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Curr Diab Rep. 2005 Jun;5(3):167-70.

Free fatty acids and insulin secretion in humans.

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Division of Endocrinology/Diabetes/Metabolism, Temple University School of Medicine, Temple University Hospital, 3401 North Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA 19140, USA.


Acute increases in plasma levels of long-chain fatty acids raise plasma insulin levels by stimulating insulin secretion or by decreasing insulin clearance. In normal subjects, long-term elevations of fatty acids also stimulate insulin secretion. In fact, they increase insulin precisely to the degree needed to compensate for the fatty acid-induced insulin resistance. In contrast, in individuals who are genetically predisposed to develop type 2 diabetes (prediabetic subjects), the free fatty acid (FFA) stimulation of insulin secretion is not sufficient to fully compensate for the FFA-induced insulin resistance. Therefore, obesity, if associated with elevated fatty acid levels, may lead to hyperglycemia in prediabetic but not in normal individuals.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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