Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Diabetes Health Center

Font Size

Fast-Food Fat Buster May Drop Diabetes Risk

Additive Could Help Avoid Type 2 Diabetes -- but Not Cut Calories

Targeting Saturated Fat

Yokoyama sees a link between saturated fat and type 2 diabetes. "We're interested in preventing type 2 diabetes," he tells WebMD.

When people eat a lot of saturated fats at once, the body can get overwhelmed, he explains.

"In more detail, we think saturated fats will block the transport of glucose (blood sugar) from the bloodstream into tissues," says Yokoyama. That raises blood sugar levels, driving up demand for insulin to handle the blood sugar spike.

Polyunsaturated fats -- found in plant-based foods -- don't have the same effect, he adds. The researchers fed hamsters a diet high in saturated or polyunsaturated fats. The saturated-fat hamsters developed insulin resistance, but the polyunsaturated group didn't.

A saturated fat binge can also swamp parts of the body not designed for the overload. That includes the liver, heart, and pancreas; pancreatic damage can lead to diabetes, the news release states.

Testing HPMC

For years, Yokoyama and colleagues looked for a solution using natural fiber from oats and barley. When that didn't work as they hoped, they shifted gears.

"Those natural [fibers] are kind of fragile," he explains. "We were looking for something a little more stable and more easily controlled, and so we thought we would try HPMC."

They fed a group of hamsters a high-fat diet similar to what many Americans eat. The hamsters got about 38% of their calories from fat and developed insulin resistance. Meanwhile, hamsters on a low-fat diet didn't become insulin resistant.

A third group of hamsters got a saturated fat diet with HPMC. This time, the hamsters didn't get insulin resistance.

However, they did gain a bit more weight than hamsters on a healthier diet. Exactly how HPMC works isn't known, but scientists guess it may slow down fat absorption.

HPMC is made by the Dow Chemical Company, but the study was entirely funded by the USDA. Yokoyama presented the findings in San Diego, at a national meeting of the American Chemical Society. He credits his colleagues, including the University of Minnesota's chemical engineering and materials science professor Wei-Shou Hu, PhD, for their work.

1 | 2

Today on WebMD

Diabetic tools
Symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and more.
woman flexing muscles
10 strength training exercises.
Blood sugar test
12 practical tips.
Tom Hanks
Stars living with type 1 or type 2.
kenneth fujioka, md
Can Vinegar Treat Diabetes
Middle aged person
Home Healthcare

Prediabetes How to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes
type 2 diabetes
food fitness planner