Answer to Diabetes, Weight Loss and Coronary Disease: What if there was a way to inhibit the growth of fat cells within the body? What if because those fat cells were no longer resistant to insulin Type 2 diabetes was effectively eliminated? Those are the astounding ‘what if’s’ contemplated in new genetic research.
ScienceDaily.com noted, “Pappachan Kolattukudy, director of UCF’s Burnett School of Biomedical Sciences in the College of Medicine, found that a gene called MCPIP (Monocyte Chemotactic Protein-1 Induced Protein) controls the development of fat cells. Until now, a different protein, known as peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPAR gamma), has been universally accepted as the master controller of fat cell formation, known as adipogenesis.”
Until now scientists have been looking at the wrong body protein in fat formation. What this means in it’s most simplified form is that new drug therapies can be developed that essentially tell the MCPIP to stop developing fat cells.
Obesity has become a global problem and diabetes follows this trend hand in hand. As health care costs continue to escalate and health care reform continues to be debated at a national level and in coffee shops around the world the answer to one of the greatest health care issues of our time may finally have an answer. ScienceDaily.com confirms the significance of this research, “The UCF findings give scientists a new direction for developing drugs that could benefit the more than 300 million people worldwide who are clinically obese — and who have much higher risks of suffering from chronic disease and disability. In addition, it is projected that more than 300 million people will be diabetic by the year 2025.”
As fat cells become inflamed they also become resistant to the beneficial effects of insulin. When that happens Type 2 diabetes can develop. This tiered process results in billions of dollars in health care costs each year.
It could be argued that diet and exercise can manage this issue on its own. In many cases this is true. However, there are exceptions to this rule. The potential development of drug therapies would likely not be a conventional approach to weight loss in that this approach would simply work to target MCPIP. The net effect would be better glucose control and a reduction in the development of Type 2 diabetes. Weight loss would be a welcome addition to the benefits. To put this in perspective Kolattukudy said, “Our research has shown that MCPIP is a regulator of fat cell formation and blood vessel formation that feeds the growing fat tissue. Therefore, a drug that can shut down its function can prevent obesity and the major inflammatory diseases resulting from obesity, including diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.”
The reason inflamed fat cells make the body less capable of managing blood sugar is that they essentially repel the blood sugar from being accepted by the cells in the body so the glucose is forced into the blood stream by default. If the fat cells were able to resist inflammation then the blood glucose and insulin development would partner in effective management of the body’s energy and resulting elimination of excess glucose.
Like many advances in medical science this is both good news and bad. The good news is that this discovery will likely result in improved medical care. The bad news is more research will be required in order to proceed with drug development. What that means is that any drug therapy based on this discovery may still be several years away.