Lack of Sleep Leads to Increase Level of Free Fatty Acids Which Renders Insulin Incapable of Controlling Blood Glusoce

Researchers say lack of sleep can lead to increased levels of substances called free fatty acids in the blood. These substances interfere with the ability of the hormone insulin to regulate blood sugar levels.

Latest research has it, that lack of sleep can lead to higher levels of fatty acids in the blood. These substances will impair the capability of insulin to control the presence sugar levels in the blood.

The researchers said these findings suggest that high rates of obesity and diabetes could be reduced by something as simple as having people get more sleep.

“At the population level, multiple studies have reported connections between restricted sleep, weight gain and type 2 diabetes,” said study senior author Dr. Esra Tasali in a University of Chicago news release. She is an assistant professor of medicine at the university.

For the study, there were 19 healthy men who participated between the ages of 18 and 30. They participated in in two sleep setups. In one scenario, they slept the whole night, about 8 hours in all for 4 consecutive nights. The other, they only got a little over four hours sleep, according to researchers.

After a few successive nights of lack of sleep, there’s a marked increase in the participants’ fatty acid levels in the blood and it remained for 5 hours in the early morning hours. The presence of fatty acids usually reach the high levels and then decreases overnight.

Insulin can’t function to regulate blood sugar as long as there’s fatty acids remain in high concentration, the study revealed.

Study lead author Josiane Broussard explained in the release, “The result was a significant loss of the benefits of insulin. This crucial hormone was less able to do its job. Insulin action in these healthy young men resembled what we typically see in early stages of diabetes.” Broussard is a former graduate student at the University of Chicago, and is now a postdoctoral research scientist at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center’s Diabetes and Obesity Research Institute in Los Angeles.

The study was published online Feb. 19 in the journal Diabetologia.

The result is one more evidence that lack of sleep has an influencing effect on fat’s metabolism and more sleeping hour’s means reducing the rate of obesity and diabetes, researchers revealed.


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