Take the Diabetes Health Pump Survey
See What's Inside
Read this FREE issue now
For healthcare professionals only
  • 12 Tips for Traveling With Diabetes
See the entire table of contents here!

You can view the current or previous issues of Diabetes Health online, in their entirety, anytime you want.
Click Here To View

See if you qualify for our free healthcare professional magazines. Click here to start your application for Pre-Diabetes Health, Diabetes Health Pharmacist and Diabetes Health Professional.

Learn More About the Professional Subscription

Free Diabetes Health e-Newsletter
Latest
Popular
Top Rated
Insulin Resistance Archives
Print | Email | Share | Comments (2)

Did We Evolve to Get Type 2 Diabetes?


Mar 21, 2011

Evolution works in strange ways. What serves as an advantage at one point in time can sometimes prove a problem later, when the world has changed. It looks like that might be the case with type 2 diabetes, according to researchers from San Diego, California.

The researchers say that two or three million years ago, a gene called CMAH mutated in humans. The mutation made humans unable to produce one type of sialic acid molecule. All mammals except humans produce two types: N-acetylneuraminic acid (Neu5Ac) and N-glycolylneuraminic acid (Neu5Gc). The mutation in CMAH inactivated an enzyme that creates Neu5Gc by adding a single oxygen atom to Neu5Ac. As a result, humans, alone among mammals, do not have Neu5Gc.

The research group, whose work was published in The FASEB Journal, created mice with the human-like mutation in the CMAH gene, so that the mice could not create Neu5Gc. As a control, they had another group of mice with normal, functioning CMAH genes. Both groups of mice were fed a high-fat diet, and both became obese and developed insulin resistance. Only the mice with the CMAH gene mutation, however, experienced pancreatic beta cell failure, leading to type 2 diabetes.

What evolutionary advantage the mutation in the CMAH gene might have had millions of years ago is still a mystery. But it apparently has a distinct disadvantage now, in our environment of plenty.

Source: EurekAlert


Categories: Diabetes, Diabetes, Health Care, Insulin, Insulin Resistance, Obese, Research, Type 2 Issues



You May Also Be Interested In...


Click Here To View Or Post Comments

Comments 2 comments - Mar 21, 2011

©1991-2014 Diabetes Health | Home | Privacy | Press | Advertising | Help | Contact Us | Donate | Sitemap

Diabetes Health Medical Disclaimer

The information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content, including text, graphics, images, and information, contained on or available through this website is for general information purposes only. Opinions expressed here are the opinions of writers, contributors, and commentators, and are not necessarily those of Diabetes Health. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website.