Effects of conjugated linoleic acid plus n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids on insulin secretion and estimated insulin sensitivity in men.

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Background/Objectives:Dietary addition of either conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) or n-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 LC-PUFAs) has been shown to alter adiposity and circulating lipids, risk markers of cardiovascular diseases. However, CLA may decrease insulin sensitivity, an effect that may be reversed by n-3 LC-PUFA. Thus, the potential of CLA plus n-3 LC-PUFA to affect insulin secretion and sensitivity in non-diabetic young and old, lean and obese subjects was tested.Subjects/Methods:CLA (3 g daily) plus n-3 LC-PUFA (3 g daily) or control oil (6 g daily) was given to lean (n=12; BMI 20-26 kg/m(2)) or obese (n=10; BMI 29-35 kg/m(2)) young (20-37 years old) or lean (n=16) or obese (n=11) older men (50-65 years) for 12 weeks. The study had a double-blind, placebo-controlled randomized crossover design, and primary end points were insulin secretion and sensitivity during a standardized meal test, evaluated by modeling glucose, insulin and C-peptide data.Results:The combination was well tolerated. There was no significant difference in fasting levels of glucose, insulin or C-peptide after CLA/n-3 LC-PUFA treatment compared with control oil. Neither insulin secretion nor estimated sensitivity was affected by CLA/n-3 LC-PUFA in lean or obese young subjects or in older lean subjects. However, in older obese subjects, estimated insulin sensitivity was reduced with CLA/n-3 LC-PUFA compared with control (P=0.024).Conclusions:The results do not support beneficial effects of CLA/n-3 LC-PUFA for beta-cell dysfunction or insulin resistance in humans but suggest that insulin sensitivity in older obese subjects is reduced.European Journal of Clinical Nutrition advance online publication, 3 September 2008; doi:10.1038/ejcn.2008.45.


  • Bo Ahrén
  • A Mari
  • C L Fyfe
  • F Tsofliou
  • A A Sneddon
  • K W Wahle
  • Maria Sörhede Winzell
  • G Pacini
  • L M Williams
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Nutrition and Dietetics
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)778-786
JournalEuropean Journal of Clinical Nutrition
VolumeSep 3
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Publication categoryResearch