Researchers find cause of body fat-related diabetes risk

A team of researchers from Eastern Virginia Medical School may have found an explanation for why high levels of body fat tend to increase the risk of type 2 diabetes more than subcutaneous fat.

The Newport News Daily Press reports that, after studying both visceral and subcutaneous fat, the researchers found that visceral fat contains higher levels of an enzyme called lypoxygenase, which breaks fat down into compounds that cause inflammation.

Inflammation is one of the leading causes of insulin resistance, which eventually leads to type 2 diabetes.

"Obesity carries a huge increase of developing diabetes and cardiovascular disease,” professor David Leib, one of the researchers, told the news source. “It's all very expensive. The cost for diabetes annually is billions of dollars in the United States."

He added that he hopes the discovery leads to the development of new treatments that target the action of this enzyme.

Aside from possible medications, the National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse says that the best way to reduce body fat and diabetes risk is to increase physical activity.