March 21, 2012

High fat meals extra toxic for type 2 diabetes


On the heels of St. Patrick’s Day, where the traditional meal is corned beef and cabbage, new research shows how a high fat meal is more damaging for  people with type 2 diabetes.

The study included 54 people — 15 obese, 12 with impaired glucose tolerance (pre-diabetes), 18 with type 2 diabetes, and 9 healthy and not obese — who ate a high-fat meal after an overnight fast.

The researchers compared levels of endotoxins in the participants’ blood before and after they ate the meal. Endotoxins are bacterial fragments that enter the bloodstream from the gut and are associated with inflammation and heart disease.

The results of the study showed all the participants had elevated endotoxin levels after eating the fatty meal, but levels in those with type 2 diabetes were significantly higher than in the healthy, non-obese people.

Dr. Alison Harte is a lead investigator and  a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Warwick in England. Dr. Harte commented that high-fat, low-carbohydrate diets are sometimes suggested for people with type 2 diabetes to lose  weight. However in light of this study it seems unfavorable to promote weight loss with the risk of increasing toxins and inflammation in the body. A healthy body is a clean body.

Inflammation is a reaction of the immune system triggered by a physical stressor. The inflammation occurs to aid in the healing process. In a healthy individual this timeframe is short-lived.  However in a person with type 2 diabetes the inflammation is longstanding often leading to damage in the blood vessels.

The next stage of research will evaluate results on a larger scale. Also, researchers are interested to see if smaller meals more often might lessen the level of endotoxins in the blood of people with type 2 diabetes. Another point of interest is to evaluate how different fats and carbohydrates affect endotoxin levels.

This an unsolicited thought but I wonder how endotoxin levels would compare in a plant-only diet versus a “pink slime” diet?

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