University of Michigan Health System lab study points to protein that triggers harmful effect of indulgent eating
A University of Michigan Health System study provides new clues about the health-damaging molecular changes set in motion by eating high-fat foods.
A better understanding of the body’s response to indulgent eating could lead to new approaches for treating diabetes and metabolic syndrome.
High fat foods can contribute to obesity, which increases the risk for developing type 2 diabetes.
The researchers learned a key protein called Bcl10 is needed for the free fatty acids, which are found in high-fat food and stored in body fat, to impair insulin action and lead to abnormally high blood sugar.
In the laboratory study, mice deficient in Bcl10 were protected from developing insulin resistance when fed a high-fat diet. The findings will be published May 31 in Cell Reports.
Insulin helps control blood sugar, but insulin resistance can lead to the abnormally high blood sugar levels that are the hallmark of diabetes. Insulin resistance can occur as part of metabolic syndrome, a cluster of conditions that increase the risk for type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
As millions of Americans become overweight and obese, type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome are on the rise.
“The study also underscores how very short-term changes in diet such as high-fat eating for only a few days, perhaps even less, can induce a state of insulin resistance,” says senior study author Peter C. Lucas, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor of pathology at the University of Michigan.
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