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Obesity (Silver Spring). 2011 Feb;19(2):305-11. doi: 10.1038/oby.2010.135. Epub 2010 Jun 17.

Short-term effects of dietary fatty acids on muscle lipid composition and serum acylcarnitine profile in human subjects.

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Department of Pediatrics, University of Vermont, Burlington, Vermont, USA.


In cultured cells, palmitic acid (PA) and oleic acid (OA) confer distinct metabolic effects, yet, unclear, is whether changes in dietary fat intake impact cellular fatty acid (FA) composition. We hypothesized that short-term increases in dietary PA or OA would result in corresponding changes in the FA composition of skeletal muscle diacylglycerol (DAG) and triacylglycerol (TAG) and/or the specific FA selected for β-oxidation. Healthy males (N = 12) and females (N = 12) ingested a low-PA diet for 7 days. After fasting measurements of the serum acylcarnitine (AC) profile, subjects were randomized to either high-PA (HI PA) or low-PA/high-OA (HI OA) diets. After 7 days, the fasting AC measurement was repeated and a muscle/fat biopsy obtained. FA composition of intramyocellular DAG and TAG and serum AC was measured. HI PA increased, whereas HI OA decreased, serum concentration of 16:0 AC (P < 0.001). HI OA increased 18:1 AC (P = 0.005). HI PA was associated with a higher PA/OA ratio in muscle DAG and TAG (DAG: 1.03 ± 0.24 vs. 0.46 ± 0.08, P = 0.04; TAG: 0.63 ± 0.07 vs. 0.41 ± 0.03, P = 0.01). The PA concentration in the adipose tissue DAG (µg/mg adipose tissue) was 0.17 ± 0.02 in those receiving the HI PA diet (n = 6), compared to 0.11 ± 0.02 in the HI OA group (n = 4) (P = 0.067). The relative PA concentration in muscle DAG and TAG and the serum palmitoylcarnitine concentration was higher in those fed the high-PA diet.

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