Is type 2 diabetes linked to climate change? Can warming Earth may make people sick this way too? If believed to a new research there will be increase in type 2 diabetes cases by 100,000 more people in the United States with every 1 degree Celsius increase in environmental temperature.
It is learned in warmer climates brown fat is less activated and this results with less improvement of body’s sensitivity to insulin.
What is insulin?
It is a hormone in our body that helps usher sugar from food into cells for energy.
What is brown fat?
Brown fat is different from white fat and it helps in burning of body fat to generate heat to prevent body temperature during cold exposure.
According to lead researcher Lisanne Blauw, Ph.D. student at Leiden University Medical Center in the Netherlands, during cold spells the brown fat gets activated to function its work.
She adds in warmer climate the brown fat is less activated and so its mechanism is less benefited for the body. This results with insulin resistance and diabetes. However, it is not a direct cause and effect relationship.
Blaw continued, “On the basis of our ‘brown fat hypothesis,’ we believe that at least part of the association can be casually explained by brown fat activity.”
Data reveals more than 400 million people across the world are suffering from type 2 diabetes in 2015 and the number may reach 642 million by 2040.
The researchers used data of US adults as well as of Guam, Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands between 1996 and 2009.
They also used data of WHO on fasting blood sugar levels as well as obesity rates for 190 countries.
Critics to Study
Director of the Clinical Diabetes Center at Monteflore Medical Center in New York City, Dr. Joel Zonszein, said the concept is challenging as diabetes is a very complex disease and humans don’t have lot of brown fat compared to rodents.
Zonszein added the role of brown fat is not yet very clear and also diabetes cannot come down to just one factor.
Details of the new study are published in the BMJ Open Diabetes Research & Care journal. Based on the analysis of critics it is not yet clear whether global warming could be the cause of increased number of diabetes cases. However, it is true climate change has serious implications for our health.
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