The association of fatty acid composition with insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes has been reported in Western populations, but there is limited evidence of this association among the Japanese, whose populace consume large amounts of fish. To test the hypothesis that high palmitic, palmitoleic, and dihomo-γ-linolenic acids and low levels of linoleic and n-3 fatty acids are associated with higher insulin resistance among the Japanese, the authors investigated the relationship between serum fatty acid composition and serum C-peptide concentrations in 437 Japanese employees aged 21 to 67 years who participated in a workplace health examination. Serum cholesterol ester and phospholipid fatty acid compositions were measured by gas-liquid chromatography. Desaturase activity was estimated by fatty acid product-to-precursor ratios. A multiple regression was used to assess the association between fatty acid and C-peptide concentrations. C-peptide concentrations were associated inversely with linoleic acid levels in cholesterol ester and phospholipid (P for trend = .01 and .02, respectively) and positively with stearic and palmitoleic acids in cholesterol ester (P for trend = .02 and .006, respectively) and dihomo-γ-linolenic acid in cholesterol ester and phospholipid (P for trend < .0001 for both). C-peptide concentrations were not associated with n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids. C-peptide concentrations significantly increased as δ-9-desaturase (16:1 n-7/16:0) and δ-6-desaturase (18:3 n-6/18:2 n-6) increased (P for trend = .01 and .03, respectively) and δ-5-desaturase (20:4 n-6/20:3 n-6) decreased (P for trend = .004). In conclusion, a fatty acid pattern with high levels of serum stearic, palmitoleic, or dihomo-γ-linolenic acids; δ-9-desaturase (16:1 n-7/16:0) or δ-6-desaturase (18:3 n-6/18:2 n-6) activities; and low levels of serum linoleic acid or δ-5-desaturase (20:4 n-6/20:3 n-6) activity might be associated with higher insulin resistance in Japanese adults.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Nutrition and Dietetics