Diabetes is a global metabolic disorder that is also characterized by changes in fat and protein metabolism
- Data in animal models suggest that lipid changes may contribute to the development of B-cell dysfunction.
- Westernization and the accompanying increase in dietary fat intake may contribute to alterations in B-cell function.
- Increase in dietary carbohydrate and decrease in dietary fat resulted in improved glucose tolerance as a result of an increase in insulin secretion and an improvement in insulin sensitivity in older subjects and individuals with type 2 diabetes.
- As the development of obesity commonly results in increased intra-abdominal fat that appears to be metabolically active fat depot it is possible that factors emanating from fat may be the critical mediator.
- Free fatty acids is one candidate.
- Fluctuations of FFA are known to be critical to B-cell function.
- Chronic increases of FFA may be deleterious to B-cell function
- This seems to result not only in a decline in insulin release but also may have an effect to reduce the efficiency of proinsulin to insulin conversion within the B-cell.
- Other candidate molecules from fat may play a role in B-cell function decrease:
- Cytokine TNF-alpha