A recent report from the Beth Israel DeaconessMedical Center (BIDMC) states that fat cells may help protect the body from diabetes. The effects have to do with the fat cells role in the body as manager of blood sugar.
The team of researchers discovered that a single gene inside a fat cell responds powerfully to sugar. Fat cells need sugar to work properly, however obesity sometimes reduces the amount of sugar going to the fat cells. This results in insulin resistance, according to the report.
According to senior author Barbara Kahn MD “If we change that one gene, that makes the animal more prone to or more protected from diabetes. Many foods get converted into sugar, so there is no need to eat more sugar." Khan is the George R. Minot Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Vice Chair of the Department of Medicine at BIDMC.
These findings may eventually lead to alternate treatments for diabetes and several other types of metabolic diseases.