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Metabolism. 1999 Jul;48(7):870-5.

A high-trans fatty acid diet and insulin sensitivity in young healthy women.

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Department of Clinical Nutrition, University of Kuopio, Finland.


Epidemiological and experimental studies suggest that a diet rich in saturated fat affects insulin sensitivity. Monoenes and dienes that have an usaturated bond with the trans configuration (trans fatty acids) resemble saturated fatty acids with respect to structure, but no published data are available on the effect of trans fatty acids on insulin sensitivity. Therefore, the effects of diets high in trans fatty acids (TFA diet) and oleic acid (monounsaturated fat [MUFA] diet) on glucose and lipid metabolism were studied in 14 healthy women. Subjects consumed both experimental diets for 4 weeks according to a randomized crossover study design. Both experimental diet periods were preceded by consumption of a standardized baseline diet for 2 weeks. The diets provided 36.6% to 37.9% of energy (E%) as fat. In the TFA diet, there was 5.1 E% trans fatty acids, and in the MUFA diet, 5.2 E% oleic acid, substituted for saturated fatty acids in the baseline diet. A frequently sampled intravenous glucose tolerance test (FSIGT) was performed at the end of the experimental diet periods. Glucose effectiveness (S(G)) and the insulin sensitivity index (S(I)) did not differ after the two experimental diet periods. There was also no difference in the acute insulin response between the diets. The total cholesterol to high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol ratio and serum total triglyceride, HDL, and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) triglyceride and apolipoprotein B (apoB) concentrations were higher (P < .05) after the TFA diet. In conclusion, in young healthy women, the TFA diet resulted in a higher total/HDL cholesterol ratio and an elevation in triglyceride and apo B concentrations but had no effect on glucose and insulin metabolism compared with the MUFA diet.

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