Dietary fats and insulin action

  title={Dietary fats and insulin action},
  author={Len H. Storlien and Louise A. Baur and Adamandia D. Kriketos and David A. Pan and Gregory J. Cooney and Arthur B. Jenkins and G. D. Calvert and Lesley V. Campbell},
The history of research into the relationship between dietary fat intake and impaired insulin action has its origin in the work of Himsworth approximately 60 years ago [1, 2]. In a series of pioneering studies using crude indices of insulin action and limited subject numbers (only one in an often quoted paper!), Himsworth linked high levels of fat intake with insulin resistance, and conversely, improved insulin action with predominantly carbohydrate diet. However, the link was tenuous and… 

Type of Dietary Fat and Insulin Resistance

There is so far sound evidence in humans that the quality of dietary fat is able to influence insulin resistance and some of the related metabolic abnormalities, particularly blood pressure and lipid metabolism.

Modeling insulin resistance in rodents by alterations in diet: what have high-fat and high-calorie diets revealed?

Rodent dietary models remain an important tool for exploring potential mechanisms of insulin resistance, but more attention needs to be given to the total macronutrient content and composition when interpreting dietary effects on insulin action.


These studies show that high-MUFA diets have some metabolic advantages compared to highCHO diets, at least in NIDDM and in the last few years, monounsaturated htty acids have been generally used more than polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA).

Dietary Cod Protein Improves Insulin Sensitivity in Insulin-Resistant Men and Women

Dietary cod protein improves insulin sensitivity in insulin-resistant individuals and thus could contribute to prevention of type 2 diabetes by reducing the metabolic complications related to insulin resistance.

Dietary fats, fatty acids and insulin resistance: short review of a multifaceted connection.

  • M. HaagN. Dippenaar
  • Biology, Medicine
    Medical science monitor : international medical journal of experimental and clinical research
  • 2005
Greater understanding of the role played by dietary fat and plasma fatty acids in pathogenesis of insulin resistance, will allow for more timely prevention and improved treatment in the future.

Determining the relationship between dietary carbohydrate intake and insulin resistance

Current evidence supports FAO/WHO recommendations to maintain a high–carbohydrate diet with low–GI foods, and the relationships between carbohydrate and insulin sensitivity remains an important research area.


It is concluded that a diet high in PUFA has beneficial effects on glucose control and insulin secretion in obese cats.

Prolonged adaptation to fat-rich diet and training; effects on body fat stores and insulin resistance in man

  • JW Helge
  • Medicine
    International Journal of Obesity
  • 2002
It is demonstrated that despite of a mild energy deficit body fat mass was maintained after prolonged adaptation to fat-rich diet both when normal physical activity was maintained and when training was performed.

A high-protein low-fat diet is more effective in improving blood pressure and triglycerides in calorie-restricted obese individuals with newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes

A protein to fat ratio of 1.5 in diets significantly improves blood pressure and TG concentrations in obese individuals with type 2 diabetes and no differences were observed in postprandial glucose and insulin responses.

Effect of dietary fat modification on subcutaneous white adipose tissue insulin sensitivity in patients with metabolic syndrome.

The data suggest that the LFHCC n-3 diet reduces systemic insulin resistance and improves insulin signaling in subcutaneous WAT of MetS patients compared to HSFA and BSH diets consumption.



Habitual dietary intake and insulin sensitivity in lean and obese adults.

It is concluded that habitually low dietary fiber intake, along with elevated dietary fat, correlates with diminished SI in otherwise healthy lean and obese subjects.

Influence of Dietary Fat Composition on Development of Insulin Resistance in Rats: Relationship to Muscle Triglyceride and ω-3 Fatty Acids in Muscle Phospholipid

It is concluded that the particular fatty acids and the lipid environment in which they are presented in high-fat diets determine insulin sensitivity in rats and impaired insulin action in skeletal muscle relates to triglyceride accumulation, suggesting intracellular glucose–fatty acid cycle involvement.

Deterioration in carbohydrate metabolism and lipoprotein changes induced by modern, high fat diet in Pima Indians and Caucasians.

Since glucose-mediated glucose disposal, beta-cell function, and glucose tolerance deteriorated on the modern diet, it is likely that diet composition affects the prevalence of noninsulin-dependent diabetes mellitus in both Pimas and caucasians.

Failure to increase lipid oxidation in response to increasing dietary fat content in formerly obese women.

Independent of energy balance, an increase in dietary fat content to 50% fat energy results in preferential fat storage, impaired suppression of carbohydrate oxidation, and reduction of 24-h EE in postobese women.

Habitual dietary intake and glucose tolerance in euglycaemic men: the Zutphen Study.

The intake of saturated fat and dietary cholesterol may be detrimental to glucose tolerance, in contrast to the intake of pectin and mono- and disaccharides, as well as the consumption of sugar products.

Insulin resistance and beta-cell dysfunction in aging: the importance of dietary carbohydrate.

A maximum improvement in Kg and S1 occurred at 41% carbohydrate feeding in the young men, whereas in the elderly men there was a significant increase in both of these parameters while eating the very high (85%) carbohydrate diet.

Energy intake required to maintain body weight is not affected by wide variation in diet composition.

Even with extreme changes in the fat-carbohydrate ratio (fat energy varied from 0% to 70% of total intake), there was no detectable evidence of significant variation in energy need as a function of percentage fat intake.

Dietary fat and the control of energy intake: evaluating the effects of fat on meal size and postmeal satiety.

Three separate experiments in lean subjects confirmed that a 1.52-MJ (362-kcal) carbohydrate supplement at breakfast suppressed appetite 90 min later but had no effect on a test meal given after 270 min, therefore, fat and carbohydrate do not have identical effects on the appetite profile.

Diet and physical activity as determinants of hyperinsulinemia: the Zutphen Elderly Study.

Physical activity and dietary factors such as the intake of fatty acids, fiber, carbohydrates, and alcohol, were independently associated with hyperinsulinemia and insulin resistance and behavioral factors may partly determine the occurrence of non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus and coronary heart disease and play a role in the prevention of these disorders.

Comparison of the effects on insulin sensitivity of high carbohydrate and high fat diets in normal subjects.

It is suggested that practically achievable high carbohydrate diets do not enhance insulin sensitivity in nondiabetic subjects and have net effects on lipoprotein metabolism that may be unfavorable.