Modern analytical method study highlights new CVD and diabetes risks

April 28, 2022

Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) and type 2 diabetes share common lipid metabolism factors for development. Scientists at the German Institute of Human Nutrition Potsdam-Rehbruecke (DIfE) and the German Center for Diabetes Research (DZD) have jointly identified nearly 70 lipids associated with CVD and type 2 diabetes.

Modern analytical method study highlights new CVD and diabetes risks

More than 8 million people in Germany now live with type 2 diabetes – this number is projected to increase to around 12 million by 2040. Scientists indicate a great need to identify biomarkers to disease development, at an early stage, to prevent or at least mitigate its onset.

In a study led by DIfE-DZD scientist Dr. Fabian Eichelmann, fatty acid profiles from over 2,400 blood samples from the Institute’s EPIC-Potsdam study were analysed for lipids associated with either CVD or type 2 diabetes. The scientists looked at a total of 282 different lipids using an analytical method called lipidomics, isolating 69 lipids which fit their search criteria.

“A statistical association with CVDs was found for 49 lipids, which mainly belonged to the cholesterol esters and sphingolipids,” explained Dr. Eichelmann. “Twelve lipids were associated with type 2 diabetes, the majority of which were glycerol and phospholipids. An association with both diseases was seen for 8 lipids, among which several monoacylglycerides stood out.”

At the molecular level, the higher-risk lipids tended to contain mostly saturated fatty acids, particularly palmitic acid, Dr. Eichelmann added.

A further study of risk-associated lipids and diet, conducted at the University of Reading, UK, found that diets with an increased proportion of unsaturated fatty acids provided a reduction in risk-associated lipids and an increase in low-risk lipids compared to a diet with an increased proportion of saturated fatty acids.

The findings support the common recommendation that replacing saturated fatty acids with unsaturated fatty acids in the diet is a potential tool for preventing CVD and type 2 diabetes.

Read: Psychological wellbeing in adolescence linked to adult risk of cardiovascular disease


Category: Education, Features

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