Weight Loss: Possible Explanation for Obesity-Related Insulin Resistance


Researchers are getting closer to understanding the association between obesity and insulin resistance, a condition in which normal amounts of insulin are inadequate to produce a normal insulin response from fat, muscle and liver cells.  Insulin resistance can precede the development of type 2 diabetes.

“Obese adipose, or fat, tissue is characterized by the presence of macrophages, specialized cells that usually fight infection. Adipose tissue macrophages (ATMs) accumulate in fat tissue as body weight increases. Growing evidence shows that ATMs are a significant contributor to inflammation in obesity – inflammation that leads to insulin resistance, resulting in type 2 diabetes.” (Statement from recent press release highlighting results of a new study from the University of California, San Diego, School of Medicine.

“A decrease in ATMs is associated with a decrease in adipose tissue inflammation and a reduction in insulin resistance, while an increase in ATMs is associated with a further deterioration of insulin sensitivity,” explains Jerrold Olefsky, M.D., Distinguished Professor of Medicine and Associate Dean for Scientific Affairs at UC San Diego.

Healthy weight loss has already been proven to lower body fat and therefore improve insulin resistance, but  understanding the reason why why obesity leads to insulin resistance is key to developing new type 2 diabetes treatments.

3 responses to “Weight Loss: Possible Explanation for Obesity-Related Insulin Resistance”

  1. Ruth says:

    I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don’t know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


  2. Valerie Westcott says:

    I haven’t been on in awhile, and I’m having trouble finding what I want, so I’ll share here and maybe get responses or redirection.

    I have medical issues involving immune system and inflammation. I’m trying some cutting edge testing/research and diet modifications. I’m curious if anyone has had experience or comments on food modifications for inflammation. My recent flare-up has been worse (or seems worse as I was doing well for about 4 years). Any feedback or direction to websites (besides all I’ve looked up! LOL) are appreciated.

    Thank you. Valerie

  3. Marsha says:

    Hi, Valerie. I don’t have any specific recommendations beyond encouraging you to work with someone who is knowledgeable in this area. Did you ask the folks who you are doing the testing and diet modifications with?

    I recently went through some health challenges myself and one of the most worthwhile things I undertook was an elimination diet. Was very difficult to do — required that I cut out a huge amount of foods, ending up with a very limited intake for almost 3 months. But I came away with a very clear understanding of how what I ate made me feel, and whether it contributed to specific symptoms. To get the best result, I recommend doing that under professional guidance.

About the Author