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Diabetes Update: Insulin Makes You Fat

Number 5;January 31, 2001

By David Mendosa

This mailing list keeps you up-to-date with new articles, columns, and Web pages that I have written. I list and link most of these on my Diabetes Directory at

From time to time this mailing list may also include links to other Web pages of special interest.

My most recent contributions are:

    on January 31, 2001
  • My About the Internet column "Heart Rate Monitors" is now on the American Diabetes Association's Web site at Years ago I started using a heart rate monitor when I took my walks. But it wasn't until my wife's son gave her one a month ago that I realized how using one can keep exercise interesting.

    on January 20, 2001

  • My most recent column for Diabetes Voice, the Bulletin of the International Diabetes Federation, reviewed the Web sites of the federation's member organizations, "IDF Member Web Sites." This column appeared in the fourth issue of 2000 in the three separate English, French, and Spanish editions. The article is on-line at

Updates include:

  • My article, "The Insulin Problem: How It Can Make You Fat" in the January 2001 issue of Diabetes Wellness Letter has some intriguing new support. While many people believe that obesity causes diabetes, I cited endocrinologists working in the Seattle area who are convinced that beta cells that are not functioning properly cause both diabetes and obesity. Empirical evidence, which I reported came in the September 22 issue of Science. There, experiments by Joslin Diabetes Center scientists supported the idea that insulin signals the brain to control food intake.

    Now, the journal Nature has published "The hormone resistin links obesity to diabetes" in its January 18 issue. The abstract of this article is on-line at Scientists in Philadelphia announced the discovery of a hormone secreted by fat cells that counteracts the effects of insulin. Obese mice have higher levels of the hormone, dubbed resistin, and poor regulation of their blood glucose.

    Which hormonal problem—insulin or resistin or both—causes obesity and diabetes? That's not clear yet. But it is becoming more clear that both conditions may have the same cause—and obesity doesn't cause diabetes or visa versa.

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