Healthy Stem Cells Store Fat, Prevent Diabetes

What happens if you're overweight or obese? You might have a hard time finding clothes that fit. Regular physical activity like walking or climbing stairs might be difficult. And you might feel self-conscious in certain social settings.

But there are bigger problems at play when you weight more than you should. It can take a toll on your health. About 70 percent of all adults in the United States are overweight or obese, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And it can lead to chronic conditions like heart disease, cancer, stroke, and diabetes.

But what about overweight or obese people who seem to live a long and healthy life and avoid developing diabetes? That's something researchers at the University of Bristol wanted to better understand. Researchers looked at fat stem cells, cholesterol levels, and liver function among a group of obese people.

And as you might expect, many obese people with diabetes had high cholesterol levels, fatty liver disease, and other health problems. But some didn't. The difference? Healthy fat stem cells. Researchers found that healthy fat stem cells do a better job at storing fat, and preventing it from surrounding internal organs like the heart, liver, and kidneys, and causing diabetes. Now researchers will use the findings to identify ways to improve fat stem cell health in obese people to help prevent or control diabetes, according to the study published in the journal Diabetologia.

If you have diabetes, maintaining healthy weight is important to help control your condition. Regular exercise can help. In some cases, your doctor may recommend medication. And following a healthy diet can help, too. Hungry for something healthy and tasty? Check out our selection of Diabetic-Friendly meals to keep your diet on track.