‘Obesity control will have only a limited success in preventing type 2 diabetes’

Milind Watve, professor at IISER, Pune, has gone through 63 studies which analyses causes for insulin resistance. The statistical analysis of these studies shows that there only in 10 per cent of the cases obesity was the primary cause for developing insulin resistance. Research needs to be focused on the other possible causes of insulin resistance, he added

DB

When obesity is believed to be major cause of insulin resistance, scientist at Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) has shown, how, many other obesity independent factors also affect insulin resistance and obesity is not the primary cause.

Milind Watve, professor at IISER, Pune, said, “There are many obesity independent signals which affect insulin resistance and they need to be studied in order to effectively target the diseases like diabetes.”

He has gone through 63 studies which analyses causes for insulin resistance. The statistical analysis of these studies shows that there only in 10 per cent of the cases obesity was the primary cause for developing insulin resistance.

“Only 10 per cent cases explained obesity as the primary cause. This explains that though mainstream view considers obesity to be primary cause of insulin resistance, the relationship is not as robust as classically believed,” he added.

The research paper has listed factors other than obesity which lead to insulin resistance. They include brain-derived neurotrophic factor, fibroblast growth factor and other growth factor signals. Damage of muscle reduces insulin sensitivity, apart from infections and pain.

Morphometrics analysis, related to size and shape of the body, explained only 16 per cent of correlation in the studies. There are other obesity independent factors like muscle strength, fitness, stress and other behavioural factors which were pointed out by Watve.

The study also points out that there is no correlation between prevalence of obesity and type 2 diabetes. It also underlines that Asians develop T2DM at much lower obesity levels.

“A possible clinical implication of our finding is that obesity control will have only a limited success in preventing type 2 diabetes. More research needs to be focused on the other possible causes of insulin resistance,” he added.