Insulin-mediated FFA suppression is associated with triglyceridemia and insulin sensitivity independent of adiposity

Nikki C. Bush, Rita Basu, Robert A. Rizza, K. Sreekumaran Nair, Sundeep Khosla, Michael D. Jensen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Context: A central/visceral fat distribution and excess free fatty acid (FFA) availability are associated with dyslipidemia and insulin resistance. However, these two characteristics often coexist, making it difficult to detect the independent contributions of each. Whether FFA suppression is more closely linked to metabolic abnormalities is not clear. Objective: The aim of the study was to examine the relationship between FFA suppression, body fat distribution, and fitness as contributors toward insulin resistance and hypertriglyceridemia. Design: Wemeasured systemic palmitate turnover using an iv infusion of [9,10-3H]palmitate; upper body sc adipose tissue (UBSQ) and visceral adipose tissue (VAT) with dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry and a single-slice abdominal computed tomography scan; fitness with a graded exercise treadmill test; and insulin sensitivity with both the iv glucose tolerance test (IVGTT) (SIIVGTT) and mixed meal tolerance test (SIMeal). Setting: The study was conducted at a General Clinical Research Center. Participants: Baseline data were obtained from 140 elderly adults (age, 60-88 yr; 83 males) and 60 young adults (age, 18-31 yr; 31 males)whoparticipated in a previously published trial assessing the effects of 2-yr supplementation of dehydroepiandrosterone or testosterone on body composition, glucose metabolism, and bone density. Interventions: There were no interventions. Main Outcome Measures: We measured fasting plasma triglyceride (TG) concentrations, SI IVGTT, and SIMeal. Results: Using multivariate regression analysis, the strongest combined predictors of TG concentrations were VAT, postmeal nadir FFA concentrations, sex, and age. The best predictors of SI IVGTT were IVGTT nadir palmitate concentration, VAT, UBSQ fat, fitness, and age, whereas the best predictors of SIMeal were meal nadir palmitate concentration, UBSQ fat, fitness, and sex. Conclusions: FFA suppression is associated with both fasting TG concentrations and insulin sensitivity, independent of measures of adiposity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4130-4138
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Biochemistry
  • Endocrinology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Biochemistry, medical


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