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A child who is overweight and unfit may already be on the road to developing insulin resistance, an early sign of diabetes, researchers reported today at the American Heart Association's 43rd Annual Conference on Cardiovascular Disease Epidemiology and Prevention. Insulin sensitivity is a measure of how well the body responds to insulin, a hormone that transports carbohydrates from the blood into cells where they are turned into energy. High insulin sensitivity means the body is responding well to insulin. Low insulin sensitivity ? also called insulin resistance ? is often a precursor to diabetes.
Elderly men and women with normal body weight still may be at risk for developing type 2 diabetes if they have large amounts of muscle fat or visceral abdominal fat, according to a University of Pittsburgh study published in the February issue of the journal Diabetes Care. "Our study found that, even though an elderly person may not be overweight, he or she might still be at risk for developing diabetes," said Bret H. Goodpaster, Ph.D., of the University of Pittsburgh division of endocrinology and metabolism and principal investigator of the study. "An important factor is where in the body their excess fat is stored."
A new study in female mice links estrogen, lower blood pressure, and insulin resistance, despite a high fructose diet. The experiments demonstrate that the effects of a fructose diet on metabolism and blood pressure are dependent on sex gender. Female rats are protected against fructose-induced hypertension, unlike their male counterparts, and the mechanisms responsible for this protection appear to be related to female sex hormones. Furthermore, there appears to be a sex difference in the vascular actions of insulin, which may also be involved in the mechanisms responsible for the sex differences observed in this experiment. The results of these experiments represent a novel finding into the interrelationship among hyperinsulinemia, insulin resistance, and hypertension. The potential existence of sex differences in this intriguing association might help elucidate the mechanisms involved and are worthy of further investigation.