Muscles in diabetics and athletes

Muscles in diabetics and athletes

Fat uptake into muscle in diabetes: Can we learn anything from athletes?

We use specially developed images of the leg muscle from diabetic patients and athletes to investigate the different types of fats in healthy athletes compared to patients with blood sugar and weight gain problems. This is because we know that both athletes and people with diabetes have much higher amounts of fat in the skeletal muscle, and yet, their ability to manage their blood sugars is completely opposite. In this project we test whether the different structure (saturated vs unsaturated fats) of the lipids or the ability to access this pool of lipids (fast in athletes versus slower in people with diabetes) is key with regard to modulating their response to Insulin. If proven correct, this could open new avenues by which changes in the balance of these fats (induced by physical exercise, diet or new medications) will make people healthier.


Funded by British Heart Foundation

Team project members:

Professor Dana Dawson (Clinical researcher, University of Aberdeen and honorary consultant cardiologist, NHS Grampian).

Dr Frank Thies (Research scientist, University of Aberdeen)

Professor Mirela Delibegovic (Research scientist, University of Aberdeen)

Dr Gerald Lobley (Research scientist, University of Aberdeen)

Dr Alice Mezincescu (Clinical researcher, University of Aberdeen)

Dr Anke Henning (Max Planck Institute, Tubingen)