Search for a diet to protect against Diabetes

A new WA research project has its sights set on uncovering what type of diet works best to protect people against type 2 diabetes based on a person's specific genes.Professor Grant Morahan

Professor Grant Morahan, who heads the Centre for Diabetes Research at the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research, said that the study aimed to help people choose the ideal diet to help reduce their chances of developing type 2 diabetes depending on their individual genetic makeup.

“Everyone knows there are so many diets around and the message from the people behind these diets is usually that theirs is good for everyone, but that’s very unlikely to be the case,” said Professor Morahan.

“This study aims to find the best match of diet to genes, in terms of healthy outcomes.

“We will find what genes interact with different diets to cause type 2 diabetes which will eventually allow us to say what is the best diet for which people and help them navigate the maze of diet information out there to best protect themselves against type 2 diabetes.”

The project will involve researchers from China and the US as well as those from WA’s Centre for Diabetes Research.

Professor Morahan said the study would be done using The Gene Mine resource, which was created by the Centre and harnesses the power of the entire mouse genome for accelerating medical research discoveries.

“If you were to do a human study into this, it would take millions of dollars and thousands of participants and would need to be done over 20 to 30 years,” he explained.

“Using the incredible power of The Gene Mine, we think it can be done in five years, so the ability of this resource to fast-track studies is huge,” he said.

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