Type 2 Diabetes – Our Genes Really Do Affect Obesity and Diabetes: How About Our Reaction To Drugs?

The newest kind of medical research combines pharmacology and genetic studies to discover which drugs are best for people with certain genes. The goal is to be able to tailor drug regimens to suit individual patients in order to bring about the best possible performance for the drugs that are prescribed. Taking a step toward that goal, researchers at Leiden University Medical Center in the Netherlands looked at some of the drugs used in the treatment of diabetes, and the diabetic’s genes. genee

The study, published in the journal Pharmacogenetics and Genomics in June 2011, included 207 Type 2 diabetics who used tolbutamide, glibenclamide, glimepiride or gliclazide. The genetic make-up of each diabetic was analyzed, and each participant was classified into one of three groups on the basis of how many genes for susceptibility to diabetes each of them had. Those with the most genes for susceptibility to Type 2 diabetes:


  • had the least likely chance of reaching a sufficient dose of medication than those with fewer genes for diabetes, and
  • when they did reach a sufficient dose it took them longer to reach it than it did those with fewer diabetes genes.


The researchers hope continuing on and refining studies on genes and anti-diabetic medications will someday lead to individualized medications and dosages for all diabetic patients.

Type 2 diabetes is caused by an interaction of genes and environment. When we speak of genes causing susceptibility to diabetes, we are talking about genes that will make people likely to get diabetes under certain circumstances. Lifestyle interacts with genes, so that having:


  • genes for susceptibility,
  • plus poor dietary habits,
  • plus a sedentary lifestyle,


all contribute to the condition.

Over seventeen different genes causing susceptibility to Type 2 diabetes have been discovered so far. Some genes:


  • put people at risk for obesity,
  • while others influence how well insulin will be used, or
  • how well the body will be able to release insulin in response to taking in sugar,
  • others influence a hormone called glucagon, known to raise blood sugar levels,
  • some cause the pancreas to work sluggishly in producing insulin,
  • while others known to be associated with an increased risk for diabetes are so far not well understood.


At least one gene is known to cause body fat accumulation when one’s activity level is low. There are genes that affect how well pancreatic cells can grow and survive. At least one gene is turned on to store fat when the body is deprived of food and another regulates the metabolic rate when the body is at rest. stylowakobieta

No wonder our bodies are so different; some appearing to be naturally thin while others gain weight easily, and some struggling with Type 2 diabetes while others do not. Whatever shape your genes are in, eating a low-calorie high nutrient vegan diet with a good amount of physical activity, are actions you can take to prevent and control Type 2 diabetes.


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