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Transfats, diabetes and obesity

Diabetes and obesity are major health problems for large numbers of people in welathy countries, and increasingly in poorer countries of the world too, where their advance has taken place alongside the introduction of 'western' diets and eating patterns. Overconsumption of sugar and refined carbohydrates are clearly implicated in this. But could trans fats also be involved?

Evidence is growing that this is indeed the case. The likely mechanism is that the assimilation of trans fats into cell membranes impairs their function, for example reducing cellular response to hormones such as insulin. The following scientific publications indicate a clear link between trans fats and type 2 diabetes:

Diminished response to insulin, as documented above, can also lead to obesity, since it is harder for the body to convert reserves of fat into usable energy: a need for physical energy is more likely to be met by increased eating, rather than utilisation of energy stored as fat.

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