Beta cells going bad
From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, I’m Ira Dreyfuss with HHS HealthBeat.
A study in women says gaining weight can damage insulin-making cells, possibly setting the women up for diabetes.
The University of Southern California study looked at beta cells – which produce insulin -- in Hispanic women. Type 2 diabetes occurs when cells that make insulin fail. Overweight people have higher risks.
Researcher Anny Xiang says weight gain reduced beta cell function in two ways. It worsened insulin resistance – when the body does not respond to insulin properly. And it led to changes in some hormones from fat cells that can be harmful to beta cells.
“Controlling body weight, especially body fat, is important in reducing diabetes risk. This can be achieved by diet and exercise.” (8 seconds)
The study, supported by the National Institutes of Health, was presented at a meeting of the American Diabetes Association.
Learn more at hhs.gov.HHS HealthBeat is a production of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. I’m Ira Dreyfuss.
Last revised: May 7, 2011