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Diabetes

Half of all Americans carry diabetes risk gene for poor glucose tolerance

Friday, February 02, 2007 by: Beau Hodai
Tags: diabetes, diabetes risk, health news


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(NewsTarget) According to a recent study, roughly half of all Americans carry a variant of a gene that increases susceptibility to diabetes.

The study, published this month in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, was authored by researchers from the University of Maryland’s school of Medicine and department of Kinesiology, as well as researchers from the Geriatric Research Education and Clinical Center of the Baltimore Veterans Administration Medical Center, and St. Louis University.

The variant gene, Ala54Thr of the fatty acid-binding protein 2 gene (Thr54 FABP2), is common, and has been associated with glucoregulation and the metabolism and uptake of lipids in past studies.

This is the first study to disregard factors such as exercise, and focus primarily on dietary and genetic factors.

The study group consisted of 122 sedentary men and women, ranging from 50 to 75 years of age. The participants were genotyped, and following a period on a low-fat diet, were observed to see how their bodies processed sugars and fats.

Carriers of the gene variant were shown to burn fat more rapidly than non-carriers. However, the Thr54 FABP2 positive group retained a higher fasting blood glucose level, as well as decreased sensitivity to insulin.

“That is not to say that half of U.S. residents are destined to get diabetes,” said Edward Weiss, Ph.D, lead author of the study and assistant professor of Nutrition and Dietetics at the Doisy College of Health Sciences at St. Louis University. “Many other genes, some known and some unknown are involved.

“This study adds to what was previously known about this gene variant by showing that after consuming a very rich milkshake, people with the variant gene process the fat from the drink differently than other people,” said Weiss.

“What’s important to note from this study, however, is that regardless of your genetic code, you can prevent and even reverse type-2 diabetes through smart dietary choices, anti-diabetes nutritional supplements and regular exercise,” said Mike Adams, author of "How to Halt Diabetes in 25 Days."

“Your genetic code does not control your health destiny. It only determines how your body processes the foods you give it, and every consumer has control over the foods they decide to consume,” said Adams.

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