Where the fat’s at

In real estate, location is everything. The same might be said of lipids — those crucial cellular fats and oils that serve as building blocks for cells and as key energy sources for the body.
In a paper published in the September issue of…

Mouse Research Sheds New Light on Human Genetic Diseases

A team of researchers at Penn State University has announced important findings about the causes of three human diseases: severe, juvenile-onset diabetes; osteoporosis; and Wolcott-Rallison Syndrome, a rare condition whose sufferers exhibit a combination of diabetes, retarded growth, and skeletal abnormalities. Their work suggests promising lines of research for the therapeutic treatment of these diseases. The work will be described in an article in the August 2003 issue of the journal Endocrinology.

Gastric bypass surgery improves diabetes in most patients

According to a new study, 97 percent of patients who underwent laparoscopic Roux-en Y gastric bypass surgery for obesity had resolution or improvement of their type 2 diabetes mellitus. The study examined 1,150 patients over a five-year period following their LGBP surgeries. Of those patients in the study, 240 (21 percent) had type 2 diabetes mellitus and 192 of the 240 patients (80 percent) were available for follow-up.

Components of diabetes in African Americans have genetic underpinnings

American children whose genetic roots strongly reach back to Africa are less sensitive to insulin-a factor important in the development of type 2 diabetes-than those whose ancestors hailed heavily from Europe, according to study results released today. Rather than relying on broad categories of race, such as black or white, researchers in diabetes and obesity from the Keck School of Medicine of USC and the University of Alabama at Birmingham analyzed a group of children for 20 key genetic markers found far more often in those of African descent than those of European descent. They found that the more African-origin markers in children’s genetic makeup, the less their bodies responded to insulin-and the more insulin in their blood.

Short thighs linked to greater likelihood of diabetes

People with short upper legs are more likely to have glucose intolerance or diabetes, researchers reported today at the American Heart Association’s 43rd Annual Conference on Cardiovascular Disease Epidemiology and Prevention. The study seems to support the hypothesis that factors influencing growth in the womb and during childhood may contribute to the development of impaired glucose tolerance and diabetes, says Keiko Asao, M.D., M.P.H., and a Ph.D. candidate at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Md. Impaired glucose tolerance is also called insulin resistance. It’s a metabolic disorder in which the body cannot efficiently turn blood sugar (glucose) into energy.