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Study could open up new ways to reduce diabetes risk

weighting machine

If you are obese and at risk of developing type 2 diabetes, a new scientific discovery could help to predict whether losing weight will reduce your likelihood of getting the disease.

Researchers from the Nestlé Institute of Health Sciences, and universities in Maastricht and Copenhagen, have for the first time been able to identify distinct markers in the blood (a kind of ‘lipid fingerprint’) that can be used to differentiate between pre-diabetic individuals who are likely to respond to weight loss, and those who are not.

Losing weight is thought to help to prevent obese pre-diabetic people from becoming diabetic. However, some who manage to lose weight still go on to develop the disease and other obesity-related complications.

Until now it has been impossible to say who will or won’t benefit from weight loss, or exactly why. Being able to do so at an early stage opens up new possibilities for reducing diabetes risk in overweight people who do not respond positively to weight loss - such as the development of novel nutritional solutions.

The study, published today in the American Clinical Journal of Nutrition, is part of a wider pan-European research programme called ‘Diogenes’. It aims to target obesity from a dietary perspective, by seeking new insights and routes to treatment and prevention.

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