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Insulin Resistance and Body Fat Composition in Type 2 Diabetes

Body fat content more significant than absolute body far amount….

A recent article reviewed the pathophysiological mechanisms linked to insulin resistance in type 2 diabetes. Two different types of insulin resistance are identified and explained; Type A insulin resistance results from a decrease in the number of insulin receptors, whereas Type B insulin resistance is characterized by auto-antibodies against the body’s own insulin receptors. Type B resistance can result in a decreased ability of insulin to bind to the body’s own insulin receptors and target cells.

Insulin resistance was found to increase with an increase in body fat content, rather than absolute body fat amount. Fat is a hormonally active tissue responsible for adipocyte mediated insulin resistance in conjunction with decreases in adiponectin and increases in TNF-a and resistin.

The authors concluded that insulin resistance is a main cause of type 2 diabetes and could be targeted by future drugs in the treatment of type 2 diabetes.

Practice Pearls:

  • Type 2 diabetes is characterized mainly by malfunctions in insulin secretion, insulin resistance in peripheral tissues, and increased glucose production by the liver.
  • Insulin resistance increases with an increase in body fat content, rather than absolute body fat amount.
  • Insulin resistance could be targeted with future drugs in the treatment of type 2 diabetes.

[Meerza, D et al. Pharmacology of signaling pathways: In type 2 diabetes. Diabetes & Metabolic Syndrome: Clinical Research & Reviews. 2013;7:180-85.]