Gaining Weight and Having Type 2 Diabetes
Have you ever wondered how can you possibly gain so much weight when somebody else eats even more and gains less? Obviously, some of the answer is how much exercise one does. Another part of the answer is shown in the first study of its type by Australian researchers. Healthy people with a genetic predisposition to Type 2 diabetes gain more weight overeating over the short term than their non-genetically prone counterparts.
Diabetes mellitus type 2 or type 2 diabetes is a disorder that is characterized by high blood glucose in the context of insulin resistance and relative insulin deficiency. There are an estimated 23.6 million people in the U.S. (7.8% of the population) with diabetes, 90% of whom are type 2. There is a strong genetic predisposition for those with Type 2.
Those with diabetes are prone to high blood sugar readings which can lead to body damage and increased urination (urine will have high sugar and will taste sweet as opposed to the normal salty). Often they will have weight gain.
In a 28-day study undertaken at Sydney's Garvan Institute of Medical Research, scientists set out to mimic the kind of overfeeding that typically takes place during feasting periods like Christmas.
Seventeen people with a family history of Type 2 diabetes, along with 24 people without any family history, took part in the research. The groups were matched for age, weight and lifestyle.
Each person was asked to eat 1,250 calories a day beyond their energy requirements — all carefully calculated in advance. They were given a variety of high fat snacks such as crisps, chocolate bars and dairy desserts to supplement their normal diets. Their weight, fat distribution and blood insulin levels were measured at the start of the project, after 3 days and at 28 days.
On average, the people with a family history of diabetes gained over a 2 pounds more than the rest (7.5 pounds versus 2.8 pounds) over 28 days. These people also had more insulin circulating in their systems after only 3 days, before they showed any detectable difference in weight gain from the other group.
Dr Dorit Samocha-Bonet, Dr Leonie Heilbronn and Professor Lesley Campbell have published their findings in the international journal Diabetologia, now online.
"It's already well known that relatives of people with Type 2 diabetes are more likely to develop it themselves," said Professor Campbell, senior researcher at Garvan and Director St Vincent's Diabetes Services.
"Our study shows just how quickly the body reacts to overeating, and how harmful it can be in susceptible people. While we expected differences between the two groups, we were surprised by the amount of extra weight the diabetes prone group gained." In essence, those prone genetically to type 2 diabetes will gain weight faster than others will.
High blood sugar levels damage tissues and organs, so the body works very hard to reduce them by producing more insulin. Eventually, the insulin producing cells in the pancreas become exhausted and Type 2 diabetes develops.
"Insulin resistance can start to develop at least a decade before clinical diabetes, and this study helps us examine its very early stages in healthy adults," said Dr Samocha-Bonet.
By the way after the study was done the participants reversed their weight gain with the help of the researchers.
For further information: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2010-05/ra-wgw051010.php