According to research, it has been found that how fat tissue from different parts of the body may lead to diabetes in men and women. The findings of the research have been published in the journal ‘Obesity Reviews’. Kerri Delaney and Sylvia Santosa of Concordia University investigated how fat tissue from various parts of the body may lead to diabetes onset in men and women. They combed through nearly 200 scientific papers in search of a better understanding of how fat works at the surface and tissue level, as well as the mechanisms by which that tissue contributes to diabetes onset.
Kerri Delaney, a PhD candidate at Concordia’s PERFORM Centre and the paper’s lead author said, “There are many different theories about how diabetes develops, and the one that we explore posits that different regions of fat tissue contribute to disease risk differently.” “So, the big question is, how do the different depots uniquely contribute to its development, and is this contribution different in men and women?”
In men and women, the fat storage is in different places. Like other diseases diabetes is very closely associated with abdominal fat like women tend to store fat just under their skin and this is called subcutaneous fat, while n men, abdominal fat is stored around the organs which is called visceral fat.
Fat appears to show different structures in men and women. They grow differently, are dispersed differently, and interact with the inflammatory and immune systems differently.
In men, for example, fat tissue expands as fat cells grow in size; in women, fat cells multiply and increase in number. This changes with the loss of the protective hormone oestrogen, which disappears during menopause, and may explain why men develop diabetes earlier in life than women. Working from the hypothesis that increases in visceral fat in men and subcutaneous fat in women increase the risk of diabetes, the researchers combed through the papers to see what was going on in the cell-level microenvironments.
Though more research is needed, there were overall differences in immune cell, hormone, and cell signalling levels between men and women that appear to support different origins of diabetes in the sexes.
Delaney and Santosa hope that by identifying how diabetes risks are different in men and women, clinical approaches to the treatment of the disease can be better defined between the sexes.
“Currently, the treatment of diabetes is similar for men and women,” said Santosa, an associate professor in the Department of Health, Kinesiology and Applied Physiology. “If we understood the differences between them better, we could consider these mechanisms in recommending treatments to men and women based on how diabetes medications work.”