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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, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 13, @05:49PM (3 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 13, @05:49PM (#1212449)

    I don't know about the Lent thing, but I am given to understand that sugar was considered a seasoning. On Antique's Roadshow they actually had a several hundred year old spice case. The bottles still had spices in them, and there was also a sugar cone. I had always expected sugar cones to be bigger. It was two inches high. The host explained that such cones were extremely valuable, and that the cook would use something like a file to get a little sugar dust off the cone.

    Of course that eventually changed. The infamous Triangular Trade circulated slaves to the Caribbean, who were forced to produce sugar and ultimately economies of scale gave us the casual choice of "one lump or two", those infamous British teeth, and American Type-2 diabetes epidemics.

    As others have pointed out, cheap sugar (or these days, corn based analogs) are so cheap that they're sneaked in as an additive wherever possible. I've struggled with this myself recently--having tested high for trigylcerides and been asked "are you a sugar addict". I said "no" but when I went home I audited all my stuff and realized the bread and yogurt were really doing me in. The "fruit" in the yogurt is really fruit and sugar. The bread has sugar in addition to the carbs I knew I was getting.

    Since then, I've cut way back and I feel better. I'm waiting for that next check-up to see what the numbers are.

    Fuck added sugar.

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  • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 13, @06:24PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 13, @06:24PM (#1212459)

    If you haven't already, start by cutting back on the obvious sources of sugar and substitute foods with less added sugar and it gets better. Trying anything more drastic probably won't work.

  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by hendrikboom on Thursday January 13, @07:50PM

    by hendrikboom (1125) Subscriber Badge on Thursday January 13, @07:50PM (#1212498) Homepage Journal

    I buy yoghurt without fruit and add any fruit myself.

  • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 13, @09:57PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 13, @09:57PM (#1212530)

    Cereals. The staple American breakfast.

    Instant Poison.