Being overweight increases one’s risk for developing diabetes. If somebody having diabetes gains weight, it makes it harder to control blood sugar levels. Insulin resistance (a condition in which the body makes insulin but can’t use it properly to move glucose into cells) causes blood sugar levels to rise in people with diabetes. The pancreas make more insulin to compensate for the rising blood sugar levels.
However, according to a study that appeared in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, researchers have identified two different mutations in a gene that makes some people more vulnerable to weight gain and diabetes as they age. Mutations in this gene cause cells to suck up glucose faster than normal, fattening them up and eventually triggering the type of diabetes linked to obesity, the findings showed.
The findings resulted from testing on mice and could help identify at-risk individuals who might be able to tip the scales back in their favor by eating better and exercising more. Senior author of the study Vann Bennett, professor at Duke University School of Medicine, said that this is one of the first examples of a susceptibility gene that would only be manifested through a modern lifestyle.
Bennett said that these findings are just the beginning and that there are going to be many genes like this.
This could lead to a better understanding about the roles genes play in diabetes and obesity and lead to the development of new treatment options.
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