Breaking the inter-generational cycle of type 2 diabetes

One of the big challenges surrounding the type 2 diabetes epidemic is tackling the inter-generational cycle of the disease.

What do we mean by the inter-generational cycle? When someone develops type 2 diabetes it can cause changes in the body that may increase their children’s risk of developing type 2 diabetes which, in turn, increases their children’s children’s risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

However, a new study lead by Professor Mary Wlodek at The University of Melbourne is looking at ways of breaking this cycle.

“My study, which is supported by Diabetes Australia, is looking at males and what we can do to improve their health to try and ensure their children aren’t at an increased risk of type 2 diabetes,” Professor Wlodek said.

“We will be studying boys around the time of puberty and observing whether exercising throughout this period of maturity, can help reduce their risk of developing type 2 diabetes as well as reducing the risk that any children they may have in the future will develop type 2 diabetes.

“We are also interested in exploring whether these benefits stay with the person even if he stops exercising as he gets older.

“This could pave the way for developing an exercise intervention that will help break the intergenerational cycle of type 2 diabetes.”

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