The researchers were also able to see that over-consumption of saturated fats seems to be able to "turn on" certain genes in fatty tissue that increase the storage of fat in the abdomen and at the same time hamper insulin regulation. Polyunsaturated fats, instead, can "turn on" genes in visceral fat that in turn are linked to reduced storage of fat and improved sugar metabolism in the body. However, more research is required to understand how this occurs in humans.
The discovery may also be a contributing factor regarding the tendency of some individuals to accumulate fat in the liver and abdomen. The new findings suggest that the fat composition of the diet, in the long term, might play a role in preventing obesity-related disorders, like type-2 diabetes, at an early stage, before overweight develops.
"This is of great interest, as we lack preventive treatments for fatty liver and visceral fat today. The new findings also support international dietary recommendations including the new Nordic nutritional recommendations, which, among other things, recommend replacing some saturated fat from meat, butter, and palm oil, for example, with unsaturated fats from plant oils and fatty fish", says Ulf Risrus.
The next step is now to find out in greater detail what happens in the body when we eat the respective fats and to study what the effects are in overweight individuals with elevated risk of type-2 diabetes.
|Contact: Ulf Risérus|