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J Nutr. 2005 Nov;135(11):2634-8.

Dietary (n-3) long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids prevent sucrose-induced insulin resistance in rats.

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National Institute of Nutrition, Indian Council of Medical Research, Hyderabad-500 007 A.P. India.


This study was designed to determine the effect of substituting (n-3) long-chain PUFAs (LCPUFAs) for linoleic acid and hence decreasing the (n-6):(n-3) fatty acid ratio on sucrose-induced insulin resistance in rats. Weanling male Wistar rats were fed casein-based diets containing 100 g/kg fat for 12 wk. Insulin resistance was induced by replacing starch (ST) with sucrose (SU). The dietary fats were formulated with groundnut oil, palmolein, and fish oil to provide the following ratios of (n-6):(n-3) fatty acids: 210 (ST-210, SU-210), 50 (SU-50), 10 (SU-10), and 5 (SU-5). Compared with starch (ST-210), sucrose feeding (SU-210) significantly increased the plasma insulin and triglyceride concentrations and the plasma insulin area under the curve (AUC) in response to an oral glucose load. Adipocytes isolated from rats fed SU-210 had greater lipolytic rate, lower insulin stimulated glucose transport, and lower insulin-mediated antilipolysis than those from rats fed ST-210. Decreasing the dietary (n-6):(n-3) ratio in sucrose-fed rats (SU-10 and SU-5) normalized the plasma insulin concentration and the AUC of insulin after a glucose load. The sucrose-induced increase in plasma triglyceride concentration was normalized in rats fed SU-50, SU-10 and SU-5. Further, sucrose-induced alterations in adipocyte lipolysis and antilipolysis were partially reversed and glucose transport improved in rats fed diets SU-5 and SU-10. In diaphragm phospholipids, decreasing the (n-6):(n-3) ratio in the diet increased the concentration of (n-3) LCPUFAs with concomitant decreases in the concentration of (n-6) LCPUFAs. These results suggest that (n-3) LCPUFAs at a level of 2.6 g/kg diet [0.56% energy (n-3) LCPUFAs, (n-6):(n-3) ratio = 10] may prevent sucrose-induced insulin resistance by improving peripheral insulin sensitivity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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