.

The scientists published their findings in the July 8 edition of Cell Metabolism.

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About Kellie

Kellie is 37 years old and together with her brother Steve makes up the My Health Software team.

She helps on the websites and gathering news for the programs. Kellie worked in the medical industry prior to having her two children (8 and 6) and has a strong interest in self awareness and management of health conditions.


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