Professor Ulf Smith at University of Gothenburg, together with researchers at Harvard published several studies which investigated the effect of fat tissue in body's insulin sensitivity and the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. The researchers have shown that mice that lack a special protein in adipose tissue become insulin resistant, a fundamental disorder in type 2 diabetes.

Disorder and hereditary risk

The researchers at Gothenburg University showed that individuals with a great hereditary risk of developing type 2 diabetes also become insulin resistant The reason of why the lack of this protein in adipose tissue is linked to insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes is yet unclear. A possible explanation could be due to a defect in the ability to form new lipids in the adipose tissue.

Harvard researchers have now used new analyses to identify a new group of lipids which, when extracted from the fat tissue, stimulate the release of insulin in the body. Researchers have shown that these lipids have the ability to reduce the blood glucose levels in diabetic mice.

Expanded research

Ulf Smith and Jan Boren at the Wallenberg Laboratory have now expanded the research further. They are in the process of investigating if the lack of this protein in the adipose tissue can be used to identify who will develop type 2 diabetes in the future, and ultimately develop a new treatment for this condition.

The lipids that have been recently discovered, or more precisely could be used as a goal for future medication. What makes the discovery very exciting is that lipids can also be found in certain foods. Therefore, researchers are proceeding by also analyzing which foods contain these lipids.

From the above mentioned studies it can be concluded that one of the possible ways of treating diabetes would be to target lipid proteins. 


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