MentallyHealth.Org

Genetic link to risk for diabetes and weight gain: New study

March 09, 2017

"Our study shows just how quickly the body reacts to overeating, and how harmful it can be in susceptible people. While we expected differences between the two groups, we were surprised by the amount of extra weight the diabetes-prone group gained."

An early warning sign of diabetes is the development of 'insulin resistance', usually triggered by excess body fat. Insulin is a hormone made by the pancreas, which helps the body use glucose for energy. Insulin resistant muscle cannot respond properly to insulin from the bloodstream, leading to high levels of sugar in the blood.

High blood sugar levels damage tissues and organs, so the body works very hard to reduce them by producing more insulin. Eventually, the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas become exhausted and Type 2 diabetes develops.

"Insulin resistance can start to develop at least a decade before clinical diabetes, and this study helps us examine its very early stages in healthy adults," said Dr Samocha-Bonet.

At the end of the study, participants were helped to lose weight, with both groups being equally successful. Interestingly, the 'biggest loser' belongs to the group with a family history of diabetes.

Source: Research Australia