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Metabolism. 1988 Aug;37(8):711-3.

Red blood cell and plasma fatty acid composition in diabetes mellitus.

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Medical and Research Services, John L. McClellan Memorial Veterans Hospital, Little Rock, AR 72205.


Arachidonic acid deficiency and increased linoleic acid levels have been a consistent finding in a variety of tissues in experimental diabetes. To determine if patients with type II non-insulin-dependent diabetes show changes in red blood cell and plasma fatty acid composition, a group of non-insulin-dependent diabetic patients were studied prior to and following treatment with glyburide which substantially improved their diabetic control. Red blood cell and plasma fatty acid composition was compared with that of a group of nondiabetic subjects and to red cell fatty acid composition in normal and streptozotocin diabetic rats. The diabetic patients had no changes in linoleic or arachidonic acid levels prior to treatment and no changes following glyburide therapy. These studies and the available literature suggest to us that either more severe diabetes is required to produce the fatty acid abnormalities described in the diabetic rat or that there is a fundamental species difference in the mechanism of diabetes or in fatty acid metabolism between the human and the rat which allows the human diabetic to more easily maintain normal tissue fatty acid composition.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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