The incidence of Type 2 diabetes and obesity has increased dramatically worldwide and reaches today epidemic proportions. These metabolic diseases are at high risk of developing different complications leading to disability and premature death. Insulin re sistance (i.e. where a given concentration of insulin does not show the expected magnitude of effects on target cells) is a hallmark of Type 2 diabetes and obesity.
Insulin action is strongly influenced by environmental factors like dietary habits. For i nstance, prolonged intake of a high-fat diet is a high risk factor for impaired insulin action. In addition, recent studies have reported that elevated consumption of sucrose, by elevating circulating levels of fatty acids, may play a role in the dramatic increase of Type 2 diabetes and obesity.
Tetradecylthioacetic acid (TTA) is a sulfur-substituted fatty acid analogue which when included in a high-fat diet was recently found to prevent the development of whole-body insulin resistance. In the present re search project, we plan to further explore the physiological/cellular mechanisms behind this beneficial effect. In addition, we want to test the hypothesis that TTA intake prevents high-sucrose diet-induced insulin resistance. Given that TTA intake preven ts the development of insulin resistance, inclusion of TTA in our diet may represent a potential strategy to prevent the expansion of Type 2 diabetes and obesity.