Jueves, 26 Septiembre 2019 08:15

FAME | Predicting the Risk of Developing Type-2 Diabetes Based on the Fatty Acids in Blood

The FAME project studies the relationship between the lipid composition of blood plasma and metabolic diseases

The World Health Organization estimates that there are 442 million adults in the world with diabetes, or 1 out of 11 citizens. About 95% of these cases involve Type-2 diabetes, a condition in which the body does not properly produce or use insulin, the hormone responsible for glucose entering cells to provide them with energy. As a result, blood glucose levels rise above normal, which, in the long term, seriously affects health and generates serious problems in various organs of the body.

This disease could now be detected even before onset, so that it does not catch patients by surprise, and its effects can be averted. The CTS-525 research group at the University of Cordoba, led by Professor of Internal Medicine José López Miranda at said institution, has devised a way to predict the risk of suffering Type-2 diabetes through a complex blood test. The study has managed to establish a system that predicts the odds of developing this disease based on the composition of fatty acids present in blood plasma; acids that largely depend on dietary intake, but also on how the metabolism of each person modifies them.

Specifically, the study has analysed, in depth, more than 500 lipid species in the blood, yielding information that, according to the main author of the study at the UCO, has made it possible to establish "the metabolic-lipid footprint of each person, in detail". The objective is to design direct intervention strategies on patients at risk of Type-2 diabetes, a disease that affects approximately 15% of the world population and that, according to the results, could be controlled in advance through dietary changes. Diabetes is a silent disease that often goes unnoticed, even by those suffering from it. This new prediction system could enable health professionals to react in time to improve prognoses.

The results, which will be published soon in a scientific journal, and in more detail, are part of the FAME international research project, on which the GC21 group at the UCO, led by Feliciano Priego, also participates, aiming to understand the relationship between the lipid composition of blood plasma and various metabolic diseases. The objective is to establish biomarkers based on fatty acids present in the body, and study how diet modulates them to determine the risk of suffering certain metabolic disorders.

The project, in turn, according to the researcher, is part of a large clinical trial called CORDIOPREV that seeks to analyse the odds of suffering a myocardial infarction in patients who have already suffered a first cardiovascular event. For this, two models of a healthy diet - Mediterranean and a diet low in fats and rich in complex carbohydrates - are being compared in high-risk populations to see how diet can reduce the likelihood of suffering a second heart attack.

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