Certain genetic variants that appear to be linked to disturbances in the lipid metabolism have been identified by scientists from Helmholtz Zentrum Munchen.
Some of these common human gene variants are already known to be risk factors for diabetes mellitus.
Lead researcher Professor Karsten Suhre and his team identified variants in nine different genes, which could be associated with disturbances in the lipid metabolism.
They have succeeded for the first time in associating variants in the well-known diabetes risk genes MTNR1B and GCKR with changes in the metabolism.
"The results of our study bring us a decisive step closer in our search for markers for the early detection and therapy of serious metabolic diseases such as diabetes," Nature magazine quoted Suhre as saying.
The variants identified in the study usually cause differences in the metabolization of important lipid building blocks of the body.
The findings have been published in journal Nature Genetics.