- A toxic class of fat metabolites called ceramides may increase a person's risk of developing type 2 diabetes, claims a new study.
- High levels of ceramide in the adipose tissue impair the body's response to insulin.
- People with healthy body weight are also at high risk for diabetes when their genes trigger ceramide accumulation in the body.
with a healthy body weight could develop diabetes, but an obese person may not.
Scientists have been conducting researches to find the answer. A team of
international scientists has found an answer to that riddle. The risk of
developing type 2 diabetes increases among those who have accumulated a toxic
class of fat metabolites known as ceramides.
found in the adipose tissue. People
who consume more calories produce excess fatty acids that can be either burned
for energy or stored in the body as triglycerides. But in some people, those
fatty acids are turned into ceramides.
‘Ceramides are fat metabolites found in the adipose tissue. High levels of ceramides may increase diabetes risk, and low levels could protect against the condition.’
hinder nutrients absorption, impairs the way body responds to insulin and
affect calorie expenditure.
In the current study,
researchers showed how the buildup of ceramides prevents normal function of
adipose tissue in mice.
"These toxic fat
impact the way the body handles nutrients. They impair the way the body responds
to insulin, and also how it burns calories," said Scott Summers, Ph.D., lead
author of the study, chairman of the University of Utah Department of Nutrition
and Integrative Physiology.
The study was
led by scientists at the University of Utah College of Health. The researchers
found that among obese patients receiving gastric bypass surgery in Singapore,
ceramide levels predicted diabetes risk better than excess body weight. The
study found that obese patients who did not have diabetes had less ceramide
accumulation than those who were diagnosed with the disease.
are accumulated, the adipose tissue stops working and fat enters the
vasculature or heart and causes damage to other peripheral tissues. But the
exact mechanism of how ceramides damage the body is unknown.
Risk of Diabetes
conducted in mice analyzed the impact of ceramides. The researchers added
excess ceramides to fat cells and found that it caused the mice to become
unresponsive to insulin and impaired their ability to burn calories. High
levels of ceramides made the mice more susceptible to diabetes
and fatty liver
also found that mouse with low levels of ceramides were protected from insulin
resistance, which is the first sign of diabetes. The findings of the study show
that high ceramide levels may increase diabetes risk and low levels could
protect against the condition.
noted that some people are more likely to convert excess calories into
ceramides than others.
This study suggests that even skinny people are
likely to develop diabetes or fatty liver disease if genes trigger ceramide
accumulation, said Bhagirath Chaurasia, Ph.D., assistant professor at the
University of Utah and the lead author of the study.
countries have a higher diabetes rate than the United States even though the
obesity rate is relatively low. Some people are just not made to deal with
It's not just how much you eat because some people can eat a lot and they just
store all the fat effectively and remain healthy," said Summers.
Ceramides on the Adipose Tissue
is of three types - white, brown and beige adipose tissue. The brown adipose
tissue burns fat to generate heat. White adipose tissue is the bad type of fat.
Beige adipose tissue is a type of white fat that changes to brown when the body
needs to produce heat or energy. The adipose tissue loses the characteristics
of brown fat when ceramides are accumulated. Then the brown fat is converted to
white fat and cause diseases.
team conducted a study in 2007 and proved that inhibition of ceramide synthesis
in mice prevented the development of diabetes and fatty liver disease. With the
findings of the current research, the team is now searching for genetic
mutations that lead to accumulation of ceramides, contributing to type 2
diabetes and obesity.
ceramide production, we might be able to prevent the development of type 2
diabetes or other metabolic conditions
, at least in some people. Knowing
how problematic ceramide accumulation is inside adipose tissue will help
researchers focus on that specific problem," said Chaurasia.
The study is
published in Cell Metabolism.
- Diabetes risk linked to 'toxic fat' - (https://www.eurekalert.org/emb_releases/2016-11/uouh-drl102816.php)