A new study has found that genetically raised circulating triglyceride levels are not a factor in a heightened risk of type 2 diabetes, or the cause of increased fasting glucose or insulin levels.
The research, led by N. Maneka G. De Silva at the University of Exeter and published in Diabetes, examined whether raised circulating triglyceride levels causally influenced the chances of type 2 diabetes.
Using Mendelian randomizatio, a way of measuring genetic variation for the causal effect of exposure to known diseases, the scientists reviewed 10 different genetic variants associated with circulating triglyceride levels, as well as exploring genetic variants in four continuous outcomes measuring glycaemia and hepatic insulin resistance .
It was revealed that there were raised circulating triglyceride levels in people with elevated numbers of triglyceride-raising alleles, but that those with an increased number of triglyceride-raising alleles were not associated with a risk of type 2 diabetes. For people who didn’t have diabetes, an increased number of triglyceride-raising alleles were not associated with increased fasting insulin or glucose levels . The research showed that genetically elevated circulating triglyceride levels were uncorrelated with a greater risk of diabetes, fasting glucose or fasting insulin.
The report said “One explanation for our results is that raised circulating triglycerides are predominantly secondary to the diabetes disease process, rather than causal.”

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