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Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2005 Apr;288(4):E789-97. Epub 2004 Nov 30.

Real-time assessment of postprandial fat storage in liver and skeletal muscle in health and type 2 diabetes.

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School of Clinical Medical Sciences (Diabete)s Medical School, University of Newcastle, UK.


Liver and skeletal muscle triglyceride stores are elevated in type 2 diabetes and correlate with insulin resistance. As postprandial handling of dietary fat may be a critical determinant of tissue triglyceride levels, we quantified postprandial fat storage in normal and type 2 diabetes subjects. Healthy volunteers (n = 8) and diet-controlled type 2 diabetes subjects (n = 12) were studied using a novel 13C magnetic resonance spectroscopy protocol to measure the postprandial increment in liver and skeletal muscle triglyceride following ingestion of 13C-labeled fatty acids given with a standard mixed meal. The postprandial increment in hepatic triglyceride was rapid in both groups (peak increment controls: +7.3 +/- 1.5 mmol/l at 6 h, P = 0.002; peak increment diabetics: +10.8 +/- 3.4 mmol/l at 4 h, P = 0.009). The mean postprandial incremental AUC of hepatic 13C enrichment between the first and second meals (0 and 4 h) was significantly higher in the diabetes group (6.1 +/- 1.4 vs. 1.7 +/- 0.6 mmol x l(-1) x h(-1), P = 0.019). Postprandial increment in skeletal muscle triglyceride in the control group was small compared with the diabetic group, the mean 24-h postprandial incremental AUC being 0.2 +/- 0.3 vs. 1.7 +/- 0.4 mmol x l(-1) x h(-1) (P = 0.009). We conclude that the postprandial uptake of fatty acids by liver and skeletal muscle is increased in type 2 diabetes and may underlie the elevated tissue triglyceride stores and consequent insulin resistance.

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