Influence of fatty acids on glucose clearance, insulin secretion, and lipid metabolism in cats
Wilkins, Elizabeth Caroline
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Obesity and insulin resistance is a growing problem among humans and cats and is attributed to an increased consumption of diets high in saturated fat. The purpose of this study was to determine if a diet high in omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) would affect glucose clearance, insulin secretion, and lipid metabolism in both the lean and obese cat. Twenty-eight cats were used for the study; 14 were fed the PUFA diet and 14 were fed a diet high in saturated fatty acids (SFA) before and after a 21 week period of ad libitum food intake which resulted in significantly greater weight, body mass index, girth, and % fat in cats of both groups. There was no difference in glucose or insulin baseline concentrations as a result of obesity or diet. However, both glucose and insulin 120 minute concentrations were significantly higher with obesity, regardless of diet. Glucose area under curve (AUC) concentrations were significantly higher with obesity, with no effect of diet. Insulin AUC concentrations were not different with the progression to obesity in cats fed the PUFA diet; however, they were significantly different in obese SFA fed cats compared to lean SFA fed cats and compared to obese PUFA fed cats. Nineteen cats that became glucose intolerant while obese were already exhibiting an altered insulin secretion and a decreased glucose clearance while lean. There was no change as an effect of obesity or diet on cholesterol or triglyceride concentrations but obese cats had significantly more suppression of non-esterified fatty acids than lean cats. The obese cats fed SFA had a significantly higher GHb concentration than the obese cats fed PUFA. Intramyocellular and extramyocellular lipid concentrations increased with obesity and correlated positively with insulin concentrations. It is concluded that a diet high in PUFA has beneficial effects on glucose control and insulin secretion in obese cats.