Obesity, diabetes linked to maligned immune system

July 28, 2009 4:36:54 AM PDT
Could obesity and Type 2 diabetes be linked to a dysfunctional immune system? Scientists said four new studies could help explain how obesity might cause diabetes and how the two together can cause organ damage, heart disease and death.

One study has found that over-the-counter allergy and asthma drugs helped obese diabetic mice lose weight and control their blood sugar.

Scientists said the immune cells that get out of control in allergy and asthma were abundant in fat tissue of obese and diabetic people and mice.

Three other studies in the journal Nature Medicine strongly linked obesity and Type 2 diabetes to a dysfunctional immune system.

Researchers said these are all findings that could lead to better drugs or vaccines to treat the effects of both conditions.


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