With around 10 per cent of the adult population in the state known to be suffering from diabetes, doctors say that if the research is indeed a success, it will help bring down the burden drastically. “Brown fat is very healthy, unlike white fat. A study that was conducted a few years ago found that South Asian people have lower amounts of the healthy fat than white people do, which might help explain why they have a much greater risk of developing Type 2 diabetes,” said Dr V Mohan, Director and chief of diabetes research at the Madras Diabetes Research Foundation.
Stating that Indians tend to have a lot of all the wrong factors, he added, “It has also been found that within the white fat, the size of the fat cells is bigger in South Asians. The fat stores therefore get very easily filled in the subcutaneous fat and move to the referral fat which is unhealthy.” The study conducted by researchers at Purdue University has found that it may be possible to develop therapies that target fat loss in specific parts of the body. “In the mouse model, targeting a specific fat depot with weekly injections of nanoparticles is sufficient to bring about systemic improvements in glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity,” said Meng Deng, assistant professor of agricultural and biological engineering, biomedical engineering and materials engineering.
Stating that the concept is very interesting, Dr Aravindan, a diabetologist, said, “It may be in its initial stage. If it proves to be a success - which we hope to see in five to ten years - then it will prove very helpful in the future, especially in a country like India where the burden is very high. It is a welcome move.”