Molecular Link Between High Fat Consumption and Type 2 Diabetes Discovered; Hope for Type 2 Prevention

According to scientists at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) School of Medicine, a single gene encoding the enzyme GnT-4a glycosyltransferase (GnT-4a) is key to enabling the beta cells in the pancreas to sense blood glucose levels and appropriately produce insulin.

However, this enzyme is suppressed by a high-fat diet, resulting in pancreatic beta cell failure and eventually leading to type 2 diabetes.

The study was published last week in Journal Cell.

The findings suggest that the current human epidemic in type 2 diabetes may be a result of GnT-4a enzyme deficiency. Consequently it is speculated that if you can somehow stimulate production of this enzyme, you might be able to render animals, and perhaps humans, resistant to high-fat diet-induced diabetes. To test the theory, scientists are currently conducting experiments on mice in order to determine whether the over-expression of the GnT-4a gene makes them resistant to diabetes induced by a high-fat diet.

via Food Navigator []

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