Abdominal Fat may lead to Diabetes


It is true that abdominal fat may lead to diabetes. It has always been known that being fat or obese leads to poor health but a fact, commonly less known is that abdominal fat is the most harmful of all types.  Until now, researchers were unable to determine the actual mechanism responsible for this but now with the modern research, they are able to reveal how an enzyme produced by our liver raises the risks for diabetes.

When it comes to excess fat stores in the body and its harmful consequences, the key factor turns out to be the way it is distributed throughout the body.

A report recently published in Medical News Today says that it is the abdominal fat that is markedly associated with Type 2 Diabetes and Heart Disease.

Also, there are studies showing that women are at high risk of developing cardiometabolic diseases if they have a high waist-to-hip ratio of fat.

An additional research on the very topic reveals that belly fat is in particular danger when inflamed. While older studies had already shown that local inflammation in the adipose tissue leads to cardiometabolic risks such as insulin resistance.

But the exact mechanism responsible for this inflammation due to excess fat remains somewhat unclear to the researchers. For example, researchers are still wondering “if the inflammation is the cause or a consequence of insulin resistance.”

Now, researchers at Columbia University Irving Medical Center in New York City, NY, have helped to shed some light on this very issue and are successful to reveal that it is the liver that contributes to this inflammation.

Dr. Ira Tabas was leading this team who is the Richard J. Stock Professor of Medicine at Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons and their findings were published in the journal Nature.

What’s the Key Role of DPP4 inhibitors in Diabetes?

Dr. Tabas and his colleagues tested obese mice to see whether blocking an enzyme called DPP4 would either lower the inflammation or not in their abdominal fat.

You might be thinking why it is DPP4 researchers focusing on? This is because those having Diabetes already are prescribed DPP4 inhibitors to help them manage their symptoms. DPP4 inhibitors work by preventing the enzyme from interacting with an insulin-boosting hormone.

But in their study, DPP4 did not lower the abdominal inflammation in mice. Dr. Tabas explains these findings by saying that there might be some difference in the way how DDP4 inhibitors work in the gut and how they work in the liver.

“DPP4 inhibitors work by lowering the blood sugar level by inhibiting DPP4 in the gut. But there are also some pieces of evidence that prove that DPP4 inhibitors in the gut also promote inflammation in the gut fat,” he states. “That cancels out the anti-inflammatory effects the drugs may have when they reach inflammatory cells, called macrophages, in the fat.”

Dr. Tabas further adds, “we know that DDP4 interacts with certain molecules on these cells to cause the inflammation. If we will be able to control or block this interaction entirely, we might be able to stop the enzyme from causing inflammation or insulin resistance. “

So, the researchers targeted the DDP4 cells of liver instead of the gut. This ultimately reduced insulin resistance and inflammation as well.

Another point to be noticed is that DDP4 inhibitors also decrease blood sugar level.

Proceeding to Human Clinical Trials:

According to a report published by Dr. Tabas, “Inhibiting DPP4 cells specifically in liver cells attacks insulin resistance which is the core problem of Type 2 Diabetes at least in our preclinical models.”

The researchers explained what these studies mean to treat Type 2 Diabetes in future. According to Dr. Tabas, “if we are able to develop the ways to target liver DPP4 in people, this may prove itself to be a new and powerful source of treating obesity-induced Type 2 Diabetes.”

Dr. Ahmad A. Hasan, a medical officer and Program Director in the Atherothrombosis and Coronary Artery Disease Branch of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, also adds some comments on these findings by Dr. Tabas.

He says that “This study is the latest approach to treat Type 2 Diabetes and cardiometabolic disorders.”

“These findings may pave the way for a future clinical trial to test whether a new treatment approach based on this target could improve insulin resistance in diabetic patients. More research is needed.”

(Dr. Ahmed A. Hasan)

Diet tips to Improve Insulin Resistance:


Well, where comes a problem there comes a solution too. until the researchers prove themselves and actually finds a way out, we can consider some diet solutions to avoid the problem. Thus, insulin resistance makes the cells less sensitive to insulin which is an essential hormone to keep the blood sugar at a safe level. In such a case, body starts producing more insulin to keep the blood sugar levels at a healthy level. Well, it leads to an increase in the level of sugar in the blood thus leading to Type 2 Diabetes.

Following are some foods that help to support insulin sensitivity in the body:

  • non-starchy vegetables, such as broccoli and peppers
  • high-fiber foods, such as beans and whole grains
  • protein-rich foods, including lean meats, fish, and nuts
  • foods rich in omega-3fatty acids, such as salmon
  • antioxidant foods, such as berries
  • sweet potatoes, which are lower GI than other potatoes
  • water, especially as a substitute for sweetened drinks
  • unsweetened teas

Well, there are also certain foods which need to be avoided in such a condition:

  • sweetened beverages, including fruit juices, soda, and fountain drinks
  • alcohol, particularly beer and grain alcohol, especially in large quantities
  • grains, whether refined or whole, may worsen insulin sensitivity in some people
  • starchy vegetables, such as potatoes, pumpkin, corn, and yams
  • processed snacks and boxed foods
  • excessive sugary sweets, such as cupcakes, ice cream, or chocolate bars
  • white bread, rice, pasta, and flour, which is lower in fiber than whole grain
  • dairy from cows, especially milk
  • fried foods, even if the food is otherwise healthful
  • foods high in saturated fats, including chocolate, butter, and salt pork

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