Increasing the proportion of plasma MUFA, as a result of dietary intervention, is associated with a modest improvement in insulin sensitivity.
J Nutr Sci. 2019 Nov 29 ;9:e6. Epub 2019 Nov 29. PMID: 32076549
The effect of modifying dietary fatty acid (FA) composition on insulin sensitivity remains unclear. We aimed to investigate whether changes in plasma phospholipid (PL) FA composition, as a result of dietary intervention, correspond with changes in insulin sensitivity. The RISCK study was a 6-month randomised controlled dietary intervention study, which assessed the effect of modifying dietary fat and the glycaemic index (GI) of carbohydrates on insulin sensitivity. Total NEFA levels, fasting plasma PL FA profiles and an insulin sensitivity index (Si), derived from intravenous glucose tolerance minimal-model analysis, were available from 533 participants, all at elevated risk of type 2 diabetes. Bivariate correlations between changes in saturated PL FA (SFA), MUFA (as a percentage of total plasma NEFA) and changes in Si were assessed according to treatment group. Age, sex, ethnicity, percentage change in body mass and change in dietary GI were controlled for. Increasing total NEFA concentration was associated with worsening Si (0·152;= 0·001). In the high-MUFA/low-GI diet group, change in PL-MUFA was positively and independently associated with change in Si (0·297;= 0·002). Among MUFA, change in oleic acid (18 : 1) was most strongly correlated with change in Si (0·266= 0·005), as was change in minor FA 24 : 1 (0·244;= 0·011) and 17 : 1 (0·196;= 0·042). In the high-SFA/high-GI group, change in SFA concentration was not significantly associated with change in Si. In conclusion, increases in the proportion of plasma PL-MUFA following a high-MUFA dietary intervention were associated with improvements in insulin sensitivity.