What makes India prone to Diabetes?

A study has been conducted for the first time on diabetes which shows that a muscle-related gene (Myostatin) influences excess body fat and low muscle mass in Indians; a combination of factors important for genesis of diabetes, lipid disorders, and heart disease and interestingly, even body fitness and excellence in competitive sports

OddNaari OddNaari Nov 14, 2012

A study has been conducted for the first time on diabetes which shows that a muscle-related gene (Myostatin) influences excess body fat and low muscle mass in Indians; a combination of factors important for genesis of diabetes, lipid disorders, and heart disease and interestingly, even body fitness and excellence in competitive sports

Indian population is predisposed to develop diabetes and its complications. There are several factors responsible for this; imbalanced diets, physical inactivity etc, however, a major factor contributing to metabolic risk is abnormalities in composition of body; i.e. how much fat, muscle or other tissues it contains. Peculiarly, Indians tend to have more fat in body, over abdomen and less muscle mass, although the body weight may not be in the obese range. , leading to increase glucose levels in blood. It is important to remember that muscle is an important factory for combustion of glucose, and lower the muscle mass, lesser the metabolism of glucose. Further, high degree of body and abdominal fat spews out multiple toxic substances which damage essential organs like pancreas, liver and heart. Hence low muscle mass and excess fat combination is conducive to genesis of diabetes and heart disease in Indians. he cause of such low muscle mass and excess fat in Indians is unknown. Role of genes, if any, is unclear and till now, not researched.

Whether any particular gene is responsible for low muscle mass and excess body fat. This has not been investigated before.

Myostatin gene supports growth and structure of muscles. Its dysfunction could cause more growth and less growth of muscles. It s role in regulation of body fat has not been researched properly.

This cross-sectional population-based study was conducted in New Delhi from May 2006 to October 2011 and was approved by the institute ethics committees from All India Institute of Medical Sciences, and Fortis hospital, Vasant Kunj, New Delhi, India.
A total of 335 subjects (238, males; 97 females) were enrolled in this study after obtaining informed written consent.
Statistical analysis of two polymorphisms of Myostatin gene (K153R and Ala55Thr) showed association with higher body mass index, body fat, abdominal girth, and low body muscle mass.
Using advanced statistics (logistic regression), independent strong associations of both polymorphisms of Myostatin gene were confirmed with higher degree of body fat and low degree of muscle mass.

These important findings, investigated with this novel gene for the first time, may explain the high prevalence of dysfunctional insulin action and greater risk for diabetes in Indians.

Quote from Professor Anoop Misra, Principal Investigator of the Study
"These very important findings provide clarification of previously unanswered and perplexing observations of thinly  muscled and fat-filled bodies of Indians, and tend to clarify heightened propensity of Indians to develop diabetes. Diagnostic and therapeutic implications of these findings are enormous for India."   


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