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Am J Physiol. 1997 Aug;273(2 Pt 1):E268-75.

Fatty acid oxidation is directly regulated by carbohydrate metabolism during exercise.

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Department of Human Biology, University of Limburg, Maastricht, The Netherlands.


We determined whether increased glycolytic flux from hyperglycemia and hyperinsulinemia directly reduces fatty acid oxidation during exercise. Fatty acid oxidation rates were measured during constant-rate intravenous infusion of trace amounts of a long-chain fatty acid ([1-13C]palmitate; Pal) vs. a medium-chain fatty acid ([1-13C]octanoate; Oct). Six endurance-trained men cycled for 40 min at 50% of maximal O2 uptake 1) after an overnight fast ("fasting") and 2) after ingestion of 1.4 g/kg of glucose at 60 min and again 10 min before exercise (Glc). Glc caused hyperinsulinemia, a preexercise blood glucose of 6 mM, and a 34% reduction in total fat oxidation during exercise due to an approximately equal reduction in oxidation of plasma-free fatty acids (FFA) and intramuscular triglycerides (all P < 0.05). Oxidation of Pal was significantly reduced during Glc compared with fast (i.e., 70.0 +/- 4.1 vs. 86.0 +/- 1.9% of tracer infusion rate; P < 0.05). However, Glc had no effect on Oct oxidation, which is apparently not limited by mitochondrial transport. Furthermore, Glc reduced plasma FFA appearance 36% (P < 0.05), indicating a coordination of effects on adipose tissue and muscle. In summary, substrate oxidation during exercise can be regulated by increased glycolytic flux that is accompanied by a direct inhibition of long-chain fatty acid oxidation. These observations indicate that carbohydrate availability can directly regulate fat oxidation during exercise.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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