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The Correlations Between Obesity And Diabetes Identified By Scientists

The Correlations Between Obesity And Diabetes Identified By Scientists

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In Summary

Studies suggest that occurrence of diabetes is concurrent with obesity. But that does not imply that all obese individuals are diabetic. Find out why?

Editor Posted by Tripti


Diabetes is a chronic metabolic disorder which has slowly taken the form of a global epidemic. Basically, diabetes is classified into two types. The Type 1 diabetes is caused due to genetic factors responsible for insufficient insulin secretion, whereas the occurrence of Type 2 diabetes depends on various physiological factors, among which obesity is the most common and the most troublesome.

Obesity is the condition which involves gain of extra body weight. It is usually caused due to lack of physical exercises and intake of unhealthy diet.

Can obesity induce diabetes?

Obesity is often accompanied with increase in the concentration of fat molecules in the blood, which leads to abnormal lipid accumulation in the liver. All these factors function as mediators that stimulate improper hormone secretion and functioning of the signaling cascades that are necessary for the proper functioning of these hormones.

Furthermore, scientists associate obesity with chronic low level inflammation caused due to secretion of proinflammatory cytokines. Consistent inflammation causes development of insulin resistance in obese individuals, which eventually takes the form of diabetes.

The key players that are responsiblefor the development of obesity related metabolic disorders are enlisted here:

  • Adiponectin

Adiponectin is necessary to maintain energy homeostasis in the body. It maintains the proper functioning of glucose and lipid metabolic pathways. Recent studies revealed that, obesity causes transcriptional failure ofthe adiponectin gene due to hyper-methylation in the promoter region. This functions as the first step towards instigation of diabetes.


  • Pro-inflammatory cytokines

Diverse factors, including dietary factors like excess consumption of saturated fatty acids and changes in the gut microbiota composition, may cause inflammation in the adipocytes and liver tissues. It is one of the leading cause of development of insulin resistance.

The proinflammatory cytokine which mediate this process are pattern recognition receptors, toll-like receptors, nucleotide oligomerization domain (NOD) and inflammasome.

  • NK cell-mediated VAT inflammation

Visceral adipose tissue (VAT) inflammation,is associated with accumulation of proinflammatory macrophages in the adipose tissues and upregulation of the ligands which bind to the

Current research findings suggest that intake of high fatty acid foods multiplies the chances of development of insulin resistance in obese individuals which is the cause of occurrence of type 2 diabetes. Therefore, those who are at risk of developing diabetes should specifically watch their weight and ensure the intake of balanced diet on a regular basis.


Kim, A. Y., Park, Y. J., Pan, X., Shin, K. C., Kwak, S. H., Bassas, A. F., ... & Kim, J. B. (2015). Obesity-induced DNA hypermethylation of the adiponectin gene mediates insulin resistance. Nature communications6.

Tanti, J. F., Ceppo, F., Jager, J., &Berthou, F. (2015).Implication of inflammatory signaling pathways in obesity-induced insulin resistance. Obesity-induced inflammation and insulin resistance3(181), 6.

Wensveen, F. M., Jelenčić, V., Valentić, S., Šestan, M., Wensveen, T. T., Theurich, S., ... &Brüning, J. C. (2015). NK cells link obesity-induced adipose stress to inflammation and insulin resistance. Nature immunology16(4), 376-385.