Although this disease is common, there is still much research that must be done to fully understand it. For example, while diabetes is linked to obesity, researchers still don’t know exactly why obesity causes diabetes.
They reviewed nearly 200 hundred scientific papers to dig deeper into how fats work at the surface and tissue levels, and the mechanism by which that tissue contributes to diabetes.
“There are different theories about how diabetes develops, and the hypothesis we explored suggests that diabetes develops,” said Kerri Delaney, a doctoral candidate at Concordia’s PERFORM Center and lead author of the paper. Different areas of adipose tissue contribute to different disease risk. “So the big question is, how do different repositories uniquely contribute to its development, and is this contribution different in men and women?”
From the surface to the cellular level
Men and women store fat in different places. Diabetes, like many other diseases, is closely related to belly fat. Women tend to store that fat just under the skin. This is called subcutaneous fat. In men, belly fat is stored around the organs. This is visceral fat.
Fat exhibits different characteristics in men and women. They grow differently, disperse differently, and interact with the immune and inflammatory systems differently. For example, in men adipose tissue expands as fat cells grow in size; In women, fat cells multiply and increase in number. This changes with loss of the protective hormone estrogen, which is lost with menopause, and may explain why men are more likely to develop diabetes earlier than women.
Working from the hypothesis that diabetes risk is caused by enlargement of visceral fat in men and subcutaneous fat in women, the researchers then looked at the papers to see what was going on. released in the microenvironment at the cellular level.
Although more research is needed, there have been overall differences observed in immune cells, hormones, and cell signaling levels in men and women that seem to support a different origin of diabetes. between the sexes.
Delaney and Santosa hope that by identifying how diabetes risks differ in men and women, clinical approaches to treating the disease can be better defined between the sexes. .
“Currently, the treatment of diabetes in men and women is similar,” said Santosa, associate professor in the Departments of Health, Kinesiology and Applied Physiology. “If we better understand the differences between them, we might be able to look at these mechanisms in recommending treatments for men and women based on how diabetes drugs work.”