While diabetes mellitus type 1 is largely considered to be caused by genetics, scientists have been furiously studying type 2 diabetes and its causes, which are different and elusive.
In some camps, the finger points to inflammation. In others, it is purely diet-driven and considered a metabolic mistake-making factory.
However, a new study at the University of California in Santa Barbara has potentially found the missing link between the two.
Researchers studying the molecular processes of cells involved in the physiology of type 2 diabetes looked at not only cell function, but specifically the different components that make up cells.
By looking at both the genetic factors that cause cell variations and mutations as well as those that are purely environmental or metabolic, scientists used computer models to illustrate how the inflammatory impact of poor diet and environmental insults cause beta cells in the pancreas to malfunction.
Excess amounts of fat and sugar in the blood are the key elements in causing the reactions with the beta cells. Comparing a widely varying genetic makeup, the scientists were able to see that non-genetic cellular malfunctions occur across all the genetic groups.
The finding reinforces previous studies that show how getting diet and inflammation under control will not only reverse type 2 diabetes, but also completely prevent it from occurring in the first place.
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