Effects of Oral Fat Load on Insulin Output and Glucose Tolerance in Healthy Control Subjects and Obese Patients Without Diabetes


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Abstract

OBJECTIVEElevated plasma nonesterified fatty acid (NEFA) concentrations cause peripheral and hepatic insulin resistance and may play an important role in regulating glucose-induced insulin secretion. The aim of our study was to investigate the influence of physiologically elevated NEFA levels on glucose-stimulated insulin secretion in order to find evidence that NEFAs are a potential factor predisposing for type 2 diabetes and related metabolic disorders, which are known risk factors for cardiovascular disease.RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODSWe combined an orally administered fat emulsion with an intravenous glucose tolerance test and measured the time course of NEFA, insulin, and glucose. In order to find pathological conditions we applied the experiment to healthy and obese subjects.RESULTSThe main findings are a significant increase in glucose-stimulated insulin secretion after oral fat load in both groups compared with the condition without preceding fat ingestion and a prolonged insulin secretion after fat load in obese patients compared with control subjects.CONCLUSIONSThe results provide evidence that fat ingestion modulates β-cell function and that NEFA is a plausible mediator that acts as a link between fat and glucose metabolism by modulating glucose-stimulated insulin secretion. Under the condition of elevated plasma levels of NEFA, this mechanism may be responsible for hyperinsulinemia in obese patients and a potential target of type 2 diabetes prevention strategies.

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