Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Not all fat created equal

08.05.2008
Joslin researchers find certain body fat reduces insulin resistance

It has long been known that type 2 diabetes is linked to obesity, particularly fat inside the belly. Now, researchers at the Joslin Diabetes Center have found that fat from other areas of the body can actually reduce insulin resistance and improve insulin sensitivity.

In a study published in the May issue of Cell Metabolism, a team lead by C. Ronald Kahn, M.D. found that subcutaneous fat -- fat found below the skin, usually in the hips and thighs -- is associated with reduced insulin levels and improved insulin sensitivity.

“This points to a new opportunity to find substances made by subcutaneous fat that may actually be good for glucose metabolism,’’ said Dr. Kahn, Head of the Joslin Research Section on Obesity and Hormone Action and the Mary K. Iacocca Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. “If we can identify how subcutaneous fat does this, we will have a big clue as to where to look for these substances.”

Kahn noted that obesity in the abdominal or visceral area -- the classic “beer belly” or “apple” shape -- increases the risk of diabetes and mortality, and said it has been thought that obesity in subcutaneous areas -- the “pear” shape -- might decrease such risks.

“We started out to answer the basic question of whether fat inside the belly is bad for you because of where it is located, or is abdominal fat itself different from fat in other places,” said Kahn, an internationally recognized researcher in diabetes and metabolism.

To test if the differences were due to anatomic location or intrinsic properties of the fat deposits themselves, transplantations were performed in mice. The researchers found that when subcutaneous fat was transplanted into the abdominal area, there was a decrease in body weight, fat mass, glucose and insulin levels and an improvement in insulin sensitivity. By contrast, transplantation of abdominal fat into either the abdominal or subcutaneous area had no effect.

The paper concludes that subcutaneous fat is intrinsically different from visceral fat and may produce substances that can improve glucose metabolism.

“The surprising thing was that it wasn’t where the fat was located,” Kahn said. “It was the kind of fat that was the most important variable. Even more surprising, it wasn’t that abdominal fat was exerting negative effects, but that subcutaneous fat was producing a good effect. Animals with more subcutaneous fat didn’t gain as much weight as they aged, had better insulin sensitivity, lower insulin levels and were improved all around.”

Earlier studies in humans had shown that removal of subcutaneous fat by liposuction does not result in improvement of any aspect of metabolic syndrome, a collection of medical problems related to insulin resistance, but none had focused on possible good effects of this subcutaneous fat. However, one human study did show that obese individuals with high levels of both intra-abdominal and subcutaneous fat were more insulin sensitive than those with only high levels of intra-abdominal fat.

In addition, Kahn noted that a class of diabetes drugs called thiazoladines may cause patients to gain weight in the subcutaneous area, yet also improve insulin sensitivity.

Kahn said it is possible that subcutaneous fat may be producing certain hormones, known as adipokines, which produce beneficial effects on metabolism. These effects may offset the negative effects produced by abdominal fat.

The next step is to identify how subcutaneous fat produces these substances that improve metabolism and then find the substances themselves with the idea of creating a drug that can do the same thing.

“We’re already trying to identify through the use of proteomics what is coming out of the different fat cells,” Kahn said.

Kira Jastive | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.joslin.harvard.edu

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Satellites, airport visibility readings shed light on troops' exposure to air pollution
09.12.2016 | Veterans Affairs Research Communications

nachricht Oxygen can wake up dormant bacteria for antibiotic attacks
08.12.2016 | Penn State

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Electron highway inside crystal

Physicists of the University of Würzburg have made an astonishing discovery in a specific type of topological insulators. The effect is due to the structure of the materials used. The researchers have now published their work in the journal Science.

Topological insulators are currently the hot topic in physics according to the newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung. Only a few weeks ago, their importance was...

Im Focus: Significantly more productivity in USP lasers

In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.

Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

Researchers identify potentially druggable mutant p53 proteins that promote cancer growth

09.12.2016 | Life Sciences

Scientists produce a new roadmap for guiding development & conservation in the Amazon

09.12.2016 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

Satellites, airport visibility readings shed light on troops' exposure to air pollution

09.12.2016 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>