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 Team discovers how bacteria exploit a chink in the body's armor
20.01.2017 | University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

nachricht Rabies viruses reveal wiring in transparent brains
19.01.2017 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn

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: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Helmholtz International Fellow Award for Sarah Amalia Teichmann

20.01.2017 | Awards Funding

An innovative high-performance material: biofibers made from green lacewing silk

20.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Ion treatments for cardiac arrhythmia — Non-invasive alternative to catheter-based surgery

20.01.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>