Australian research identifies high dietary fat’s gene trigger for Diabetes 2

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 23rd September 2011

Australian scientists have announced their finding of a crucial molecular link between eating a high fat diet and developing Type 2 diabetes.

Type 2 diabetes occurs when the body becomes less able to produce and use insulin. The disorder is associated with a high-sugar, high-fat diet combined with lack of exercise.

The research was undertaken by Dr Laybutt and PhD scholar Mia Akerfeldt of the Sydney’s Garvan Institute. Their findings suggest a gene, known as Id1, appears to be the “master regulator” of other genes in a beta cell, and it is “switched on” when people consume a high fat diet. Scientists at the Garvan Institute have already developed compounds for blocking the ld1 gene for usage in cancer treatment.

Dr Laybutt said, “We’re saying that Id1 is the molecular link between environmental factors, such as high fat diet, and beta cell dysfunction. We’ve demonstrated our finding in animal models and cell culture, and we’ve also shown that pancreatic tissue from diabetic people expresses Id1.”

Dr Laybutt and his research team intend to treat diabetic mice with the chemical compound already in development to block Id1 in cancer. If they can delay diabetes or improve insulin secretion in mice, they believe there is new hope for people with diabetes.

“If Id1 inhibitors are shown to be safe in clinical trials for cancer, I see no reason why they should not also be trialled for diabetes,” said Dr Laybutt.