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Scientists discover new fats that may protect against type 2 diabetes

Written by Shraddha Rupavate |Published : October 10, 2014 1:44 PM IST

A study that appeared in journal Cell Fat revealed a new class of molecules or fats discovered by researchers, which have the ability to provide protection against diabetes. According to the study, these lipids have not been noticed earlier in cells and tissues because they are present in minute quantities, making detection difficult.

Called the 'fatty acid hydroxy fatty acids (FAHFAs)', these molecules could be added to the list of good lipds or fats. The researchers first identified FAHFAs as a different type of lipid that was present diabetes-resistant mice. It was then found that when the mice with high risk of diabetes ate FAHFAs, blood sugar levels dropped and insulin levels rose, indicating the potential therapeutic value of FAHFAs.

To determine FAHFA's relevance in humans, the team measured FAHFA in humans who are insulin-resistant and found that their FAHFA levels were lower in fat and blood, suggesting that changes in FAHFA levels may contribute to diabetes.

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The researchers found that those at a high risk of type 2 diabetes had a lowered level of these lipids, indicating that they could potentially be used treating metabolic disorders. Further when this new 'good' fat or lipid was given to mice with the equivalent of type 2 diabetes, their elevated blood sugar lowered considerably.

According to Alan Saghatelian, professor at the Salk Institute and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) in Boston, these lipids can also reduce inflammation, suggesting that we might discover therapeutic opportunities for these molecules in inflammatory diseases such as Crohn's disease, rheumatoid arthritis and diabetes.

Source: IANS

Photo source: Getty images

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