Both dietary fat and carbohydrates (Carbs) may play important roles in the development of insulin resistance. The main goal of this study was to further define the roles for fat and dietary carbs in insulin resistance. C57BL/6 mice were fed normal chow diet (CD) or HFD containing 0.1-25.5% carbs for 5 weeks, followed by evaluations of calorie consumption, body weight and fat gains, insulin sensitivity, intratissue insulin signaling, ectopic fat, and oxidative stress in liver and skeletal muscle. The role of hepatic gluconeogenesis in the HFD-induced insulin resistance was determined in mice. The role of fat in insulin resistance was also examined in cultured cells. HFD with little carbs (0.1%) induced severe insulin resistance. Addition of 5% carbs to HFD dramatically elevated insulin resistance and 10% carbs in HFD was sufficient to induce a maximal level of insulin resistance. HFD with little carbs induced ectopic fat accumulation and oxidative stress in liver and skeletal muscle and addition of carbs to HFD dramatically enhanced ectopic fat and oxidative stress. HFD increased hepatic expression of key gluconeogenic genes and the increase was most dramatic by HFD with little carbs, and inhibition of hepatic gluconeogenesis prevented the HFD-induced insulin resistance. In cultured cells, development of insulin resistance induced by a pathological level of insulin was prevented in the absence of fat. Together, fat is essential for development of insulin resistance and dietary carb is not necessary for HFD-induced insulin resistance due to the presence of hepatic gluconeogenesis but a very small amount of it can promote HFD-induced insulin resistance to a maximal level. © 2014 Mei et al.
Mei, S., Yang, X., Guo, H., Gu, H., Zha, L., Cai, J., … Cao, W. (2014). A small amount of dietary carbohydrate can promote the HFD-induced insulin resistance to a maximal level. PLoS ONE, 9(7). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0100875