Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Men More Prone to Lipid Induced Insulin Resistance than Women

Regardless of the low-carb-craze of the last years, there is still plenty of scientific evidence that an overtly high fat intake (especially without restricting carbohydrate intake) puts you at risk of developing insulin resistance. What's new to the findings of Hoeg et al. (Hoeg. 2010) is that men are obviously more susceptible to lipid induced insulin resistance than women. At least this is, what the data obtained from the infusion of intralipid or saline for 7h to 16 young well matched healthy men and women suggest:
Intralipid infusion reduced whole body glucose infusion rate 26% in women and 38% in men (p<0.05) and insulin stimulated leg glucose uptake was reduced significantly less in women (45%) than men (60%) after intralipid infusion.
So obviously, if you are a male, you got to watch your blood lipids more carefully than women. As far as the reasons for this gender-bias are concerned the scientists are at a loss:
This insulin resistance is not due to decreased canonical insulin signaling, accumulation of lipid intermediates, inflammation or direct inhibition of glucose transporter activity.
They do however suggest that there may be a relation with lowered glucose oxidation and the ensuing metabolic feedback regulation of glucose metabolism. So what? Although it appears insignificant, insights into the exact mechanism underlying this recently observed gender-difference may entail the development of appropriate treatment methods for diet induced insulin resistance, which appears to be at the heart of what is commonly called the metabolic syndrome and probably is the no1 plaque of the 21st century.