It is now well accepted that diabetes mellitus is one of the main threats to human health in the twenty-first century. The total number of people with diabetes worldwide was estimated at between 151 million and 171 million in 2000 and is projected to increase to 221 million in 2010 and to 366 million in 2030. Needless to say, the increase in the number of people with diabetes will be accompanied by an increase in the number of those with diabetic complications such as nephropathy, retinopathy, neuropathy, and atherosclerosis. The global mortality attributable to diabetes in the year 2000 was estimated at 2.9 million deaths, a number that will also increase. Given that type 2 diabetes accounts for more than 90% of cases of diabetes worldwide, it is important that we understand the pathogenesis of this condition and develop new approaches to its prevention and treatment.