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Gastroenterology. 2009 May;136(5):1552-60. doi: 10.1053/j.gastro.2009.01.048. Epub 2009 Jan 25.

Dietary fat and carbohydrates differentially alter insulin sensitivity during caloric restriction.

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Center for Human Nutrition and Division of Geriatrics and Nutritional Science, Washington University School of Medicine, St Louis, Missouri 63110, USA.

Erratum in

  • Gastroenterology. 2009 Jul;137(1):393. Mayurranjan, Mitra S [corrected to Mayurranjan S Mitra].



We determined the effects of acute and chronic calorie restriction with either a low-fat, high-carbohydrate (HC) diet or a low-carbohydrate (LC) diet on hepatic and skeletal muscle insulin sensitivity.


Twenty-two obese subjects (body mass index, 36.5 +/- 0.8 kg/m2) were randomized to an HC (>180 g/day) or LC (<50 g/day) energy-deficit diet. A euglycemic-hyperinsulinemic clamp, muscle biopsy specimens, and magnetic resonance spectroscopy were used to determine insulin action, cellular insulin signaling, and intrahepatic triglyceride (IHTG) content before, after 48 hours, and after approximately 11 weeks (7% weight loss) of diet therapy.


At 48 hours, IHTG content decreased more in the LC than the HC diet group (29.6% +/- 4.8% vs 8.9% +/- 1.4%; P < .05) but was similar in both groups after 7% weight loss (LC diet, 38.0% +/- 4.5%; HC diet, 44.5% +/- 13.5%). Basal glucose production rate decreased more in the LC than the HC diet group at 48 hours (23.4% +/- 2.2% vs 7.2% +/- 1.4%; P < .05) and after 7% weight loss (20.0% +/- 2.4% vs 7.9% +/- 1.2%; P < .05). Insulin-mediated glucose uptake did not change at 48 hours but increased similarly in both groups after 7% weight loss (48.4% +/- 14.3%; P < .05). In both groups, insulin-stimulated phosphorylation of c-Jun-N-terminal kinase decreased by 29% +/- 13% and phosphorylation of Akt and insulin receptor substrate 1 increased by 35% +/- 9% and 36% +/- 9%, respectively, after 7% weight loss (all P < .05).


Moderate calorie restriction causes temporal changes in liver and skeletal muscle metabolism; 48 hours of calorie restriction affects the liver (IHTG content, hepatic insulin sensitivity, and glucose production), whereas moderate weight loss affects muscle (insulin-mediated glucose uptake and insulin signaling).

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