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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



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Comments

Posted by Anonymous on 23 March 2011

That was a lot of words to say a lot of nothing.

Posted by Anonymous on 24 March 2011

Did We Evolve to Get Type 2 Diabetes?

Boy You will try to blame anything else but the Real Cause, won't you...

Anything to justify being just plain overweight and senendary.. and throw in some Fat genes from the parents..

And I'm talking about the vast Majority of T2.. not the minority..


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