Life today comes with increased health challenges, especially for the young adult population. Although the newer generations would not have to witness any of the deadly diseases that resulted in millions of deaths from the past, they have newer issues to deal with.
One of such problems is the rise of diabetes in the past decade. According to the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, every one in ten adults is given a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes. In fact, the cases of diabetes have so far, quadrupled, in the past fifteen years.
The reason for this happening are many and are also interconnected. For example, the global pandemic of diabetes goes hand in hand with rising obesity levels. Both of these health conditions can also lead to other harmful diseases such as heart-related issues.
Therefore, the management of diabetes is very important to prevent any such developments. At the moment, treatment options for diabetes are limited and a complete method has not been made. Research on diabetes, however, shows that there is hope for the patients in the future.
For instance, new research shows how the control of a specific protein may help reverse or even prevent the development of type 2 diabetes.
The study was held by a team of researchers from the University of British Columbia in Canada and the Karolinska Institute in Sweden. The findings can be found in the journal EBioMedicine.
How Was the Research Conducted?
Diabetes type 2 is typically a result of insulin resistance caused by consuming too many calories than the body needs. Whenever a person eats more than needed, a type of fat also known as white adipose tissue stores the extra calories in the form of fat.
If this practice is continued for longer periods of time, it eventually starts causing issues and leads to insulin resistance. The main focus of the researchers was on white adipose tissue and their role in the development of type 2 diabetes.
More particularly, they looked at how the protein CD248 affects the white adipose tissues. Previously, this protein has been linked to a number of health conditions including inflammation and tumor formations.
In order to see the effects of CD248, the researchers first examined the gene expressions present in the white adipose tissues from different people. This included obese and thin people both with and without type 2 diabetes.
Consequently, it was observed that people with obesity and insulin fluctuations had a higher level of CD248 in their bodies. This led to the researchers hypothesizing that the protein might be a marker of insulin sensitivity.
To confirm this finding, they lessened the CD248 production in the human white adipose tissues after which they concluded that the protein is a part of cellular activities which play a role in causing insulin resistance due to obesity.
How Can Diabetes Be Prevented?
After the confirmation of the role of CD248, the researchers moved to mice models. Mice who did not have the gene expressions for the protein were observed. It was then concluded that these mice successfully prevented type 2 diabetes as well as insulin resistance.
In fact, the mice did not show any symptoms of diabetes even if they were obese or had a high-fat diet. Furthermore, it was also seen that the mice with type 2 diabetes had improved insulin sensitivity with control on CD248 protein.
These findings show that following the same mechanism in humans may help in prevention as well as treatment for diabetes. However, the researchers agree that more research is required as transferring from mice to humans is usually lengthy and difficult.