Chemical produced by fatty tissue makes obese people develop
9 December 2009
Many people who are overweight or obese develop insulin
resistance and type 2 diabetes at some stage in their lives. A European
research team has now discovered that obese people have large amounts of
the chemical CXCL5, produced by certain cells in fatty tissue.
The main risk factors for type 2 diabetes are obesity and a sedentary
lifestyle. The biomedical community has known for many years that
substances produced by fatty tissue are responsible for the link between
obesity and diabetes. "Chronic inflammation of the adipose tissue, which
is characteristic of obese people, is a crucial stage in the development
of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes", Lluis Fajas, lead author of
the study and a researcher at the Institute of Health and Medical
Research (Inserm) in France, told SINC.
The results of this new study show that serum levels of a chemokine
molecule called CXCL5, produced by certain adipose tissue cells, appear
at much high levels in the tissues of obese people than in those of
individuals with normal weight. This has helped Lluis Fajas's research
team conclude that the CXCL5 molecule helps cause insulin resistance and
type 2 diabetes.
The most important part of this study, published in the journal
Cell Metabolism, is the discovery that an experimental treatment
aimed at inhibiting the action of CXCL5 can help to protect obese mice
from develping type 2 diabetes. "If these studies can be confirmed in
humans, this treatment would represent a fundamental improvement in the
quality of life of obese individuals", the researcher concludes.
Bad habits cause obesity and diabetes
According to the latest data from the Spanish Diabetes Federation
(FED), almost 3.5 million people in Spain have diabetes. This illness is
most common in Andalusia and Murcia, regions where the highest
percentage of people who are obese and sedentary. The specialists agree
on the importance of prevention. Avoiding obesity, doing daily physical
exercise and giving up smoking are some of the measures that could help
to cut the number of diabetes cases by a half.
The International Diabetes Federation (IDF) says that more than 190
million people worldwide currently have diabetes. This figure will rise
to 330 million by 2025, due to population growth, the ageing of the
population, and increasing urbanisation and sedentary lifestyles.
Obesity is the main avoidable risk factor in developing type 2 diabetes.
Worldwide, 1.7 billion people are already at high risk of developing a
non-contagious, weight-related illness, such as type 2 diabetes.
Obesity can reduce the life expectancy of people with type 2 diabetes
by up to eight years, and 80% of people diagnosed with the illness are
overweight at the time they are diagnosed.
At least half of all cases of type 2 diabetes among adults could be
avoided if they did not put on weight. Taking action on lifestyle, such
as changing diet and taking moderate physical exercise, can reduce the
risk of developing type 2 diabetes by up to 60%.