Friday, July 29, 2005

Link Between Obesity and Diabetes

It's recognized that people who are obese have a higher risk for developing type 2 diabetes. Now, researchers reporting in the July 21 issue of Nature have found a link between the two, in the form of a protein - specifically, retinol binding protein 4 (RBP4) - that's secreted by fat cells.

RBP4 has a known function as a transporter of Vitamin A in the body. These investigators found that high levels of the protein can also cause cells to be more resistant to insulin - a condition that precedes diabetes.

This knowledge may lead to the development of drugs that can lower levels of this protein, adding to the arsenal of diabetes' therapies.


For a summary of the study:
Study identifies fat-secreted protein linked to insulin resistance

For the study itself:
Serum retinol binding protein 4 contributes to insulin resistance in obesity and type 2 diabetes