Loss of Fat in Pancreas

Background Information
Many people die because of malfunctions in the pancreas, which is a crucial player in the digestive system and control of blood sugar levels. The pancreas is located in the upper abdomen, just behind the stomach. It is comprised of a network of tubes that are called pancreatic ducts. Because of its position, the pancreas releases liquids into the upper portion of the small intestine, also called the duodenum. The pancreas has two main functions: endocrine and exocrine. The exocrine function of the pancreas is to produce enzymes in order to digest foods. Amylase, protease, and lipase are all enzymes that aid in the digestion of food. Amylase breaks down carbohydrates or starches into glucose, protease breaks down proteins into amino acids, and lipase breaks down fats. The endocrine function is to produce hormones that aid in the regulation of blood sugar. Glucagon, insulin, somatostatin, and pancreatic peptides are all hormones that are produced in the pancreas. One of the hormones, insulin, is produced in the pancreas by beta cells. Insulin is one of the key players in the regulation of blood sugar levels. The study investigates a group of people with type two diabetes and another without. The group with type two diabetes was found to have a lot of fat in their pancreas. In order to confirm their hypothesis, the diabetics had bariatric surgery.

An increase in fat in the pancreas will increase the risk of type 2 diabetes. This is because the fat will prevent normal insulin secretion in the pancreas. 

The graph below shows significant data of how the amount of fat in the pancreas affects the secretion of insulin in the pancreas. After interpreting the graph, it is evident that as the amount of fat in the pancreas increases there is an decrease in secretion of insulin.

After bariatric surgery, the group of diabetics had a big decrease in fat in the pancreas. In addition, researchers found that after the surgery the participants returned to normal insulin secretion rates. This shows that the fat in the pancreas didn't allow for normal insulin secretion rates. In other words, a healthy pancreas that secretes insulin at a normal rate will have little to no fat. In addition, little to no fat in the pancreas will lead to no more diabetes in the patient. This is because diabetes is when there is little to no insulin available. Once there is a normal amount of insulin available then the patient can be diagnosed diabetes free. Scientists also found that the fat in the pancreas prevented the diabetic patients from having normal insulin being made. Therefore it can be concluded that fat in the pancreas is causes type two diabetes. 

Future Directions
This study highlights the main way to become diabetes free: weight loss. Through weight loss the patient will be able to lose fat in the pancreas and eventually become diabetic free. In order to be healthy and have no diabetes patients will have to get rid of fat in the pancreas. Scientists predict patients will be able to reverse diabetes by losing less than 1 gram of fat from the pancreas. This discovery will let scientists create more experiments, which will furthermore approve or deny the findings. Researchers hope to spread the message of weight loss in order for a normal life with no diabetes. This study will help millions of people with diabetes because we have gained a better understanding of the disease that affects so many people.


The picture above shows white nodules (abnormal collection of fat tissue) in the pancreas.
The picture above shows a healthy pancreas. 
Unknown user,
Mar 9, 2016, 8:17 PM