Scientists at Oregon State University conducted a research study to explain why not all obese people get Type 2 Diabetes.
Type 2 Diabetes is a chronic condition affecting the way the body metabolises glucose, a sugar that's a key source of energy. This type of Diabetes is frequently associated with obesity. This could mean that the insulin produced in the body is unable to lower blood glucose levels. As Diabetes progresses, the pancreas are unable to produce enough insulin to maintain normal glucose levels.
In either case, sugar builds up in the bloodstream and, if left untreated, the effect impairs many major organs, sometimes to disabling or life-threatening degrees. A key risk factor for Type 2 Diabetes is being overweight, often a result of eating too much fat and sugar in combination with low physical activity.
The scientists wanted to know what organs, biological pathways and genes were involved.
Findings published in the Journal of Experimental Medicine showed that a particular type of gut microbe led to white adipose tissue containing macrophage cells (large cells that are part of the immune system) which were associated with insulin resistance.
The human gut microbiome features more than 10 trillion microbial cells from about 1,000 different bacterial species. In the human body, white adipose tissue is the main type of fat.
The experiments and analysis predicted that a high-fat/high-sugar diet primarily acts in white adipose tissue by driving microbiota- related damage to the energy synthesis process, leading to insulin resistance.
Treatments that modify a person's microbiota in ways that target insulin resistance in adipose tissue macrophage cells could be a new therapeutic strategy for Type 2 Diabetes.