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Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids. 2008 Jul-Aug;79(1-2):55-8. doi: 10.1016/j.plefa.2008.07.001. Epub 2008 Sep 3.

Desaturase activities and metabolic control in type 2 diabetes.

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  • 1Department of Medical and Surgical Sciences, University of Padua, Via Dei Colli, 4, 35143 Padova, Italy.


The aim of this study was to elucidate the effects of a poor glycemic control on fatty acid composition and desaturase activities in type 2 diabetic patients. Plasma phospholipid fatty acid composition and desaturase activities (estimated from fatty acid product to precursor ratios) were measured in 30 type 2 diabetic patients during poor metabolic control and after achieving a good metabolic control. Significant changes were recorded in the percentages of palmitic, stearic, dihomo-gamma-linolenic, docosatetraenoic and docosapentaenoic acid. The delta-5 desaturase activity was significantly higher with poor than with good metabolic control. The changes identified in plasma phospholipid fatty acid composition and the desaturase activity in type 2 diabetic patients go in the opposite direction to those described in similar conditions in type 1 diabetic patients and may be relevant to a better understanding of the role of metabolic control in the progression of chronic complications in type 2 diabetic patients.

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