The Fast-Track to Diabetes

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The risk for developing diabetes can develop in as short as a couple of days if a person binges on unhealthy food, according to a study from Temple University in Pennsylvania. Healthy men who were either of normal weight or overweight were asked to consume 6,000 calories a day of typical American foods. The men were closely monitored in a hospital setting and were told to do little or no physical activity. In as short as two days after starting the diet, all of the men had developed insulin resistance, a precursor to diabetes. After analyzing the men’s urine and fat tissue, the researchers noted a rise in proteins associated with oxidative stress. This condition triggers changes to a glucose transporter protein, which alters the ability of cells’ to take up glucose in response to insulin.

Boden G, Homko C, Barrero C, et al: Excessive caloric intake acutely causes oxidative stress, GLUT4 carbonylation, and insulin resistance in healthy men. Science Translational Medicine 2015; 7(304):304re7.

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