Researchers can be one step ahead of predicting type 2 diabetes
When blood fats are measured in health care, the total amount of cholesterol and triglycerides is examined. Researchers in Sweden have looked at a technique - lipidomics - which at an early stage should be able to help patients discover if they are about to become type 2 diabetes.
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Our blood contains hundreds of different fat molecules. These are divided into different classes. The most commonly known blood fats that most people know about are triglycerides and cholesterol.
Thanks to lipidomics, which is a technique that measures the composition of blood fats at the molecular level, one can more easily and several years in advance see if a patient is at risk of suffering from type 2 diabetes. The different blood fats can be linked to how much physical activity a person performs, and it can also be connected to a certain diet.
Predicting type 2 diabetes
Céline Fernandez, who is an associate professor of integrative molecular medicine at Lund University, has performed the study together with the company Lipotype and the national bioinformatics resource NBIS. Céline Fernandez said in a press release:
– In healthcare, the total amount of cholesterol and triglycerides is measured, not the exact composition of the classes.
One class consists of several molecules, and in our study, we can see that it is good to have more of some blood fat molecules and less of others and that these can be linked to the lifestyle.
Christian Klose, head of the research and development department at Lipotype says:
– Lipidomics links imbalance in fat metabolism at the molecular level to physiological differences – and here it helps us predict type 2 diabetes.
The study lasted for 20 years
The researchers recruited 3,668 healthy individuals to analyze 178 fat molecules. They were divided into two groups, and in addition to the analysis of the blood fats, subjects were allowed to record their eating habits and how much physical activity they engaged in. After 20 years, 250 people had type 2 diabetes.
The technology the researchers used, a type of artificial intelligence, enabled them to develop a blood fat profile where 77 fat molecules were linked to the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. This profile could also predict the risk of obesity and obesity, which is a significant risk factor for developing type 2 diabetes.
– This means that we could make a better estimate of those who were at high risk of contracting type 2 diabetes, says Celine Fernandez.
The data collected from the participants clearly showed that the blood fat profile was linked to the lifestyle. The more these subjects exercised, the less harmful blood fats. An interesting discovery was that coffee could be linked to a smaller amount of harmful blood fats. However, sweetened beverages, processed meats, and dairy products were linked to a higher amount of harmful blood fats.
The researchers in Lund will continue to look at fat blood profiles. One weakness of the study was that the participants had a similar background and that examining people from another continent would change the outcome.