Fat, not sugar, contributes to the development of type 2 diabetes, a new study published in the journal Nature has revealed.
Scientists from the Visva Bharati University in West Bengal conducted research which focused on Fetuin-A, a protein secreted by the liver .
They found production of this substance increases when there is excessive free fatty acids in the blood. It blocks fat uptake by cells (adipocytes) responsible for storing excess fat .
The protein links the fatty acids with a receptor, which in turn releases a chemical called cytokines, a component of the immune system that make cells resistant to the blood sugar-regulating hormone insulin .
“Excess free fatty acids therefore hamper insulin sensitivity of cells, so it is best to avoid saturated fats as far as possible,” said lead scientist Samir Bhattacharya.
“Insulin is produced [in patients with type 2 diabetes] but it is not active, and we have shown the exact mechanism why this happens. ”
Bhattacharya, who headed the study at the Cellular &Molecular Endocrinology Laboratory of the Visva Bharati University, added that the findings suggest Fetuin-A could be used as a potential drug target for treatment of type 2 diabetes .

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