Junk food diet can cause damage seen in diabetes, experts warn

By Will Chu

- Last updated on GMT

“Understanding how diet can affect sugar handling in the kidneys, and whether new inhibitors can reverse these changes, could help to protect kidneys from further damage,” (©
“Understanding how diet can affect sugar handling in the kidneys, and whether new inhibitors can reverse these changes, could help to protect kidneys from further damage,” (©

Related tags High fat diet Nutrition

A diet that is made up of junk food rich in fat and sugar can cause kidney damage normally seen in those with diabetes, a study has observed.

The findings illustrate just how damaging a diet made up of calorie-dense processed foods is. 

Consumption of these foods, rich in saturated fat and carbohydrates is well known in contributing to obesity rates, type 2 diabetes and its essential prerequisite, insulin resistance.

Study details

Researches from Anglia Ruskin University began by looking at animal models of diabetes, models of diet-caused obesity and insulin resistance.

A number of rats were fed foods high in fat and sugar, including cheese, chocolate bars, biscuits and marshmallows for eight weeks.

Another group were fed rodent chow high in fat (60%) for five weeks.

The aim was to understand how high fat and high sugar diets affected the different glucose transporters (GLUT and SGLT), regulatory proteins and eventually the kidneys.

They found that these glucose transporters were present in a higher number in cases of type 2 diabetes. A high fat diet and a junk food diet caused a similar increase in these receptors.

“Understanding how diet can affect sugar handling in the kidneys, and understanding whether the use of new inhibitors can reverse these changes, could help to protect kidneys from further damage,”​ said the study's lead author, Dr Havovi Chichger, senior lecturer in biomedical science at Anglia Ruskin University.

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Source: Experimental Physiology

Published online ahead of print, DOI: 10.1113/EP085670

“Experimental type II diabetes and related models of impaired glucose metabolism differentially regulate glucose transporters at the proximal tubule brush border membrane.”

Authors: Havovi Chichger, Mark Cleasby, Surjit Srai, Robert Unwin, Edward Debnam, Joanne Marks

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all fat is not equal

Posted by Marco,

Saturated fat is not well defined in the study's rat diet and has little evidence supporting its role in obesity and insulin resistance or glucose transporters.
the diet :The junk-food diet consisted of a choice of palatable, processed foods with high fat and/or high sugar content, including potato crisps (5.7% of consumed food), flapjacks (12.3% of consumed food), cheese (4.9% of consumed food), marshmallows (6.9% of consumed food), muffins (12.1% of consumed food), doughnut (19.8% of consumed food), biscuits (31.1% of consumed food) and chocolate bars (7.2% of consumed food). Daily energy consumption for chow-fed and junk-food-fed animals was 17.5 kcal (73.2 kJ) and 198 kcal (830.6 kJ), respectively. For the high-fat diet model, male Wistar rats (125–150 g) were purchased from Charles River (UK) and had ad libitum access to a 60% fat-as-calories chow (R12492; Research Diets, New Brunswick, NJ, USA) over a 5-week period or maintenance diet.

Now processed fat seems to be a common theme here, as well as sugar and processed carbohydrates. A secondary control of high quality animal fat or fish oil may have been appropriate here. But blanket statements about fat as if it were a homogenous nutrient are simply false. Healthy fats are ESSENTIAL nutrients and that includes some saturated fats.

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Junk food rich in saturated fat?

Posted by David Brown,

For decades so-called junk food has been manufactured with vegetable oils rich in linoleic acid, not saturated fat.

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