Inability to store fat safely increases diabetes risk

Posted by JOrchard on 16 November, 2016


Not being able to store excess fat safely in the body increases the risk of type 2 diabetes, strokes and even heart attacks, Cambridge University research suggests. 

A study of 200,000 showed that those with a variation in their genetic make-up were less likely to deposit fat under the skin in the lower body.

This can lead the body to become resistant to the hormone insulin. The scientists have said their findings seem to explain why even slim people who eat too much and are inactive are at a risk of diabetes. And they added that a healthy diet and physical exercise is important, regardless of body weight. 

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Insulin is a hormone that controls levels of blood sugar.

When the body starts to become resistant to it, levels of blood sugars and lipids rise, increasing the risk of diabetes and heart diseases but no one is sure why insulin resistance happens and why some people become resistant when they are overweight and others do not. 

Internal figures show that over 85% of people who develop type 2 diabetes are considered obese or overweight whereas just 14% are considered to be a healthy weight. 

The Cambridge study, published in Nature Genetics, found that a late proportion of the population has inherited some of 53 separate  genetic variants that inhibit the storage of fat safely under the skin, particularly in the lower half of the body. 

This is because the fat is more likely to end up in the bloodstream or stored in and around the body’s central organs. 

The study said that people who have more of this genetic material are at a much higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes regardless of what their body mass index (BMI) is. 

People with fat storage problems can end up with fat accumulating in and around the pancreas, muscles and the liver - where it causes insulin resistance and eventually causes type 2 diabetes. 

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