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posted by janrinok on Thursday January 13, @10:07AM   Printer-friendly
from the Watching-What-You-Eat dept.

Scientists Have Discovered Unexpected Benefits of Fat in Type 2 Diabetes:

With nearly 10% of the world's population affected, type 2 diabetes is a major public health issue. An excessively sedentary lifestyle and a too-caloric diet encourage the development of this metabolic disease by altering the functioning of pancreatic cells and making blood sugar regulation less effective. However, fat, which is often cited as the ideal culprit, could be rehabilitated. Indeed, fat does not necessarily aggravate the disease and could even play a protective role: by studying insulin-producing pancreatic beta cells, scientists from the University of Geneva (UNIGE), Switzerland, have shown that these cells suffered less from excess sugar when they had previously been exposed to fat. By investigating the cellular mechanisms at work, the researchers discovered how a cycle of fat storage and mobilization allows cells to adapt to excess sugar. These results, published in the journal Diabetologia, highlight an unexpected biological mechanism that could be used as a lever to delay the onset of type 2 diabetes.

Type 2 diabetes results from a dysfunction of pancreatic beta cells, which are responsible for insulin secretion. This impairs the regulation of blood sugar levels and can lead to serious heart, eye, and kidney complications. In the 1970s, fat was singled out and the concept of lipotoxicity emerged: exposure of beta cells to fat would cause their deterioration. More recently, excess sugar has also been blamed for damaging beta cells and promoting the development of type 2 diabetes. However, while the culpability of sugar is no longer in doubt, the role of fat in beta cell dysfunction remains ambiguous. What are the cellular mechanisms involved? "To answer this key question, we studied how human and murine beta cells adapt to an excess of sugar and/or fat", explains Pierre Maechler, a Professor in the Department of Cell Physiology and Metabolism and in the Diabetes Centre of the UNIGE Faculty of Medicine, who led this work.

[...] By further analyzing the cellular changes at stake, the research team realised that fat droplets were not static reserves, but were the site of a dynamic cycle of storage and mobilization. And thanks to these released fat molecules, beta cells adapt to the excess sugar and maintain a near-normal insulin secretion.

Journal Reference:
Lucie Oberhauser, Cecilia Jiménez-Sánchez, Jesper Grud Skat Madsen, et al. Glucolipotoxicity promotes the capacity of the glycerolipid/NEFA cycle supporting the secretory response of pancreatic beta cells, Diabetologia (DOI: 10.1007/s00125-021-05633-x)


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  • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 13, @01:57PM (6 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 13, @01:57PM (#1212405)

    > If you read about fasting for lent hundreds of years ago, sugar didn't count. People knew it wasn't food.

    I certainly go to religious people from the 18th century for all my dietary recommendations.

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  • (Score: 1, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 13, @02:32PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 13, @02:32PM (#1212412)

    I go to corporations trying to sell me something.

  • (Score: 0, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 13, @02:54PM (3 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 13, @02:54PM (#1212415)

    People in the past mostly ate food that they had been eaten for centuries, if not millennia. It was known to sustain them. It will sustain us now. And speaking of the 18th century and sugar, that was a new addition to the Western diet. European colonies in the West Indies were pumping out tons of sugar at affordable prices while making an absolute killing in profits for the plantation owners. You could consider this the first case of an introduced fake food for profit in the Western diet.

    You would be better off eating what your country grandma ate than what's in a box at the supermarket. The rise of convenience food trash (whether take out or heated up at home) in our diet is a direct consequence of women having jobs outside the home. There are few home cooked from scratch meals anymore due to lack of time and also energy. Another result of feminism for society, unfortunately.

    • (Score: 2) by hendrikboom on Thursday January 13, @07:48PM (2 children)

      by hendrikboom (1125) Subscriber Badge on Thursday January 13, @07:48PM (#1212497) Homepage Journal

      Were I to buy just one lettuce to use in a salad, I get a few salads out of it before it goes bad. And the grocery store sells them in bags of three. I just can't buy food that knows where it comes from in small enough portions!

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 13, @10:10PM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 13, @10:10PM (#1212534)

        All I can suggest is splitting groceries with someone else. Outside of that, I've got nothing.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 14, @06:22PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 14, @06:22PM (#1212724)

          Hydroponics. If you're wasting as much lettuce as the gp, even a small aerogarden would pay for itself over the course of a year or two.

  • (Score: 2) by HammeredGlass on Thursday January 13, @08:25PM

    by HammeredGlass (12241) on Thursday January 13, @08:25PM (#1212511)

    Our forebears would have stumbled across a few nuggets of wisdom over the centuries, if for no other reason than it was easier.