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Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol. 2012 Mar 1;302(5):R598-605. doi: 10.1152/ajpregu.00328.2011. Epub 2011 Dec 28.

Fish oil prevents high-saturated fat diet-induced impairments in adiponectin and insulin response in rodent soleus muscle.

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Department of Human Health and Nutritional Sciences, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, Canada.


High saturated fatty acid (SFA) diets contribute to the development of insulin resistance, whereas fish oil-derived n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) increase the secretion of adiponectin (Ad), an adipocyte-derived protein that stimulates fatty acid oxidation (FAO) and improves skeletal muscle insulin response. We sought to determine whether fish oil could prevent and/or restore high SFA diet-induced impairments in Ad and insulin response in soleus muscle. Sprague-Dawley rats were fed 1) a low-fat control diet (CON group), 2) high-SFA diet (SFA group), or 3) high SFA with n-3 PUFA diet (SFA/n-3 PUFA group). At 4 wk, CON and SFA/n-3 PUFA animals were terminated, and SFA animals were either terminated or fed SFA or SFA/n-3 PUFA for an additional 2 or 4 wk. The effect of diet on Ad-stimulated FAO, insulin-stimulated glucose transport, and expression of Ad, insulin and inflammatory signaling proteins was determined in the soleus muscle. Ad stimulated FAO in CON and 4 wk SFA/n-3 PUFA (+36%, +39%, respectively P ≤ 0.05) only. Insulin increased glucose transport in CON, 4 wk SFA/n-3 PUFA, and 4 wk SFA + 4 wk SFA/n-3 PUFA (+82%, +33%, +25%, respectively P ≤ 0.05); this effect was lost in all other groups. TLR4 expression was increased with 4 wk of SFA feeding (+24%, P ≤ 0.05), and this was prevented in 4 wk SFA/n-3 PUFA. Suppressor of cytokine signaling-3 expression was increased in SFA and SFA/n-3 PUFA (+33 and +18%, respectively, P ≤ 0.05). Our results demonstrate that fish oil can prevent high SFA diet-induced impairments in both Ad and insulin response in soleus muscle.

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