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Metabolism. 1990 Dec;39(12):1285-91.

Fatty acid composition of serum cholesterol esters in different degrees of glucose intolerance: a population-based study.

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National Public Health Institute, Department of Epidemiology, Helsinki, Finland.


The fatty acid composition of serum cholesterol esters was investigated in 325 subjects with normal glucose tolerance, 97 subjects with impaired glucose tolerance (IGT), and 98 subjects with non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM) identified by population-based screening. The proportions of palmitic acid (16:0) and palmitoleic acid (16:1) in serum cholesterol esters increased from the normal glucose tolerance group to the IGT and diabetic groups. On the other hand, the proportion of linoleic acid (18:2) was lower in diabetic subjects than in the subjects with IGT or normal glucose tolerance. The proportions of gamma-linolenic (18:3), dihomo-gamma-linoleic (20:3), and arachidonic (20:4) acids were highest in diabetic subjects and lowest in subjects with normal glucose tolerance. Our findings suggest that subjects with NIDDM or IGT have had higher dietary intake of saturated fatty acids. Both serum insulin and blood glucose concentrations probably have an effect on the elongation and desaturation of fatty acids, but the metabolism of linoleic acid to prostaglandin precursors seems to be different in different types of diabetes, NIDDM patients showing no abnormalities. The possibility that the fatty acid composition of plasma and membrane lipids has a role in insulin resistance and blood glucose regulation deserves further investigation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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