How Excess Fat and Type 2 Diabetes Are Linked

Last week, we found out how little Americans actually did to take control of their health and lessen their risks of type 2 diabetes, the body's inability to efficiently utilize sugar.

So far, two stages of the progression of diabetes have been identified. First, the body's cells lose their ability to respond properly to insulin, the hormone responsible for moving sugar from the blood into cells. Second, if sugar remains in the bloodstream, insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas compensate by stepping up production which can eventually lead to beta cell exhaustion, reduced insulin output and the appearance of full-blown diabetes.

Excess fat in the bloodstream seems to accelerate both stages of diabetes, but little was known about how this happened. At least, until a group of scientists discovered GPR40 -- a cell receptor on the surface of pancreatic beta cells (attuned to changes in blood glucose levels) -- alerted these cells about their presence in the bloodstream. Add fat to sugar in the bloodstream, and the GPR40 receptor stimulates greater insulin production which hastens the onset of diabetes.

Researchers tested their findings on two sets of mice whose GPR40 production had been modified: One with inhibited production and the other with overactive GPR40 genes that sensed high fatty acid levels even on a normal diet. As you can imagine, the mice with overactive gene receptors quickly began to exhibit symptoms of full-blown diabetes, while those with reduced production were healthy, even after the fat content of their diets was increased.

A comment by Dr. Russ Bianchi whose name you'll see popping up more frequently on my Web site in the coming months: Excessive weight gain is directly linked to over-consumption of chemically synthesized high fructose corn syrup, crystalline fructose and hydrolyzed high fructose Inulin Syrup (illegally labeled as agave) which are not recognized in the Human Kreb Cycle and automatically kelated primarily to triglycerides in the blood stream (a precursor to LDL cholesterol) and brown adipose tissue (body fat) accelerating not only the probability of diabetes, but hypoglycemia, cardiovascular disease and obesity.

Cell Metabolism, Vol. 1, April 2005: 245-258

Science Daily May 21, 2005

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