News on Wellness

Study Reveals Anoxia Linked to Type II Diabetes

Sundeep Dhillon

Researchers at the University of Southampton and the University College London conducted a research named ‘Caudwell Xtreme Everest’. Results of this study were published in the Journal PLOS One. It was conducted to find the link between hypoxia and development of insulin resistance.

Sundeep Dhillon

This is Dr. Sundeep Dhillon being tested on an exercise bike at Everest Base Camp.
(Photo Credit: Courtesy of Caudwell Xtreme Everest)

At over 8800 meters above sea level in Mount Everest, a group of researchers including scientists, nurses, volunteers and intensive care doctors conducted experiments on themselves. Insulin resistance is a condition in which the cells of the body fail to respond to insulin and this is when the type II diabetes arises. The report shows that the team was trying to understand the molecular process that explained how people get type II diabetes when the cells are deprived of oxygen. Over 90% of people in United States are suffering from Type II diabetes as per the Centre for Disease Control and prevention.

The team set base at Mount Everest base camp, which is of 5300 m altitude. The 24 member team underwent body weight changes measurements, glucose control assessments and inflammation biomarker measurements. With 50% of the team staying in the base camp, the balance of the team reached 8848 m altitude. Journey took about 6 to 8 weeks in which the parameters were recorded for both these teams.

In an interview with Medical News Today, Dr. Daniel Martin told that in such high altitude, everyone and everything is pushed to its limits. He further added that, at the end of the research period, the finding showed that the insulin resistance markers in the volunteers were increase after continuous and long exposure to high altitude.

Findings show that a mild hypoxia exist in people having chronic obesity issues as the fat tissues cause small blood vessels to supply only limited amount of oxygen to the cells said Mike Grocott, Co-founder of this study. He further added that, this data will change the perspective of how patients are treated in the future.

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