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Low-fat for diabetes

A larger diet of low-fat products is better than smaller portions of normal high-fat food, says new study.

health and fitness Updated: Feb 09, 2004 20:42 IST

New research conducted by Dutch scientists shows that a larger diet of low-fat products is better than smaller portions of normal high-fat food for preventing diabetes in obese people.

According to the study, mice put on a low-fat diet were more sensitive to insulin, than mice that received the same amount of energy in the form of high-fat food.

Expert Martin Muurling put obese mice on different diets in which the total energy intake and the final body weight were the same. He then studied the effect of these diets on insulin sensitivity.

Mice that received just low-fat products were more sensitive to insulin than mice that ate small portions of high fat food. This led him to infer that a low-fat diet is a more effective remedy for diabetes than eating fewer calories.

The expert also discovered that in mice, the consumption of fish oil had no positive effects whatsoever on reduced insulin sensitivity. This led him to conclude that a diet with fish oil cannot prevent or remedy diabetes in the case of somebody who is already less sensitive to insulin due to a high-fat diet.

Clinically obese people are sometimes known to suffer type II diabetes mellitus, because far more fatty acids are released from the adipose tissue during obesity. These fatty acids can reduce the functioning of the beta cells in the pancreas as well as the sensitivity of various tissues to insulin.

Fat accumulation in adipose tissue is less harmful than fat accumulation in organs such as the liver and muscles. Treatment methods that lead to a reduction of fat accumulation in the liver and muscles might also remedy type II diabetes mellitus in obese patients.

In diabetics, the regulation of the blood glucose level and the transport of glucose from the blood to tissue cells are disrupted. This is due to either an inadequate production of insulin or the insulin available not being effective enough.

First Published: Feb 09, 2004 20:42 IST