Podcast: Play in new window
BOB HIRSHON (host):
The trouble with excess calories. I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.
Why does eating more calories than we burn lead to insulin resistance, diabetes and liver disease? In the journal Science Translational Medicine, Temple University endocrinologist Guenther Boden and his colleagues describe an unusual study to find out: they had six healthy men agree to spend a week in hospital beds, eating 6,000 calories a day—two to three times the calories in a healthy diet.
GUENTHER BODEN (Temple University):
And by the time the study was over on day seven, they had lost more than fifty percent of their insulin action. That’s massive.
Why? They discovered that excess calories produced damaging forms of oxygen, which harm a protein called GLUT4 that normally lets the body respond to insulin. The finding could lead to new treatments to prevent the onset of type II diabetes and related disorders. I’m Bob Hirshon, for AAAS, the science society.