Consumption of a high fat diet has been found to suppress the activity of GnT-4a gene, an enzyme that regulates insulin secretion (beta cells of the pancreas). The consequent disruption of insulin secretion leads to diabetes.
This molecular mechanism between diabetes (Type II) and diet has been unraveled by researchers from the University of California. During early stages of the disease, there is insufficient insulin production, resulting in elevated blood sugar levels. A compensatory mechanism is then activated in the beta cells characterized by excessive insulin secretion and eventually leading to type II diabetes.
The reason why obesity could lead to diabetes was very poorly understood previously. But with the above study providing valuable insights, a definitive link between obesity and diabetes can now be established. This could lead to better treatment options for more than 200 million people suffering from the disease, worldwide.