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Diabetologia. 2007 Jan;50(1):103-12. Epub 2006 Nov 28.

Substrate source utilisation in long-term diagnosed type 2 diabetes patients at rest, and during exercise and subsequent recovery.

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Department of Human Biology, Nutrition and Toxicology Research Institute Maastricht (NUTRIM), Maastricht University, Maastricht, The Netherlands.



Disturbances in substrate source metabolism and, more particularly, in fatty acid metabolism, play an important role in the aetiology and progression of type 2 diabetes. However, data on substrate source utilisation in type 2 diabetes are inconclusive.


[U-(13)C]palmitate and [6,6-(2)H(2)]glucose tracers were used to assess plasma NEFA and glucose oxidation rates and to estimate the use of muscle- and/or lipoprotein-derived triacylglycerol and muscle glycogen. Subjects were ten male patients who had a long-term (7 +/- 1 years) diagnosis of type 2 diabetes and were overweight, and ten matched healthy, male control subjects. Muscle biopsy samples were collected before and after exercise to assess muscle fibre type-specific intramyocellular lipid and glycogen content.


At rest and during exercise, the diabetes patients had greater values than the controls for palmitate rate of appearance (Ra) (rest, 2.46 +/- 0.18 and 1.85 +/- 0.20 respectively; exercise, 3.71 +/- 0.36 and 2.84 +/- 0.20 micromol kg(-1) min(-1)) and rate of disappearance (Rd) (rest, 2.45 +/- 0.18 and 1.83 +/- 0.20; exercise, 3.64 +/- 0.35 and 2.80 +/- 0.20 micromol kg(-1) min(-1) respectively). This was accompanied by significantly higher fat oxidation rates at rest and during recovery in the diabetes patients (rest, 0.11 +/- 0.01 in diabetes patients and 0.09 +/- 0.01 in controls; recovery, 0.13 +/- 0.01 and 0.11 +/- 0.01 g/min respectively), despite significantly greater plasma glucose Ra, Rd and circulating plasma glucose concentrations. Furthermore, exercise significantly lowered plasma glucose concentrations in the diabetes patients, as a result of increased blood glucose disposal.


This study demonstrates that substrate source utilisation in long-term-diagnosed type 2 diabetes patients, in whom compensatory hyperinsulinaemia is no longer present, shifts towards an increase in whole-body fat oxidation rate and is accompanied by disturbances in fat and carbohydrate handling.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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