A new study by scientists at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine in the US have explored the link between the consumption of a high-fat diet and the risk of type 2 diabetes .
A diet rich in saturated fats is believed to be a key contributor to type 2 diabetes, and patients with the condition have overly active immune responses, which means their bodies contain inflammatory chemicals. The research, which studied response to a high fat diet in mice, revealed that saturated fatty acids can activate immune cells to produce interleukin-1beta, an inflammatory protein .
Jenny Y. Ting, senior co-author on the study, which was published in the journal Nature Immunology, commented “The cellular path that mediates fatty acid metabolism is also the one that causes interleukin-1beta production.”
She added “Interleukin-1beta then acts on tissues and organs such as the liver, muscle and fat (adipose) to turn off their response to insulin, making them insulin resistant. As a result, activation of this pathway by fatty acid can lead to insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes symptoms .”
People with type 2 diabetes can be overweight and have bodies that are resistant to insulin, the hormone that takes sugar from the blood to store it as energy.

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