Diabetes, insulin rises before cells develop resistance

The diabetes type 2 or mellitus is one metabolic disease characterized by an increase in blood sugar (hyperglycemia). It is mainly adults who are affected. In particular, the risk becomes more concrete from the age of 35-40 even if, data in hand, in recent years the diagnoses among young people have doubled. For some time, scholars around the world have been wondering what really happens in the body as the disease progresses and whyobesity it is a big risk factor of the same. Another question is crucial: does insulin resistance or high levels of insulin come first in the genesis of diabetes?

The dominant hypothesis has long been that the pancreas increases the production of insulin because of the cells that have already become resistant to the hormone and, consequently, the level of sugar in the blood increases. However, according to the researchers of theUniversity of Gothenburg in Sweden, the opposite is true: insulin levels would rise first. Specifically theinvestigation, the results of which were published in the journal “EBioMedicine”, indicates that high blood levels of FFA after an overnight fast they stimulate insulin production in the morning.

For the study, the scientists compared the metabolism of the adipose tissue of 27 subjects. Nine had a normal weight, nine were obese but with values ​​of glucose and nine suffered from obesity and diabetes. For several days they were subjected to in-depth examinations during which samples were taken under varying conditions. In addition to metabolism, the researchers also analyzed gene expression of subcutaneous fat, blood levels of sugar, insulin and FFA.

Obese but non-diabetic individuals had the same blood glucose values ​​as healthy normal-weight participants, as well as elevated values ​​of both free fatty acids than insulin. Furthermore, the same levels were similar to or higher than those measured in patients with obesity and diabetes. In collaboration with the scientists of theUppsala University the same pattern was then observed in a population study, based on blood samples taken from 500 people after an overnight fast.

The bond observed between free fatty acids and insulin suggests that the former are linked to the release of the hormone and that they contribute to the increase in production of the same on an empty stomach, when blood sugar is not increased. Free fatty acids are found naturally in the bloodstream and, like the glycerol, are a product of the body’s fat metabolism. In the participants, the amount of glycerol released was substantially the same per pound of body fat, regardless of whether they were of normal weight, obese or had diabetes.

The hypothesis of the scholars is that free fatty acids increase in the blood because the adipose tissue it is no longer able to store excess energy. This could be an early sign of diabetes. Further confirmation of this deduction could allow the development of some specific fatty acids in biomarkers. Finally, the survey in question focuses on the importance of a healthy person lifestyle in the prevention and slowing of metabolic disease.


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