Effects of dietary fat modification on skeletal muscle fatty acid handling in the metabolic syndrome

A.M.J. van Hees, W.H. Saris, G.B. Hul, N.C. Schaper, B.E. Timmerman, J.A. Lovegrove, H.M. Roche, E.E. Blaak*

*Corresponding author for this work

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Objective:In the metabolic syndrome (MetS), increased fat storage in 'nonadipose' tissues such as skeletal muscle may be related to insulin resistance ('lipid overflow' hypothesis). The objective of this study was to examine the effects of dietary fat modification on the capacity of skeletal muscle to handle dietary and endogenous fatty acids (FAs).Subjects and Methods:In total, 29 men with the MetS were randomly assigned to one of four diets for 12 weeks: a high-fat saturated fat diet (HSFA, n=6), a high-fat monounsaturated fat diet (HMUFA, n=7) and two low-fat high-complex carbohydrate diets supplemented with (LFHCCn-3, n=8) or without (LFHCC, n=8) 1.24 g per day docosahexaenoic and eicosapentaenoic acid. Fasting and postprandial skeletal muscle FA handling was examined by measuring arteriovenous concentration differences across the forearm muscle. [(2)H(2)]-palmitate was infused intravenously to label endogenous triacylglycerol (TAG) and free fatty acids in the circulation and subjects received a high-fat mixed meal (2.6 MJ, 61 energy% fat) containing [U-(13)C]-palmitate to label chylomicron-TAG.Results:Postprandial circulating TAG concentrations were significantly lower after dietary intervention in the LFHCCn-3 group compared to the HSFA group (DeltaiAUC -139+/-67 vs 167+/-70 mumol l(-1) min(-1), P=0.009), together with decreased concentrations of [U-(13)C]-labeled TAG, representing dietary FA. Fasting TAG clearance across forearm muscle was decreased on the HSFA diet, whereas no differences were observed in postprandial forearm muscle FA handling between diets.Conclusion:Chronic manipulation of dietary fat quantity and quality did not affect forearm muscle FA handling in men with the MetS. Postprandial TAG concentrations decreased on the LFHCCn-3 diet, which could be (partly) explained by lower concentration of dietary FA in the circulation.International Journal of Obesity advance online publication, 2 February 2010; doi:10.1038/ijo.2010.6.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)859-870
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Obesity
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2010


  • metabolic syndrome
  • lipid metabolism
  • skeletal muscle
  • dietary fat
  • stable isotope methodology
  • RATS

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