News on Wellness

Obesity and Type 2 Diabetes may be successfully treated with Vitamin A


Researchers at the University of Montreal are hopeful that a derivative of Vitamin A, Retinoic acid (RA), may help patients who suffer from diabetes type 2 and obesity. Brown fat that is normally found in babies is a type of fat that regulates heat in the body. The derivatives of Vitamin A stimulate UCPI which is a mitochondrial uncoupling protein that utilizes energy in the body differently.


Researchers are now trying to find out ways of increasing brown fat in the body as this can help melt down the white fat so that people shed weight. Animals hibernate in spring and gain weight but do not develop diabetes in spite of the fact that they sleep most of this time. The reason for this is the large amounts of retinoic acid stored in their liver.

The other properties of retinoic acid include maturation and cell differentiation. It is possible that it can preempt pre-adipocytes to turn into brown rather than white cells. The activity of the genes can be simulated by Vitamin A derivative to protect the heart from other diseases.

Studies conducted on mice at the University of Montreal and CHUM Research Centre reveal that retinoic acid may reduce the risk of cardiac apoptosis and prevent collagen accumulating in cardiac muscles. The other benefits are that it may prevent fibrosis from occurring and it can also prevent many types of complications. Many obese patients suffer from type 2 diabetes as their bodies are unable to efficiently use the insulin that it produces.

Vitamin A was a retinoid that could be considered as a bioactive nutrient according to Dr. P. Bhat. The findings of the study were presented in Saint John’s, Newfoundland at the Annual Conference of the Canadian Nutrition Society.

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