Fat weighs down muscle cells, which harms both their structure and function. Recent studies have demonstrated that under stress, cells release a signal that can spread to other cells and increase cellular damage.
The signals are made up of molecules called ceramides, whose main job is to reduce stress on cells. But they can kill cells and make the symptoms of chronic metabolic diseases like type II diabetes worse.
Although the research is in its early stages, molecular physiologist Lee Roberts of the University of London in the UK says that his team’s discovery “may serve as the basis for new therapies or therapeutic approaches to prevent the development of cardiovascular and metabolic diseases such as diabetes in people with elevated blood fat in obesity.
Newly identified ceramide migration
The researchers were able to activate ceramide signalling by adding a fatty acid known as palmitate to human skeletal muscle cells designed to mimic those of people with metabolic diseases.
When these cells were put together with cells that hadn’t been exposed to fats, they started to talk to each other by sending ceramides in groups called extracellular vesicles, which all cells do naturally.
Researchers observed the same processes in tests conducted on mice and in muscle cells taken from humans (volunteers).
While the researchers emphasise that more research is needed to understand what the newly discovered ceramide migration means, it is known that these molecules can be harmful to the body.
Even more unknown factors, according to the researchers, could be at work. The messaging system could be one way for people with obesity to develop additional complications, such as diabetes. The most recent discoveries about the new transmission system suggest that blocking ceramides may help prevent the development of potential complications, such as diabetes. The most recent discoveries about the new transmission system suggest that blocking ceramides may help prevent the development of potential complications. More research is required to determine additional treatments.
The obesity epidemic
Obesity rates have tripled since 1975, according to researchers, and the number of adults suffering from obesity – all of whom have higher levels of fat in their blood – now stands at 650 million, according to the World Health Organization’s most recent figures.
“With the growing obesity epidemic, the burden of chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes necessitates the development of new treatments,” says Roberts. “We hope that the findings of our study will pave the way for new research that will aid in the resolution of this growing problem.”
What are triglycerides?
Triglycerides are organic compounds known as lipids. These are simple and complex fats that the body uses as a building block for adipose tissue and as a source of energy. Although they are necessary for the human body, too much of them can be harmful.
High triglyceride values may accompany:
- type II diabetes,
- vascular atherosclerosis,
- heart attack
- or fatty liver.
If the blood test shows too high a level of triglycerides in the blood, it is necessary to consult a doctor, change your lifestyle, and implement appropriate treatment.
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High levels of fat in the bloodstream caused by obesity and type II diabetes release molecules known as ceramides. Ceramides can harm healthy cells, and recent studies suggest that while more research is needed to be certain, blocking these molecules may help prevent potential complications such as diabetes. Researchers have discovered a transmission system that passes ceramides between cells, which could develop new therapies and therapeutic approaches to help prevent problems such as cardiovascular and metabolic disease. Triglycerides are lipids that the body needs, but high levels can lead to problems such as obesity, type II diabetes, heart attack, and fatty liver.
Ceramides are a class of lipids that have been linked to heart disease. Studies have shown that ceramides predict clinical outcomes and are significantly linked to cardiovascular mortality in a cohort with coronary artery stenosis confirmed by angiography. Researchers have measured four different types of ceramides in the blood at baseline and combined the values into a 12-point scale. Patients were grouped into four risk categories according to their ceramide levels: low (0-2), intermediate (3-6), moderate (7-9) and high (10-12).
(1) Ceramides: A class of lipids with links to heart disease. https://www.mayoclinic.org/medical-professionals/cardiovascular-diseases/news/ceramides-a-class-of-lipids-with-links-to-heart-disease/mac-20429577
(2) Levels of Ceramides in the Blood Help Predict Cardiovascular Events …. https://www.acc.org/about-acc/press-releases/2017/03/09/14/24/levels-of-ceramides-in-the-blood-help-predict-cardiovascular-events
(3) The ART of Lowering Ceramides – ScienceDirect. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1550413115003484