MISCELLANEOUS

Likely contributor to type II diabetes identified

CHENNAI. JAN. 28. Scientists have identified a saturated fat byproduct as a potential contributor to the development of type II diabetes.

The breakthrough has the potential to lead to novel treatments for diabetics and is aimed at reducing or eliminating the effects of the disease that affects many Indian.

The research by the Colorado State University biochemists shows that a saturated fat metabolite called ceramide contributes to the development of insulin resistance in cultured cell experiments.

Excess accumulation of ceramide in the body is a necessary link connecting saturated fats to insulin resistance.

These findings suggest that medication aimed to prevent ceramide accumulation in the body tissue might lessen or even prevent insulin resistance and lead to breakthroughs in the treatment of type II diabetes.

Type II diabetes results from either a decreased discharge of insulin into the bloodstream or due to insulin resistance. In the case of insulin resistance, the body produces enough insulin but the insulin so produced is unable to work effectively in peripheral tissues, mainly muscle.

The research is of particular interest because the precise link between increased body fat and the development of diabetes has remained a mystery.

Previous studies indicate that the excessive intake of saturated fats could contribute to the development of type II diabetes. However, the researchers have been able to show that a specific saturated fatty acid metabolite is responsible for insulin resistance. Abnormal ceramide accumulation is unlikely to account entirely for the diverse array of defects found in insulin-resistant tissues.

Yet, it has been shown as a vital factor explaining some of the harmful effects that saturated fats have on the human body. Complete paper can be found in the Journal of Biological Chemistry's Web site at www.jbc.org

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