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Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2001 Jul;281(1):E62-71.

Prevention of skeletal muscle insulin resistance by dietary cod protein in high fat-fed rats.

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Nutraceuticals and Functional Foods Institute, Laval University, Ste-Foy, Quebec, Canada G1K 7P4.


In the present study, we tested the hypothesis that fish protein may represent a key constituent of fish with glucoregulatory activity. Three groups of rats were fed a high-fat diet in which the protein source was casein, fish (cod) protein, or soy protein; these groups were compared with a group of chow-fed controls. High-fat feeding led to severe whole body and skeletal muscle insulin resistance in casein- or soy protein-fed rats, as assessed by the euglycemic clamp technique coupled with measurements of 2-deoxy-D-[(3)H]glucose uptake rates by individual tissues. However, feeding cod protein fully prevented the development of insulin resistance in high fat-fed rats. These animals exhibited higher rates of insulin-mediated muscle glucose disposal that were comparable to those of chow-fed rats. The beneficial effects of cod protein occurred without any reductions in body weight gain, adipose tissue accretion, or expression of tumor necrosis factor-alpha in fat and muscle. Moreover, L6 myocytes exposed to cod protein-derived amino acids showed greater rates of insulin-stimulated glucose uptake compared with cells incubated with casein- or soy protein-derived amino acids. These data demonstrate that feeding cod protein prevents obesity-induced muscle insulin resistance in high fat-fed obese rats at least in part through a direct action of amino acids on insulin-stimulated glucose uptake in skeletal muscle cells.

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