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Worldwide Medical Insurance News: Diet and exercise 'lowers diabetes risk'

Expatriate international medical insurance customers who wish to reduce their chance of suffering from diabetes should maintain an active lifestyle and eat a healthy diet.

Dr Alison Jeffery from the Peninsula Medical School called this "the mainstay of diabetes prevention", with particular emphasis on minimising fat intake.

Risk factors begin affecting someone's likelihood of suffering from this illness "very early in life – even before school age", she asserted.

"Some people may only need to be overweight in order to trigger diabetes, although many are obese when diabetes is diagnosed," the expert claimed.

A study from the University of California found a link between consuming high-fat foods and this ailment, through a series of molecular events in the human body.

Not only does this affect the onset of the illness, it can also impact the severity of it, the researchers found.

Dr Jeffery explained that this highlights the role played by pancreatic beta cells in this illness.

In healthy individuals, these cells can ascertain if the bloodstream contains high levels of glucose and respond to this by producing insulin.

However, higher amounts of fat in a person's system "interfere with this sensing mechanism due to malfunction of a particular enzyme", she declared.

The doctor added that she hopes new treatments are developed as a result of this discovery, which may include medicines to "improve the action of the enzyme", as well as more innovative treatments, such as gene therapy.

Dr Jeffrey asserted that obesity and high fat intake are also linked to several other illnesses, including strokes, high blood pressure in pregnancy, heart and liver disease and cancer.

Gently exercising for brief periods of the day to maintain good physical health is recommended by Linda Main, dietetic advisor for Heart UK – The Cholesterol Charity.

Adults should aim for "30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise on five or more days during the week", which can be split into two quarter-of-an-hour sections.

Children should work out for twice as long, she added.

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